Neil's Puzzle Building Blog
10Jun/110

X Marks the Spot

X Marks the spot is Puzzle Masters version of the Duallock Cross Puzzle invented by Nobuyuki Yoshigahara. Thanks Puzzle Master for sending me this puzzle to review.

X Marks the Spot

X Marks the Spot

The Object of the puzzle is to remove the cross from its wooden cage, something that at first glance seems impossible. The 'X' seems firmly fixed together, and there is no way that the arms can be removed through the wooden square without breaking one or the other. This illusion adds to the beauty of this type of puzzle, as it is seemingly impossible to solve.

The puzzle is approximately 8" long for the cross section and 3" high at the central loop which the 'X' sits inside. The difference between the Puzzle Master version and the original is that Puzzle Master have added the Wooden square around the main puzzle, for an added challenge. I have seen other versions of this where a steel hoop is in place of the wooden square, as well as the originals with no central element. The addition of the square does not change the solution, but it makes the re-assembly slightly more difficult. The square is held together with glue and brad nails, so it's not the most elegant joinery, but it creates a solid puzzle, and ensures that the square isn't going to fall apart.

All sorts of possible solutions will 'spin' through your mind as you try to come up with a way to remove the cross from its cage. Picking up the puzzle, you'll notice that something rattles inside, giving a clue as to the hidden mechanism that makes solving this puzzle possible.

X Marks the Spot opened

X Marks the Spot opened

Puzzle Master ranks this as a Level 6 - Tricky puzzle. If you don't know the solution, then I'd say this is about right. It's a great puzzle to leave lying on the coffee table or your desk, and let the idle passer by pick it up and play. Very few will find the solution without having some knowledge of this style of puzzle. The solution is very simple which I think adds to the appeal of this puzzle.

Puzzle Masters version is a solid puzzle for a good price. If you don't have a version of the Duallock cross puzzle in your collection, this is as good as any to own. A version is also available from Wood Wonders, without the extra loop.

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