It’s rated a Difficulty Level 6, the most difficult, but I have to disagree for the reasons I’ll explain below.
What it shares with its sister puzzles is high quality construction, beautiful design, and a challenging solution. But that’s where it ends.
It’s in the shape of an octagon, an antique brass finish, and has a medieval design with the four points of a compass indicated in an ancient font — very mysterious — something that might have belonged to Harry Potter to invoke a magic spell.
It has two interlocked parts that seem as if they should simply slide apart. Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy, would it?
Check out our No-Spoiler Alert if you are concerned that we might give away too much of the solution here.
When you pick up this heavy-weight object and play with for a moment, there seems to be no way for the two parts to come apart. No amount of fidgeting, twisting, pulling, pushing, turning, or cajoling seems to have any effect whatsoever — unless you get lucky.
Impossible? Of course not.
But, this is one of the types of puzzles that requires you know — or discover — the “secret trick” to solve it. It’s not very likely that you would easily discover it on your own, although there are many who have done it. Once you discover or learn the trick, it’s trivial to repeat, which is why I disagree with the Level 6 difficulty rating.
Hint: Hold it to your ear and shake it. What do you hear? By the way, the NEWS name is a word formed from the letters representing the four points of a compass. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
I rate the Cast NEWS as a 3 out of 5 on the puzzle scale, but 5 out of 5 on the ingenuity scale due to it’s clever design. It’s actually one of the best selling of all Cast puzzles because it’s one of those that is very easy when you know the “trick” and makes for great entertainment when demonstrating to other people, especially children. But if am looking for a real puzzle to challenge me for a while, this is not the one I typically go back to.
Other Owner Comments
“I think this is a very difficult puzzle as you soon find that with just two parts a clever mechanism is employed to hold the pieces together.”
“This puzzle is sturdy, good quality materials. It is going to provide hours of infuriating fun.”
“Looks great sitting on my desk now.”
“Can be really quick to solve for some, and gives no interesting progress — either you’ve done it or you haven’t.”
“As with all Hanayama puzzles, this is beautifully executed”
- The Review Guy