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It's time for another Constantin review, and this is a Big one, Rechner BIG. Rechner can be translated from the German as calculator, computer or even arithmetician, so I'm not sure what the designer had in mind when he created the puzzle. What I'm sure of though, is that this is one tough nut to crack.
The name BIG is simply because this is a larger version of a smaller puzzle, although you can only find the large version at Sloyd. Besides its large size, which by the way measures 21cm in diameter (8.3"), the puzzle is also quite heavy, mostly due to the solid metal pieces with 1cm thickness (.4"). With a puzzle this size everything feels great to handle, and even though it's a challenging puzzle you will have lots of fun with it.
The build quality seems quite good, although there are a few spots here and there where the wood looks scratched. I suspect this is because the metal pieces have jagged edges when they could've been just smoothed out. Apart from this the puzzle looks stunning and the deep red wood looks great in contrast with the metal pieces.
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Each of the eight distinct pieces has a perimeter of exactly 5 units and are arranged in a 4x4 grid. When all the pieces are correctly packed inside the frame no empty spaces should be visible. The puzzle comes already packaged in its solved state, so if you want to solve it by yourself without help, I recommend opening it upside down or ask someone to open it for you and remove the pieces from the tray. This is a hard puzzle, so be prepared to spend a while with it. It took me over an hour to solve this one. I reckon one of the reasons why it's so challenging is because it's hard to visualize how to pack the pieces into the tray. Packing six or even seven pieces is quite easy. Rearranging all eight pieces, however, is a whole other matter. I don't know how many solutions are there, but given the nature of the pieces I bet there's a few more to discover.
Another great design by Jean Claude Constantin, Rechner BIG is not only big in size, but in originality as well. The size screams to be displayed in a big room with other nice puzzles. If not for its challenging concept, at least you can look at its superb appearance. Highly recommended for a sophisticated puzzle collection.