Cast Hourglass

Posted on by Gabriel | 3 comments
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The sands of time will torment you with the new Cast Puzzle, the Hourglass. There's no time limit for this hourglass, but will you solve it in a timely manner?

The new Cast Puzzle was designed by Korean JinHoo Ahn and was launched in September 2018. The elegant shape of the puzzle is what gives it its name, but don't let its beauty fool you, because this is a very difficult puzzle, rated as level 6/6. It's not the most difficult Hanayama puzzle, but it will certainly put your solving skills to the test. Once you take it apart, a harder challenge awaits you, as putting it back to its original shape is even more difficult.

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There are four interlocked pieces, which at close inspection revels two groups, each with identical pieces. The goal is to separate all four pieces, one by one. The puzzle is small and the details even smaller, so you need to pay close attention as to where the pieces connect with each other and where exactly is the exit point.

Getting the pieces loose is not a difficult task. What's difficult is to find the correct sequence of movements that allows you to put the pieces where you want them. I found the puzzle a little confusing at first. I didn't know how to position the pieces for the next movement, so I had to use some trial and error until I felt I was close to the solution.

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Sometimes the expression "trial and error" is not very well received, since it's not logical thinking, but think of it this way: if you're trying to solve the puzzle for the first time, and you don't know how to solve it, you need to explore various routes and outcomes to see which ones point you in the right direction. This is not a puzzle to use logical thinking, it's more about dexterity and experimentation.

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Solution: If you get stuck, you can download the solution here.

Closing Comments:

The Cast Hourglass may not be for everyone due to its level of difficulty, but if you like a serious challenge with little to no clues about how to solve it, then this is perfect for you. The design itself is already a good excuse to add it to your collection.

Availability: You can get a copy of the Cast Hourglass at PuzzleMaster for $15.99 CAD. If you like Cast Puzzles, check out Hanayama's collection.


Noah P said...

"It's not the most difficult Hanayama.." Whilst I loved your post (been a regular reader of your blog for quite some time) I have to admit I disagree here! The disassembly is, I agree, about the same difficulty as the other most difficult Hanayamas, the reassembly is an absolute swine! I was unable to do so after many a miserable hour, and had to resort to youtube. Were you able to succeed where I failed? If so my hat is well and truly off to you!

Gabriel said...

It's OK to disagree ;-)
Have you tried the Cast Vortex? That's the most difficult in my opinion, both in the disassembly and assembly.
I have yet to return this one to its original state, though, but haven't really put any effort into it.

Happy Puzzling!

Noah P said...

I did indeed try the Vortex and was astounded at its difficulty. In fact it took me over nine shameful hours (not all in one go) so solve! However.. I still think this one is much worse. To me this one and Quartet go beyond the range of enjoyment into the realm of puzzling agony. Maybe they should even be rated a 7/6 haha. Anyways good luck on that reassembly, may fortune favor you eventually!

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