Cast Slider and I declined. I felt that a puzzle with 3 stars from Hanayama would not provide enough of a challenge to be that interesting. I’ve made it a point to collect all the Hanayama puzzles that are 4 stars and higher. It’s not that I don’t own any easier Hanayama cast puzzles. I have a copy of Cast Loop, which is 1 star. It may not be difficult, but I like the movement and it’s a good puzzle to hand to a new puzzler.
My first Hanayama puzzle was Cast Enigma (6 stars), which started me on this path. As I get older, the numbers seem to be skewing to the left. I’m thinking that maybe I should reevaluate my abilities and collect puzzles that are 3 stars and higher. Anyone that has been beaten up by Cast UFO (4 stars) recently can certainly sympathize.
When recently purchasing some puzzles from Puzzle Master to support a puzzle challenge (Puzzle-A-Month Challenge), I decided to add Cast Slider to the cart and give it a try. I took it with me to the barber and solved it while waiting to get my hair cut.
Cast Slider was designed by Vesa Timonen and consists of 3 pieces, the 2 sliders and a central hub piece that they slide on. Each slider consists of two flat sides that are connected on each end by a large pin. One side is extended with a grove that the hub’s pin runs along. The hub’s pin extends out of both sides of the hub to interact with each slider. The hub also has a slots cut in it to allow the slider’s pin’s to travel along it.
Here is a blow by blow description of the heart-pounding disassembly process, slightly redacted to preserve against spoilage. Of course, the person responsible for the redaction is ██████████.
When handling this puzzle, it is apparent early on that the only available move is to █████████████ releasing █████████████████████████ and then Boom! Things start to █████████████████████████████████ until the sliders flop around, hanging loose by one end on the hub. Although it looks like they might be able to come off, they just can’t seem to get past the hub’s pin.
As you can see from the solution description, this puzzle is not that difficult but has some interesting moves. Assembling the puzzle would be more of a challenge than disassembly if you haven’t gone through the disassembly process. However, I consider Slider a disassembly puzzle and wouldn’t recommend starting with the assembly. I was able to do this puzzle in a few minutes, but I have handed it to others who have found it more challenging than I did.
If you are interested in getting your own copy, you can get Cast Slider from Puzzle Master here. If you get stuck, just follow the directions in the solution above.
P.S. I gave the puzzle to my wife to work on after she read the solution above and she's still not talking to me. Great puzzle!