Schloss 250

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When you think of a padlock and how to open them, the first thought that comes to you is "with a key", right? Almost any traditional padlock comes with a corresponding key in order to open them. The key is unique to that particular padlock and can't open any other, just like a regular lock. What you may be surprised to know is that Jean Claude Constantin's new puzzle lock, the Schloss 250, doesn't need any kind of key to be opened. Instead, it will need a person with lots of patience and attention.

Imagine, a padlock without a key. That would be great, because you could open it without worrying about losing its key. But, there's a downside with this puzzle lock. To solve it, you'll need at least 250 steps - hence the name of the puzzle - which can take a while to open it. However, it's a perfect way to keep something of value locked, since it would discourage any thief from attempting to rob you, lest they would get caught with the hands in the cookie jar.

The Schloss 250 has a robust body made of laser-cut wood. Four pins are held in place in the middle and stuck between the four wooden plates that cross the lock from one side to the other. The pins can only be moved from left to right, but you have to unlock their path with the correct sequence. The movement of the puzzle could be better, because it can be stuck sometimes and you risk losing your concentration. Other than that, it's very well made.

The solution is simple, but at the same time, complex. This seems quite an incoherent thought, but it's actually true. The solving process implies the use of recursive mathematics, which means it has a specific set of rules that will repeat after a while. While it can be complex due to the number of moves needed to solve it, and also extreme concentration, once you understand the repetitive nature of the solution, it becomes very simple. This is a puzzle belonging to the group of 6-ary (remember that binary has only two states, 1 or 0), which means it has six different states. Understanding this notion will help you a lot in solving this challenging puzzle.

Closing Comments:

The Schloss 250 by Constantin is a true test to anyone's patience. With its whopping 250 steps, although it can take you more, only the most courageous will succeed in solving this fiendish puzzle.

Availability: PuzzleMaster is the place to get this great puzzle. If you want a less challenging puzzle or any other from Constantin, you can browse his available puzzles.

Lonpos - Cosmic Creature

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Lonpos - Cosmic Creature is a puzzle game with almost 30 years. Developed in 1989 by Lonpos, this game is one of the best logic games in its own right. Today, we see so many different logic games, we forget which ones came first and which ones were responsible for this popular type of puzzles.

Lonpos is a very difficult puzzle. No sugar-coating here. If you like a great challenge, this is the one for you. It does start off pretty easy, as you'll only need to place a couple of pieces in the first challenges. But soon enough, the difficulty gets exponentially tougher, since more and more pieces are going to be necessary in order to fill the game's tray.

Cosmic Creature, as the name suggests, features 12 irregular pieces, each in a different color, and they do look like creatures you'd see in a cartoon or a comics magazine. SmartGames issued a version of this game recently, and with good reason, because it's a great puzzle game. I also reviewed it a while ago, here. It comes in a small travel box, convenient to play anywhere, anytime you choose. Comes with a booklet filled with 111 puzzles, divided in 8 levels of difficulty.

(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 10

One thing that recent logic games have been doing, and kind of spoiling you, is that always come with solutions. Well, not this one. You're completely on your own. You do get a little help in the form of hints, if you follow the official website, but it doesn't help much, as they only give you the position of another piece. It's a bummer if you really get stuck in a particular puzzle, but take my advice: if you're stuck, just move on. Try to solve another challenge in the meantime and come back to that one later. You may find that this will help you a lot, and more often than not you'll end up solving it, eventually.

This is a type of puzzle that requires lots of patience and much trial and error. Many times, you'll see that there's only one piece left to solve the puzzle, but the only way is to remove a few more pieces and try again. With practice you'll become more familiarized with the piece's shapes and it will get easier to visualize potential solutions. It's a great rewarding feeling.

(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 40

Closing Comments:

Lonpos - Cosmic Creature doesn't seem to be almost 30 years old. It took very well the test of time, and to prove it is other companies trying to capitalize on its original success and originality. It's a perfect puzzle to exercise your brain, whether you're 6 years old or 99 years young...

Availability: Lonpos - Cosmic Creature is available at PuzzleMaster for just $15.99 CAD. Check out other puzzles like Lonpos.

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