Friday 4 January 2013

Rocky Chiaro’s One-Wa-Sure

At the Saturday Puzzle Party at IPP32 I was delighted to find folks like Rocky Chiaro displaying their wares and chatting to anyone who wanted to talk about their puzzles. Rocky is an absolute gent and a superb craftsman. I’d seen pretty much a full set of his bolts courtesy of Ali at one of our MPPs, but Rocky had pretty much everything that he made out on display for anyone to either have a bash at or to take off his hands (all at very reasonable prices). 

I was idly fiddling with the odd bolt while chatting to him and he passed over a copy of One-Wa-Sure and said that this was the one that most puzzle-guys enjoyed most … and with a recommendation like that, I had to buy a copy!

One-Wa-Sure is a little over two inches long and consists of a brass bolt with two nuts on it and a brass washer trapped between the nuts – oh, and a pin through the bolt trapping everything. 

At first glance it looks like this is an innocent brass bolt, with some nuts and a washer as described, but as you begin to play around with it you realise that couldn’t be further from the truth! Some bits move and interact in some very strange ways and it’s worth exploring where some of that strangeness leads you… 

There is so much cleverness precision-engineered into that innocuous-looking little bolt that it is truly staggering – everything(!) is there for a reason – nothing arrived by chance. The tolerances are simply phenomenal though and this little puzzle doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight … but get it just right and it yields elegantly, allowing you to remove the nuts and the washer. 

The quality of this little puzzle is tremendous and knowing that it’s been made by an old-school craftsman puts it into the “truly special” category.


  1. Hi allard,
    If you could buy just 2 (or 3 at a push) of Rocky's bolts then which would you choose?

    Currently seriously thinking about a little "acquisition"!

    1. I'd ask Ali as he's got all of them, mate - but I'd definitely include this one!