Yet, for some reason, I decided that I rather liked the looks of Axes and Hammer when it was entered in the 2020 Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition. Some time later I reached out to the designer and managed to acquire a copy… albeit the wonders of the pandemic and its impact on the international postal system meant that I had to be a little mor patient than usual while it wended its way from China to little old Barnt Green – but wend, it did, and I was delighted with the quality of this little guy.
The axes have a nice shape and profile and the hammer is pleasingly solid – marry that with the not insubstantial chain, and you have a puzzle that is not going to allow you to do anything that you absolutely shouldn’t be able to…
And it isn’t… in fact it’s rather tricky – and relies on the puzzler noticing a few little details made possible by some neatly designed features and pretty good tolerances… in fact, there’s one part of the solution that is very fussy indeed – if you don’t approach things absolutely perfectly, you’ll be convinced it’s not going to work… and duly shift your attention elsewhere.
This one’s definitely a puzzlers’ puzzle, in my humble opinion… one for someone who thinks they know what to do and is open to a little lesson in humility from a talented designer… this one doesn’t suffer fools and demands you pay attention to the details, or you end up going round and round in circles. (Yup, got that t-shirt!)