Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ménage à Trois – Two Guys & a Gal (Free Me 9)

With a name like Two Guys & a Gal, you know that the situation will be complicated and you’re in for a protracted fight.  As the name suggests, this puzzle houses a lady flanked by 2 Johns.  More specifically, Lady Liberty and 2 John F. Kennedy’s.  I’m sure every puzzler’s favorite part will be Lady Liberty’s backside featuring a nice selection of gears symbolizing American Innovation.

Two Guys & a Gal was designed and made by Joe Turner.  This is the 9th puzzle in Joe’s Free Me series.  It is a sequential discovery (SD) puzzle concealing several imaginative and tricky mechanisms that need to be overcome to release the 3 trapped coins.  The puzzle was made with Cherry, Maple, Coins, and assorted hidden attractive and unattractive metal bits.  The attention to details like ensuring that the grain flows across piece boundaries makes the puzzle a work of art.

The puzzle houses an amazing 3-part journey to release the coins from their resting place.  This SD adventure uses several tools discovered along the way allowing you to continue the journey along the solution path until you finally arrive at the destination.  Of course in the beginning, it’s just you and the puzzle.  Just keep repeating to yourself: I’m just a tool.

This puzzle was so good, I couldn’t put it down.  Once I started, I didn’t stop until I had freed each of the coins and then reassembled it.  When I initially reset it, it seamed right but didn’t quite seem right.  One of the coins appeared too loose and I thought that maybe I had worn out one of the mechanisms.  After analyzing the associated mechanisms closer, I realized that I failed to properly reset it.  Once properly reset, it was back to the state that it arrived in.  So if it looks like you’re done but it’s loose, you’re not done.

From start to finish, the tools and mechanisms never ceased to amaze and delight me.  I can’t wait to get my hands on Free Me 10 next year! {insert seed of rumor here - done}