How-To: Build Nob Yoshigahara’s “Dualock” cross puzzle

Craft & Design Fun & Games
How-To: Build Nob Yoshigahara’s “Dualock” cross puzzle

I built one of these years ago from plans I saw in Slocum and Botterman’s New Book of Puzzles, and still delight in playing with it, so I was pleased as—geez, I can’t say “pleased as punch” and still respect myself in the morning, so I’ll just leave it at “really pleased”—to see this new tutorial from Instructables user Phil B about how it’s done. From the outside, the puzzle is deceptively simple: You can guess from Phil’s description that you’ve got to spin it, to win it, but there’s a devious twist. The book I saw it in had a picture of a clear plastic version that showed off how the mechanism worked, but that makes it rather too easy to figure out; the best way to appreciate Yoshigahara’s design is to build one for yourself, then give it to somebody else to puzzle over.


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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