Dec 28, 2014

Cast Heart

Cast Heart - front

Cast Heart - back

This was my second puzzle which I got in my puzzle collection. I wanted something a bit more difficult than my first puzzle ("Cast W-U" with difficulty 3 out of 6). However, maybe because of the fact that it was my second puzzle and I had no experience with puzzles so far, or simply because it is indeed a harder one, I had great difficulties in solving it. It took me several days to find out the solution. I tried many moves, which lead to something impossible to separate. I even created a paper and string version, which I tried to put together just to see how they came up with the idea of the knot. But it was unsuccessful. Then, after about 10 days (with some breaks, of course) I pushed my brain and found out what has to be done in order to separate the small heart from the bigger, chained one. It was pure logic. I doubt that someone could solve this puzzle by chance, as it requires more logic than luck. This, together with its looks, makes "Cast Heart" one great puzzle, a wonderful gift for aestetic people. Rated 4 out of 6 by Hanayama, this is one of their best puzzles according to me. And here is how I rate it:
Idea: 5
Implementation: 5 (one of the most beautiful puzzles I have)
Experience: 5
Difficulty: 4
Overall: 4.75
Cast Heart - separated
P.S. It is exactly 4 years since I got this puzzle (one year after I got my first puzzle "Cast W-U"). I remember choosing two puzzles back then, one was "Cast Helix" and the other was either "Cast Heart", or another one. I don't remember which one I was going to choose instead, but at the end I saw that I have picked "Cast Heart". So, after all, my initial choice was the one which I got.

Dec 21, 2014

Black Widow

I immediately fell in love with this puzzle after solving it.
I have this puzzle from Puzzle Master*. It is rated 9 out of 10 on their scale. This had me at the beginning and I thought I will need a lot of time to figure it out. However, I was surprised to solve it in about 10 minutes after opening the package. Yes, I did what was the most logical thing to do and it worked. Maybe because I conquered so easily such a high rated puzzle, or just maybe the puzzle did strike me, I have this special feeling for it. I gave it to a colleague of mine and she also solved it very fast. She said it was way too easy and I had to do better to stumble her with a puzzle. Well, maybe I shall give her on of those "unsolvable" puzzles next time.
Anyway, this puzzle is suitable for beginners into wire and string puzzles. I also think it could be solved more with logic rather than luck (although, if you just try something and it is the correct, you may solve it by change as well). So, having all this in mind, I would give it the following rating:
Idea: 5
Implementation: 4
Experience: 4
Difficulty: 3
Overall: 4

*You can check the puzzle here.

Dec 14, 2014

Cast W-U

“Cast W-U” - it is my first puzzle, the one which started my passion for such 3D puzzles. Before it, I met the Hanayama puzzles thanks to a roommate of mine, who got “Cast Vortex” for his birthday. Since then, I wanted to get one of these as well. And about a year later, we had a present giving for Christmas at work. The colleague who had to buy a present for me decided to take a puzzle, as she suspected that I might like it, without even knowing that I really wanted such. And she hit the jackpot! I was very happy to see that this was my present. I started unpacking it and saw that the puzzle was tied to a paper. I was kidding that maybe unpacking the puzzle is part of the challenge. When I was done with this, I had no idea how I have to separate the circular piece from the other two pieces, connected with short chains. I tried two or three things, but then I decided to proceed as we do at my job - do some planning - before trying to solve it one more time. I looked carefully at each piece, then at the whole structure and… I got the idea. My colleague was a bit disappointed, because she wanted to nonplus me, but at the end it took me about 10 minutes (15 with a break) to solve it. She said she had had to buy me a higher level of difficulty in this case, but I said it was OK. As my first, I didn’t want to crack my nerves on a very difficult puzzle. So, level 3 out of 6 (as per Hanayama's rating) was sufficient for me at that point.
So, now, I still think the idea of this puzzle is great. It is something building on “Cast Horse”. And it could be solved with logic only, that makes it almost impossible (if not truly impossible) to solve with luck. So, I would give it the following ratings:
Idea: 5
Implementation: 3
Experience: 4
Difficulty: 3

Overall: 3.75

Finally, I think it is suitable for beginners. Give it a try and have fun.

Dec 5, 2014

How I rate puzzles

I would like to explain how I will evaluate puzzles.
I will assess each puzzle in the following four categories:

Idea: How I find the general idea of the puzzle? Is it something new and original, which impresses me a lot, or something ordinary and usual?
1 - awful idea, no need to have such a puzzle
2 - simple idea
3 - normal idea, nothing special
4 - good idea
5 - excellent idea
6 - extraordinary, very original and one of a kind

Implementation: This is all about the design of the puzzle and its looks. Appealing and elaborate one is more fancy for me than simple or made of rough material or even such that breaks easily.
1 - poor design
2 - bad design
3 - normal design - nothing special
4 - good design
5 - excellent design
6 - I love it in every aspect

Experience: My experience with the puzzle. Did it got on my nerves, or was it pleasure to play with it? Is it worth sharing with other people?
1 - I don't want to see this puzzle any more
2 - I would not enjoy solving this puzzle one more time
3 - It got on my nerves once or twice, but I can stand it
4 - It was fun playing with it
5 - I like it very much; glad it is in my collection
6 - Extremely marvellous! I would recommend it to everyone

Difficulty: What is the difficulty of the puzzle according to me? This is all about the solution. Was I able to solve it on my own, or did I fail at finding the right solution? How much time it took me to solve it? (Here the time is just tentative.)
1 - very easy, quickly solved
2 - easy, quickly solved
3 - medium, average time to solve
4 - hard, took some time to solve
5 - very hard, solved it in a long time
6 - impossible to solve, even with a hint

And I will give one final rating:
Overall: My overall satisfaction of the puzzle. Based on the four above - a weighted average.

Dec 4, 2014


Welcome to LL's puzzle space!
In this space I will be posting information and reviews about puzzles which I have in my collection. You will be able to share your opinions in the comments and give me feedback at any time.
Now, before starting, let me tell you a few words about me:
I am Lyubomir Lalev from Bulgaria. I got keen on 3D puzzles few years ago and it is the Hanayama Cast puzzles which started my desire to make a puzzle collection. Before that, when I was a child, I had few 3D toys puzzles and I really enjoyed playing with them. But now, when I am grown up, I found that I still have this vibe about puzzles and I am happy to open my first blog space for sharing all my thoughts and emotions on puzzles!
Have a nice time reading and do not forget to puzzle!