Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Escape from Alcatraz

I first saw this puzzle at IPP 34. Needless to say, I didn't solve it.  I find when in the puzzle competition room I'm not at all good at solving puzzles. I look around and see everyone is doing better than I am and suddenly loose all sense of puzzling.

When Wil sent out his October newsletter, I saw it was up for grabs and had to purchase one.  Let me tell you, this puzzle has given me a bang for my buck.  I've fiddled with it off and on since it came in, but have been unable to do anything with it.  Oh the first move is easy-well, the puzzle itself makes the first move.  After that it becomes quite tricky.  I tried solving it on a Saturday while working but between the holiday season sore head and the candidates interrupting me every 20 minutes, I got nowhere.  On Sunday I brought along a few easier puzzles to make myself feel less dumb (see post of 1 December) and as expected, solved them rather quickly. This brought me back to Escape from Alcatraz.

The object of the puzzle is to remove the one euro coin.  Easier said than done.  I fiddled with this one for around three hours in total before I got ticked off at myself and threw it across the room.  Like the metal ball version of Alcatraz, I did something but I knew not what.  When I picked it back up I managed to reset it so followed another hour or so of frustration.  

And then the light went on!
I was almost there. But still not quite.  Oh so close and then I had an inspiration.  After a bit of twisting and turning I discovered this!

  And It has just occurred to me that maybe the reason I was having so many problems solving this one is that I was holding it upside down the entire time?

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