US 3540731 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Raymond L. Muncey 4285 Balliette Drive, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452  Appl. No. 748,878  Filed July 30, 1968  Patented Nov. 17, 1970  PUZZLE MAZE WITH MOVABLE PARTITIONS 3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs. 52'] us. Cl 273/109 ] Int. Cl A63b 67/14  Field ofSearch 273/109, 108, 153, 153(8), (Consulted)  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,011,266 8/1935 Boynton 273/153 3,148,884 9/1964 Steinhardt 273/153X FOREIGN PATENTS 2,613 10/1906 Great Britain 273/109 l,298,367 6/1962 France 273/134 Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Thomas Zack Attorney-Clarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson ABSTRACT: A base plate has tracks formed therein for accommodating removable denticulated slide members which cooperate with fixed partition elements connected to the base plate transversely positioned between adjacently positioned tracks. The slide members and partition elements form a maze pattern. A ball is positioned within the maze and moved therethrough by a player. The slide members may be removed and repositioned to permit a large number of different maze patterns.
Patented Nov. 17, 1970 28 2 3 b v x\\ Raymond L. Muncey IN VIENI'OK.
Annmqs QM and The present invention relates to games and more particularly to a maze pattern having a variable configuration.
The puzzle maze is an age old game which challenges the player to move a ball through the maze from a sta rting point to a remotely situated exit point. Prior game structures have included a stationarily positioned maze pattern which limits the player. As a result, once a path through the maze has been successfully learned, continuing challenge istermin'ated.
The present invention permitsthe sliding insertion of maze obstacle members so that a very large number of pattern combinations may be easily obtained. Thus, the present invention provides flexibility which continually challenges the skill of a player.
These together with other objects and advantages which wil become subsequently apparent reside in the details of con and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the present puzzle maze.
FIG. 2 is a. vertical cross-sectional view taken along a plane passing through section line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken along a plane passing through section line 3-3 of FIG. 1 illustrating the track formation permitting insertion of sliding members in the maze.
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view illustrating the relationship ofa slide member to the maze structure.
Referring specifically to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, reference numeral generally denotes the present puzzle maze and is seen to include atop coveror plate 12 fabricated from a suitable transparent material such as Lucite" or the like. A base plate 14 is positioned in spaced underlying relation to the-top cover 12. A first lateral wall 16 is connected to the base plate 14 and extends upwardly therefrom for attachmentto the cover plate 12. A second op- -14 and 18 and include square apertures 24 formed in the outward upward corners thereof for permitting passage of a ball 25 therethrough.
The spaces defined between confronting edges of slat members 18 define entrances to longitudinally aligned tracks or grooves 26 extendingacross the breadth of the base plate 14. As particularly shown in FIG. 3, each of these aforemen tioned grooves 26 may be characterized by an inverted T cross section.
Tabular members or partitions 28 in the form of parallelpipeds are connected to the base plate 14 at irregularly spaced intervals along the length of each track. More particularly, the majority of the partitions are disposedtransversely between adjacently positioned tracks 26. However, a certain number of partitions are disposed between the laterally outward tracks and adjacently positioned lateral walls 22.
The maze pattern is completed by a number of partition members 30 disposed perpendicularly to the first-mentioned partition members 28. These latter-mentioned partition members 30 are connected to a number of slide members 3l which may be characterized by. their denticulated construction. As noted in FIG. 4, the partition members or dentiform elements 30 vary in size and the space between adjacent partition members is varied so that the ball may pass through only certain spaces along a denticulated slide 31. In actual construction, the partition members are integrally, connected to an elongated bar or base member characterized by an inverted T- shaped cross section including a lower horizontal rib portion 32 and a vertical portion 34. By viewing FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the denticulated slide with its inverted T-shaped base member is adapted for sliding insertion within a similarly inverted T-shaped groove or track 26.
When utilizing the puzzle maze 10, the combination of inserted denticulated slide members 31 and fixed partition members 28 form an alley or path through the maze, in a conventional manner. The ball 25 may be inserted into any of the four apertures 24 and the user of the game attempts to force displacement of the ball 25'through the maze for final exit through an oppositely and laterally disposed aperture. It is emphasized that the novelty of the present invention does not reside in a particular maze pattern but rather resides in the capability of the maze pattern to be constantly rearranged by sliding any number of denticulated slide members 31 outwardly and reinserting them in new tracks. Thus, as will be appreciated, the present invention permits an astronomical number of combinations and permutations of maze patterns to perpetually challenge the skill of a player.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only ofthe principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. A maze structure comprising a base plate, a plurality of parallel-spaced tracks formed in said base plate, a plurality of partition members connected to said base plate, each said member extending transversely between adjacent tracks, a plurality of slide members having serially spaced denticulations, the slide members being removably insertable within respective tracks, the denticulations contacting the partition members to form maze walls, and a ball enclosed in the maze for movement restrained by the walls.
2. A maze structure comprising a base plate, a plurality of parallel spaced tracks formed in said base plate, a plurality of partition members connected to said base plate, each said member extending transversely between adjacent tracks, a plurality of denticulated slide members removably insertable within a respective track, said slide members cooperatively positioned with said partition members to form a maze, each said slide member including an elongated bar portion characterized by an inverted T-shaped cross section adapted for engagement by a track, said bar portion mounting a preselected number of adjacently spaced and longitudinally aligned dentiform elements.'
3. The combination .ofclaim 2 including a housing for partially enclosing said maze, said housing including an entrance along one edge thereof to permit insertion of said slide members along said tracks.