History of a Hedgehog in the Cage puzzle

 

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The first report of the puzzle Hedgehog in the cage was supposedly in the catalog US Trick & Novelty Co. from 1886! Unfortunately, the search for more information in the library of Congress from Washington DC and The Strong Museum in Rochester New York hasn't been succesfull and the year 1886 has not been confirmed with certainty. The evidence, however, is in the newspaper The American Stationery on April 18, 1895.

 

 

The first appearance of the puzzle was not a physical object. It was featured in a magazine series of adventure stories for boys written by Jaroslav Foglar, publisher from 1940. The heroes of the on-going series were a group of Prague boys who called themselves “Fast Arrows“. Their adventure took place in an area called “Shadow District”.

 

 

Shadow Trilogy:

 

1. The Mystery of a Puzzle (1940)

In the Shadow District, the oldest part of the city, boys call themselves Vonts and keep the rules of their organization secret from the boys from other districts. The gang's history is linked with a mysterious puzzle – Hedgehog in the cage. In the district called The Other Side, five friends meet regularly in the club of the group the Fast Arrows. It is Mirek Dušín, Jarka Metelka and Jindra Hojer and two boys nicknamed Red Cap and Fast Leg. They want to introduce the readers of their magazine, called Tom-Tom, to the history of the puzzle. But the Cat Paw Brotherhood with its own magazine Collector is faster. Its members – Long Pole, Bristle and Bohouš – also similarly succeed in the next issue, mysteriously learning about and publishing a story of the orphan Jan Tleskač, a locksmith's apprentice, who tragically died years ago, falling from the bell tower of the St James church. Its old sexton told the Fast Arrows about him.

 

The five boys secretly infiltrate the Shadow District (with yellow pins in the lapel - the symbol of the Vonts) where preparations for the election of the Big Vont are being held. Both the candidates – Losna and Mažňák – try to get voters. The Fast Arrows find Tleskač's diary and thus learn about an invention whose plan was hidden by the talented boy in the hedgehog inserted in the cage. The boys almost separate in fear that a traitor is among them, but then they fortunately discover a device by which the Brotherhood was bugging them. The boys find out from a part of the diary that Tleskač was threatened by the locksmith's master, named Em, who wanted to get hold of his ingenious invention – a flying bicycle. The Fast Arrows help the upright and noble Losna win over the malicious Mažňák in the elections. They show Losna how to remove the hedgehog – the talisman of the Vont organization – from the cage after Tleskač's description in the diary. But the deceitful Em – Mažňák's father, who murdered his apprentice Tleskač years ago – seizes the puzzle and loses it in a gutter where he falls during his escape. The locksmith subsequently dies of an infection caused by the mud. The discovery of the flying bicycle is lost for ever.

 

2. The Shadow district revolts (1946)

 

description is being prepared

 

3. The secret of the Big Vont (1986)

 

description is being prepared

 

* The legendary TV series "The Mystery of a puzzle" was first aired in December 24, 1969.

* Širokko - mysterious figure of the Shadow District

 

 

The adventures proved enormously popular generating fan clubs, collecting, a book series and film version, etc. One of the stories, called The Mystery of a Puzzle, concerned a revolutionary invention of a flying bicycle, the plan which was hidden inside a body of the hedgehog. The description of the puzzle was very specific and the story also included a detailed description of the solution. The key feature of the solution is to locate the biggest cage opening and the longest spike on the body of the hedgehog. Today there are many different versions of this puzzle. The Hedgehog in the Cage is the most famous Czech Puzzle. Over the years various types of this puzzle were created, from wooden, to plastic to metal versions.

 

 

In the year 2009, RADEMIC PUZZLES came up with another classical Hedgehog in the Cage, which was considerably improved technicaly. The next realization of our production was JEŽIVAL '66 in 2010, which was a new form of the original Czech puzzle from the year 1966. In 2011 the Hedgehog was specially modified for ŠKODA AUTO car maker, and in 2012 a new revolutionary model GEN was created. The last act then the Hedgehog ORIGINAL, which is still the most credible implementation Jezek ever created.

 

 

For more information about a Hedgehog in the Cage please visit this website  www.jezcivkleci.cz 

We recommend you to visit a link named  rarities  and  complete history  of a puzzle.

 

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