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A few weeks ago, I reviewed a great puzzle by Puzzle Crafthouse (Creative Crafthouse), the Wine Lovers Puzzle. I was so pleased with by its sheer originality and beauty that I became an instant fan of their Picture Frame Puzzles. Stay tuned for the end of this week's post, as this puzzle will be featured in my upcoming 200th post top 10. Today, I present to you another one of these magnificent puzzles, the Flower Garden - Hawaii.
Designed by Dave Janelle from Creative Crafthouse, the puzzle is a selection of flowers from Hawaii. Eight wooden pieces made with at least four different hardwoods comprise this stunning and elegant Picture Frame Puzzle. Deep cuts in the pieces form additional details and at the same time, indicate which side you're supposed to use, as the backside of the pieces are not so well defined. The tray measures about 18cm in length (7"), which is about the size of a standard Picture Frame.
Rated as a level 3 (as reference, the Wine Lovers Puzzle is a level 3+), I actually found it harder than the previous one, or at least it took me more time to solve. What I like about these puzzles is that each one is completely unique, like it has its own personality. The pieces fit in a specific way, and your previous experiences won't help you that much. That being said, I believe these puzzles have one unique solution (not counting mirrored images or rotations), given the nature of their pieces and how they were thought out.
Many times I found myself struggling even to get seven pieces in the frame, so you can imagine how hard it is to actually fit all eight pieces. When solved, the puzzle still wastes a considerable amount of space, so the goal is to try and waste the least space as you can. Explore the pieces two at the time and see if there's any parts that can connect, sort of like a Jigsaw puzzle, or even pieces that can be placed along the walls of the frame. The connections will be subtle, but as you correctly place two or three, the others will become increasingly easier to pack.
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Even though I liked the Wine Lovers Puzzle more, the Flower Garden - Hawaii is a great looking puzzle and can be played by anyone that remotely likes a good Jigsaw puzzle. And even if you don't like Jigsaw puzzles at all, not to worry, as the Picture Frame Puzzles offer a very satisfying puzzling experience like no other.
Availability: The Flower Garden - Hawaii can be found only at Puzzle Crafthouse for $25 USD. For the same price, you can get a colored acrylic version, if you prefer. For many other puzzles in the Picture Frame category, see this page.
Solution: If you like, you can take a look at the solved puzzle here.