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Deal of the Week: This week, you can get 15% off on all Siebenstein-Spiele puzzles. You just need to mention my blog when you place your order. Offer valid until April 25.
Pentominos are probably the most recognizable shapes in packing puzzles and certainly the most used in puzzle design. There are literally countless ways to design a puzzle using the 12 known shapes (a pentomino is comprised of five equal units joined together), but the puzzle you see above actually has more than 12 pieces, it has 20, albeit having duplicates. It was designed by Jürgen Reiche and produced by Siebenstein-Spiele.
What's different about this puzzle - from all other pentomino puzzles for that matter - is that the pieces were cut with a 40 degree angle, making it all the more challenging. There are several shapes for you to try with the included instructions, using all or some of the pieces, but if you're used to this type of puzzles you know that there many other shapes to try and build, way too many to count.
(Click to Enlarge) - Included Challenges
The Pentominos "40 Degrees" were made in Siebenstein style, using different wood tones to create a dramatic effect in contrast. The shape of the tray is like three rhombi were fused together and, despite the small size of the pieces, it turned out pretty nicely, measuring 24cm x 10cm (9.4" x 4").
When analyzing the pieces, I noticed that despite there were identical pentominoes, the pieces themselves weren't identical, because of the 40 degree treatment. Even if you flip both apparently identical pieces their shape is slightly different, depending on where they belong in the tray. This can actually be turned to your advantage, since you can see where each piece might go in spite of another similar pentomino. I also found that building any shape other than the one outlined by the tray's shape is much more difficult. It's basically a visualization problem, because out of the tray it's harder to see where the limits of the shape are. I was constantly counting the units on a particular shape's perimeter to check if I was solving it correctly. The tilt on the pieces is also hard to get used to, but with practice you'll get better. The more shapes you solve, the better you adjust.
(Click to Enlarge) - All 20 Pieces and a 10x6 Shape (12 Pieces)
The Pentominos "40 Degrees" will keep you occupied as long as you like. The countless shapes you can build with the 20 pentominoes will surely challenge you for years to come. I applause Siebenstein for turning a known concept into something original and challenging.
Availability: You can get a copy of the Pentominos "40 Degrees" at Sloyd for €19.50. This week, you can get a 15% discount on this puzzle and all others from Siebenstein-Spiele. You just need to mention my blog upon placing your order. Offer valid until April 25.