It’s approaching Christmas as I write this and puzzles make great stocking stuffer. The Dinosaur Egg is what is called a mechanical hand held, burr, or take-apart puzzle. It is marketed by many different companies, usually made of wood, but I suppose it is also made of plastic, or even possibly of metal. It goes by many names such a Dinosaur Egg, Football or Rugby, Mulberry, etc. As to difficulty, it is fairly simple; 1 or 2 out of 5. Some puzzles like this can be difficult to take apart, but this one is unusually easy. [Read More...]
Floor is another unique Packing Puzzle from Jean Claude Constantin. This unusual mosaic is reminiscent of a honeycomb pattern, albeit having pentagons instead of hexagons. The puzzle itself looks like it consists of 19 pieces, but in reality only the inner 7 pieces are removable.
The puzzle is made of three layers of what appears to be plywood. The top of the pieces are very well polished and feel smooth to the touch. Size-wise it’s a small puzzle, measuring only 12 x 10.5cm (4.7″ x 4.1″).
The pieces of the Floor puzzle are also very unusual. Each piece [Read More...]
The Puzzle Dice is a beauty of a puzzle, or more appropriately what you would call a brainteaser. It is essentially a 2 3/4 inch dice that is sliced into 9, same shaped pieces. By slicing the dice this way, the pieces end up with the “spots” scrambled. Obviously, the challenge is to reassemble the dice so that the total number of spots on opposite sides always equal 7; as with the regular dice. The Puzzle Dice is a puzzle that looks easier than it is and therefore if left around just about anyone will [Read More...]
2D Packing Puzzles allow for some of the most creative works in puzzle design. This type of puzzles is so versatile that you can do almost anything you can imagine. A great example of such creative design is Martin Watson’s Digigrams (also called Count on Me!).
Digigrams is comprised of 10 pieces representing the numbers in digital form from 0 thru 9. The goal is simple: just pack them into the provided tray. The solution is neatly packed to make the most out of the available space, due to the unusual shape of the pieces.
The puzzle is [Read More...]
This looks more like an optical illusion object than an actual puzzle. The mesmerizing pattern created by these two loops almost gives a sense of movement. Its designer is none other than Jean Claude Constantin.
The 2 Loops is actually a Packing Puzzle with six pieces. Simply remove the pieces from the tray and pack them up again. It’s deceptively easy, considering the complexity of the two shapes. The puzzle is made from two contrasting wood tones, which gives an impression that only the lighter parts can be removed and the others are part [Read More...]
In addition to his wide variety of designs, Jean Claude Constantin also makes puzzles of all types and categories. This time, I have one that requires a good amount of dexterity, the Impuls (Inertia). The German word Impuls might be interpreted to English as impulse or momentum, or as the alternate name Inertia. It’s a very fitting name, as you’ll discover when you try it for yourself.
Impuls, like any other Constantin puzzle, has a very elegant and functional design. This is quite a small puzzle, actually, measuring only 6 x 5 x 5cm (2.4″ x 2″ x [Read More...]
The Andromeda, by Philos, is a fairly well known puzzle among puzzle enthusiasts. It has been around for years, made by several companies and in various sizes. It is a little intimidating, and for good reason. It consists of 12 pieces. There are 4 shapes of pieces with 2 of each. Then there is a 5th shape, of which there are 4. This take-apart wooden puzzle is called a Burr; and there are many different ones available, and they can become very complicated and challenging. This one is given a difficulty level of 7 out of 10. Maybe it [Read More...]