After a dismal week or so of not being able to find the correct solution for the Gridlock at the Arc De Triomphe, I thought I would try another kind of “arc”. This time, it’s the Concentric Arc, a maze puzzle. The Concentric Arc owes its origins to the Saunder’s Puzzle, a design which came from a Samuel L. Saunders, who patented his design in 1904. The Saunder’s Puzzle design was adapted, modified and produced in its current form by Belgian Robrecht Louage. Robrecht is an IPP award designer (known for his 4 Steps Visible Lock which won the IPP31 Grand Jury Prize) and has designed numerous other interesting puzzles. The Concentric Arc also happened to be the IPP37 Exchange Puzzle of David Pullen.
The Concentric Arc is a maze puzzle. On both discs there are curved channels cut out. These form 3 layers of “concentric circles” spanning out from the centre. The puzzle is made of trespa, a strong and durable material widely used for home table surfaces. The puzzle is precision laser cut and the quality of construction and finish is very good.
To solve, one needs to rotate the two discs (held together at the centre by screw) and navigate a rivet “floating” along the maze channels to a point where it can be fully removed. And to remove the rivet, the round hole on the top disc must coincide with a similar hole on the bottom disc.
OH NO!, another maze puzzle which i can’t solve?
When I first looked at the Concentric Arc, it reminded me of the Cross & Crown, Dr Goetz Schwandtner’s IPP34 Exchange Puzzle. This is another maze puzzle with two similar looking discs having all the cut-outs and such. However the latter is a N’ary style puzzle, requiring a lot more moves in a particular sequential fashion. Moreover I was not able to solve the Cross & Crown successfully either.
Nonetheless as I fiddled with the Concentric Arc, I found it to be less intimidating than I initially thought. In fact, after several minutes of play, I managed to remove the rivet. But to really solve a puzzle fully, you must be able to return the puzzle to the original state, at least one senior seasoned puzzler has exclaimed. Here is where I had a tad more problem than before. I had forgotten the moves. So I thought again with my random fiddling, I would be able to get the rivet back in place somehow. But this was not to be for quite a while, in fact quite a long while.