Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Juno’s Quartet Box

Named after the four attractive cogs on the top of this box, Quartet Box is a veritable little fortress to get into…

It seems Juno really enjoyed making the cogs for his Ixia boxes a little while back and made a few more, albeit to a slightly different scale. They sit on top of a square box whose sides appear to be made up of sticks, some of which may move a fraction… perhaps that’s a clue?

Those cogs will turn and unless you’ve never played with a magnet before, you’ll instantly recognise the forces at play in different places as you spin the cogs… and it’s therapeutic.

Experiment a little more and you’ll discover that the cogs are just “attached” magnetically so they all come off and can be rearranged… have I just done something very silly?

Spend a while investigating and you’ll find you can get some things to behave a little more orderly and actually get the top to start lifting off the box a little – but things are a little weird at this point… and they get weirder a you get closer to taking the lid off… it quite a fun bit of the process.

Having taken the lid off there’s one obvious place to go, and it’s clear what you need to do; only nobody has fingers that small!

At this point the story gets a little interesting – I had taken it along to our last MPP and a few of the guys had remarked that they weren’t too happy about the final part of the solve – convinced they’d probably cheated… and it turns out they had, big time!

As always, Juno provides a wonderfully elegant solution to the final little hurdle – you just need to trust in Juno and keep puzzling – I’m very glad I did – that last step really blew me away!
Good news – when I wrote this(!) Juno still had a copy of his Quartet box available for sale on his website.

...AND it's entered in this year's Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition

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