The exploration of a junior puzzler in this vast puzzle world!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hanayama Cast Puzzle: Cast O'Gear

Puzzle: Cast O'Gear
Brand: Hanayama
Inventor: Oscar Van Deventer
ST (solve time): ~1-2 h

Cast O'gear
This is the Cast O'gear, one of my first puzzles. It has a level three rating on the Hanayama scale, so it will be a fairly moderate challenge. As with most of my first Hanayamas, they were available from a nearby store for me-lucky me eh? It consists of two parts (the same for most hanayamas isn't it?), a gear with five point like a star, and a box with strange holes on each of its six faces.

Just looking at it, one isn't likely to figure out how this puzzle works until you actually have a go with it. Basically, the gear doesn't just came off when you lift it, but can be turned to other faces. It can rotate 90 degrees in one specific direction on any faces, so it can walk over all faces of the box. However, its movements are limited, because some of the sides are straight, and not curved. To cut a long story short, this is a somehow complicated 3-D maze.

Two of the gears have a part of them being thinner than usual, and this is the key to the solution. One of the face is different than the others, and getting the correct point of the gear to the correct face in the correct direction will free the star. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. There's two ways to solve a maze puzzle-to use the trial-and-error method, or try to make logic out of it and make a map. As with this puzzle, it can be solved using a mathematical approach-I'll explain it later.

Opened-Not enough!
So I got this puzzle. Opened the package. Lost total order in about five minutes. Just randomly fiddled with the gear with no idea what I am doing. After sometime I put it down to rest, and to clear my mind. Thinking I should keep order, I tried a more logical approach. I managed to return the puzzle to it's starting position, then labeled the six sides with symbols. So I recorded (with a paper) all my moves in my second try-half an hour later it lay in two pieces. 100% luck. From now on I used the paper as the answer to the puzzle, following the long sequence whenever I wanted to solve it, and went barsec if a friend scrambles it up.

My scribble notes about O'gear's route
Well in total not satisfied! And (not learning my lesson obviously) picked up my puzzle after two days. This time, I tried to create a map of the puzzle. (picture coming) It clearly shows me the possible ways. Then, I figured that if the gear has five points and the box, six sides, going over the box with the gear will eventually have all possible combinations together. Trial 1 created. To my surprise it didn't work! I've got the correct point of the gear to the correct face in the Wrong direction! Now oscar throws in another twist! Think (c) Allard... And trial 2 was here to flip the gear 180 degrees. (if you are interested I will email you the trials but I won't write it here as to not spoil the experience for others.) Using the combination, the gear was opened and I won't ever worry again if it was scrambled.

Okay, if you are not asleep yet, my last paragrappppph..
This puzzle was a nice maze, with a great concept. No waste of your money on this one! The top face has two holes that holds the puzzle nicely together, and a great coffee table piece it will be.


P.S The puzzle is available from Puzzle Master here.


  1. Hmm! I don't have this one yet. After the revomaze I didn't want to try other maze puzzles but I think you might have convinced me to go for it.