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Dave Janelle from Creative Crafthouse may very well be the best craftsman at creating stunning Picture Frame puzzles. His portfolio features almost 50 designs already, and choosing the best looking one is a near impossible task. At any rate, The Orchestra Pit is a serious contender for the most beautiful Picture Frame puzzle yet.
Dave chose to include in this design 13 different instruments that you'll probably find an any orchestra pit. Some of them I didn't even knew their names: Bass, Cello, Drum, French Horn, Harp, Oboe, Piano, Sax, Timpani, Trombone, Trumpet, Violin and Xylophone. The pieces are made in different hardwoods, displaying this way a multitude of colors which gives it a more elegant look.
Each piece is cut very carefully and precise, and features very fine details that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Only one side of the pieces is etched with the characteristic details, so you can only use that side when you're solving the puzzle. This version of the puzzle comes with a protective wooden cover, and measures 19cm in diameter (7.5") - A nice feature of Dave's puzzles is that they're quite large, which enhances their overall presentation.
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As you may already know, the difficulty of any of these Picture Frame puzzles can be rather challenging, and The Orchestra Pit doesn't disappoint in that regard. In Fact, this is one of the hardest I've tried so far, and as of writing this review I haven't been able to solve it on my own. You can see the solution below that I had to photograph, but even if you see the solution and attempt to solve it later on, it may prove to be a pretty frustrating task. Please, note that the puzzle comes shrink-wrapped in its solved state. If you don't want any spoilers of the solution, be sure to unwrap it upside down.
One of the main features of Picture Frame puzzles is the way the pieces interact with each other. Some pieces are quite big, so more difficult to pack; others are small and slim, which make them easier to cram in smaller spaces. Since there'll always be empty spaces in the frame, even when all the 13 pieces are tightly packed, you need to make the most out of every sharp edges and crevices on each piece, connecting them like a jigsaw puzzle - A very difficult jigsaw puzzle, I might add.
Picture Frame puzzles are perfect coffee table puzzles. Put them visible on a table at any social gathering and see everyone eager to try their luck. The Orchestra Pit is a beautiful work of art in its own right, even if you're not into puzzles, so this one is highly recommended.
Availability: The Orchestra Pit is available at PuzzleMaster for $32.99 CAD. Click here to browse other puzzles by Dave Janelle.