Saturday 4 July 2020

Lock Out

A long time ago in a distant galaxy, at an actual MPP gathering, a young puzzle designer surreptitiously asked one or two people whether they thought his puzzle lock was any good. Each of them retreated to a distant part of the hall and tried their luck on it… I think they all succeeded and every single one of them pronounced the same verdict, albeit in slightly different flavours: “It is excellent!” “You must make them!” and ”Take my money now.”

Yes, we were quite encouraging… and then a few months of virus-y-lock-down later Andrew got back in touch having set up a website and having produced the first few locks, asking if I still wanted a copy – I suspect the PayPal landed in his account shortly before he saw the read-receipt from his email bounce back (I might have made that bit up, but you get the idea!) – a couple of days later the Royal Mail delivered a handsome embossed velvet bag with Andrews ‘ac’ logo on it in gold neatly cushioning a healthy sized ABUS padlock and a pair of keys. 

So what’s the first thing you do when you get a new puzzle lock with a pair of keys? Check they’re actually the same keys, or insert and turn hoping the lock will magically open? Either way, you won’t be disappointed… in fact at this point, he might as well have given you a stick of celery for all those keys are worth! You’d stand a better chance opening the lock with the latter…. Those keys do nothing… got it?!

OK, examine the lock carefully for signs of tampering – there’s a serial number, the ‘ac’ logo and that’s it – the usual lubrication holes – slightly too small to insert a digit into (don’t be tempted!). Nothing else interesting rears its head… 

And that is where I predict you will spend some time puzzling…

Take my word for it, this one is pretty darned unusual – I’ve played with quite a few puzzle locks and I’ve never seen one anything like this before – the “A-Ha!” is wonderful – very rewarding. 

Andrew, it is excellent. I’m very glad you made them so that more people can enjoy them, and I’m glad you took my money so that I have one in my humble collection… TOP JOB! 

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