Saturday 25 April 2015

Three Coffins

This week saw the arrival of three "coffins" to my home! Three Coffin-designed packing puzzles to be accurate. They are:-

1. The Cruiser
2. Five Fit - Stewart Coffin #177A
3. Martin's Menace - Stewart Coffin #217

The Cruiser
All three puzzles came to me from Creative Crafthouse. Creative Crafthouse has a very extensive catalog of wooden puzzles and games and the company manufactures most of their puzzles in their shop in Florida, USA. They also design their own puzzles. 

All of the three packing puzzles are precision laser cut. Quality, fit and finish is very good. The pieces and tray are made from different hardwoods (and I have asked Creative Crafthouse what these are) while the base of the trays are made of floorboard. Don't let the word "floorboard" put you off; it is extremely sturdy, scratch resistant and durable and can withstand a lot of abuse. You can even clean it, tho I won't recommend using any floor cleaner! Other nice touches include the names and other details etched onto the tray. 

Ranging from US$12 to US$21, these three puzzles represent excellent value for money. Cruiser and Five Fit also come in larger sizes.. What I also really like is that all three puzzles came to me upgraded with tray covers; which makes the puzzle look nicer and storage much neater.

Five Fit - Stewart Coffin Design #177A

I started with what appeared to be the easiest of the lot; Cruiser. Only four piece made up of two congruent pairs of shapes. Not too difficult and I managed to solve it in under five minutes. According to the grading given by Creative Crafthouse for time it takes to solve (less than 1 min - Gifted, less than 5 mins - Smart, less than 10 min - Normal, less than 20 min - Slow,  Never - Sad Situation), I fall into the smart category; for this puzzle only!

My next attempt was with Five Fit. This one consist of five pentominoes. And much tougher than the Cruiser. I must have played with this for nearly half an hour before I finally figured it out. I don't want to have any spoilers here but suffice to say there is a "trick" to this puzzle. You will go around in circles (even tho only five pieces) if you don't discover the trick. Again I have some experience with such packing puzzles and this helped my solving.

Two packing puzzles is enough for one day. I am leaving the last; Martin's Menace for another time and will post a review once I have played with it. It is supposedly a very difficult puzzle from the description. I don't know how to do the "hide/show" thing here, so if any reader wants to see the solutions for the first two puzzles, please PM me and I will send you a photo.

For anyone interested in packing puzzles, these three are great to collect and for beginner and experienced puzzlers alike, its definitely worth checking out Creative Crafthouse's range of products, which judging from these three puzzles, are both high quality and affordable. 

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