Thursday, April 23, 2015

Puzzle ball (Puzzle No. 3,360)

The rummage sale at church was this week.  We’re fortunate enough not to need to shop there for shoes and other necessities, but we go every year because there are little treasures to be had like my martini glasses and interesting old books.  This time might have been the best though—I have a new puzzle ball.

Perplexus Epic
The first puzzle ball also came from the rummage sale: maybe ten years ago.  I don’t know what it was really called, but it was a clear plastic ball that had seven little cups glued to its inside surface. There was also a marble-sized steel ball inside.  To play the game, you manipulated the little ball into cup number 1 through a hole in the cup’s side, and then tilt the big ball so the little ball would drop into cup number 2.  If you got that, you’d turn the big ball another direction and tilt the little ball into cup number 3.  And so forth.  Very simple—it only took a day or two to master, but it was still a relaxing little challenge.

In doing the Christmas shopping last year, we found a similar toy called “Perplexus.”  Considerably more complicated, and beautiful in its design and manufacturing execution, it works on the same idea: manipulate a little ball around by tilting and tapping the big ball.  I got one for Sabers, but I spent as much time with it as he did.

You can guess what’s next.  As I was about to go pay for my purchases, I did a quick pass by the toy tables.  There, for just $2.50, was the Perplexus Epic.  More obstacles than the original, and even more diabolical. After a couple of evenings, I’ve reached step 49.  76 to go, but I’m not so obsessed with it as to forget the The Nation puzzle though.

Link to puzzle

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): hard.  I couldn’t get started up top initially, so I started at the bottom right and worked back to the top left.

Agility factor: high.  A Spoonerism and several other clues that require more playfulness, and some other clues where the definition isn’t where you might initially think it is.

Back with the solution on Monday.  In the meantime, how about cluing the word PERPLEX? Share your clues in the comment section.

1 comment:

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