Friday, March 23, 2012

Large Metal Puzzle 3

Hello again puzzle people!!!  The puzzle I’m going to talk about is simply called Large Metal Puzzle 3 from Mi Toys.  This puzzle was the first puzzle I got after seeing the Revomaze trailer.  I wanted to find something locally and I didn’t want to pay too much so I went to Barnes and Noble and found the Metal Puzzle for five bucks.  You can also find the puzzle at Puzzle Master and other websites.  The idea was to try out a mechanical puzzle and see if this was going to be a passing whim or something that I really enjoyed.  Although looking back I should have known better because I’ve been a big fan of Tangram for several years.  It quickly became apparent that I was hooked because I didn’t even wait to get home to open the thing.  The puzzle was out of the box before I even reached my car.  I’m pretty sure I spend a good half hour in front of my car before I broke out of my puzzle trance.  If I would have gotten attacked by bad guys the headlines for the news might have been “Puzzle guy gets pummeled” or “This puzzle saved my life”.

So Puzzle Master rates this puzzle a 5 out of 10 with a 10 being mind boggling.  The score is a fair one in my book because I was able to dissemble and reassembly it that evening.  This is an interesting puzzle because you can literally disassemble and reassemble it before someone and the person might not be able to figure it out without careful observation.  Another thing to note is that you can solve the puzzle without knowing how you did it.  I know because that is what happened to me the first time I solved it!!!  Taking some time to understand how to dissemble and reassemble the puzzle is what made it fun for me.  Once I understood the method for the solution, I tried to solve it with my eye closes or by changing the orientation of the puzzle itself.  For example, turning the puzzle upside down from the way you are use to solving it.  You’ll understand what I mean if you decide to get it.  However, the quality of the puzzle does have one drawback.  The metal coating comes off easily especially if you drop it or play with it for a bit.  This isn’t a big deal for me because the puzzle was so cheap but it definitely isn’t a high quality piece as far as materials.  While it isn’t especially difficult I would say that it is a great starter puzzle that is very affordable and fun.

Quick update.  Fellow blogger and puzzle inventor Scott Elliot let me know that there is a second solution in the comments section.  Thanks man!!!


  1. This puzzle has an additional property: the pieces can be assembled in a second, distinctly-different configuration as shown in the picture linked below. The left puzzle is assembled like your picture, but the right pair is different.

    Many other tanglement puzzles (eg: "bent nails") have this property of a second solution, but most puzzle-solvers never discover it. Hence, you can sometimes confound someone who's memorized the solution just by putting their favorite tangle together in an unexpected way!

  2. Wow Scott!!! That makes the puzzle even better. It's kind of crazy because the solution method looks like a magic trick. I'll have to keep the idea of multiple solutions in mind when puzzling. Thanks for the info!!! Update pic coming soon.



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