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The Owl is my third puzzle from the Flabber Floovers collection. Released by Family Games America, this collection of 12 unique puzzles, mostly rope ones, brings enjoyment to all puzzle fans with four difficulty levels, whether you're an experienced puzzler or just a beginner.
Today, I bring you a more challenging design, a level 4/4, or at least they say. I actually found it a bit easier than I was expecting, but I'll explain in more detail below. The puzzle itself is quite intimidating at first sight, with a large rope length, enough to scary away the most courageous of puzzlers.
No wonder it looks so complicated... With four wooden blocks plus a bead and finally a ring to free, you have many things to worry about and too many parts that can make the puzzle a real mess with knots. Two of the wooden blocks look very similar in shape, but one of them is slightly wider, enough to block the ring from passing over it. There's a couple of knots between these two blocks that need to be untied before doing anything with the ring. Only after that you're going to include the ring in subsequent steps.
As I mentioned above, the puzzle turned out to be much easier than I'd thought. I was clear that those knots between the slotted bars needed to be taken care of before doing anything else, and while they looked complex at first, it was actually pretty intuitive to untie them. When you finally clear the space for the ring to get between the two bars, it immediately reminded me of the classic Horseshoe puzzle. And it wasn't any coincidence, as I was able to perform the same exact steps to free the ring as you do with the Horseshoe puzzle. I was very surprised to solve the puzzle quickly, but even more surprised to see a different and more advanced version of a well known classic. Since the solving process was rather easy to do, putting the ring back to its original position was even easier. I wish more puzzles were like this one, easier than you expected.
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The Owl is now my favorite puzzle from the Flabber Floovers collection. Not because it was easy to solve, but because it takes a simple design like the Horseshoe puzzle and adds its own elements to create one of the best variations I've seen in a while. Definitely recommended, and even if you're a beginner go for it, because it might surprise you by how simple it really is.
Availability: You can find the Owl and all the others in the Flabber Floovers collection at Puzzles de Ingenio, in Spain. Worldwide shipping available.