Cast Hashtag

Posted on by Gabriel | 10 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
In keeping with the times, Hanayama's recently released Cast Hashtag is an appropriate name for this simple, yet deceptively difficult puzzle. Designed by a collaboration of two known puzzle designers, Yoshiyuki Kotani and Kirill Grebnev, this is one not to underestimate, despite its difficulty level of 3/6.

This Cast puzzle is actually known in Japan as Shift, which you can actually see in the puzzle, as the word "Shift" is engraved on two of the pieces. To be honest, I prefer the name Shift, since I'm not a fan of all this whole Hashtag thing, but I understand why they rename it. The word carries much more familiarity here in the west, and since Hanayama is a business, it makes sense.

The puzzle is comprised of four apparently identical pieces, save for some extra holes in two of the pieces. They are interlocked, but can move back and forth quite effortlessly. You need to find a way to separate these pieces, but be careful when trying to put them back together. Combine them wrong and you can lock your puzzle in a way that would make almost impossible to take apart again.

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I took the puzzle apart quite fast after fiddling with it for a couple of minutes. That part is not that difficult. Putting it back together wasn't that long either, maybe five minutes. The hard part was after I put it back to its original state.

Not sure if there's a design flaw with this puzzle or if I'm looking at it wrong, but mine seems locked and I can't, for the life of me, take it apart again. As I mentioned above, all four pieces look identical, but if that were the case, it wouldn't matter how you put them back together, since they would interact all the same. As it is, I can safely say they are indeed sightly different, because even looking at the solution I can't solve it again. Since I was solving it on my own the first time I couldn't have known that there was a correct way to put it back together and a wrong way. I would advise you to take a look at the solution once you take it apart or the same might happen to you. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to solve mine again. Maybe I'm missing something.

(Click to Enlarge)
Solution: You can get a copy of the solution here.

Closing Comments:

This puzzle reminds me of the Cast Rattle, another four-piece puzzle with interlocking pieces, albeit a bit more difficult.

I have mixed feelings towards the Cast Hashtag (Shift). The puzzle does look nice and has an interesting design, but if it does indeed lock on you this easily, an until I'm proven wrong, I have to disregard it as a worthy addition to the Cast family.

Availability: You can find the Cast Hashtag at PuzzleMaster for the usual $15.99 CAD. All other Cast puzzles from Hanayama can also be purchased here.


Anonymous said...

Have you found a way to take it apart again? Mine is "locked" too. From physics perspective I don't understand how it would be possible since there are not traps and catches. Any action shell be reversible.

I did not put it in this state which makes reversing it so much harder.

Gabriel said...

I did, by brute force. My fingers complained a lot, but it's now in its original state. Try to see a video solution on Youtube, that helped me.

K@rL@ said...

Hello Gabriel, mine is also locked :’(. Do you have a manual or something to help me to figure out how to separate the pieces?
Thank you so much.

Drewalba said...

Ok I put together the Wrong way!!!! I can’t get it back apart !!!!! What do I do ?!

Gabriel said...

I managed to put mine back by brute force. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

What YouTube video helped you unlock it ?

Drewalba said...

Is there any material tHat can help me figure this out ?

Gabriel said...

To be honest, I can't remember which video I watched, but I'm sure any you find on youtube will help. Just try to watch the solution and work backwards. Maybe the pdf solution on PuzzleMaster will help.

Unknown said...

You can tell if you put it together wrong if the two pieces with holes are next to each other. It may seem that all 4 pieces are the same but 2 of them have one nook that is slightly smaller than the other, making it so if you put it together wrong it gets stuck. The correct way is to have the pieces with holes across from each other.

Robert Winkel said...

I got my Hanayama Hashtag / Shift puzzle stuck and couldn't solve it, even after watching videos on how to solve it. After much Googling, I found lots of other people who had stuck Hashtag puzzles, but no solution on how to get it unstuck. So I worked it out myself. I now present to you instructions on how to turn your stuck Hashtag puzzle from a useless hunk of metal back into the elegant puzzle that it is meant to be.
Check out my video at https://youtu.be/Qq1lAZmhR1E

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