Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Juno’s Ixia Box


Lordy, that took a long time to finally solve… but I’m not embarrassed – that is one fine puzzle! 

The Ixia Box appeared on Juno’s website a good few months ago, so I did the right thing and ordered a copy – mainly, as it turned out, for my mates to solve… I took it along to an MPP and several folks solved it – Louis showed me some of the aspects of the innards I hadn’t found yet – totally useless to help with the solution of course… and then helpfully popped a few rattlers in there to make my life a little harder… 

From there it sat on my desk for the next month or two – occasionally getting hauled out and played with… I’d made a bit of progress fairly rapidly after getting it – you see this is a sequential discovery puzzle with a good few layers to solve. I powered through the first couple in no time at all but got totally flummoxed by the last layer… which happened to coincide with that MPP and all my mates solving the darn thing and making me feel pretty useless! Let’s start at the beginning though…

Ixia Box is named after the two flowers that adorn the top of the box – you might think they look like something else, but they’re flowers, damnit!

You’ll start with a little movement on those, err, flowers, and in no time at all you’ll have found a few tools and something interesting to play with…

The first lock is reasonably straight-forward, but rather nicely disguised or clued, depending on your point of view. Open that lock and find another altogether more interesting challenge… approach this one properly, and you’ll be wonderfully rewarded with a huge “A-Ha!” – unfortunately, there is a way to cheat, and you might find yourself cheating without even realising it… (if you get to the end and haven’t used some obvious tools, then you cheated here – go back and play… I promise you’ll like what you find!).

Find the right combination of tools and movements and you’ll have a partially opened box with one obvious further place to go…

Which was where I was stuck for a couple of months… until I gave it a really good go and finally managed to find one interesting thing – which I couldn’t get to behave predictably for quite a while, so I persevered, trying different things and observing the outcomes… and then trying even more things, while observing even more, and then trying combinations of things and observations until finally, I had movement… and found my way into the final compartment – to free the two pennies left there by my puzzling friends. Whoop-de-doo!

Step back from the months of shame and embarrassment and admire the simplicity of this mechanism – the final locks are really a brilliant exercise in minimalist design – they’re literally as simple (and therefore as resilient) as they possibly could be… but until you solve them and open it and look at them, you’ll be convinced they’re broken – I was for quite a while!

I thought the Ixia Box was a really nice challenge from Juno… and if you’re interested, as I write this he still has a few available for sale


  1. I was wondering what I was missing!

    I definitely cheated and even after solving it fully and finding the additional challenge inside, I had no idea how to solve it correctly. Thanks for pointing out that I should have found and used tools... I wish it was harder to cheat!

    1. You're welcome Mason - I suspect that short of making them a lot thinner so you couldn't use your digits in there, it would be difficult to stop people cheating it...