Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Chinese Puzzle Box

The puzzle box is my second favorite mechanical puzzle (after entanglement puzzles. A puzzle box (also called a secret, or trick box) is a box that can only be opened through some obscure, and sometimes complicated, series of manipulations. They are usually made of wood and in various complexities. Some puzzle boxes may require only a simple squeeze in the right spot, whereas others may require the subtle movement of several small parts, to open the box. This puzzle box from China belongs to the former category. It took me less than 15 minutes to open the box and by accident after I squeezed the right spots.

Some boxes, especially those from Japan, consist of several moves with a variety of twists to trick the person trying to open the boxes. But the real trick is finding the correct series of movements that can range from 2 to 300+ moves.