Cast Cylinder (錠)

Posted on Feb 26, 2014 by Gabriel | 1 comments
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The Cast Cylinder is Vesa Timonen's latest contribution to the ever growing series produced by Hanayama. Launched in August 2013 as the 60th puzzle in the series (if my calculations are correct), the Cylinder has a very interesting design and concept. Like many others in the Hanayama collection, the appearance of the Cylinder doesn't give you any hints as to how it should be solved. Luckily, and unlike Hanayama, they give you a pretty good hint in the description that will sure help you with your task. The theme for this puzzle is "lock".

The Cylinder is presented in a chrome color and consists of two rings that rotate freely in 360º. Within the rings are three apparently similar pieces that don't appear to be affected by the rotation of the disks. These pieces don't move up or down, and the rings can't be separated either. With a little persistence, however, you'll see that the pieces can actually be moved.

That's when the Hanayama hint in the puzzle's description comes in handy. This is a quote from the actual description: "go about it as if you were cracking open a safe". That's also why I mentioned this is unlike Hanayama. They don't usually give out hints for solving their puzzles, so I was a bit surprised by it. Following this important piece of information I proceeded slowly by rotating one of the disks until I saw something that could indicate I was on the right path. I'm not sure how many complete turns I made with the ring, but it took me a while to finally see some progress.

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Eventually, one of the three pieces slid down a bit and I was ecstatic. I wasn't sure what do next, so I continued and tried to see if one of the other pieces would fall down as well. No luck this time. After some more fiddling I was able to find out that the piece that had slid down could rotate independently from the rings. Again, after doing this for some time, another piece slid down. The two pieces were now side by side with only the third one still in its original position. Some more fiddling and now one of the pieces had fall down even further. The three pieces were now in a cascade, each one lower than the other. From here, the puzzle was a step closer to being solved. It wasn't long before I could remove the first piece and then the remaining two. A couple of extra steps were needed, but I won't reveal all of the solution for you.

Now, all I had to do was putting the puzzle back together again. You'd think that'd be easy after seeing the internal mechanism, wouldn't you? Well, all I can say is that this task is even harder than taking it apart. I can't remember the order in which the pieces were removed, and the process is anything but straightforward. I tried to follow a solution guide, but that only includes the description of the solving process and doesn't show which piece is first removed. Note that two of the pieces are identical. So, as of now, the puzzle hasn't still returned to its former glory.

Solution: If you find yourself stuck you can download the solution here.

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Closing Comments:

The Cast Cylinder is quite difficult to solve but, to my surprise, I'm finding it ten times harder to put it back together. This is classified as a difficulty level 4/6, and I agree with it if you're only taking it apart. However, doing the reverse is as difficult as any of the 6/6 level puzzles. Prepare for some frustration with this one.

Availability: You can find the Cast Cylinder and all the others in the Hanayama series at PuzzleMaster.


Jason said...

Hopefully you were able to reassemble this one! It's one of my favorite puzzles to show to other people because they can usually make one of the segments drop down fairly quickly, and that instant gratification keeps them interested. Some of the other Hanayama puzzles have very few intermediate stages. For example, the Level 6 NEWS - either you've discovered the trick and have taken it apart, or it's still sitting on your desk in one piece!

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