Cast Galaxy (捻)

Posted on by Gabriel | 4 comments
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The Cast Galaxy is yet another one to add to my favorite Hanayama puzzles...Along with the Cast News, Cast Harmony, Cast Radix, Cast Starfish, Cast Enigma...You get the idea...There are a lot of good ones, and to be among the best is saying something, as I'm very picky when it comes to choosing favorites.

What surprised me first about the design of the Cast Galaxy was its actual size. From the pictures it looked a bit bigger, but when I first looked at it in person, I was a bit disappointed by its small size. I guess I was expecting it to be at least 10% bigger, since there are other bigger Cast Puzzles, and it would look fantastic just a tad bigger.

Nevertheless, despite the size, the puzzle looks gorgeous. I love astronomy and anything space-related, so combining two of my favorite subjects is just amazing. The Cast Galaxy was designed by Bram Cohen, who also created the Cast Marble and Cast Rattle. The theme for the Galaxy is "Knot". Are you prepared to untie this one?

The Galaxy consists of two pairs of identical pieces, as each pair has its ends cut at different angles. Other than that, the pieces are pretty much the same. The pieces are shaped like hooks and in its initial state it forms a symmetrical shape in the form of a spiral galaxy, its arms extending outwards. The puzzle is coated with a silver finish, but I would've liked to see contrasting colors. Like any other Cast Puzzle, your task is to take the puzzle apart and put it back together. Rated as a level 3/6, this should probably be a walk in the park, no?

Well, the first part of the puzzle - taking it apart - is not that difficulty, since the pieces move and slide quite easily. While it looks like it might come apart in a random fashion, or chaotic if you like, the solving process is actually something you have to do orderly and simultaneously with all four pieces. If you're familiar with the concept of coordinate-motion, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Even though you have to perform the exact same steps for taking it apart and putting it back together, the second part of your task is curiously much harder, because it's difficult to get all four pieces to move at the same time. I reckon I must've taken 10 times longer to put it back to its original state. It's all about dexterity and good hand-eye coordination. You know what you have to do, but your hands refuse to cooperate. After several successful attempts, I can now do it effortlessly. You see, practice makes perfect...

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Closing Comments:

The Cast Galaxy is not a difficult puzzle at all, but it challenges your motor skills like no other Cast Puzzle. The solution is not that complex like other Hamayama puzzles, but its symmetry and simplicity are rather beautiful, and for that, the Galaxy is now one of my favorites from the Cast family.

Availability: To get a copy of the Cast Galaxy, or any other puzzle in the Cast Series, visit PuzzlesdeIngenio.com.


New Hanayama Website (in English)

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)


Roxanne Miller said...

Gabriel, The cast puzzles all have a brief that they must fit in the box. :) You'll notice that all the boxes have always been the same size.
There are some nifty ones coming in the next few years-no I won't tell what they are-and all will fit in that same sized box. Smaller than you would expect some to be.

Jerry said...

Nice write up Gabriel. I think the Galaxy is one of best I have come across from the Hanayama range

Gabriel said...

I know they must fit in the box, but they all have different sizes within that standard box, and I was expecting the Galaxy to be just a tad bigger. It's not really a big deal, I still love it, though ;-)

Thanks, Jerry ;-)
Indeed, the design is magnificent, probably on par with the Harmony and Radix.

Unknown said...

I still don't have this and "Cast Keyhole"... I think of getting them a bit later. Especially this one - I have read enough and I think I will solve it based on what I have read so far. :( Maybe it is not a good idea to read about a puzzle you have not solved yet. And if you don't own it - forget to look up information about it, otherwise the fun might be spoiled. :)
I wonder if I will like it that much other people do. So far from the newest "Cast U&U" tops my personal list, let's see if something will be better.

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