Friday 12 August 2011

Wil’s Bolt #3

It turns out I wasn’t the only person who’s been hassling Wil Strijbos about getting around to making some more Puzzle Bolts for sale – according to Jeff’s blog over here, he’s been doing the same thing for a while too – and it seems our collective persistence (you know who you are – pat yourselves on the back!) has paid off – Wil offered some of his Bolt #3’s for sale recently…

It’s a pretty chunky-sized bolt that’ll do a bit of damage if you accidentally drop it on something valuable, like your toe. That weight gives it an air of honesty and helps disguise its inherent duplicity – it’s a puzzle after all! 

And you know that. 

But it’s a big, solid bolt, isn’t it?

OK, so what does it look like? Looks fairly straight-forward: there’s a bolt with a nut threaded about a quarter of the way down. Said nut is apparently secured onto the bolt by means of a thin, but rather strong tube, that appears to be secured right through the nut and the bolt itself – either way, the nut can’t be moved (screwed, unscrewed or otherwise – you sneaky person you). Next up is a healthy sized washer (unbroken, but I like the fact that you’re thinking along those lines already!) and we know that the aim is to remove the washer, and return it – we know this because Wil told us – not because I made up the aim like I did for the Jugo Flower (and we all know how wrong that went!). The head of the bolt seems to have a thick spring wire ring almost all the way around it. 

… so spend a little time examining it and trying the obvious things – turns out that brute force doesn’t work after all! Spend some time examining one of the features a bit more closely and discover (lovely little A-HA! Moment) a neatly hidden little tool that’ll probably give you a big hint of what to try next – and now you’ll either get lucky and solve it, or, like I did, wonder why things don’t work the way you’re expecting them to work, retreat, scratch your head for a while – and then realise that there’s a better way, which does indeed work the way you expect it to – et voila!

Word-to-the-wise: be careful or you’ll lose a couple of the littler bits that make up the guts of the thing – that will make you sad. 

It’s a lovely little puzzle with an elegant mechanism – simple and extremely effective. Unfortunately for Wil, having acquired a Bolt #3 has just made me want to pester him to re-make more of the others even more now … anyone care to join the chorus?


  1. Another great review there Allard :)
    I picked up one of these too as I've heard a few people rave about Wil's bolts and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about... now I know! I'll definitely be quizzing Wil about when more of his bolts will be available.

  2. Excellent - one more voice in the chorus - he can't hold out for much longer!

  3. You need some more weight there? I'm sure I could pester him too, even though I don't have any of his bolts so far ... ;)

    Great Review as ever Allard!

  4. Thanks Neil! - We almost have a quorum folks...

  5. I'm not sure he made new ones - I suspect these are ones he found lying around! I ordered pretty quick after the email but he seems to have run out already :-( I didn't get mine!

    I am pestering him for a new batch (and hopefully the others in the series)

  6. Count me man, I'm in!
    Come on, only five people in the world cares?
    We're all in the same boat!

  7. Don't worry Will- I think a lot of folks have told Wil (S) directly that they want him to make more of these! Allard