puzzle box

Three 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.

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?

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3 thoughts on “puzzle box

  1. This one, while perhaps not my best finished piece, really gave my brain a workout. I’m pleased It all came together, and after a few years it hasn’t become “loose” to give away the answer – which (not-surprisingly) I had to do some digging to find out the answer… (which I’ll share – IF someone lets me know how they solved it).

  2. Pingback: The results are in, winter 2008 « Blanchard Creative Woodworking

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