Tiny box of tricks

Cool! A little puzzle box a friend got me as a souvenir from Japan!

Apparently, it takes an easy 5 step sequence to get the box open. Going by this sample, the key has to be where the patterns misalign slightly.

Ah! The first piece slides out a notch.

Now the second piece unlocks and shifts.

The first piece slides out a little more.

And the second piece can now slide clear of the box lid.

There! Open in 5 steps, as promised!

This box is but a very simple sample of a practical puzzle that can be amazingly intricate, and a real head-scratcher to solve. But even this little box is a marvel of wood-based engineering. The finish is beautifully glossy, the patterns are mesmerising, and the parts move smoothly without unnecessary force, so you always know you have taken the correct next step.

As far as souvenirs people have given me from their trips out-of-town, I have to count this one at the top of a rather short list.



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