This is quite simply named 'Bottle No.1'. I know...it doesn't really give much away does it? But despite it's rather generic name it does in fact have a very clever and (I thought) unexpected solution. And it is designed and made by Wil Strijbos (Aluminium Cylinder) in the Netherlands.
The inside of the bottle looks a bit like this:
The goal sounds pretty simple (don't they always?); remove the ball bearing from the bottle. There's no funny business going on here, the bottle is a genuine glass Coca Cola bottle. There is a plastic rod running into the bottle, and there is a nut and bolt running through it at the lower end to stop it from being removed. Also, half way along the rod is a cut-out portion.
Once you have it in your hands you will automatically know what you have to do, and odds are you'll have an idea on how to go about it. On my first try I managed to partially solve this puzzle, but then I hit a wall and actually gave up for a while. I even started toying with the idea that this particular puzzle might be defective.
I returned this bottle to Ali (who loaned it to me) just before we headed up to Birmingham for the Gadget Show and the Midlands Puzzle Party No.2. Once we were there I noticed that Allard also had a copy of Wil's Bottle No.1 on the table, and he was also stuck at exactly the same point that I was! On the drive back home a new idea came to me about how to go about solving the puzzle, and it turned out that I was right!
For such a simple looking puzzle it took me on a bit of a wild goose chase trying to solve it. It has a very simple and original design, solving it really is a great laugh and it has an absolutely awesome 'ah-ha' moment to it!
I believe that Wil still has some of these available along with several other of his bottle designs that I also intend to review here in the near future, so get in touch with him if you're interested.