Title:
CONCEALED MAZE PUZZLE
United States Patent 3819187


Abstract:
A concealed maze puzzle traversable by sense of touch alone is disclosed. A maze puzzle having depressions of limited depth is provided on the outer surface of a cylinder, the cylinder having a circular base of greater diameter than the cylinder. A can-shaped cover, one end of the can being open, fits over the maze puzzle. The cover is opaque. The can-like cover has a short nub interiorly near but not at the open end thereof. The base is generally made large enough in diameter so that due to the combination of the shortness of the nub, the limited depth of the depressions of the maze, the placement of the nub, and the extension of the diameter of the circular base beyond that of the cylinder one cannot observe the position of the nub as it traverses the maze. The nub is guided through the maze by grasping the base in one hand and the cover in the other. Only a single exit is provided at the top of the maze.



Inventors:
DOWNS G
Application Number:
05/329738
Publication Date:
06/25/1974
Filing Date:
02/05/1973
Assignee:
DOWNS G,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
70/290
International Classes:
A63F9/00; A63F9/06; (IPC1-7): A63F9/08
Field of Search:
273/153R,156 70
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3594005MAZE TOY1971-07-20Vennola
0615381N/A1898-12-06



Foreign References:
CH245319A
GB426585A
Other References:

"Screw Loose," Playthings, March, 1971, page 241..
Primary Examiner:
Oechsle, Anton O.
Claims:
That which is claimed is

1. A hidden maze puzzle traversable by sense of touch alone, comprising, in combination:

2. a circular base having a flat bottom adapted to sit on a horizontal planar surface

3. a cylinder attached to the top of said base coaxially thereto, said cylinder having a diameter which is smaller than the diameter of said base; and

4. a plurality of depressions covering substantially the entire outer cylindrical surface of said cylinder from adjacent the circular base to adjacent the end of the cylinder furthest from the base, said plurality of depressions being disposed to form a plurality of pathways constituting a maze, said maze including a plurality of blocked pathways at least some of said pathways extending parallel to the axis of the cylinder before becoming blocked, a plurality of entry openings leading from adjacent the end of the cylinder attached to said base into said maze, and further including only a single exit opening leading from the end of the cylinder furthest from said base out of said maze, said maze further including a depression entirely circling said cylinder adjacent said base, each of said plurality of entry openings communicating with said cylinder circling depression; and

5. an opaque cylindrical can having one end thereof open, the inner diameter of said can being slightly greater than the outer diameter of said cylinder, said can being adapted to fit over said cylinder with the open end of said can facing said base; and

6. a nub attached to the interior of said can in the vicinity of the open end thereof, said nub being of a length suitable for sliding through the pathways of said maze, the diameter of said base being sufficiently large so as to aid in blocking the view of said nub when observed from the vicinity of said base.

7. A puzzle as in claim 1, wherein said nub is attached to the interior of said can far enough from the open end thereof to help obstruct the view of said nub when observed from the vicinity of said base.

8. A puzzle as in claim 2, wherein said depressions are relatively shallow to further aid in obstructing the view of said nub when observed from the vicinity of said base.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to the art of maze puzzles and more particularly to the art of concealed maze puzzles which are traversed by sense of touch alone.

THE PRIOR ART

Mazes as such are, of course, well-known and old in the art. A number of maze-type puzzles are known in the prior art. Examples of such puzzles may be found, for example, in any of U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,883,265; 2,541,411; 2,563,608; 2,714,511; 3,406,971; 3,610,628; 3,625,516; or 3,689,074. Most mazes are traversed by utilizing the sight of the player to find a path through the maze. A few mazes have been developed which are operated primarily by sense of touch and wherein visibility of the maze is limited. With these mazes, however, it is generally not possible, even after the maze has been solved, to observe the maze through which the player has guided the maze following piece and thereby to appreciate the difficulty of the maze which has been solved.

