Rad'l (Fahrrad Holz)

Posted on Feb 11, 2013 by Gabriel | 3 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
Rad'l or Fahrrad Holz (German for wooden bicycle) is a great example of Jean Claude Constantin's highly creative designs. He doesn't settle for abstract or odd shapes. He takes the simple concept of "remove the string" and adapts it to familiar objects of everyday life.

The Rad'l is a fairly large laser-cut wooden puzzle with 17cm in length (that's about 6.7"). There's a string entangled from wheel to wheel with two beads on each end. The beads are large enough to make it impossible to just pass them through the wheels. Blocking the exits are two metal rings, but the beads can't pass through them either. The goal is to completely remove the string from the bicycle.

One of the things I dread about string puzzles is the length of the rope, which many times result in a tangly knot fest. The Rad'l has the potential to get messy, as its rope is long enough to sport a few knots itself. So far, I've been fortunate enough to avoid any complicated knots, but I'm not out of the woods yet... See, I'm yet to solve it, which has been bugging me for the last week.

PuzzleMaster rates the Rad'l as a level 7/10. While this is considered to be challenging, it's far from being mind boggling. Maybe I'm missing something, but this has been a real pain to solve. I've solved many string puzzles before, some of them higher rated than this, and yet I can't seem to find the solution for it.

I have been given a few tips for string puzzles before, but so far I've been unable to put them into practice. One of them is to imagine the puzzle already solved and trying to return it to its original state. Another one is to look for obvious things on the puzzle that should be part of the solution, like the metal rings, for example. They're blocking an exit, but I believe that's not their only role. I have to continue my struggle until I finally solve it.

Closing Comments:

Being unable to solve the Rad'l doesn't mean I didn't like it. Quite the opposite, I think it's one of the most original designs by Constantin. If not just for collecting purposes, give it a try. You might be luckier than I was.

Availability: As of now, the Rad'l is out of stock at PuzzleMaster. Keep checking regularly, as they should restock it soon.



Goetz said...

Nice review! Similar to my experiences with some disentanglement puzzles: They always get me confused and I am unable to solve, but I like (at least some of) them. :)

Short additional note: in correct German dialect it should be RAD'L (with an "L" at the end). "Radi" is a dialect word for some vegetable ;)

Gabriel said...

Thank you very much for your comment, Goetz. I was under the impression that it was an L, but the listing at Puzzle Place had an "i" which made me believe that that was the correct spelling.

Michel said...

I can understand your troubles with this one, although it's not very hard (in my opinion). Have a look at the same puzzle by Logika (at puzzlemaster). This one comes in a whole lot of designs. Good luck!

If you're still lost I can give you some directions...

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