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If Jean Claude Constantin's designs weren't already varied enough, he also makes awesome puzzle boxes. The puzzle box you see here is the Einstein Box - curiously enough my #1000 puzzle - and utilizes the same basic concept seen in other hidden mechanism puzzles, the Schloss, for example.
The Einstein Box is relatively small, measuring 8 x 8 x 5cm (3.1" x 2"), and it's very light. It's made from laser cut wood, probably plywood, but the design itself is very pleasing with a lighter tone for the box and a contrasting dark tone for the symbol, glued at the lid.
Like any other puzzle boxes, if you're used to them, the object is to figure out the secret mechanism that keeps them locked. Some require multiple steps, but this one, however, needs only one. At the time I ordered it I didn't know exactly how the mechanism worked, but figured it right away the first time I picked it up and looked at it in more detail.
I had already opened a few puzzles from Constantin that make a clever use of this mechanism and, unfortunately for me, it was opened in a matter of seconds. It's like a magician trying to trick another magician. Once you know how this type of mechanism works you pretty much can open any puzzle that makes use of it.
The box did require a couple of tries to actually be opened, because the mechanism was a little jammed, but since I knew it had to opened like that I just kept at it until it was opened, still within half a minute or so. For someone that doesn't know how the mechanism works, this can be tricky though. If you happen to figure out how the box is supposed to open but you don't succeed, keep insisting and it will eventually open. Just give it a couple of gentle taps and the mechanism should unjam itself no problem. This might be due to the cut tolerances that aren't exactly perfect, as this is wood after all. Nevertheless, you should be able to solve it without much trouble, as this isn't a very difficult puzzle.
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As a fan of Jean Claude Constantin's puzzles and puzzle boxes, this is the perfect marriage. The Einstein Box is gorgeous, and although I knew how to solve it right away, I still enjoyed it, and it's definitely a must-have for any collector, especially if you also happen to love puzzle boxes.
Availability: You can get the Einstein Box at Sloyd.fi for €24.70.