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Cook’s Cupboard

Cook's Cupboard

Picture Frame Puzzles are always a joy to play with. These are some of my favorite packing puzzles and I’m proud to own several different designs in my collection. Dave Janelle, from Creative Crafthouse, makes some of the best puzzles in this category with such varied themes as animals or music instruments. The Cook’s Cupboard, unsurprisingly, is a superbly designed puzzle with gastronomy as its main theme. All the pieces in the puzzle are essential objects a cook must have in his cupboard, from the cleaver to the whisk. There are 11 unique objects with different sizes and shapes, [Read More...]
 
 
 

Tee-Pause

Tee-Pause

Tee-Pause is a great example of how presentation in puzzle designing makes a big difference to distinguish great puzzles from average ones. The puzzle itself is a fancier version of an older packing puzzle, The Four T. There are quite a few versions of this puzzle out there, and I happen to own two of them besides the one you see here, a plastic one and a wooden one. My favorite so far is the Siebenstein-Spiele‘s version, designed by Jürgen Reiche, the Tee-Pause. This packing puzzle is very simple. It consists of only four identical T-shaped pieces that [Read More...]
 
 
 

Auge

Auge

Jean Claude Constantin continues to surprise me, even after I’ve seen all kinds of original and outstanding designs from him. The latest addition to my collection is Auge (German for ‘eye’ – and curiously, Portuguese for peak), and at first sight it doesn’t look that peculiar. It’s only after you unfold it that it truly reveals its form, and it’s nothing short of amazing. Auge has an equilateral triangular shape made of two contrasting wood colors and covered with a sheet of transparent acrylic in both sides. At the center you can see a wheel, which is actually a two-layer wheel united [Read More...]
 
 
 

Tangram Puzzle

tangram

Tangrams are one of the world’s oldest and most popular puzzles. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of sets of these puzzles that have been sold over the years. This is a well-made and packaged set at a very reasonable price. It comes with a booklet of 87 puzzles to challenge you. In other words, 87 different puzzles to solve. If you think that is a lot; that’s just the beginning of your fun with this puzzle. There are thousands of other Tangram puzzles that you can find in other books or even on the net. Jerry Slocum, one of [Read More...]

 
 
 

1 2 3

1 2 3

1 2 3. A strange name for a puzzle, right? Apparently, not only Jean Claude Constantin‘s puzzles are very original, but their names are quite unconventional sometimes. Well, the name is not random. It actually has a pretty good reason to be simply called “1 2 3″. Read on. 1 2 3 can be described as a hidden maze with movable parts, or a dynamic maze. There’s a steel ball inside and your task is to guide it through the exit. Easier said than done, since you can’t really see what’s going on inside. The puzzle is made from several [Read More...]
 
 
 

Who’s the Boss?

Who's the Boss

Siebenstein-Spiele is fast becoming one of the best puzzle manufacturers out there. Their puzzles always have something fresh in their designs. You might have seen similar concepts before, whether they’re slide piece puzzles, packing puzzles or even interlocking puzzles, but their approach to visual appealing designs is their strong suit. To my knowledge, all of the Siebenstein-Spiele mechanical puzzles are designed by Jürgen Reiche. Note that the company also publishes interesting board games, but even those are also designed by Jürgen, with the exception of maybe a couple of them. Also, judging by the number of new puzzles I keep seeing [Read More...]
 
 
 

Marguerite

Marguerite

If proof was needed that Jean Claude Constantin has the most varied puzzle ideas you ever saw from a single designer, then the Marguerite is the perfect example. It has such a simple concept it’s hard to believe why this hasn’t been designed before. The puzzle is very well made, from laser-cut wood and despite its large petal count, it’s actually pretty light. The reason is because the type of wood used for laser-cutting is much less dense than regular wood. Manipulating the puzzle feels effortless and natural, and the movement is smooth. The dimensions are actually about the same as [Read More...]
 
 
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