The puzzle is to remove the object from within the cage.
This object looks a bit like a sea mine, or perhaps the sputnik space craft, like a ball with spikes coming out of it. But most commonly the puzzle is referred to as a Hedgehog puzzle or Hedgehog in a Cage puzzle. It doesn’t really look like a hedgehog so how did it get that name?
Size: 75mm x 45mm x 45mm
The first publication of this type of puzzle has been documented in print in the American Stationery published on April 18th 1895 there was an article titled New Puzzles. It reads: “The New York News Company calls the attention of the trade to two new puzzles which it has put on the market. One is known as the Trilby…..” It goes on to describe the metal puzzle and says “The puzzle is of convenient size to carry in the pocket, and it will test the ability and patience of anyone who attempts to work it.”
After that a patent was lodged in USA in 1896 by Mr C A Worrall although no copy of this puzzle actually made has been found.
This puzzle had long since faded into history when it was revived again in print in 1940 in a story called Puzzle Mystery called “Adventures in a Dark Alley” (the original Czech is: “Dobrodruzstvi v temnych ulickach”. written in an adventure magazine for boys published by Jaroslav Folgar in the Czech Republic. Hedgehog in a Cage in Czech translates as Jezek v kleci). The story was very specific about the puzzle and even gave a detailed description of the solution. It proved very popular generating fan clubs, collecting, another book series and even a film. So you see even back in the 1940’s there was what we think of as modern merchandising.
We do not know whether Jaroslav Folgar got his idea for the magazine from that original puzzle by Mr Worrall or not but it certainly became very popular. So popular that in 2010 at the 70th Anniversary of the publication of the book there was an exhibition in Prague which included no less than 70 different examples of this puzzle.
There’s even been a Removing the Hedgehog from the Cage World Championship which is held every year in the Czech Republic since 2000.
So you can see that this puzzle has a fantastic history and is virtually written into Czech folklore so it must be worth trying!
The puzzle was then made commercially in wood until 1941 when it was sold in a shop in Prague and has been made and sold around the world ever since in many versions including wood, plastic and metal. This version is made from stainless steel.