|Object||Disassemble and Reassemble the Puzzle|
|Difficulty||Level 6 - Tricky|
|Types||Hanayama Metal Puzzles, Akio Yamamoto, Hanayama Discontinued|
|Dimensions||2 1/3 in x 2 2/3 in x 1 1/8 in / 5.9 cm x 6.7 cm x 3 cm|
Note: Our level rating system is different than Hanayama's. Hanayama's level 1 is equivalent to our level 5.... level 6 is equivalent to our level 10.
In the summer of 1997, I saw two mackerels that had somehow managed to get into the sardine tank at the aquarium. Watching these two fish unable to blend in with the shoal of sardines made me wonder if they were on a journey of self-discovery.
What sort of adventure will they have?
Imagining this led to the conception of six cast puzzles based on oceanographic subjects.
A small mackerel captured by a shore crab. See if you can help it escape.
- Yamamoto 2008 -
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Even though this is a Hanayama level 2 puzzle, it gave me a very enjoyable challenge as I worked toward freeing the fish from the claw. It's a beautiful puzzle and meticulously crafted, like all Hanayamas are. To the expert puzzlers out there, don't bypass this one because of the level 2 rating. It's a nice piece for your collection.
This is a beautiful piece - actually two pieces. I enjoy it immensely and am eager to get the others in this oceanographic set. I suppose I'm not as good a puzzler as the other two reviewers, because I find it pretty tricky (especially the second-to-the-last escape move), and spent several hours working my way through all the moves, making sure I could repeat them backwards. If this is a 2 on the Hanayama scale (6 on the Puzzlemaster scale) I will be severely challenged by puzzles rated higher! I am impressed with the elegant design, beautiful finish, and what seems tenth of a millimeter precison of the cast -- this piece is well worth the price. Thank you Yamamoto! Like the other reviewer, my rating here is for the elegance of the piece, not the dificulty (I'll trust that the difficulty is not really as severe as it was for me - can't wait to get a 3, let alone a 6!).
This is a beautifully made little puzzle. I am quite disappointed with the western obsession of making the mechanics of a puzzle the sole point of it. The result is some very clever puzzles with abstract shapes and horrendously complicated and unappealing solutions. If you compare the mechanics of this puzzle to, say, the "Duet" puzzle, you'll find they are essentially the same. The Duet takes you on a long and convoluted journey through a maze of similar-looking mid-states. It's like being lost in a mirror maze. The fact that only trial and error will get you to the end, only adds to your discomfort. Puzzles like Claw, on the other hand, take you through the journey while maintaining your interest in the shape you are manipulating. Every move is a step forward to the unexpected but elegant final release. You could lose yourself imagining the little crab juggling the golden fish. Heck, you could even give it a name... Ok, ok. So I'm stretching the point a bit for effect, I admit. Experienced puzzlers will solve Claw in little time. Sure, it is easy and won't make you feel you should be getting an honorary membership of MENSA. But I bet it will leave you with a feeling of having been thoroughly entertained. Just ask yourself: if you saw Duet and Claw together on a mantle piece, which one would you go for in the first place? Exactly my point.
My stars refer to the fun of the puzzle, not the difficulty. Well-made puzzle with a nice crab design. Not too hard with a somewhat surprising solution.