Further, with prior art concealed mazes it is generally necessary to prepare an entire and complete new maze including a new maze following member if one desired to have a series of mazes of different difficulties. It would be highly desirable if one could provide a concealed maze wherein the maze following member could be used interchangeably with a number of different mazes. It would also be an advantage if a concealed maze puzzle was provided which would sit comfortably and in a level manner upon a simple flat horizontal surface such as a table.

Still further, with prior art concealed maze puzzles it is usually possible to easily determine the position of the maze following member within the maze. This severely limits the degree of difficulty which can be built into the maze.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved concealed maze puzzle.

Another object of the invention is to provide a maze puzzle which relies on the sense of touch of the player alone.

It is another object of the invention to provide a hidden maze puzzle which can sit in a stable manner on a flat horizontal surface.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a concealed maze puzzle which can be fabricated in an inexpensive manner.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a concealed maze puzzle wherein the maze following member thereof can be used interchangeably with a number of mazes of the proper configuration.

A further object of the invention is to provide a relatively long pathway maze in a compact form.

The objects of the invention will become apparent by examination of the detailed description which follows.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention a concealed maze puzzle is disclosed which is traversable by sense of touch alone. The puzzle comprises, in combination:

A. a maze portion, including:

1. a circular base having a flat bottom adapted to sit on a horizontal planar surface,

2. a cylinder attached stop said base coaxially thereto, said cylinder having a diameter which is smaller than the diameter of said base, and

3. a plurality of depressions in the outer cylindrical surface of said cylinder, said plurality of depressions being disposed to form a plurality of pathways constituting a maze, said maze including a plurality of blocked pathways and further including only a single exit opening leading from the end of the cylinder furthest from said base out of said maze; and

B. a cover portion, including:

1. an opaque cylindrical can having one end thereof open, the inner diameter of said can being slightly greater than the outer diameter of said cylinder, said can being adapted to fit over said cylinder with the open end of said can facing said base, and

2. a nub attached to the interior of said can in the vicinity of the open end thereof, said nub being of a length suitable for sliding through the pathways of said maze.

In preferred embodiments of the invention, the extension of the diameter of the circular base beyond that of the cylinder in combination with the shortness of the nub, the limited depth of the depressions of the maze, and the placement of the nub far enough from the open end of the can or cover thereof to obstruct the view of said nub when observed from the vicinity of said base is sufficient so as to block the view of said nub when observed from the vicinity of said base. Said nub is thus preferably short enough and of such material so as to not be easily snapped off and so as to be difficult or impossible to observe from the vicinity of said base.

The invention will be better understood by reference to the drawing which is hereby incorporated herein by reference thereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the concealed maze puzzle of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a section view of the concealed maze puzzle illustrated in FIG. 1 taken along the line 2--2.

FIG. 3 illustrates the maze portion of the concealed maze puzzle in two dimensions; the maze portion which in the puzzle of the present invention is on the external surface of a cylinder, is in FIG. 3 illustrated as being only two-dimensional.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The concealed maze game of the present invention may be formed of any suitable material, but for durability and low cost, it is preferred that it be formed of a plastic material. In order to produce a more durable and/or a more aesthetically pleasing game it may be desirable to utilize other materials. For example, the cover may be made of wood and the maze cylinder can be made of wood or metal. Referring first to FIG. 1, the concealed maze game 1 is illustrated as comprising a base 3, a cylindrical portion 5, which can be solid or hollow attached atop said base and a cover 7 adapted to fit over the cylindrical portion 5 and snugly up against the top 23 of the base 3. A maze is normally formed by depressions 9 in the cylindrical portion 5, which depressions are not illustrated in FIG. 1 but may be seen in detail in FIGS. 2 and 3.

