It turns out that much of Houdini’s magic is based on what mathematicians like to call topological puzzles – puzzles of such lasting folk-worthiness that they’ve been handed down through the ages, as this recent stamp from Greenland, honoring such, so clearly demonstrates.
The first puzzle, I’m glad to say, the one marked “Beginner 1,” is fairly easy to assemble. Even I was able to figure out how to tie Houdini to the trap cage using only a rope and the metal ring. And, subsequently, completely flummoxed by my attempts to figure out how to release Houdini from the illustrated entrapment. Completely.
After some deliberation, I decided to evaluate, shall we say, the clarity of the solution videos. And, upon clicking my way over to the appropriate link, beheld an amazing feat of graphic clarity which I could almost follow, but which immediately led me to exclaim something like “What?” and then “Who Knew?” and then, upon third viewing, to achieve the necessary clarity to make the attempt. And, behold, after only two more viewings, it proved to be child’s play.
What we have here is Major Fun of historic proportions. Truly challenging puzzles that tie your puzzle-solving centers into conceptual knots. Puzzles whose solutions are often so surprising that they make you laugh most entirely. And the ingenious use of the computer to support both the making and unmaking of the puzzles makes the whole thing so much more fun – just knowing that real, carefully illustrated help is only a click or two away is almost all you need to keep you happily engaged.
Designed by Nicholas Cravotta and Rebecca Bleau, Houdini is recommended for people who are mature enough to understand the joy of deep challenge.