The puzzle is a maze laser cut with a series of sliding panels with steel pegs and a steel ball bearing to navigate through the maze and out the exit hole.
On each sliding panels, there are a series of Ns and 5s cut into the panels. The raised metal posts restrict movement as you are sliding the panels back and forth. This is a good example of a ternary puzzle and you’ll need to bring all your most structured and systematic thinking to solving this puzzle.
So is the attention to detail of the designer that there’s a simple reset mechanism included in the design so you can just press the ball bearing in through a special hole in the acrylic top and start again.
The puzzle comes in various size versions and the one we have here in stock is the N-5-2-2-2 which is on a 5×5 grid pattern. Also available on this website is the N-5-2-2 which has less moves and is therefore considered easier because it’s on a 4×4 grid. The smaller version is called Hidden Corridors and made and packaged by Recent Toys. This version is an original made in the workshop of Jean Claude Constantin himself and does not come with commercial packaging.
A little bit about n-ary puzzles:
When puzzlers first discovered that solving the ancient Chinese Ring Puzzle was really a series of on and off, or binary, moves the n-ary puzzle category was born. There seem to be two main areas of interest in solving these n-ary type puzzles.
For those with a bias towards mathematics, they provide good material for understanding the mathematical equation that is the solution to the puzzle. For this n-ary puzzle, specifically a 3-ary or ternary puzzle, each stage has 3 states and there is the same number of moves to be repeated in each stage.
But for the general puzzle solver with no specific inclination towards mathematics, there’s just a great sense of achievement when you understand the system of moves and can repeat them towards the solution. And once you get into the rhythm then repeating them can be quite the therapeutic.
Made of laser-cut wood with steel hardware and acrylic top.
Size: 145mm x 145mm x 20mm
No solution is provided for this puzzle but I have added a sticker with the address of a YouTube solution to the 4×4 grid version which has the same sort of moves, just less of them, to solve.
The puzzle is made by Jean Claude Constantin.
Jean-Claude is a German puzzle inventor and maker well known for his very high quality and creative puzzles, well priced and sold at local markets. He does not export very many puzzles and we are very pleased to be able to offer a small selection of his puzzles including the Winkel puzzle.