I’ve been pointing out for a while that both Jean Claude Constantin and Jürgen Reiche (from Siebenstein-Spiele) have very similar designs, but I’ve always been able to distinguish them apart. Today, though, was the first time I mistook Constantin for Reiche, and the culprit was the Snowflake, a beautiful and elegant puzzle with a snowflake-like pattern on both the frame and its pieces. I like and respect both designers, so if they come up with similar ideas, my collection thanks them.
Like the name suggests, the Snowflake puzzle has an intricate pattern similar to the ones found in nature. All made with laser-cut wood in two different tones, Snowflake consists of 19 different pieces packed in a symmetrical frame. In its solved state the puzzle doesn’t show any empty spaces and, at first sight, it’s really difficult to see the edges of each individual piece. The goal is to take out all the pieces and then find a way to fit them all in the frame again. Prepare for one hell of a challenge…
This puzzle is rated as a difficulty level 9/10, but so far, it might as well be a level 10, as I haven’t been able to solve it yet. The structure of the pieces is very complex, which hampers the solving process and makes trial and error your only option. Each hexagonal piece has three types of edges: a straight or flat edge; a pointy edge; and a dented edge. Any of the 19 pieces you choose will have a different combination of these types of edges, therefore making the solution extremely difficult.
To make matters worse, the pieces are single-sided, meaning you can’t use the backside in the solution, since it’s not decorated with the engraved details. I can’t be sure of how many solutions are there, but if I had to bet, I’d say there’s only one, given the shape of the unique pieces and the way they interact with each other.
Whether it’s a Siebenstein-Spiele puzzle or a Constantin one, you can be sure of one thing: their puzzles are very well made and challenging, and will be an excellent addition to any collection. As for the Snowflake, this one is highly frustrating, so go for it only if you’re very patient.
Availability: You can find the Snowflake puzzle at PuzzleMaster for $30.99 CAD. If you like Siebenstein-Spiele, then check out their other designs.