Wednesday 27 May 2020

5 times 5 times 5

Another gem from my latest Karakuri haul – this time from Hiroshi Iwahara – master of higher move interacting and n-ary move puzzle boxes. 

This one was also made for the “GO” exhibition and uses the double-meaning to focus on the number five – in this case 5*5*5 – which, coincidentally gives the number of moves to open the box.

Crafted in stunning silky oak, this puzzle provides therapy and meditation as you run through the 125-move sequence to open and close it. At point there is always only a single route and you’re either going forwards or backwards – Belgian Maze anyone? As long as you remember which way you came from  - there’s never a chance of doubling back on yourself… which sounds perfectly sensisble but I’m afraid I often find my addled brain forgetting that very thing, especially when I’m really in-the-zone and motoring through the solution path, although in fairness it might also have something to do with my fingers getting slightly ahead of my brain and moving things without the brain necessarily registering the fact. 

Either way, it’s a lovely puzzle to fiddle with and wander up and down the path to openness. (See what I did there?!) 

As is customary, the puzzle comes with a handy solution sheet – and this one’s got some interesting little extra drawings and information on it, not just the sequence of moves required to open the box.

There are some neat little drawings that help you to visualise the internals – picture an inverted Rune Cube with all the mazes hidden inside – and some analysis of the number of times that each pin traverses parts of the mazes… nice touch! 

Great for intermediate levels of therapy – you know, when you aren’t quite up to tackling the 324-move chaps!

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