Posted on Apr 30, 2019 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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There are many puzzles out there with the theme of the Euro currency, and Jean Claude Constantin has made another one to add to the collection. This one is very simple in design, but can be a little tricky to solve. Are you ready to to tackle the Euro challenge?

There's one thing that I like more about wire-only puzzles than the string ones - You can't make knots out of the wire puzzles, and thus it's much more unlikely to get stuck in the middle of the solving process. There are ways to get stuck anyway, but you have to be very creative to accomplish that.

The Euro puzzle is made from thick wire (3mm) and measures only 8.7cm in diameter. The design is made to resemble the shape of the Euro currency symbol, and the goal is to remove the ring (or to separate all three parts). The ring seems to be trapped between the two main parts, but a clever series of movements will be enough to solve it. Finding these moves, however, will be a bit tricky.

This puzzle reminds me of the classic Horseshoe puzzle, where you also have a ring trapped between two metal parts. The Horseshoe is much harder to solve for a beginner, but the solution is a bit different in the Euro puzzle. The two main parts are attached in a similar way as a hinge works. You can easily unfold the puzzle in 180º, but after that there's not much else to do. The key lies in the hinges, so my advice is to keep trying until you finally solve it.

It took me much more time to put the puzzle together in its original form than to take it apart. Figuring out how the puzzle works is the key to understand its mechanism, and until you do you won't be able to fully solve it.

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Closing Comments:

The Euro is a great puzzle that really gets you thinking in ways that you're not usually used to. I like that its all metal and no strings, so it's less frustrating to solve. You can lend it to a beginner and have no problems afterwards without knots for you to untie.

Availability: You can find a copy of the Euro puzzle at PuzzleMaster. As usual, Constantin has a lot of interesting puzzles, so be sure to check them out as well.


Posted on Apr 16, 2019 by Gabriel | 0 comments
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I've been collecting puzzles for over 10 years now, and I've lost count how many countries I have puzzles from. But one thing I know for certain: up until now, I didn't have any puzzle from Colombia. Thanks to Nelson Robayo, who created the Boli-Loco puzzle, I can now add Colombia to the countries where I have puzzles from.

The Boli-Loco puzzle is a very clever design made with 19 marbles in three different colors (yellow, blue and red - the Colombian flag colors). The marbles are enclosed in a transparent box with notches on the cover that make it some sort of a labyrinth. You turn the puzzle from side to side, up and down, so that the marbles navigate the labyrinth and make the patterns you see on the bottom of the puzzle. There are six different patterns to solve, but as with any pattern puzzles, you can most certainly create your own designs, your imagination being the limit.

(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 2 & 4

What capture my attention in the Boli-Loco puzzle right away was the patterns you can make with the marbles. Puzzles that allow me to use my creative side are always a must-have for me, and this one is no exception. I loved it from the start.

The patterns presented all have various ways to solve except for the last one, which as you can see, you have to make the Colombian flag. The other patterns can have the marbles anywhere except for the colors marked on the challenge. For example, the pattern with the blue cross (above left). You only need to worry about the position of the blue marbles. The other colors are not important, which makes the first five challenges easier than the last one. From the patterns presented, I would say they are in sequential order from left to right, easy to difficult. Making the Colombian flag was definitely the hardest one to solve.

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Closing Comments:

The Boli-Loco puzzle was a pleasant surprise, even more so because I didn't know the designer. It's a great design with an original and interesting concept, perfect for creative minds. Be sure to check back soon, since I have another puzzle from the same designer, which I'll be reviewing soon.

Availability: The Boli-Loco puzzle is available from PuzzleMaster for just $15.99. Check out more designs from Nelson Robayo.

Nimm 2

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 by Gabriel | 2 comments
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If packing puzzles weren't already difficult to solve, Jean Claude Constantin makes them even more challenging by always adding a twist. After all, we like challenging puzzles, don't we? My recent addition to this ever-growing collection of difficult puzzles is called Nimm 2. The name indicates that there may be a first Nimm, but in reality Nimm in German means "take", so the name can be translated as "Take 2". Read more and you'll understand the meaning.

This is a nice small puzzle, measuring only 8cm x 8cm (3.2"). It is made from laser-cut wood, so the price is more affordable. There are 7 pieces, but they can be divided by two groups: one is a group of three trominos and the other a group of four tetrominos. Each piece has one or two screws attached to it, which makes for an interesting design. The idea is to have two screws in every row (vertical and horizontal). Diagonals don't count. It sounds simple enough, but believe me, this is a fiendish one to solve.

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Solving the puzzle without worrying about the screws is very easy. That's why the designer wanted to make it as simple as possible. However, packing the pieces with the one rule mentioned above is more than just a simple exercise. It requires patience, and much trial and error. But that's what most packing puzzles require, so it's asking you anything new. If you're used to solving this kind of puzzles you know how to go about solving them, at least in principle...

As you can imagine, this is quite a difficult puzzle to solve. It's rated as a level 8/10, but I reckon it's possibly even more than that. I'm yet to find the solution, which might be a unique configuration, and thus explaining why it's so challenging.

Closing Comments:

Nimm 2 by Constantin is a hell of a challenge. If you like this type of puzzles, you're in for a treat, because it'll keep you busy for a while. I liked the originality of the design. It's different from any packing puzzle I've tried before.

Availability: The Nimm 2 puzzle is available at PuzzleMaster for $23.99 CAD. You can also check out other cool puzzles by the prolific puzzle designer Jean Claude Constantin.

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