Cast Rattle (緩)

Posted on by Gabriel | 1 comments
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Many of Hanayama's Cast Puzzles have been entered in the annual International Puzzle Party, and today's puzzle, the Cast Rattle, is one of them having been featured in 2010's 30th IPP. Bram Cohen, a talented puzzle designer, has created this deceptively easy brainteaser. The theme for the Rattle is "loose", although "align" would've been a good choice as well.

As mentioned above, the Cast Rattle appears to be this fairly easy puzzle at first sight, but soon you realize that whichever way you fiddle with it, you always end up in the same position. The four identical pieces comprising the puzzle are interlocked and move mostly freely, but there's a limit to that looseness, and that's when things start to become more complex.

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When it was first released, Hanayama rated the Rattle as a level 4/6, but in their most recent website overhaul they re-rated many Cast Puzzles and this one's now a level 5. In my opinion, these new ratings reflect much better the difficulty of many puzzles, not just the hard ones but the easy ones as well. As for the Rattle itself, I couldn't agree more - it was one tough nut to crack.

The first time I solved the puzzle it was more luck than skill. After so much fiddling (approximately a couple of hours), I was surprised when I saw the pieces come apart. What's more frustrating in this type of situations is that you don't pay much attention at how you did it, because it happens so fast. Suffice it to say, I was in trouble getting it back to its original state - It's like solving two challenges in one. I eventually spent less time trying to figure out how to put it back together, as the only thing to think about is how to properly align the pieces in order for them to interlock again. Although easier than to take it apart, it's doesn't mean it won't be challenging.

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Closing Comments:

Prepare to be extremely frustrated... The Cast Rattle is one hell of a challenge and only with enough patience and persistence you will be able to succeed. Bram Cohen had previously designed another brilliant Cast Puzzle, the Marble, and this one is proof that he has a knack for creating very tough puzzles. If you like a real challenge go for this one - You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Availability: I got my copy of the Cast Rattle from Sloyd.fi and if you're interested in others in the Cast Puzzle Series you can browse for more here.


Hanayama Cast (in English) - Very useful website in English, with plenty of information on all things Cast.

Hanayama's Factory Visit (Many thanks to Roxanne Wong for sharing these pictures)


George said...

Agreed! This puzzle is not simple to take apart even after you know how to do it in principle. It is tricky to line everything up correctly. Perhaps somebody else has devised a technique to reliably take it apart in 10 seconds?

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