Monday 12 October 2020

Blinded II

Dee Dixon (he of DEDWoodCrafts) has burst onto the puzzle scene producing a flurry of intriguing puzzle boxes recently. I’d managed to acquire a pre-played copy of his Where’s My Hammer and rather liked the ideas I found in there, so when Eric Fuller had a bunch of Blinded II’s on a recent update, I decided that I needed one of those too…

It’s a rather handsome little box with a stunning Zebrawood top on a Sapele box reinforced with several beautiful Maple slip-feathers reinforcing the main joints. The first thing you’ll notice is a little “handle” to one side on the lid, and as soon as you touch it you’re going to realise that it’s attached to the lid by a pair of rather strong magnets…

Explore a little more and you’ll realise that Dee’s given the box a floating base (so you won’t have any trouble with humidity) as a rather nice touch. Aside from the tiniest amount of play on said-base and on the lid, there is very little to find to interest your puzzling instincts!

I ended up doing the only obvious thing left to do and dragged the magnetic button all around the box in search of something “interesting”… and I did manage to find some “interesting” areas, but I couldn’t get them to actually produce anything worthwhile… so the box made it’s way onto my shelf-of-shame where it was duly pulled out every now and then and new theories explored as and when they hit me – often while I was “in the office,” as it were.

I’d kept exploring new theories, and to be fair, retrying the old ones over and over again in the hopes of getting a different outcome (I know!) until I had a bit of inspiration and tried something totally different – and all of a sardine I had actually done something useful, and then having found a little forward momentum, I managed to wander through the next few steps in a couple of minutes…

So I reckon it only took me a few minutes to solve it, but there were several weeks between the first couple of minutes and the last couple of minutes! :-)

Having solved it, I really like this box – the locking mechanism is clever – it suckers you into totally overthinking it and then blows you away with the elegant simplicity in there… and it’s all on view when you open the box so you aren’t left wondering about anything… it did leave me feeling rather foolish for some of the grand designs I had envisaged going on inside there, though.

Great as a puzzle, cleverly engineered and very well made, highly recommended!

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