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Puzzle Box

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Project by scottb posted 01-28-2007 06:54 AM 10256 views 17 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years ago, I gave this box to my wife for Christmas. A simple six-inch cube built out of pre-milled 1/4” pieces of aspen. I built it to hold one of the items on my wife’s wish list.

Recent Lumberjocks forum talk of prototypes versus just diving into a project… here’s the diving in. The prototype was all in my head. Or perhaps this is the prototype that became the project.

The locks internal components were cut and fitted by hand. If only I had better tools at the time, I could have milled better lumber. Or at least I wish that I hadn’t stained it.
Some Howards Wax (love the orange smell) over the stain improved the finish a bit. Oh well. I did the best I could with what I had. Besides, the box wasn’t the gift, but rather the means to get to the gift.

Inspired by the puzzles in The DaVinci Code, I wanted to make one of my own. My wife picked up the book before it became an international phenomenon. We both enjoyed it so much that I thought she’d be a good sport about cracking the code when I presented this to her.

Lift the lid and find three pins that align with numbers. The text reads: ”Daedalus unlike Knossos. Road to Jerusalem. How Many Yards is The League?”

This riddle could more easily be solved if you knew the box’s contents, for it hints at the answer. Once you’ve figured out the answer, line up the numbers, and open the box (or cheat and try “000, 001, 002, 003…” and so on. There’s only 1,000 possibilities). Notches on the bars align with notches on a dowel you have to remove in order to access the inside of the box.

I want the next one I make to be even more challenging (or with enough combinations to dissuade thoughts of cheating), and for it to have as small a locking mechanism as possible.

Here’s the opened puzzle, sans contents (which my wife now keeps at her work to help her de-stress – hint, hint). Researching the solution took my wife about 7 frustrating days of hard work. But when she finally got the gist of the clues, her renewed excitement pushed her on to work out the solution pretty quickly.

Do you know the answer?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/





44 comments so far

View Don's profile (online now)

Don

2603 posts in 2925 days


#1 posted 01-28-2007 07:36 AM

Great story, Scott. And an unusual project. Trust you wife is on the mend or we’ll have to change your name to “Sheila”. LOL

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

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scottb

3648 posts in 3075 days


#2 posted 01-28-2007 07:42 AM

Thanks Don, this was really challenging to conceptualize. I’m trying to figure out a way to make the next one smaller.

My wife is doing well thanks, but I’ll be playing both parenting roles for a while still.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

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Shawn

225 posts in 2901 days


#3 posted 01-28-2007 07:43 AM

That is an amazing idea, great post Scott, keepo them comming, I look forward to seeing more similar projects

-- Cheers

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#4 posted 01-28-2007 01:43 PM

haha excellent!!!
is the box sitting in the living room waiting for unsuspecting guests???

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1998 posts in 3153 days


#5 posted 01-28-2007 02:12 PM

I love it. What an invention! I’m not good with puzzles (lack of intelligence), and this is so complicated I couldn’t figure it out, with a prototype, or not. I hope you will enter this one in the creativity contest.

Hoping for your wife’s 100% recovery.

If there is a way you could show the plans for how to build this, I would buy a set of plans from you.

Isn’t it nice that “Don” started using his handsome brother’s photo now?

hang in there, we are pulling for you.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3062 days


#6 posted 01-28-2007 06:51 PM

what fun!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3075 days


#7 posted 01-29-2007 05:34 AM

Thanks for the positive comments, and well wishes.

This was a fun and challenging one to conceptualize, I have a couple that I’m trying to fine tune on the back burner, so yes, I hope to have more to share.

That really is a high compliment Mark. Thank you. I’ll see that I can’t at least get this one down on paper or perhaps fill the void out there with this plan and many others.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#8 posted 01-29-2007 01:47 PM

my question is—- your wife had to hold her gift for a week, while she figured out the clue?? cruel… cruel… cruel .
I love it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Karrie's profile

Karrie

15 posts in 3021 days


#9 posted 02-01-2007 04:26 PM

I think these are the kind of things that keep a marriage alive. Whether it is the “fun” in the relationship or keeping you out of the house while making it – I am not sure, but anyway…..

Great Job and love the idea. Keep up the creativity!

Karrie

-- Karrie

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3075 days


#10 posted 02-01-2007 08:25 PM

I’m glad that she didn’t solve it immediately, but I did feel bad that she was frustrated for so many days before getting on the right track. One of the hard parts of this project was doing the research into the clue, and covering my tracks. Must have worked because once early on she was close but didn’t know it and went on down another route.

I already have the riddle for the next box, but the mechanics of using letters to spell out the anwer rather than numbers is going to be very different indeed.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3075 days


#11 posted 02-11-2007 07:44 AM

Still no takers on trying to solve this riddle, huh?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#12 posted 02-11-2007 12:27 PM

oh Scott you devil….. bring us back into your little tormenting riddle… ok ok… I’ll see what I come up with…..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2908 days


#13 posted 02-11-2007 12:55 PM

ok. 5 minutes into it (made you look) and at 5:30 in the morning my brain says “enough already… too early… too taunting…..”

I’ll pass the torch (probably someone has already solved this but hasn’t wanted to ruin it for the rest of us.)
Daedalus and Knossus both are about a labryinth and there are 5280 yards in a league. Take it from there someone.. take it from there

and my brain breathes a sigh of relief (“go back to bed” it is now saying… “it’s Sunday morning for Heaven’s Sake”)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3075 days


#14 posted 02-11-2007 11:05 PM

I’ll let you know when/if someone gets it… The answer is a 3 digit number (combination to the lock)

Post your guess here, or send me a PM.

Keep at it. ;)...

the record to beat is one week of on/off trying!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3075 days


#15 posted 07-07-2007 05:45 AM

With all the jocks who’ve joined up in the past few months, surely somebody has solved this riddle by now?
Debbie, 5 minutes wasn’t enough,... but the buzzer still hasn’t sounded.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

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