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Free Willy take apart puzzle


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You can clearly see the hole at the top where the ball bearing is meant to come out. But how to begin to get the ball bearing from the bottom to the top chamber of the wooden cage so it can come out that hole?
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The object of the puzzle is to free the ball bearing from inside the wooden cage.

The ball bearing (Willy) does come out through the hole you can see in the top of the puzzle. But how to get it from the bottom chamber up there.  And what’s in that chamber that’s hidden by the wooden wall?

It doesn’t look too difficult…. Stop that thought right there. It was designed and made by John Claude Constantin so there will be some ingenious and creative moves involved to do it for sure!

This puzzle could be categorised as a Route Finding puzzle; a Maze or Labyrinth type puzzle.  But that gives slightly the wrong impression of the skills required to solve this one.  It is really more like a take apart puzzle or could even be referred to as a progressive move puzzle.  That’s because there is much more to Free Willy than a single move.  That does give a bit of a clue because now you know from that description that there are multiple steps you need to do to Free Willy.

We have no idea if the German designer Jean Claude Constantin was thinking about killer whales or the famous film from 1993 when he named this puzzle but it could be so.  Your struggle to free the ball bearing could be just as tough as Jesse’s struggle to free Willy back to the wild.

This is just one of so many trick opening puzzles, puzzle boxes, disentanglement puzzles, and more that have been designed by the famous puzzlemaker and inventor. For more than 30 years he has been recognised as a unique talent who can design puzzles in so many different categories.  Most serious puzzle collectors around the world will have many different Jean Claude Constantin puzzles in their collection.

The puzzle is made of laser cut plywood with metal parts.

Size: 54mm x 44mm x 80mm
The puzzle has no box and just comes wrapped in bubble. Also no printed solution is provided for this puzzle but I have seen this YouTube video online that demonstrates the puzzle. Do not go there if you do not want to see the solution yet though.

Additional Information

Manufacturer Jean-Claude Constantin
Difficulty Level 6
Designer Jean-Claude Constantin

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