Also illustrated in FIG. 2 is a nub 11 which is attached inside the cylindrical cover 7 in the vicinity of the open end 13. The nub 13 is long enough to protrude into the depressions 9 and is too long to pass over the nondepressed part of the cylindrical portion 5. The depressions 9 are shallow so as to aid in obstructing a players view of the nub 13 from the vicinity of the base 3. The nub 11 is preferably relatively short in length of provide extra strength and can be of a material, usually metal, other than the cover and also so that a player attempting to solve the maze cannot observe the position of the nub 11 when viewing the puzzle from the vicinity of the base 3. The nub 11 is also illustrated as being attached to the cover 7 interiorly thereof and far enough from the open end thereof to obstruct the view of said nub 11 when observed from the vicinity of the base 3. In FIG. 2, the nub 11 is shown resting in a connecting trough 15 which circles the entire circumference of the cylinder near the point where the cylinder 5 joins the base 3. While it is preferred that a connecting trough 15 be present, it is clear that the puzzle operates in the absence of such a trough. The higher portion 17 of the cylinder 5 forms the upraised portion or nondepressed portion of the maze.

Referring now primarily to FIGS. 2 and 3, the operation of the maze puzzle 1 will be readily understood. FIG. 3 shows the maze as it exists upon the cylinder 5 but rolled out for representation in two dimensions. Thus, a relatively long pathway maze puzzle is provided in compact form. The dashed line 19 shows a path whereby the nub 11 can be guided from that portion of the maze puzzle nearest the base 3 through the appropriate depressions 9 of the maze and finally out of the single maze exit or opening 21. As is apparent from FIG. 3, a plurality of entrances 25 can be provided leading into the maze. In FIG. 3, the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H on the left portion of FIG. 3 corresponds to the same latters on the right-hand portion of FIG. 3. Thus, one passing out of the depression 9 at the point designated G on the right-hand portion of FIG. 3 would pass into the maze at the point also designated G at the left-hand portion of FIG. 3. In operation, of course, it is the nub 11 which passes through the depressions 9.

The diameter of the base 3 is sufficiently large so as in combination with the limited depth of the depressions 9, the shortness of the nub 13, and the positioning of the nub 13 far enough from the open end of the cover 7, to obstruct the view of the nub 11 when observed from the vicinity of the base 3. Thus, the combination of using a relatively short nub 11 in conjunction with a base 3 having a diameter larger than the diameter of the cylinder 5, using depressions 9 of limited depth, and placing the nub 13 far enough from the open end of the cover 7 ensures that the player solves the concealed maze game 1 by sense of touch alone.

In practice, the concealed maze game 1 would normally be given to a player with the cover 7 completely concealing the maze portion, the open end of the cover 13 being in the vicinity of the base 3. The player would then hold the base portion in one hand, for example the left hand and would attempt to remove the cover 7 by grasping it, for example, in the right hand and guiding the nub 11 through sense of touch along through the corridors or depressions 9 on the cylinder 5. Because of the anti-peeking provisions provided, the player could not even determine, in the most preferred embodiment, where the nub 11 is located around the perimeter of the cover 7. This is a distinct advantage in making the puzzle more difficult since the player would then have no idea as to where the nub 11 is with respect to the maze upon the cylinder 5 other than by knowing how high up he had managed to move the cover 7. Thus, the player would have no idea as to what portion of the maze to memorize since he would not know what portion of the maze he had originally traversed other than by careful study.

It is clear that a single cover 7 can be used with a number of different mazes upraised upon different cylinders 5. Thus an unusual interchangeability of maze puzzle parts is provided.

The cover 7 must, of course, be made of an opaque material in order to ensure that the concealed maze puzzle is traversable by sense of touch alone. An opaque plastic material is, of course, very suitable as mentioned above. Because of ease of fabrication and to limit expense, it is usually preferred that the cylinder 5 also be made of a plastic material. It is preferred that a relatively durable plastic material be utilized for the cylinder 5 such as for example, a polyester plastic, e.g. polymethylmethacrylate.

While the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention and the limits of the appended claims.