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Picture Frame Puzzles are among my favorite type of Packing Puzzles. Yes, most of them are quite difficult to solve, but they're also the type of puzzle that gives a lot of room for creativity. You can do just about anything with a laser cutter and any theme will make a perfect Picture Frame Puzzle. Jean Claude Constantin, once again, does not disappoint and gives us, cat lovers, a stunning puzzle with nine of these lovely felines in all sorts of cute positions, the "Alles Für Die Katz", which literally means "Everything for the Cats". Can you put a stop to the chaos and rearrange all of the cats in the frame?
The design, starting by the frame itself, is in the shape of a cat's head. The contours of the frame are irregular, which makes it even more challenging, and the area is just enough to pack all nine cats inside with almost no wiggle room left. Each cat shape is made from a different kind of wood, so the end result is a colorful mix of cat breeds that just stands out from many other wooden puzzles. The size is a little small for a Picture Frame Puzzle standard, about 16cm x 13.8cm (6.3" x 5.4"), but still big enough to comfortably play with it.
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Like every Picture Frame Puzzle, there's all sorts of subtleties in the design of each piece that should get the most out of the little space you have in the frame, by joining the pieces at specific positions. These little tricks are what makes Picture Frame Puzzles so fascinating. It's the way the pieces seamlessly fit with one another - Like a perfect harmony between design and functionality, that so few craftsmen can achieve. What do you get from this fine art? A gorgeous puzzle, but also a devilishly difficult one.
As far as difficulty goes within the Picture Frame Puzzles I've tried so far, and there have been a few, Alles Für Die Katz is among the most challenging ones. I've dedicated about two hours now, trying to solve this one, but so far no luck in succeeding getting all cats in the frame. I'd like to warn you that the puzzle comes already solved out of the box - or wrapper - so I'd advise you to unwrap it upside down or just ask someone to do it for you. Honestly, it doesn't matter much, because once the cats are all outside the frame you'll have trouble to remember all of their original positions. And if you attempt to solve it a few hours or even days later, you'll be wishing to remember how they were arranged in the first place, because it will be one very tough nut to crack - or to pack...
If you know someone that loves cats, you can't go wrong with this puzzle as a present. It's a wonderful puzzle, although extremely challenging, but a perfect center piece in any coffee table or desk...or collection.
Availability: Alles Für Die Katz can be found at Brilliant Puzzles for $25.95. If you fancy Constantin's puzzles, you can check out other designs by him here.