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  • Tucker-Jones House, Inc. Tavern Puzzle: Iron Maiden

Tavern Puzzle: Iron Maiden

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This brainteaser is solved when the "object piece" is removed. But, it's really two puzzles in one, because the puzzle is not truly mastered until the object piece is also returned! Made from mild steel, this puzzle will develop a patina over time.

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This collection of puzzles is based on the types of diversions made by blacksmiths in earlier centuries. They're called Tavern Puzzles because they often turned up in country inns and taverns, the community gathering places in American towns, in days gone by.

Did blacksmiths have a special fondness for puzzles? Maybe. What is more likely is that making a puzzle was a task that was used as a forging exercise for apprentice blacksmiths. The apprentice could learn techniques for making an eye, a twist, and precision bending in a simple puzzle design like the this Iron Maiden. After the master was satisfied with the apprentice’s skill in producing nails, the young apprentice might put together a more difficult brainteaser.

Each puzzle is mechanical in nature: you do not need to use any force or tricks. Puzzles are solved when the object piece is removed. Every puzzle can be considered two puzzles in one, because the solution is not truly mastered until the object piece is returned to its starting point!

Literature included with each puzzle shows the puzzle in its starting position and indicates the object piece, as well as how the puzzle looks when it is displayed. Tavern Puzzles are made from mild steel, similar to iron. They will develop a beautiful patina through use and handling. The more you play with your puzzle, the more attractive it will become. 


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