A Puzzle in a Can

Jake Wakefield is an artist who specializes in metalwork. For a school project, he was tasked with the theme of “hidden meaning.” Cryptix, as he calls this piece, was his response. And, yes, the title is from Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

It consists of two copper tubes with a liver of sulfur patina. They fit neatly within each other, measuring 8 inches long and 2 inches across. There’s a pin inside the outer cylinder. To separate them, you must twist them, moving the pin along a maze-like path. If you know the path, it takes only a minute or two to unlock the puzzle. But, so far, only Mr. Wakefield has been able to do it.


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