(...and this one really started because of one...)
Japanese Puzzle boxes, that is...this was my first one – it’s tiny – that’s a two pound coin for reference, so it’s only about an inch long. It takes 22 moves to open it and it’s not exactly challenging as a puzzle at all...you find the first side to move and then chase them round and round opening the four moving panels successively until the last one can move far enough to open fully. The workmanship on these little things is incredible though: when the box is closed there’s no clue as to which panel might move, and each movement is just enough to let the next panel slide just enough to let the next panel slide and so on...and they’re only an inch long!
This one was given to me by a mate in the office – I’d take a couple of puzzles (mainly Eureka & Hanayama stuff) into the office for Andy and a few others to play with and we’d shoot the breeze about puzzles and stuff... Andy mentioned that his dad had a really old little Japanese Puzzle box so we got to talking about them and surfing the web looking at pictures of them and moaning about the fact that there weren’t any available locally... roll forward a couple of weeks and Andy gets a small package delivered to the office one afternoon and inside it are two of these little puzzle boxes, one for each of us – a gift for sharing some of my puzzles with him... that was my first puzzle box and probably my first nice, handmade puzzle – so things have gone a little downhill from there – and Andy is at least partly to blame! (Thanks mate...)