This is my third review for the Paradigm Puzzles collection, manufactured by Family Games America and designed by William Waite. The collection features six packing puzzles, each with a beautiful pattern and complex geometry.
This time I chose the Interlace Diamond, based on an Arabic pattern. The puzzle consists of 12 different laser-cut pieces that need to be packed inside the wooden frame. Actually, they don’t need to be packed, because the puzzle is shipped in its solved state. It’s not a major spoiler, though, because you can’t see the outline of each individual piece. It’s up to you to find the courage to remove the pieces and try your luck.
When solved, the appearance of the puzzle is rather attractive. The pattern is comprised by hexagon shapes repeated throughout the frame and overlapping each other in about 45 degrees creating this mesmerizing mesh of interlacing lines. The pieces are a bit on the small size, but I’m sure you won’t have any problems packing them. The tray measures about 11cm in diameter (4.3″).
The Interlace Diamond is quite a difficult puzzle to solve. It’s rated as a level 8/10 and from what I experienced it’s just about right. As you can see from the photo below the pieces are cut in very odd shapes and this makes your task quite challenging. The first part is to correctly place the first piece. While this sounds like a simple thing to do, it’s actually a bit tricky to get a feel for the correct orientation of each piece. By the way, the pieces can only be used on one side, since the backside does not feature the same markings found on the opposite one. It’s because of these markings that it’s extremely difficult to see the outline of the pieces when the puzzle is on its solved state.
After you get the first couple of pieces seemingly correctly placed, the puzzle will get progressively easier. On a side note, I say “seemingly”, because it might happen that your first pieces, while fitting correctly in the tray, may not belong there, and you need to swap them with other ones. Assuming you got the first pieces right, it’s just a matter of persistence and patience until you manage to solve it. It took me about half an hour to finally place the 12 pieces on the frame. Excluding rotations, I believe this has a unique solution.
William Waite is a great craftsman, and the Paradigm Puzzles are a great example of his magnificent work. Although the Interlace Square is still my favorite in the collection, the Diamond is a close second. If you can, and if you’re into packing puzzles I really recommend the whole collection – It’s worth every cent.