Tuesday 17 October 2017

Haleslock–ALLARD 50th aka Pre-prototype Haleslock3

At our inaugural Northern Puzzle Party Shane gave me a little wooden box as a birthday present… neatly branded with his signature logo, and very much locked shut. He apologises for the box – apparently it was an afterthought hurriedly pressed into action when another idea didn’t quite pan out… yeah, right!

As I mentioned in my NPP write-up, it took me a long time, several hints, and some downright straightforward instructions from Shane before I managed to get the box open… afterthought, my eye!

Nestling inside is a trick lock that I think I recognise: it looks a lot like Haleslock3, Peter Hajek’s IPP37 Exchange Puzzle… except the accompanying card tells me this is in fact a pre-prototype of the Haleslock3 – and while it may look similar, I’m warned to ignore all that I know about number 3 as this one’s different – VERY different!

OK, so I do the obvious thing and Shane points out that no force is required– as instructed on that card I haven’t read properly… neither is banging…

I resort to thinking instead… fiddling around with the key, looking at things carefully, playing with the slot cover, examining the back – hey, it says “ALLARD 50” on the back – that’s so cool… feeling around this, that and the other… looking at things even more carefully – and stopping for a bite to eat every now and then – don’t want to exhaust myself!

After a while I find something interesting and make a little progress and the lockmaster smiles down at me, probably in pity given how long it’s taken to find that first step…

From there I make some more rapid progress and get the lock opening and closing at will, only Shane gently points out that I’ve been breaking one of his rules, and he demonstrates the desired technique – far more elegant than my somewhat agricultural approach… you can tell he’s from London and I’m from Africa!

Thank you squire – that will take up position in front of the rest of the family as soon as I’m finished writing this…


  1. That looks and sounds brilliant! I have both the Haleslocks 3 and 4 sitting next to me just now and have had them here since the IPP. Not made any progress with either of them at all! I’m rubbish at locks as well as not terribly bright!


  2. The pleasure was ALL mine :-) Cheers

  3. Allard, I can't find any contact information on your site: is there a way I can contact you regarding a new puzzle game?

    1. ...so I thought long and hard about how best to respond to this fairly ironic comment - posted anonymously, not giving your own email address or even a name while bemoaning the fact that my contact details aren't listed on the site - do I point out that every Christmas I run a competition and give instructions on how to derive my email address, do I give it in the comment itself, or do I just post a snarky remark... then I decide, I'll make it a puzz...