Brian Young’s IPP32 exchange puzzle is a brute of a puzzle!
If you’ve solved it (properly!), give yourself a pat on the
back – this is a thoroughly devious puzzle.
Brian’s description points out that there’s red, white and
blue on the flags, and there’s a white (Queensland Silver Ash) monument on a
red (Western Australian Jarrah) base – and all you have to do is find the blue
inside, and then relock the puzzle as you found it. Helpfully his description
goes on to point out that this is an incredible scale model of the real
Washington Monument, right down to the (removable) lightning rod at the top.
A pretty cursory examination of the puzzle shows the
monument is set on a circular section of the base and it will rotate reasonably
freely – until something jams up against one of those flagpoles – cured by a
bit of jiggling and it rotates once more – until something jams up against one
of those flagpoles – repeat until bored... it may be therapeutic, but it won’t
solve the puzzle for you!
Handily the flagpoles all come out leaving four little
peepholes into the base ... and as you’d expect, now the monument turns freely
and every now and then you can find something shiny whizzing past one of the
holes while you’re turning the monument around ... OK ... so we know there are
some pins that are keeping the base attached to the monument – and there seem to be
quite a few of them. You can hear them rattle if you shake it.
Right, so some sort of pins radiating out from a central
point – we’ve seen things like that before, haven’t we? Gotcha!
Spin the sucker and just open it...
SPIN – SPIN.
Right that didn’t work, let’s spin it faster...
Hmmm. That’s weird. That should have worked...
OK, so it’s not quite that simple... probably wouldn’t have
been, given that it’s one of Brian Young’s (aka Mr Puzzle) creations.
Right so think about it a bit more... we haven’t inspected
that lightning rod yet, so tug on it – feels like something’s sucking it into
that hole... Hmmm...
Round about now I started experimenting with some pretty
weird ideas – and I play for quite a while before I eventually manage to
release the monument and find myself staring at one of the strangest mechanisms
I’ve ever seen in a puzzle ... and I stare at it for quite a while trying to
work out why it’s just done what I think it’s done – only my brain keeps telling
me that it’s just violated a couple of fundamental laws of physics – and my
brain doesn’t like it when that happens ... so I think some more, and play some
more – and to be honest the confusion merely mounts! Add to that I’m starting
to think I’ve gubbed it... So I do the only thing a puzzler in my condition can
do – I phone a friend, who’s solved his already and beg for the explanation so
that my head will stop spinning at these fundamental violations it keeps coming
up against ... and when he tells me, it all slots into place: you’ll be glad to
hear that the fundamental laws of physics haven’t been so much violated as temporarily
suspended – remember these puzzles were manufactured in Oz!
OK – so having opened it (properly) – closing it is
non-trivial, in fact you’re going to find it’s now locked open! Locking it up
isn’t simply a case of reversing the process – Oh no – that would be way too
simple! You’ll need to come up with a strategy, find the tools to implement it
and then close it up again... remember it’s a sequential discovery puzzle!
This is a really incredible little puzzle that incorporates
a mechanism I’ve never seen in a puzzle before (I’m still new to this – be gentle!)
– it’s a really clever mechanism and I suspect that we’ll see it appearing in
some or other guise again in the future – it’s simply too good an idea not to
includes a bit more information about the puzzle than I’ve shared in my
write-up, and also points out that you need to solve it properly and not just
fluke it – i.e. you need to get all the pins locked in place to have opened it
properly ... and then return it to the starting position again... enjoy!]