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Ten Penny Puzzle

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Most packing puzzles are made with polyominoes or custom-shaped pieces in its design, and we are so used to that notion we forget that everyday objects are just as good as the traditional designs. One fine example of this is the Ten Penny Puzzle by Creative Crafthouse. I've always been impressed with their designs, and this one is no exception.

The goal couldn't be simpler. You're presented with a small wooden tray and nine pennies already packed inside. Your task is to rearrange the pennies so that an extra penny can be packed along the other nine. Everyone can understand these simple instructions, but carrying out this challenge and solve it is another thing. It's a very nice puzzle that can entertain anyone.

At close inspection, it's hard to believe that an extra coin could fit inside such a small area, but if you think about all that wasted space by the nine coins, it's just a matter of finding the right arrangement that wastes less space. Symmetrical solutions are out, since you can't get 10 coins inside with that kind of arrangement. That leaves odd solutions only, and those are the most difficult to find.

For the record, all pennies are identical in size. There's no tricks involved in the solution or any particular order in which you should pack the coins. For me, it was more of a lucky find than logic. After so many tries, some of which by less than a millimeter short of a solution, I managed to solve it. Not sure if there's only one solution, but by looking at the one provided, it did match the one I had. It's not an extraordinarily difficult or frustrating puzzle to solve. It's actually quite therapeutic to be playing with coins. Rated as a level 7/10, the difficulty is just right for even a casual puzzler.

Closing Comments: 

Incorporating coins into puzzle designs is not that uncommon to see. There's even puzzles where you have to free a coin. This design however, while being simple, makes it all the more elegant, and the fact that you have to pack an extra coin adds to the curiosity factor and just makes you want to give it a try.

Availability: The Ten Penny Puzzle is available at PuzzleMaster for just $12.99 CAD. Be sure to take a lot at some other interesting puzzles by Creative Crafthouse.

Tresor

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Tresor (translated as "safe"), another superb puzzle by Siebenstein-Spiele that will put your safe-cracking skills to the test. With its captivating design and a challenging solution, Tresor has everything to keep you entertained for a while.

Made with a combination of acrylic and laser-cut wood, plus the metal pins that you'll be moving from place to place, this is a sturdy puzzle that won't break that easily. There are seven of these pins, four of them marked with dots to represent numbers. The goal is to move the numbered pins from the starting position to the numbered positions marked on the frame. This is a type of puzzle that requires heavy planning to be solved, since the inner wheel doesn't move as freely as you'd think.

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Once you get one or more pins inside the wheel to be transferred to another position, you'll be creating different blocking movements that you need to anticipate. This would already be a difficult puzzle without the movement constraint, but as it is, it gets very challenging, and frustrating at times. Even though the movement of wheel itself is smooth, it is somewhat a bit too tight when it reaches the edges. I tried to loosen it up a bit with a screwdriver, but was unsuccessful, since the screw is too tight and I was afraid I could break the puzzle. Nevertheless, the puzzle is perfectly doable as it is, and the tightness may vary from puzzle to puzzle.

Solving this is no easy feat, and the difficult of 8/10 may be a bit higher in my opinion. It took me days to solve this. There might a more efficient strategy to solve it, but I couldn't come up with one. Still, it's a nice challenge that will certainly not disappoint those who are looking for a good test to their skills.

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Closing Comments: If you've come to love Siebenstein-Spiele's puzzles, you know what to expect here. A polished design with affordable but durable materials, and above all, a well thought out challenge.

Availability: Tresor is currently unavailable, but will surely be restocked soon, so check back PuzzleMaster to see when it's back in stock. In the meantime, you can also check out other great puzzles by the German manufacturer.

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