|Level (Complexity):||Complex (8)|
|Object:||Take apart and then reassemble|
|Number of components:||3|
|Estimated time:||1-10 Hours|
|Size:||2⅛×2×3/4 in. / 5.3×5.2×2 cm.|
|Packaging:||cardboard: 75×119×45 mm|
|Materials used:||cast zinc|
|Safety:||no small parts, but keeping away from small children is advised|
Cast Vortex by famous cast iron non-maze puzzle maker Akio Yamamoto is considered to be one of the most gruesome pieces in Hanayama line up.
The difficulty of this puzzle is almost luck-based. At least a lot of people who tried Vortex for the first time and managed to disassembled it successfully feel that it was done by pure luck, rather than coldhearted logical thinking.
Indeed, pieces of the puzzle are almost identical and only a possessor of keen eye and a sharp mind can spot little notches and protuberances that are subtly different across all three pieces.
The beauty of this puzzle is that it is quite cumbersome to be methodological with it. That is the main psychological trap this puzzle gets you into. You fiddle and jiggle the puzzle, trying to memorize your steps, sometimes even backtracking to make sure you can do everything right and remember the process — but ultimately, something clicks, clanks and cracks and you find yourself in an absolutely new stage without even the slightest idea how to come back and what to do next.
Although the disassembly can take a few hours even if you are an experienced puzzle nerd — the re-assembly is where the real challenge begins.
Even if you write down each of your steps (which we advise doing with these kinds of puzzles all the time) it is still really hard to assemble it back.
It is a real mind bending and brain braking experience that is as difficult as it is rewarding.
The best way to conquer this puzzle is to take it apart and re-assemble it until you understand the principle, learn and feel every notch of all three pieces.
Definitely not suitable for beginners and must be approached with caution by experts. Big respect to Yamamoto-san who has definitely earned his place in puzzle-makers hall of fame (or hate) with this unique piece.
Where to Buy
- It is very important to be as consistent and methodological with this kind of puzzles.
- Try to document all your steps — write down what you before or after you progress further.
- The reassembly is usually much harder — but not in this case. The reassembly is pretty straightforward. Nevertheless, the reassembly will give you a bigger picture on how the interior mechanism if the puzzle operates.
- Hanayama Huzzle Cast Vortex puzzle solution video can be found below
- Made of high quality cast iron
- Considered to be the highest “Grand master” (Level 6) puzzle according to Hanayama scoring. Other Level 6 puzzles, such as Cast News and Cast Infinity, can be found at their respective pages on PuzzleScore HANAYAMA brand page.
- Three pieces of the puzzle have their own respective names: Vortex, A.Y.(after it’s creator Akio Yamamoto) and Hanayama.
- Detailed answers on Frequently Asked Questions about Hanayama puzzles you can find here.
- If you still have questions, ask them in the comments. We will answer in detail and include them in the FAQ list.
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