Straight Arrow

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 by Gabriel | 2 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
Straight Arrow is ThinkFun's version of an older puzzle, the Rectangular Jam, designed by Hirokazu Iwasawa and presented at the 25th IPP Design Competition in 2005, which ended up winning the Honorable Mention award.

The original version was made from wood, but ThinkFun, as usual in their puzzles, made it using bright colors and plastic. The end result is arguable, depending on your taste, but the essence of the puzzle remains the same - A fantastic puzzle. Straight Arrow belongs to ThinkFun's a-ha! series, which present several challenging puzzles at quite an affordable price. They're quite small, but don't judge them by their size. These will make you think.

The goal of the puzzle is simple: There are three identical planks and a green arrow. The starting position shows all rectangular pieces perpendicular to the exit. All you need to do is to find the correct sequence of moves, without removing or lifting the red pieces, and be able to slide the green arrow out of the tray. Only a few moves are necessary, but they're not at all intuitive, so you're gonna need to think outside the box to solve this one.

Before you even move any piece you should already have an idea of what you're supposed to do. If the pieces are arranged in a different orientation from the one you need, then all or some of the pieces should be rearranged to accommodate the desired orientation for the green arrow. How you'll be doing that is a whole other matter, and I won't spoil the solution for you. When you finally discover the solution you'll definitely have an "a-ha" moment. This is classified as a level 3/4, and I reckon is pretty accurate. It took me about 10 minutes to solve.

(Click to Enlarge)
Closing Comments:

ThinkFun's Straight Arrow is a very creative challenge for anyone. It's not too difficult, but nonetheless challenging and rewarding once solved. It's also worth taking a look at other puzzles in the a-ha! series.

Availability: You can get a copy of the Straight Arrow puzzle at PuzzlesdeIngenio.com. Worldwide shipping available.


Jerry said...

I enjoyed this one! simple looking yet deceptive. There's a wooden version as well

Gabriel said...

Yes, the one that was presented at IPP was made from wooden. Philos also makes a wooden version by the original name.

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