Deal 701: PuzzleBox

Inside my box I have—

No. That would be too simple. Besides, I’m not sure myself. I’d just look, but that would take away the mystery. I love the mystery, and couldn’t possibly betray it by cheating.

Besides, it is layered in security.

I’ve been noodling at the first layer. It looks deceptively like a bird-cage, but is so much more. Usually a birdcage can be opened. Sometimes it is a spring catch. Sometimes there’s a hook. This one is not so limited. I’m close to working out the solution, I have discovered that I have to twist its bars in the right order, and push some of them up or down at the same time. Thing is, there’s about 80 bars total in the cage, so there are more orderings of the bars than atoms in the observed universe.

There’s probably a better way to solve that problem than brute force and ignorance. Just trying every combination will clearly take longer than the heat death of the universe, and unless there’s life after the death of the universe, we won’t find the solution that way.

I’ve already tried the obvious permutations, and a few non-obvious ones that leapt to mind.

As a last resort, there’s an axe leaning in the corner. I’ve also tried showing the axe to the cage to let it know its fate. It quivered a little, but hasn’t given in. Perhaps in time it will become wiser.

So. Inside my box lies something I may never see.


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