Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Ending With a Beginning - CagedTIC 1
CagedTIC 1 is a perfect puzzle to end this series on. It looks great, it’s difficult, and the “1” seems to indicate that there will be more to follow! Did I mention that it’s difficult? Even though I almost always recommend that you receive these puzzles disassembled, you can get this one assembled if you want. It’s a challenge to even get all the pieces out of the frame.
So let’s get into it. The puzzle fits within a 5x5x5 cubic area. The simple frame comprises all of the cubes edges and is made from a marble PLA with the name of the puzzle debossed on one edge. The 7 pieces that get packed into the frame are made from a light blue PLA and Andrew’s name is debossed on one of them. The packed pieces leave the center of each of the 6 cubic faces unoccupied to make a pleasant design. The pieces fall into 3 categories.
The first 3 are filler pieces that serve as spackle to construct that attractive final shape and each can simply be pulled from the puzzle in a single move. However, the filler pieces do serve an important function for the puzzler. They help identify how the other pieces need to be oriented within the frame.
The fourth piece is not difficult to remove but can’t be pulled out in a single move. It also requires a rotation to extract it from the cage.
The final 3 pieces are the real challenge. With only 3 pieces left to remove, you would think that it would be easy to just shake them out. However it is far from easy and, needless to say, requires several rotations to accomplish. It’s not even easy to determine which of those pieces need to come out first. I wasn’t certain which one it was until I managed to free it. Removing the remaining 2 pieces is not that difficult.
Although this is the last of the monthly series of TICs from Andrew Crowell, never fear. I’m a fan of Andrew’s puzzles and I’ll certainly be including more of them in next year’s posts. I’d like to thank Andrew for his awesome and prolific output of TICs and other puzzles over the last couple of years and look forward to seeing what the future brings. I hope these TIC posts have inspired some of you to try and enjoy Andrew’s puzzles. He usually has some available on his Etsy shop, arcWoodPuzzles, if you are looking for them.
You can find the prior posts of the series here:
January: Puzzling DNA - GeneTIC
February: TIC, TIC, TIC - PackTIC II
March: Green Beer ‘ill Cure What Ails Ya - BioTIC
April: The Proper Way to Solve a Puzzle - PedanTIC
May: Will This One Really Be Better Than The Others? - SkepTIC
June: Space, The Final Frontier - MagellanTIC
July: Hanging in Suspense - PackTIC V
August: Fantastic 20+ Move TIC with an 11 Move Non-TIC Alternate Solution - PatheTIC
September: I Had This Feeling That I Was Going To Like This Puzzle - MystTIC
October: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - Fantastic
November: Puzzle Candy - ThreeTIC, TriadTIC, TripleTIC, NeuroTIC, TriumviraTIC