Sunday 27 June 2021

Whimsical fun!

That’s the only way to describe the first one: Sword from Hiroshi Iwahara!

It’s clear the Karakuri craftsmen were allowed to give absolute free rein to their designing muses when coming up with their entries for an exhibition entitled “Karakuri Experiments” – Iwahara-san has imagined something that wouldn’t go amiss in a Zelda adventure – right down to the subtly pixelated look of the sword.

The (wooden) sword arrives safely secured inside it’s decorated wooden scabbard – it wiggles around a fair bit and teases you quite a lot. Your goal is to safely remove the sword and not give yourself a nasty nick in the process… OK the latter might be simpler than the former.

It’s not super-hard as a puzzle, but it is a delightfully whimsical creation that will put a smile on every single solver’s face, guaranteed… and it really stands out in the puzzle cabinet!

Flaskolation was Yasuaki Kikuchi’s contribution to the exhibition – his reaction to the pandemic that’s gripped the world for the past year and a half… and a contribution to puzzlers around the world to help raise a smile in these difficult times.

He gives us a box with an outline of a flask on the top and an apparent drawer on one side. The flask has a bunch of strange markings on it that don’t make an awful lot of sense at first… and then there’s the wooden syringe – well, why not?!

Some closer inspection shows a shiny little ball trapped inside the outline of the flask – that must be interesting, surely? Some medical experimentation will probably help and soon enough you’ll have the little drawer hanging open… once you’ve worked out what all those little markings really mean of course – you definitely aren’t going to fluke this one!

Last up in this post, from the same exhibition, is Conditioned Reflex – a little Pavlovian plaything from Yoh Kakuda.

I’m a dog person, so getting a puzzle that looks like a cute little puppy was always a no-brainer for me…  and then discovering along the way that it even behaves like a dog was the cherry on the top for me. Sitting still it looks cute, but during the solve it gets even cuter.

…definitely a whimsical bunch of boxes from the superb craftsmen at the Karakuri Creation Group.


  1. Hello! I hope you are doing well. I wanted to inquire about the puzzle Conditioned Reflex.I was wondering if you still had in your collection and if you are willing to part ways with it/sell it?My wife is a clinical psychiatrist and loves puzzles/dogs, so I think this would be a perfect gift for her.

    1. I'm doing very well, thank you for asking. As I'm a collector I do indeed still have it in my collection - I don't flip my puzzles... it isn't for sale. I'm sure if you monitor the usual puzzle auction sites you'll find a copy for sale. Best of luck Jason.


    1. place is to buy them direct from the Karakuri Creation Group - link in the blog post. (But they sell out fast!) :-)