Get the set of two brass take-apart puzzles. Both puzzles belong firmly in the subset of take-apart puzzles often called either Sequential Discovery or sometimes Progressive Move. This generally means that you will need to discover tools within the puzzle and then determine how to use them to progress through the solve.
If you already have the Cannonball puzzle you can buy the Houdini on it’s own here.
This genre of puzzles is not only complex to solve from the puzzler’s perspective but they are also often difficult and time-consuming to design and manufacture, which is why they are often only found as limited edition items made by smaller manufacturers and priced accordingly. Mr Puzzle has supervised the manufacture of both these puzzles in China so we can bring them to a wider audience. Since they’ve arrived here we’ve checked every one of them to ensure they work as expected.
Houdini’s Torture Cell sequential discovery take apart puzzle
The object of the puzzle is to free Houdini from The Torture Cell.
To do that you’ll have to discover the tools and work out how to use them. One feature that Brian builds into many of these types of sequential discovery puzzles is to give you something to find almost immediately; better to maintain interest in the puzzle. You’ll find that with this puzzle too. Yes, there are lots of magnets in the puzzle but no “hitting” or “banging” is necessary to solve it. There is a tool to discover for every aspect of the solve.
The idea for Houdini’s Torture Cell came from one of the locks in the incredibly complex The Opening Bat puzzle (part of the Sold Out Limited Edition 2010 series). Brian felt the idea was unique and very satisfying to solve so he revisited the idea and made a separate puzzle. Unlike The Opening Bat where the puzzle was completely hidden inside, this puzzle has been presented in such a way that most elements of the puzzle are visible to you. The puzzle is to then work out how to use those tools to solve it. You can literally sit and think about the solution without even touching the puzzle.
The theme of the puzzle celebrates Harry Houdini’s first public performance of The Torture Cell at the Circus Busch in Berlin on 12th September 1912. The original wooden version of Houdini’s Torture Cell was made for 2011 International Puzzle Party which was held in Berlin. That wooden version has been sold out for many years and thus become quite collectible, usually only available at specialist auctions for quite high prices. This is an accurate factory-produced version of that same puzzle.
Brian has supervised the manufacture in China from standard brass and acrylic stock and we’ve tried to realistically represent the quality in the photo. It’s not intended to be a high-end high-quality limited-availability puzzle. There are draw marks in the brass and occasionally there might be a small hairline crack in the acrylic behind the rivet where they’ve been hand-assembled. We’ve inspected every puzzle here in Australia to ensure what we’re sending out is reasonable.
Brian is well-known for bringing very high-quality puzzles to market. But to be able to bring Houdini to puzzlers everywhere we have this time focused purely on the puzzling aspect rather than creating a finely crafted expensive puzzle. Enjoy the ‘Ah Ha’ moment.
WINNER: One of two Jury First Prizes given in the Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition 2012 at IPP in Washington, USA in 2012.
Peter Hajek also considered the mechanism worthy of mentioning in his new book “Enter If You Can”. Published in 2021 this is a comprehensive look at secret opening puzzle boxes and puzzle locks throughout history up to the present day. A must read!
Size of puzzle: 80mm high and the hex nut at the bottom is 35mm across the diagonal.
Packaged in a plain white box with enclosed step by step solution sheet developed by Mr Puzzle.
Cannonball brass take apart puzzle
The puzzle is to remove the cannonball from this curious brass cannon.
If you look down the barrel of the cannon you can see the cannonball inside but the opening is slightly oval and it stops the ball from falling out.
This is one of a group of Take Apart puzzles that some refer to as Sequential Discovery or sometimes Progressive Move puzzles. There is no simple, single move, straightforward solution. You need to find the steps, and sometimes the discovery of tools, to enable you to execute them. These tools may not necessarily be obvious and the deduction of what is a tool and what is not is an important part of the puzzle. This is a bit of a challenge for puzzlers who’ve never done this type of puzzle before but makes a great introduction to this very popular genre of mechanical puzzles.
Based on a wooden version called Cannon and Ball puzzle made from wood circa 1881-1884 that was published in Hoffmann’s Puzzles Old and New by Professor Hoffman in 1893. This puzzle also has the same mechanism as the Bits & Pieces reproduction done in the 1990’s.
We have previously sold a more cheaply made version by of this puzzle made by Enigma but the puzzle proved so popular that we decided to commission this version. The muzzle of the cannon is made from solid turned brass rather than plated cast zinc alloy. The red cannon base is made from a cast alloy metal. We have opened every one of these puzzles here at Mr Puzzle in Australia to make sure that the puzzling element is set correctly before sending them out.
The solution enclosed is also photographed and worded by us here at Mr Puzzle Australia to ensure the solution is as clear as it can possibly be.
Size: 70mm x 32mm x 30mm
Packaged in a brown kraft card box with a step by step solution worded by us here at Mr Puzzle is enclosed.