200th Post - Top 10 From Last 100

Posted on May 18, 2012 by Gabriel | 5 comments

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I can't believe it's my 200th post already after two years, and five months after the first 100. When I first started to write my puzzle thoughts back in May 2010, I wouldn't have dreamt that it would be like this. I owe the success of the blog to the wonderful puzzle community that has been following me. The feedback has been extremely encouraging and that's been part of my inspiration to write daily reviews for the past six months, after a long five-month break.

The following is a top 10 from my last 100 puzzle reviews. I have done a similar thing for the first 100, which can be accessed here. So, to avoid confusion, this is not a top for the 200 reviews, just the last 100. A comprehensive all-around top 10 will be done when I hopefully reach the 1000th review.

Each puzzle is only briefly described. For a detailed review and availability information, click on the link for the specific entry.

10 - DBox

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Essentially a construction set similar to Livecube, the DBox was invented by Boaz Leicht. 32 unit cubes in two colors, blue and yellow make use of a stable connection allowing to build and solve countless 3x3x3 cubic puzzles and many other 2D ones as well. Building patterns and playing multiplayer games are some of the other possibilities for the DBox. A very cost-effective tool that easily puts at your disposal thousands of puzzles, saving you a lot of money in the process. The $25 per set might deter some people from buying multiple sets for more complex structures, though.

9 - Culica

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Invented by the British James Eadon, the Culica is a very versatile puzzle/game with a great potential to become a worldwide success. A cube with 54 slots and 84 pegs in four colors is all you need to play its already large variety of logic puzzles and multiplayer games found at their website. Updated often with new puzzles and games, it will be hard to become tired of it, and on top of that you can also create your own games.

8 - Wine Lovers Puzzle

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Puzzle Crafthouse has a great selection of high-quality Picture Frame Puzzles, which are rather difficult to solve, giving their unique piece characteristics. One of them, the Wine Lovers Puzzle is a fantastic creation by Dave Janelle. Wine related objects make the theme of this original Jigsaw-like puzzle with ten pieces perfectly crafted from Maple. While not occupying the entire area of the frame, the pieces have little room to wiggle when correctly placed. Currently, I have four of these Picture Frame Puzzles from them - two already reviewed and another two will be, very soon. In total, Puzzle Crafthouse has about 15 of these puzzles, each of them with a different theme and highly detailed.

7 - Solitaire Chess

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Created by the talented Finnish puzzle inventor Vesa Timonen, the Solitaire Chess is a brilliant adaptation of the traditional chess game. With a simplified 4x4 board, ten actual chess pieces and playing with the same rules, your task is to pick one of the game's 60 challenges divided in four difficulty levels, set up the board with the correct pieces and solve it until you're left with just one piece. The main requirement is that each move you make has to result in a piece being captured, otherwise you have to start over. A wonderful logic puzzle that can be absolutely addictive. A must-have for any chess player.

6 - All Five

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A stunningly beautiful puzzle invented by Wayne Daniel, the All Five is a wonderful mathematical achievement. Comprised by 37 pieces, its name comes from the fact that it's actually a 5-in-1 puzzle representing the 5 Platonic solids. The solids have a harmonious relationship with each other, all nesting inside a progressively smaller one, sort of like a Matryoshka doll. The puzzle itself is not crazy difficult, but there are a couple of puzzles that do require a little more effort and skill to assemble.

5 - Phil Exley's 3D Puzzles

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Phil Exley's 3D Puzzles were one of my biggest findings last year. Reviewed in January this year, these puzzles are designed and crafted by him at his shop in the Algarve, Portugal. A bit on the small size, the superb design is totally worth it, however. His puzzles vary in level difficulty, which can go from 4 to 64 pieces. The complex designs are carved by hand, no laser-cutting, which makes for a more authentic and unique piece of art. For creating his own line of original puzzles, Phil deserves all the credit from the puzzle community. A true craftsman.

4 - Breadbox

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David Litwin is a renowned inventor who is most notable for his twisty puzzle creations and his line of Elemental puzzles. Surprising the puzzle community with his latest design and concept by Bram Cohen, the Breadbox, David takes his first steps in the 2D packing puzzles with one of my favorite puzzles in the category. Focused in the theme of bread, the puzzle has 17 pieces in three sizes. Depicting two loaves of bread and a bread crumb, there are two challenges to solve. One is getting all two loaves to fit tightly in the frame; the other, harder, is to add the bread crumb. The frame is made from Maple, the large pieces from Cherry and the smaller ones from Walnut. The Breadbox was David's exchange puzzle at the 31st IPP.

3 - Trifolia

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A wonderful work of art by Kate Jones, Trifolia is one of my latest favorite puzzles. Published by Kadon Enterprises, the acrylic puzzle is a set of 24 laser-cut tiles with all possible combinations of four edge types. It comes in a beautiful, also acrylic, black tray and two contrasting colors for the pieces: opaque red and white. Included with the puzzle is a comprehensive booklet with all types of challenges that you can solve with the set, as well as a few multiplayer games. Trifolia is not just a feast to the eyes, due to the mesmerizing shapes of the pieces, but it's also a fantastic puzzle with countless challenges to attempt that'll keep you busy for months to come. One of Kate's best work.

2 - Quadratum Cubicum

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Quadratum Cubicum is a collection of several mathematicians' square trisection puzzles. The nine puzzles, with a total of 68 pieces made from plexiglass, range from six to nine pieces and can be combined to form 27, 9, 3 or 1 big square. It comes in a stylish beautiful wooden box with a pin lock and it was Christian Blanvillain entry at the 31st IPP. A treasure to any math wiz or packing puzzle fan, the Quadratum Cubicum is a must-have in any puzzle collection.

1 - Truzzle

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... And we reach number 1 in my countdown of the best puzzles of the last 100 reviews. Truzzle, a curious name for a puzzle, right? Invented by Frank Paris from France, Truzzle is actually a line of edge-matching puzzles with a wonderful originality. Several patterns of waves cut from a selection of 16 types of wood make a wide variety of puzzles in two available sizes. The one in the image is a Spriral Motif with Multicolored Cubes (Big size). Choosing from a pattern of cubes or stripes, the Truzzle you end up buying will be a true masterpiece like no other. With a perfect balance and harmony between a puzzle and a decorative object, the Truzzle is the ultimate gift for a puzzle lover.

I have also made two animated motion videos for the Truzzle. Check them out: Video 1/Video 2.


With these 10 puzzles, my collection is certainly much richer than before. I am looking very much forward to the 300th post and to see which new puzzles make it into the top 10.

What about you? Which changes would you make to the top? Any of my reviews that you think would've deserved to be in this top too? Leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post. Looking forward to your feedback.

A big Thank You to all the readers of the blog and for helping making it what it is today. I hope you continue to visit for more puzzle reviews.


Tom Cutrofello said...

Congratulations on post number 200! This is a fine list of puzzles to highlight.

Kevin said...

Congratulations, Gabriel, on 200 posts! I think this makes you the grand-master of the puzzle blogging brigade! I hope that i can keep it going for so long and keep the quality so high.

I look forward to the next 200 posts.

All the best,


Gabriel said...

Thank you very much Tom, and Kevin!
As far as grand-master, Tom and Brian are still far ahead, though.

Cheers ;-)

Neil Hutchison said...

Great job so far Gabriel. I do enjoy reading your thoughts, and hope to see many more reviews in the future from you. Keep up the great work.

Gabriel said...

Thank you for your kind words, Neil. It's been a great experience and I hope I can write many more.

Cheers ;-)

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