The Silent "E"

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 by Gabriel | 2 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)

I have a love/hate relationship with Wire Puzzles, or String Puzzles (remove the string) for that matter, as they are very closely related. I do love the fact that they can provide a tremendous challenge, and keep you guessing the solution for ages. But it's also this extreme difficulty that can keep one away from them, as frustration kicks in pretty quickly when we simply don't know what to do with them anymore.

The Silent "E" by PuzzleMaster, can be one of such puzzles, although it's not by far the most difficult wire puzzle I had the pleasure to solve.

The goal seems simple enough. You just have to remove the golden ring from the "E", but to get things complicated, the ring is trapped by an arc that's large than it's diameter. The trick is finding a way that will surpass that barrier.

One thing that's common among this type of puzzles is how devious the solution can be. With other types of puzzles, you don't always know the solution, but you know how to get there. An example of this can be an Assembly Puzzle - you're given a certain number of pieces and in order to solve it, you know you have to assemble them to fit in a frame or a box. The problem is just figuring out how to combine those pieces. It doesn't work like this with a Wire puzzle. Sometimes you just don't have a clue how you're supposed to reach the solution. You know that the ring has to come out, but the "how" is what makes these puzzles so darn difficult and so fascinating at the same time, which makes them look impossible to solve.

The rating for this one is an 8/10 on the PuzzleMaster scale (Demanding). As you can see, it's not that hard compared to others, but still tough enough to let you think for several days. It actually took me about two weeks to solve it, although they weren't entirely dedicated to it, as I tried others too.

My initial thought was that the arc that's attached to the "E" frame was just a distraction from the actual solution, but as it turns out, you do need it. You have to pass the ring around the arc, and to do that you have to get both ends as far as you can from each other within the frame. When you do this, the tip of the arc will be at the same distance from the back of the "E" and then, you just pass the ring around it and it's freed. To get a better understanding on how the solution works, you can take a look at the PuzzleMaster's solution sheet here.

(Click to Enlarge)

Closing Comments:

If you hate someone and would like to see them extremely frustrated, I recommend offering them one of these. Wire Puzzles are among the hardest ones you can find, and as hard they may be, you do have a very satisfying feeling after solving one.

The Silent "E", and many other Wire Puzzles can be found at PuzzleMaster.


Kevin said...

I just love wire puzzles - I have the complete Livewire puzzle collection and several puzzlemaster versions. It is the challenge and the constant fear of getting to a position that I can't get out of that I love! I won't let anyone else touch the string puzzles for that reason!


Gabriel said...

You're absolutely right, Kevin. Even I sometimes am afraid to touch some of these puzzles, thinking that I probably won't be able to return them to their original state.
... And some of the older ones don't have a solution like PuzzleMaster has for theirs, so if you screw up, you're on your own.
Puzzle Regards

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