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Hanayama Cricket Puzzle Review

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This metal puzzle from Hanayama has been designed by Britain's James Dalgety and takes the form of two connected but separable pieces with one being a wicket, which is apparatus belonging to the English-invented sport of cricket, and the other being a triskelion shape that looks like the symbol from the Isle of Man flag with the spokes being in the shape of cricket bats. The puzzle has been shaped and engraved in great detail to recreate the real look of cricket bats and the stumps which is particularly impressive as the pieces themselves are small. On the cricket bats, you can clearly see the grip on the handle of the bats as well as the raised V-shaped ridge on one side of each of the bats with 5 of the 6 bats having circular nubs on them but not all of them in the same location on the bat with the other bat with no nub having two stump-like pieces attached to it. The cricket bats piece has 2 faces with one face having 2 circular nubs and the 2 cricket stump-like pieces on it and the other face having 3 circular nubs on it. The stumps too have been replicated in great detail like the fact they are cylinder in shape with there being three main upright stumps with the middle stump having a gap in the middle of it and a semicircle indentation above that gap and then there are the two smaller stumps placed on top of the three main upright stumps that are all connected and the stumps have markings on each of the three main upright poles near the top in this case represented by three rings.


*ad The two pieces are trapped and connected together with the objective being to disconnect them from each other by dislodging the bats from the wicket so that they are two separate pieces and then to prove you have understood how the puzzle works by reforming it and making the two parts interlocked again by performing the same moves that separated them but in reverse so if this doesn't work then you have remembered incorrectly and will have to figure out how you did it again. There are always clues to help you if you are struggling with Hanayama puzzles and the solution is often in the small details, that are not easily seen until inspected more closely, in which one piece may look similar to another but with a slight variation or something seems a little out of place as these are usually big clues on how to solve it and this is certainly the case with this particular puzzle as the small details on it will show you the way to solving it. The puzzles appearance gives it dual usage as it can be used for its intended purpose as a puzzle but also as an ornament that wouldn't look out of place above a mantelpiece and this would also help take care of storing it away whilst being immediately available to play with if you wanted to. It easily fits in your hands with the shape of the pieces making them easy to grab a hold of and it is quite light in weight so the pieces can be held up for hours without tiring your arms out. The puzzle although delicate in appearance still seems very tough as it is made from brass and should take a fair amount of pressure before the pieces would even possibly become bent out of shape or snap which would anyway be more pressure than you would ever realistically use when trying to take it apart and put it together unless you are trying to break it. The pieces come apart and fit back together relatively smoothly in what should be a rather satisfyingly simple but clever way with little force needed when the correct manoeuvres are performed so if you are forcing them then you are doing it wrong. The small pieces that it contains mean it can be fiddly to operate and quite tricky to perform the required moves which can be a common problem with Hanayama puzzles but with this puzzle it is not a big issue that will stop you from completing it. That the puzzle has small pieces means it is not suitable for small children and also that the pieces do have pointed edges. The fact that the puzzle is so small in size means that it is easy to transport as it would easily fit in your pocket or you could attach it to a chain with it being relatively flat and has only two pieces to keep track of that can go in each of your hands so there is less chance of you losing them so you can take this with you almost anywhere and can be done while on the move. It is also very easy to store away as it will take up very little room so could be put in almost any drawer but the very tiniest in order to keep it safe which applies to each puzzle in this Hanayama collection so if you had many of them then storing them away will not be much of a problem. The puzzles replayability is low as once you have figured the puzzle out it is not difficult to then memorise the solution, of which there is only one, as it requires only a few moves that are not that tricky to perform so doing it in the least amount of moves possible and in the fastest time achievable won't take that long to do so you won't get much-repeated use out of it. This brain teaser is given a difficulty level rating of 2 out of 6 which would make it one of the more lower-level challenges in this collection. That doesn't mean it is an easy challenge as the key to separating the pieces is not obvious at first glance but shouldn't take too long to figure it out as there are only so many moves you can perform and places to go with this puzzle. It might possibly take a few people a while to figure out who are new to this sort of puzzle and don't know the clues to look out for but for those who are accustomed to this type of brain teaser they should breeze through this. So this well-crafted puzzle would be ideal for anyone looking to get into metal disentangle challenges particularly suitable for somebody who is a cricket fan as it is shaped like cricket apparatus and would be another way for this person to incorporate the sport into their life but it does have broad appeal because it is also a straightforward and enjoyable challenge that won't likely take that long to solve however once figured out the puzzle has then probably served its purpose as replayability is not great and is only then really useful as a decorative ornament.

Once this is solved then within the collection of puzzles it belongs to there are many puzzles that are equally nice to look at and fun to play with that offer similar but different challenges that are of different levels of difficulty so that a person can build their level up to the more extreme challenges and improve their puzzle-solving skills along the way.

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