Sauwetter! is yet another original puzzle from Jean Claude Constantin. Roughly translated as “awful weather”, the concept doesn’t bring anything new to the Packing Puzzles family, but the presentation, like all Constantin’s puzzles, is something out of the ordinary. So, a simple concept of packing pieces into a frame becomes this beautiful object any puzzle collector would be proud to own.
The puzzle is comprised of 9 distinct pieces with different dimensions that need to be all neatly packed inside the board. Each piece is individually engraved with a slightly different umbrella pattern. When solved, the orientation of the pieces is not important. The puzzle’s picture on PuzzleMaster’s website shows the opposite colors of mine, dark pieces on light board. If colors are important to you, make sure you specify which version you’d like before placing your order. It’s not a big puzzle, but for a packing puzzle it has the ideal dimensions with 14.5 x 13.5cm (5.7″ x 5.3″).
This concept reminds me of the Calibron 12 puzzle, where you also needed to pack rectangular pieces inside a frame. There’s a big difference between the two, though… Difficulty. One is almost impossible to solve without a careful mathematical analysis. The other, the one you see here, is easily solvable within 10-20 minutes. The PuzzleMaster’s difficulty rating of 7/10 also denotes a tricky but not frustrating challenge, unlike the Calibron 12.
Like I said, you can solve the Sauwetter! in a few minutes, depending on your approach. I also discovered a couple of different solutions, and it’s possible it has even more. With multiple solutions the puzzle becomes significantly easier to solve, but it can also be seen as a good thing since you can attempt to find all these distinct solutions and have the puzzle around for longer, although with the Calibron you’d probably still have it around unsolved even after discovering all Sauwetter!’s solutions.
With packing puzzles being among my favorites, and Constantin being my favorite puzzle designer, this is all I could ask for. The design is gorgeous and the puzzle is not very difficult to solve. It has the right amount of challenge for a beginner, meaning you could offer it to a friend or loved one. It can be an excellent training exercise if you plan on acquiring the Calibron 12 in the future – Probably the hardest packing puzzle you’ll ever try.
Availability: You can get a copy of the Sauwetter! at PuzzleMaster for $20 CAD. For a wide variety of Constantin’s puzzles, check out PuzzleMaster’s dedicated page.