Saturday, 4 February 2017

Seriously humbled…


…several ways! 

Shane’s been busy again… a while back he mentioned he’d had an idea for a variation on Stewart Coffin’s Three Piece Block puzzle – knowing it was Laurie’s favourite puzzle, we’d seen him work his magic on a rather obtuse variant at Peter’s place just after Christmas. He’d then gone on to tell everyone about a variation he’d discovered among my collection that he hadn’t seen before – I’d thought it was a bog-standard version only for Laurie to explain that it was subtly different and he wanted to know where I’d got it from… I pointed him at Brian Menold who hadn’t realised that he’d varied it slightly from the original – and Laurie duly commissioned a pair of variants from him… 


Seeing this, Shane decided he wanted to make a version in Laurie’s honour with some traditional Hales’ Secret Sauce, and a week or two later he sent me a pic of a locked up set of Three Piece Block bits and I duly shouted lots of encouragement down the old email tube… a few weeks later he was back on the blower offering me a special patchwork version in honour of something that Gill had organised for Laurie last year… somewhat humbled by the offer, and the thoughtfulness behind it, I was never going to turn it down. 


Last week I received the well-packed box from Hales HQ – a well and truly locked up set of familiar-looking pieces… except there’s a bath chain locking them together with a neat little padlock… and not a key or other suitable tool in sight anywhere… so I did the obvious and took out the packaging and raked through it carefully (nope, hadn’t missed anything!) and then re-read the accompanying Hales-doc (nope, no clues in there either) – so started puzzling… 


…and I duly puzzled for many a night, playing this way and that and not finding any way to unlock the padlock – I’d developed quite a lot of respect for this puzzle when I eventually sent up a flare to Hales HQ to ask if any external tools were required – let me tell you that I deserved every little bit of the slightly derisory reply I received – I needed a telling off… I redoubled my efforts and still got precisely nowhere!


Taking pity on me, Shane sent me a sideways hint and I found the vital step I’d been missing and I was truly humbled by this puzzle in a second way – this time in the proper “You’ve been PWNED by the puzzle” sort of way – Hales had TOTALLY caught me out and he deserves a right proper degree of respect for this one – it is brilliant and I am somewhat ashamed that I didn’t find it on my own… 


Unlocking the pieces leaves you with “just” Coffin’s Three Piece Block puzzle… which on its own is formidable enough for someone like Laurie to proudly list it as his favourite puzzle of all time…


Shane – you totally owned me with that one!


Thank you…

11 comments:

  1. Once again you're very welcome Allard. Thank you for the lovely write up. I'm really pleased you (and some others) have struggled but still enjoyed it!!! Cheers mate Shane

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  2. I am really pleased to read that you also struggled with the first step! It took me two evenings too!
    Interestingly it is possible to assemble the puzzle with the chain in situ! Try it!

    Kevin
    Puzzlemad

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    Replies
    1. ...afraid my chain's too short, Kevin... Yours must be bigger than mine!

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    2. "Yours must be bigger than mine!"........ well it's been said before! 😈

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  3. Chains are all the same size, holes maybe not though........ :-)

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  4. I'll rmeind you both this is a family show and it's pre-watershed!

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    Replies
    1. 😈😈😈😈😈
      Ho ho ho!!!!

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  5. Great minds think........and all that 😄

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  6. Hello Shane-Allard and Kevin

    thanks to Shae I`ve got also a copy of that intelligent chenged Stewart Coffin Puzzle; as you know I`m not good in chainpuzzles so it was a very nice gift to my wife amd let´s hope she will solve it within the coming year if I read the difficulties you had;
    I asked Shane whether it was not against his rules to give it to my wife and he agreed
    thanks Shane

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    Replies
    1. ...I predict it will put a BIG smile on your face, Bernhard!

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    2. Wow! A wife who solves puzzles! I didn't think such a thing existed!

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