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Saturday 4 June 2011

Bottle No.1 (Wil Strijbos)

I have to admit that this is the first puzzle of this type that I have properly sat down and solved from start to finish. The look of bottle puzzles never really appealed to me for some reason, but after trying this one out I think I'll definitely be more open to them in the future.

This is quite simply named 'Bottle No.1'. I 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.


  1. Hi Oli,

    I have just got this one too - I also have managed the first move (at least I hope that I have done it right!) and am stuck on the second part. I've obviously tried repeating the first move again with the remaining piece and so far, have not got a clue. I am glad to hear from your experience that this doesn't mean I have a defective model. I will need to choose my time right as the constant clinking of the marble in the bottle is driving the missus mad!! :-D


  2. I reckon part 2 is diabolical, vintage Strijbos! Fantastic puzzle bottle because it looks so darn simple and innocent...yet...

  3. Seriously worried I'm going to smash this bottle with my increasingly bizarre attempts! Either that or my wife is going to break me for the increasingly loud clattering noises as I try to get the second piece out!

  4. Hehe! Think really hard about what you want to happen Kevin, and then you should work out that there can really only be one method to solve it. ;)

  5. Bugger!!! I managed to undo what I did in the first part!! I had been worrying about how I was going to do that but I had hoped to solve it first!!!

    I can do the first part at will now - which is a relief but still working on the next step! I've thunk reeelly reeelly hard about what I really want and if world peace is a no-go then can I open this puzzle?

  6. Can someone tell me how to do this...

  7. Any hints you could offer for the second part would be most welcome and a lovely festive gift, should we be considering introducing something new to assist or can it all be done with hands, brains, the puzzle and time???

    Many thanks

    1. I don't generally like posting hints directly as comments as I don't want to spoil the puzzle for others. But if you'd like to email me I'd be happy to let you know if you're on the right track.


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