In the film Tomb Raider (2018) there is a wooden puzzle with rotating sections. See this section of the trailer.

Is the one featured in the trailer built in the style of/based on a real puzzle?

See additional images here:

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Note: here are the descriptions of the prop puzzles, which imply they are not actual functioning puzzles:

This prop item includes a puzzle box with a key, note and photo inside the secret drawer. This item measures approximately. 4 by 2.5 inches. The puzzle box is brown with gold details. It is made of wood with metal details. This puzzle does not have rotating squares. When the gold lever is push up it reveals a secret draw. The drawer contains a gold colored metal key, a rolled note and folded photo. A total of 3 similar puzzle boxes in this style were received (each vary in style of function). However this it the only one that includes a hidden drawer w/ a key, note & photo. Others in different style will be listed separately.

This Prop Item is brown w/ gold colored details, made of wood w/ metal details, measures approximately 4 by 2.5 inches and is in good condition. The squares on this item will rotate if you pull back on them. if you push the gold lever up it will give the appearance that a drawer is popping out. However, this item does not have a complete drawer. A total of 3 similar puzzle boxes were received from production (each vary in style of function) however this is the only rotating one received. Others will be listed separately.

  • As a comment: Even if Lara is super adept at solving these kind of puzzles, most of them are still based on trial and error and therefore they need time. There are some YouTubers out there showing how to solve these and for the harder ones they usually take a lot of time, like at least an hour. However, in the movie this would be really boring.
    – Ian
    Apr 17, 2018 at 12:44
  • In the film Lara says: > Karakuri. Japanese puzzle.
    – Ava
    Jan 3, 2021 at 4:15

2 Answers 2


Yes, it's very common "puzzle". Usually called Codex or Cryptex.


Similar thing was present in DaVinci Code and it was part of DVD box Set daVinci DVD opening


Turkish Puzzle Boxes also hold some of the same intrigue. Some are really simple but others can be many precise steps to open.


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