Sunday 13 December 2015

Ze Orange

[This post contain some spoilers – so if you think you’re likely to come across one of these in the near future (consider yourself damn lucky! But), don’t read this blog post… you’ve been warned – don’t complain!]

What’s the appropriate reaction when a dodgy-looking Aussie invites you up to his hotel room to look at some puzzles?

Simple – make sure you have your wallet and don’t lose him on the way… 

…and that’s how I became the rather chuffed owner of a copy of Ze Orange by Lathe-Master-Chinny. (Sounds a bit like an 80’s rap artist!)

It’s about the right size and shape for a decent-sized orange and genuinely looks the part – with an orangey pitted skin and a silvery stalk on top. The lathe work on the outside of this thing is deeply impressive – the chattering is perfectly executed and beautifully matched, and how the heck he’s got the grain to line up across what I’m pretty sure are separate two parts, I’ll never know!

There’s an interesting feature on the bottom – where there’s a panel with a slot across it…but no apparent way to open that, yet…

The description on the Design Competition web site says that Ze Orange was inspired by the Donay Pear produced by Goddard & Berkeley … and if you’re familiar with their stuff, you’ll be expecting lots of screw threads, pretty serious turning and probably a coin somewhere along the way to use in that slot…

Right, so let’s get started – first off, surely that silver stalk comes off? Indeedy! Unscrew it and off it comes… then what?

Here some careful inspection will nudge you in the right direction, but there are a couple of things that are out to stop you progressing – one’s a classic and the other is classic Chinny. I’ll leave you to decide which is which…

Open Ze Orange and you find you have two halves, each with something interesting inside it… one half has another of those slots (but still no coin!) and the other has what looks like a little round pill box, wooden of course, with a pimple on top of it.

Decide which of these two you’d like to tackle first – actually, there’s only really one choice and have at it… playing detective will show you something interesting and perhaps a use for a tool you have already discovered – use that and you’ll find the little pill box being released from its half of Ze Orange…

Well done! You’ve discovered a little puzzle box… which you now need to open in order to find another rather useful little thingy, although depending on who put it back together for you, that might not be a trivial task.

You should recognise your new find as a useful tool and use it in the obvious place – which yields more intrigue than it does enlightenment, frankly… but there you go. Perhaps there's something else to be done?

Indeed there is and that leads you to what looks like another little puzzle box – except the very thing you want to do to open it up seems to be absolutely flipping impossible – so you need to Think©!

Find how to open the last little box and you’re greeted by some wonderfully irritating electronic muzak … the other of Chinny’s great trademarks!

It’s a wonderfully fun puzzle – a serious sequential discovery puzzle shaped like a fruit – some serious lathe skills on show – six locking mechanisms - two built-in puzzle boxes – and funky muzak to boot! It has to be from Chinnomotto.

One of my awesome finds in Ottawa this year…

[Yes, I didn't really tell you everything, there's some other clever little things in there that will hopefully trip you up even though you've read all this! Some of them won't even be clear from the next pic either, he's a crafty guy is Chinny!]

...the innards plus a few random objects...


  1. Simply stunning! Well done getting hold of a copy. Maybe I'll get to have a play some time?


  2. Wow, looks very interesting, like the real fruit too....

  3. WoW! Thanks for the rap, I am world famous puzzlemaker now' It wasn't an easy puzzlebox to make. I feel so bad cleaning out your wallet in front of Jill,,,hmmm,,,,not. Wait till you see what I will have next IPP,,,,its a @#$%^ box!