The T9 may look like a common or garden padlock, albeit a rather large, very sturdy padlock. But it is nothing of the sort. It comes with a fairly simple looking key and not a lot else. The back of the lock has Rainer’s cat logo and “T9 Popplock” engraved across it. The front has a central keyhole that’s surround a two rows of rivets / screws – six evenly spaced in the inner row and the three around the outer ring have red markings on them. (Here be danger?)
The rest of the lock has a couple of the usual plugged holes that have probably been drilled out to insert the locking mechanism, but don’t really provide much of a clue to the eventual operations of the locking mechanism itself.
Clearly with nothing else to do, you shove the key into the keyhole and turn … and turn … and turn. After spinning the key around for a while and realising that all you’re doing is getting a little older (at least the key isn’t gripped in there like some other puzzles, eh Rox?) you decide to switch your attention elsewhere...
Paying more careful attention to some of the elements of the lock allows you to progress a little with a delightful little surprise, and while I can repeat this little move at will, I have to confess that even after solving the puzzle, I’m still not exactly sure why it works that way…
Right so having made a tiny amount of progress, you find yourself with something new to explore and find a use for. This section of the solve takes a while and needs a fair amount of rigorous exploration – I started finding something interesting going on but it took a long time for me to get to the point where it was going to start being useful. I went through a couple of phases of discovery on this section, each time thinking to myself “That was interesting, but it doesn’t seem to do anything”.
Soldiering on I got to the point when all of a sudden something mind-blowing happened – and I mean really mind-blowing. Literally take-your-breath-away-wonderful. The sort of thing you wish for in a puzzle… that moment makes this puzzle worth every penny… and you’re still not done yet – there’s a another layer on this onion to be peeled back before you can finally open the shackle.
T9 has easily become my favourite Popplock and I’m looking forward to finally getting the solution booklet (my mate held onto it so I wouldn’t be tempted – nice bloke, eh?) so that I can see the cutaway drawing and work out how “that bit” actually works.
The T9 has a wonderful sequence of steps that gives you little victories along the way so that you know you’re on the right path, one of the best “A-Ha!” moments I’ve seen in a puzzle in a long time and some incredibly well-hidden bits. The machining on the T9 is simply sublime – the movements are all silky smooth (if something isn’t going, don’t bother pushing any harder, it won’t go!) and the sneaky bits are brilliantly hidden.
In short, it’s AWESOME! (and yes, it’s easily worth the price!)
You should be able to get hold of a copy via your friendly puzzle-peddler, Grand Illusions (although they're saying SOLD OUT already!) or Puzzlemaster, or indeed directly from Rainer off his web-site.
Allard ... if you notice the screws with the red dots, they're filling the centre hex recess in Ranier's locks. I've seen it on a few of his puzzles now. I believe that this is to prevent removal of the screws, and dis-assembly of the puzzle (i.e. to prevent cheating!)ReplyDelete
Spot-on Neil! ;-)Delete
How did you get your copy so quickly? Impressive that you solved it! Mine is not revealing anything much apart from the first aha! Although sometimes it doesn't reveal that aha! I can't tell why it doesn't do it every time!ReplyDelete
I probably just got lucky, Kevin...but I think there's someone else who'll be solving his rather soon and that's nothing to do with luck.Delete
And it's open! No peeking at the solution required! Truly innovative and clever idea! Love it!ReplyDelete
Epic puzzle, eh Kevin?Delete
Mine is on its way across the Atlantic. Grand Illusions has (had?) them, as does Puzzle Master in Canada.
In my opinion, the screw/bolt sealant is not to prevent tampering or reveal it like for warranted products, but to show that it is not part of the solution as it could be for tool-finding solutions.
Thanks John - glad you liked it - and trust you'll enjoy the puzzle EVEN MORE!Delete
Nice write up Allard. I can't wait to get mine.....in a month's time at IPP!ReplyDelete
Cheers for that Jerry - it's well worth waiting for!!Delete
Really stunning looks!ReplyDelete
And, ever had an ambition to become a writer? (when is your first puzzle book going to be published? ;-) )
It does look gorgeous, Splinter. Thanks for the compliment, but no chance will I be writing anything more than these sort of fluffy pieces when the mood takes me! Glad you like them though... :-)Delete
Great review Allard. I'm even more exited to receive mine. It's also on it's way across the pond. I just cracked Wil's EGG ...Yahoo...and am ready for the next challenge. Been playing with my other Popplocks in anticipation.Delete
Thanks DocTom - I predict you won't be disappointed...but let us know what you think... :-)Delete
I can't wait to give this one a go. But that key...Oh my! Keys always get me in trouble.ReplyDelete
:-) You should be OK with this key, Rox...Delete
I don't manage with step 2: it seems like there is a problem (no inner disk?...). Is it normal?Delete
Definitely NOT normal! Have you looked at the instruction leaflet as a last resort? Try contacting the person who sold it or even Rainer himself for help.Delete
I think it's highly unlikely there's a part missing in there...just my two penneth. :-)Delete
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
Last comment from Anonymous deleted as I considered it a spoiler. Anonymous, please email me directly if you want to discuss... Email address is my first name DOT my surname AT Gmail DOT com .... And you can see my name above...ReplyDelete
the ananymous are everywhere lol.ReplyDelete
Problem solved. Well there was no problem at the end, I was just too "nice" with the lock lol.