Metal Puzzle 5 – Butterfly(a)


At the end of the last metal puzzle series entry, I’d written that the capsule dispenser had been removed from the Capsule Cafe after I’d gotten only 4 of the 10 puzzles in the set, and that I couldn’t find that dispenser anywhere else in the city. Some weeks later, one of the students mentioned that he’d seen it at the big Daiei department store (now Aeon) down at Korimoto. I’ve been to that location before, but it’s an hour walk from my apartment (20 minutes by street car, and I hesitate to spend 340 yen for the street car just to get a 200 yen capsule). Occasionally, though, I have to ride the street car to Minami Kagoshima, and then I can justify getting off the car, visit Daiei, and then get back on to return home. Anyway, I did stop at that Daiei one day, found the bank of capsule dispensers on the second floor, and bought 4 puzzles – 4 new ones out of 4.

The first new one is Butterfly(a) (there’s a variant, called Butterfly(b)). It was a major challenge, but not so much frustrating as simply confusing. It’s a cross between Star and Bell, so if you know the key to solving Bell, you know the first thing you’re supposed to do with Butterfly. After that, you need to move the bar loop through the rings ala Star. I was able to remove the loop after a few minutes, but putting it back together took almost three times as long. Then when I tried disassembling it again, I got lost. I spent at least an hour and a half practicing on this puzzle until I finally figured out the pattern. I can now take it apart and put it back together again in less than 1 minute, but it’s still easy to forget the moves.

So, I’ll put hints to myself here. “Bell.” “Through two, walk to the right.” “Out of one and through the other, walk back.” “Fold like Star and exit.” “Re-Bell.” To reassemble: “Bell.” “Enter, over one like Star.” “Through one and walk around.” “Through two and walk back.” “Re-Bell.”

I keep telling myself that I don’t like these kinds of puzzles and that I should stop buying them, But there is kind of a thrill and self-satisfaction in solving them. So, I’ll at least try to do the other three I already have.

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