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Tips For Solving Our Puzzles

When it comes to solving problems there are essentially two methods: we can be shown or we can figure it out ourselves. No one will argue that to be shown is the easier of the two methods, but it is indisputable that figuring it out on your own is far more rewarding.

After more than twenty years of designing puzzles it is obvious to us that some people are better at solving puzzles than others. It is unclear to us whether problem solving is a quality that some people are born with or if it is something that certain people have trained themselves to do. We believe that both factors play a part in the gifted puzzle solver's approach.

In order to help bridge the gap between the two types of puzzle solvers we offer the following suggestions. A few we have figured out over the years, and many have been given to us by our customers:

1) Work only within those restrictions that are explicitly stated. For example, "no force is required" means just that. Any force that will deform or damage the puzzle is absolutely unnecessary. Any other restrictions you have, may have originated in your mind and may be hindering rather than helping you.

2) If you've been unsuccessful in doing it one way, look for another way. We all know that a rut is a hard thing to get out of, so why dig yourself one.

3) Sometimes you can get too hung up on details. Try and see the "big picture".

4) Assume that nothing is what it appears to be: no one can fool you better than you can fool yourself.

5) Look for uncommon or unusual ways of using the puzzle's components. Creative thinking is just as important as logic when it comes to puzzle solving.

6) If logic and persistence fail you, take a break. Things often appear clearer after a good night's sleep. Really.

7) Stick with it. Failure is guaranteed only if you quit.

FINAL NOTES:
 
- Don't get discouraged too early in the game. Certain puzzles tend to be more troublesome than others. For example, Pentangle, Squaring Off, Tripwire, Slingshot and Trouble Clef have proven to be particularly nasty. We expect these puzzles to take most people a long time to solve.

- We guarantee that every puzzle made by Livewire Puzzles works smoothly and does not require any deforming or damaging force. We test each one after we build it.

- Give the puzzle your best effort, especially follow suggestion #6. If you still cannot solve the puzzle after six months of effort, and you want the solution, you may email us or send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope and we'll send you the answer.

Good luck.
 
Claudette and Frank


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