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Blinded III by DEDwood Crafts

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Mr.Dee Dixon, the creative mastermind behind Dedwood Crafts has made some remarkable puzzle boxes in my short time of being part of the wider puzzle community, and it’s only recently (January 2022) that I decided to find out why these chunky boxes of wood are getting such high praise.

The now famous 'Dedwood Crafts' logo that has become synonymous with Dee's boxes

Since then, it’s been an insightful and expensive journey of acquiring 'almost' everything Dee has brought to the puzzle market in the last few years. Whilst I’m still missing a few from the list, it was Blinded III I obtained and solved most recently - and I knew straight away that this was one of the puzzles I wanted to write about.

The copy I received is made from Purpleheart and Curly Maple and is actually my first puzzle that I’ve received with Purpleheart being a material component. I definitely want more purple puzzles at some point, they really are lovely. Anyway, onto the actual puzzling part of the puzzle.

Curly Maple exterior, Purpleheart for the lid and knobs

Now, before delving too far in, I’d like to mention that this was my fourth Dedwood Crafts puzzle that I’d solved, with Angry Walter, Menace and Space Case preceding it (in that order too). So I knew what potential trickery could and most likely would be used - spoiler alert, none of that prior solving knowledge helped me. AT. ALL.

Back left to right: Blinded 3, Angry Walter

Front left to right: Menace, Space Case

Make no mistake that this is a hard puzzle. Like really hard. I’ve seen numerous people mention that Space Case is the hardest of Dee’s boxes, but coming straight off the back of solving Space Case, I think that Blinded 3 might take the top difficulty spot for me (so far, of course). The box actually surprised me when it arrived, as from the pictures I’d seen online, it wasn’t clear to me that there is not just one knob on the puzzle, and that the puzzle is symmetrical with a knob on the other side too. It’s kind of like if another of Dee’s boxes, Portal, had been manufactured incorrectly, but of course - there are no mistakes with Blinded III. Everything is deliberate.

Symmetrical knob action

After sitting with it a while, trying to find what the first move would be, I was able to make a single discovery that would allow me to go through the initial step in the puzzle. It was here where I’d realised just how blind this puzzle is - and was loving every moment of trying to decipher what was going on inside this chunky wooden annoying mysterious thing. Over the course of the next few nights, Blinded III got hours of my attention. The problem being is that the discovery I’d already made on my first session, was practically my start and end point for about four nights of puzzling. To put it bluntly, I was just doing the same thing over and over, with not even a hint of lid movement.

Even the underside of the puzzle is beautiful

It wasn’t until I understood a key aspect of what might be happening - something that is not present in any of other Dee’s boxes by the way - that I could progress further and make something happen that hadn’t happened before. Obviously to avoid being too spoiler-y, I can’t go into too much detail - but let me tell you that I was smiling and sweating when this thing started to happen that hadn’t happened for the last few nights.

Finally, the whole thing clicked, like literally clicked, and in true Dedwood Crafts fashion, I was rewarded by getting to see just what exactly had been causing my head to work overtime for all of those hours the puzzle had been in my hands.

Removing the lid is the goal of the puzzle

At this point I do think that Dedwood Crafts, and Dee as a whole, just understands what the puzzle experience should and can be. The product is wonderfully made, and the puzzling aspect is something that can be so frustrating, but with small details in place to aid you through the journey and understand the precise mechanisms in play, which in retrospect are so satisfying to observe.

Straight from the horse's mouth -

As mentioned earlier in this post, Blinded III was my 4th puzzle that I’d solved by Dee, and I hope that there are many more to come. My journey for the missing Dedwood Crafts puzzles for my collection continues, and so expect another blog post when/if I obtain some of those. I have also heard that Dee is of course hard at work preparing his next devilish, intuitive, creative, incredible and any other mad adjective you can think of for ‘good’, puzzle right now, and so I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for that, whenever the times comes.

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