Ball in Cylinder No.1

Posted on Apr 3, 2013 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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What does a mechanical puzzle blogger do exactly? - Why, write about mechanical puzzles, of course! Well, that was until blogger Jerry Loo came and made us bloggers feel kind of lazy for just write about other people's puzzles. He went out of his way and created an amazing puzzle. There were some hurdles he had to overcome as a first-time puzzle designer, but with perseverance and determination he did one hell of a job. The end result of his hard work is the Ball in Cylinder No.1, or BIC 1 for short, which technically is his second design.

When I was contacted by Jerry a while ago, offering me one, I didn't think twice. Finally, I had the opportunity to see for myself what these cylinders were actually about, and if they deserved such high praise. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, since it would be the first time I would try one of these, but I was surely very eager and curious about it.

Jerry used aluminum as the source material for the BIC and the result is a clean polished look. The design is sleek and stylish, and for the untrained eye it doesn't resemble anything you might take for a mechanical puzzle - That's a compliment. The size is relatively small, only 7.5cm in height and 4.4cm in diameter (3" x 1.7").

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The BIC, even for certain puzzlers like me, is hard to explain or classify. I had seen similar designs before featured on fellow bloggers' write-ups, but until this one I had no previous experience with this type of puzzles. From what I know, Wil Strijbos is a master when it comes to Cylinder puzzles, but what kept me from getting one is their somewhat high price - You know how I feel when it comes to expensive puzzles - which is understandable given how difficult they are to manufacture.

Belonging to the family of sequential movement puzzles, the BIC is much more than your average puzzle. At first, you might feel a bit lost as to what exactly you need to do in order to solve it. I was too, but after the initial puzzlement and with a bit of careful examination you start to see some rather curious features.

The goal is simple enough to understand, although the solving process is anything but... All you have to do is free the hidden ball bearing inside, not the one you can actually see at the end of the central slit. That one is impossible to remove and it's there just make things harder for you. The tricky part about solving the puzzle, the part that took me quite a while to figure out, is finding a way to free the other ball bearing by bypassing the slightly larger one.

You will rely heavily on you hearing to have a clue on what's going on inside the cylinder. After some tries, you'll notice the hidden ball bearing behaves differently depending on its location. Knowing how the larger sphere moves, you have to worry about getting the hidden one out ahead of it. The exact steps to solve the BIC are best be left for you to discover for yourself.

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Closing Comments:

I was positively surprised by Jerry's attempt at puzzle design. And quite a successful attempt, I must say. His first BIC turned out pretty good and I can only foresee great things from here on out. I already know the production of the BIC 2 is well underway, so I can hardly wait to try it.

Availability: To get a copy of the Ball in Cylinder No.1 contact Jerry directly at his personal e-mail. You can find it here. At £26.50, the BIC is very affordable for a puzzle of this nature. I highly recommend it.


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