Unlike the Adam & Eve entanglement puzzle which I was able to solve on my own, I had little luck with Jean-Claude Constantin’s U-Sockel. Socke in German means “base” in English.
The U-Sockel came to me courtesy of fellow puzzle collector/designer Goh Pit Khiam. He had dropped by my place last Sunday to take a look the 77 new puzzles I had brought home from the IPP38 Puzzle Exchange in San Diego, USA this past August.
The U-Sockel consists of a wooden stick affixed to a base and a ball permanently attached somewhere towards the top. Two U-shaped thick wire rods “interlock”t themselves around the wooden stick. The object is to get the u-shaped wire rods off the wooden rod.
It looks simple enough, unfortunately is anything but! Pit Khiam had told me that he also couldn’t solve and had to resort to a YouTube video solution (which incidentally was uploaded by Nick Baxter). There is one or two others non YouTube as well. I told Pit Khiam I will try to solve it without the help. But I struggled for a whole Sunday afternoon and night but got nowhere as well. Finally I threw in the towel and watched the video. Anyway, I couldn’t have solved it without the solution.
The U-Sockel is really a tough one. But I am really in not much of a position to comment. I generally don’t fancy entanglement or wire type puzzles and hardy play with any. There is a sequence to follow. Once you memorise the steps, its quite easily re-solvable. As I followed the instructions on the video, I also found myself having to use a tad bit of force to move the u-shaped wire rods the way they were supposed to move. I thought for puzzles of this nature, no force was necessary. Apparently not in this case.