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lynnl
01-11-2007, 01:47 PM
Wifey gave me a boxed set of four wooden puzzles as a Christmas gift.
An illustrated instruction sheet was included, but I'm still unable to get one of them apart.
It consists of two wooden blocks about 3"X3"X1.25" that are dovetailed together, i.e. two sliding dovetails that appear to be straight, when viewed from the side, but are actually cut at an angle so that one block slides onto the other at a 45deg angle.
But the problem is there's a pin (metallic) in one corner that prevents them from sliding apart. There's enough slack space that I can slide a feeler gauge into the space, and can see that the pin (or ball - can't tell for sure which) can be rotated. But I've found no way to retract that pin/ball to permit the two to slide apart. I've tried a MightMag magnet, and slamming it down flat to try to retract that catch, and banged it with a rubber hammer, all to no avail.
The instruction sheet shows the locking pin, but offers no real insight as to how it works.

I'm hoping someone here has, or has seen one of these and knows the solution. I hate to admit this puzzle is smarter than I am! :D:D ...but sometimes you gotta face the facts.

Mad Scientist
01-11-2007, 02:25 PM
A rubber hammer! Ahh there is the problem. What you need is a 16-pound sledge. :D:

RPease
01-11-2007, 02:33 PM
I've seen several of these and methods vary........Presuming you haven't already damaged the mechanizm......

1. Try "tipping" the block to one side to let the pin slide into a cavith that sometimes exists.

2. Try "spinning" the thing (like a top) to force the pin into same cavity.

3. Sometimes you have to "slide" the dovetail in a direction that is opposite of what it looks like you should.

4. Get a bigger hammer.........

Regards,

Rodger

Evan
01-11-2007, 02:56 PM
According to the rules of puzzles ( :rolleyes: ) you shouldn't need any tools other than parts of the puzzle itself to solve it. Particularly, no hammers. An x-ray might be helpful. Know any radiologists?

Spin Doctor
01-11-2007, 04:02 PM
I know, a fireplace, that'll do the trick. Bet they come apart really easy after an hour or so :rolleyes:

lynnl
01-11-2007, 04:17 PM
I'm not going to destroy it. I'm a patient man - I'll sit and ponder it the rest of my life if need be.

There are only two ways the top block can slide off the bottom one. With that feeler gauge I can tell just where the male dovetails are.

J Tiers
01-11-2007, 06:07 PM
There are only two ways the top block can slide off the bottom one. With that feeler gauge I can tell just where the male dovetails are.

THERE is your problem.

I'll bet a stack of Yuan against your used chopsticks that what you SEE is intended to be deceiving.

It's what you KNOW is true that always trips you up.

RPease
01-11-2007, 06:46 PM
I'm not going to destroy it. I'm a patient man - I'll sit and ponder it the rest of my life if need be.

There are only two ways the top block can slide off the bottom one. With that feeler gauge I can tell just where the male dovetails are.

Actually, there are "8" ways. Given that the box is square, and is sitting in front of you with a side to your left and right.

1. The top can slide "up" (away from you).
2. The top can slide "down" (towards you).
3. The top can slide "left".
4. Or right........
5. Or "4" diagonal directions.

You might even say that it could "lift up", which would be a 9th way...........Get the idea???

Personally..........I'd go with a diagonal move..........

Regards............Rodg

Scatterplot
01-12-2007, 04:47 AM
Usually this kind of puzzle comes apart very simply once you know the trick- in other words, hammers, magnets, etc. are unneeded. Got any pics?

Evan
01-12-2007, 10:33 AM
Perhaps the puzzle is simply a visual puzzle and the pin is to stop you from sliding it apart, ever. I know exactly what the appearance is and it first looks from outside inspection to be impossible.

Tinkerer
01-12-2007, 10:48 AM
Does the pin rattle about when you shake it? It could be a weighted pivot so when you rotated it in the right orientation it lays down unlocking the parts. But yes as Scatterplot said pictures would be nice.

Wirecutter
01-12-2007, 11:12 AM
I have a puzzle like this at home. It's not the same puzzle, but here's how mine works:

There is a ball and pin arrangement hidden inside. The space that they move in is not just a straight channel - there are turns. The channels are routed or milled, and the metal parts slide around in them.

To solve the puzzle, it must be tipped one way, then another, causing the ball to go one place and the pin(s) to another. When everything is in its "home" position, the puzzle is unlocked and the wood bits can move.

Hope this makes sense. Might also make a neat project for gadgets or gifts.

-Mark

lynnl
01-12-2007, 12:07 PM
I'll try to figure out how to post pictures this weekend.

There's enough clearance between the two blocks that I can verify visually, as well as with feeler gauge, that the dovetail arrangement matches the diagram.

Also, I can move the blocks, relative to each other, slightly (maybe 1/16"), along one diagonal. And I can rotate that pin (or detent ball, or whatever) that's in one corner by using the feeler gage. But I can't deflect it laterally at all, even tho I can apply considerable pressure.

The diagram does show a circular dished out area in the mating surface of the block with the male dovetails. That's probably relevant, but no clue is offered as to how. It's shown as somewhat larger in dia than the space between the dovetails, so that the inside edges of the dovetails have an arc removed.

The final picture of the illustration does show up/down arrows || (imagine arrowheads here) , that imply up/down motion as the final step. But I've had no success with that, and I can hear/feel no rattling or movement of that pin/ball in response to any shaking I've done.