That pretty much describes most of The Sacred Rings. It seems like the "what the hell" moments just never end and solving each new challenge - while giving you an immense sense of accomplishment - will leave you more confused than before.
Of course, if you're one of those aforementioned misogynistic old-school adventure gamers, you'll probably relish every single head-scratchin' second of The Sacred Rings.
And that really sums up the game and its place in the market. Only fans of the classic genre will really find much to get excited over in The Sacred Rings. The story is forgettable, the characters are lame, but the puzzles are definitely challenging.