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Usually, most of the packing puzzles you see are either made with square/rectangle or circular trays - Pretty bland in terms of design. Siebenstein-Spiele, by the hands of the extremely prolific Jürgen Reiche, not only escaped from the traditional shapes, but also made a beautiful and original puzzle, The Moon (Mond), in the shape of a waning crescent Moon.
Made with two wood colors to differentiate between the pieces, the puzzle is quite small considering the average size for packing puzzles, measuring 8cm x 6cm (3.1" x 2.4"). Honestly, in this particular design, I'd rather see a unique color for the pieces (dark brown) to make it more challenging, and also because I believe it would've made more sense aesthetically.
Comprised by seven uniquely and irregularly shaped pieces, The Moon actually presents two challenges: the one you already see, where you just need to pack the pieces inside the small area; and a second challenge, much harder, where the goal is to make a cross with the very same pieces. The puzzle is classified as a level 8/10, and I totally agree with it. It's quite challenging.
The first challenge took me about 5 minutes to solve. Probably a difficulty 6/10. The reason is because you already have the outline of the shape you're supposed to do in the tray. Since most of the pieces have a circular edge it's easy to see where they should go. This is not the case with the cross. You can't see the boarders of the cross - You have to go at it blindly, so to speak. Also, the shape of the pieces make it even harder to visualize the shape, because the cross only has straight lines. That means the circular edges of each piece must be facing inward. My first thought was that I had to build the shape of the cross with the empty spaces between the pieces - The cross shape would only be a single empty space in the middle with the outer edges made with the seven pieces. Not sure if this makes sense to you...
After more than half an hour, I gave up that strategy and thought how else could it be possible to solve this thing. Indeed, the circular edges must be facing inward, but it wasn't that easy to figure it out. I made the connection when I was trying to put together two pieces side by side and noticed that part of the cross was visible. A few minutes later, I had finally solved it. This is one tough nut to crack...
Solution: You can download a solution here.
The Moon (Mond) is an absolutely stunning little puzzle. It's small size is deceptive, so don't underestimate it. It's also a beautiful decoration piece for your work desk or a coffee table, and surely will be the topic of many conversations. Hopefully you can convince some friends to join the puzzle craze.
Availability: The Moon (Mond) is available at PuzzleMaster for just $11 CAD. For more Siebenstein-Spiele designs click here.