Saturday, May 21, 2016

Renegade Rabbits

Opinions vary, but one commonly held belief around these parts is that the puzzle boxes appear to have multiplied. I really couldn't say about the validity of that supposition, but if such a thing were even remotely accurate, I would have to blame, of course, the rabbits. They appear to be quite pleasant and innocuous, a charming pair of benign bunnies minding their own business on the shelf. But they are most assuredly, in the immortal words of Alan Rickman, "up to something". The particular perpetrators in question here are the work of Yoh Kakuda, one of the Karakuri Creation Group of puzzle box artisans based in Hakone, Japan.

Two-Tricks by Yoh Kakuda

His work almost always takes the form of an animal or contains an animal theme. His puzzles are lovely, approachable, often adorable and usually easy to solve. This does not diminish the beauty of his artistry. I do like a challenging puzzle, though, and this one has more than his usual set of simple opening moves. You might say he has a few "tricks" up his sleeve. In his "Two Tricks", the aforementioned rabbits are, from all outward appearances, calmly contemplating a tasty looking little mushroom from atop their little box. The box itself rests upon a set of tiny feet, a nice additional touch. Don't let looks deceive you, however; these wascally wabbits are not so sweet. They both want that mushroom, you see. No sharing for such a tiny treat. They are carefully plotting and, unbeknownst to one another, have each set a trap for the other. In "Two Traps", you will have to keep your wits about you if you want to outsmart these fluffy fiends.

Don't be fooled, these rabbits are "up to something"

Perhaps these rabbits are not as bad as they seem. At least they are not about to kill each other, or you for that matter. Not like that ancient menace of olde, once referred to as "the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on." Sure, that cute little bunny looked like a mere harmless hare, but it had "nasty, big, pointy teeth" and could decapitate an armed knight with a single bite. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you'll have to trust me when I say the mere description of that bloodthirsty thumper made Sir Robin soil his armor. Maybe you are not a Monty Python fan, or have not ever seen "The Holy Grail" movie. You can still enjoy the cocktail created by New York's Giuseppe Gonzalez. That's right, there's a cocktail named "The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog" and you can get it at the Suffolk Arms in NYC.  

The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog by Guiseppe Gonzalez

Combining Pimms with scotch is one thing, but adding carrot and cucumber juice turns this cocktail rabid. Or rabbit, that is. It's a clever homage and a nice springtime sipper. Anything with Pimms is a good idea, after all. Like the " London Calling " which turns from a gin and tonic into a Pimms cup I wrote about to celebrate Brian Young's Big Ben puzzle. Go mix yourself up something refreshing and watch the Holy Grail again while you're at it. Here's to bad bunnies, harrowing hares, and renegade rabbits. Cheers!

With friends like these ...

The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog by Giuseppe Gonzalez:
1 1/2 ounces Pimm's
1/2 ounce Scotch, preferably Monkey Shoulder
1 ounce carrot juice
1/2 ounce cucumber juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
soda to top
Shake together and strain into a tall glass or mug.

For more about Kakuda Yoh:

For the "London Calling" Pimm's cocktail please see:

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