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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cast Medal

Puzzle: Cast Medal
Designer: James Dalgety
Manufacturer: Hanayama
Cast Scale: 2/6
ST (Kevin Standard):10 mins

This post's back to cast puzzles again, I haven't been posting about these in a while (to be honest, I haven't been posting ANYTHING in a while, but the last Cast Series were a few posts back.) The puzzle today was sent to me courtesy of Puzzlemaster. It's called the Cast Medal, and true to it's name there are two medals linked together. The whole puzzle was bronze-colored giving it an aged feel-Hanayama's got several puzzles with this kind of finish (NEWS, O'Gear, Enigma, Baroq, Helix, Radix...) and the finish always looked great! A glance on the Puzzlemaster webpage shows a five-star rating. Hmm, this might be a interesting one!

Cast Medal
The Hanayama description reads: "Two ancient looking medals engraved with a flowing river and a swimming salmon. Will you be able to retrieve the ring the salmon holds in its mouth? This puzzle was designed by British puzzle creator, James Dalgety, after the legend of the Ring and the Salmon, which figures on the coat of arms of Glasgow City. The theme of this puzzle is "Legend." So there is, a ring in a hole on the 'salmon' plate... Looks like that's our mission then!

Looking at the puzzle, one plate had the salmon swimming beside a island in the water, the other contains several small rocks. It would seem those are going to make the ring's journey to freedom difficult! Each plate had some holes too, the 'island' plate had six while the 'salmon' plate had two. Quick inspection shows where the exit points are (curiously there are two, one on each ring) though the problem is getting there.  You'd be tempted to turn the ring right down the plate and out of the exit, but you can't because the island mentioned above is there, and another whole plate is in your way on the other side. Oh well.
Cast Medal solved

At first there seems to be nowhere for the ring to go, but there is. Some twiddling saw me finding a step which turn the puzzle into a unique position, then things flow on. Several minutes later the ring lay freed! There was one part in the middle that delayed me a bit-it's unconventional and slightly unexpected, but nevertheless I got past. Alright, simple and fun...

That's when I noticed I used 1 out of 6 rings on one of the plates! 

Things are a bit fishy... (no pun intended) They aren't just there for decorations, are they? Another go, then. This time I managed to do something I didn't thought of before-smiles begin to spread as the ring winded through the six holes-and pop! Out it goes. As it turned out, the gap on the ring was big enough to allow for some more

non-intuitive moves, which makes way for the ring to use only one hole. Brian here too stumbled upon this alternative solution. The move was probably unintended, though fun to go through this alternative. The correct latter steps were reminiscent of another level 2 Hanayama, the Cast Plate. 

In puzzling value, the puzzle was on the easier side of level 2. Most of the solving process was fairly straight-forward. Experienced puzzlers should solve the puzzle with no problems. However this doesn't mean this isn't a good puzzle. Interesting combination of different kinds of moves were combined together. It was the perfect introductory puzzles for the newcomers or non-puzzlers. Also for those who got it the right way first try-I ask you to free the ring again, with one hole used! Puzzlemaster has the Cast Plate, as well as the rest of the Cast series for sale here.

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