|(Click to Enlarge)|
Just yesterday I was talking about how Jean Claude Constantin gets his inspiration to design puzzles and how most of the times it's a complete mystery. And like yesterday's review, where we might have caught a glimpse of how his mind works, today's puzzle lifts the veil a little more. Blumenlaby 6, a stunning work of art and craftsmanship is among his best works yet, and his inspiration came certainly from the beautiful geometric Arabic patterns.
The name, even though I'm uncertain, suggests there might be more versions of the puzzle out there. Indeed, I know of at least another version, the Blumenlaby 8, but I've only seen these two and they're not widely available. At first sight, the two versions look identical, so I'd have to see the two side by side to make a comparison. The only noticeable difference is that the Blumenlaby 6 is a little bit smaller compared to the Blumenlaby 8 (both 13cm and 17.5cm in diameter respectively). Even though the Blumenlaby 6 is smaller you won't find it much difficult to see where you should go at all times. If feels quite comfortable to handle and maneuver.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Backside View|
The puzzle consists of two seemingly identical mazes in appearance but they're actually different in the way the paths are cut in the wooden walls. Between the two mazes is an acrylic plate full of holes where the ball can go from one maze to the other. Starting in one side, the goal is to navigate the ball to the exit on the opposite side. You'll be jumping constantly from one maze to the other by just falling into the holes in the acrylic, but be careful with dead-ends. Some backtracking might be needed.
I can describe this concept as an easier and less complex version of the Xmatrix Quadrus. The pattern, however, is much more impressive in the Blumenlaby, despite its smaller size. Solving the puzzle was actually a bit disappointing knowing it has a difficulty level of 4/5. It took me about two or three minutes to free the ball from the maze. Even though it needs a bit of dexterity to move the ball around, I was expecting a more challenging task. Suspecting this might've been just a fluke, I tried to solve it again and it took about the same time. The third time was even shorter...
|(Click to Enlarge) - Solved|
The Blumenlaby 6 is a gorgeous design and one that should not be missed, despite being easier than it looks. Nevertheless, it's a wonderful puzzle to play with and looks great anywhere you put it. It's perfect to convince a non-puzzler of how awesome puzzles are.
Availability: My copy of the Blumenlaby 6 came from Brilliant Puzzles but, unfortunately, it's out of stock at the moment. You can check back the site often or, in the meantime, browse other puzzles from Constantin that are currently available.