Tuesday 7 February 2012


The Trigemino puzzle is made by Philos, a German company who, oddly, do not seem to manage to sell in the UK (there are 1 or 2 other European internet retailers who stock a limited amount of their rather huge range of nice looking puzzles). I got this particular copy from Puzzle Master. I quite fancied it because of the rather fabulous looking woods that were used. It is pretty reasonably priced at $28, especially as there are actually five puzzles for the price of 1! My original expectation was that it was going to be similar to the Maze'n'Cubes puzzle designed by my puzzle friend Derek Bosch (aka Smiteo) - his puzzle is available in printed plastic from Shapeways but I would really love a wooden version - hence I chose this! Let me say from the outset, this is totally different to Derek's puzzle (it was designed by Sonja Heinz) with a totally different mechanism. BUT I am not at all disappointed!

It comes in a nice clear plastic Philos package with a leaflet inside containing instructions and the solution to the basic puzzle in the box. But, if you lose it and want a pdf version then it can be downloaded from here. I was careful not to look at the solution!! This leaflet also gives some pictures of the other possible shapes that you can attempt.

It consists of 3 cubes made from 6 pieces of interlocked wood. Each cube is 72mm across a side and when fully constructed the whole thing takes up an 11cm cubic space. It has already been reviewed by Neil on his blog. I don't know how he found out but he states that the woods are Havea (light wood), Samena (mid-brown wood) and Black Palm (very dark striped wood) and I agree with him that they are just beautiful! Puzzle Master rate it as a 6 (Tricky) out 10 in difficulty (remember they start at 5!) and I would agree with this evaluation.

The first thing that strikes you when you unpack it is that this puzzle is stunning. It really doesn't look like a mass produced puzzle at all. I have bought quite a lot of hand crafted puzzles over the last year and can usually tell the mass produced ones easily but this one is superb. The special woods really make all the difference. The next thing you notice is that this is a pretty BIG puzzle - really good in your hands.

It is not trivial to take it apart but is not too hard. It separates into 6 identically shaped pieces.

Trigemino pieces - note the beautiful woods
I put the pieces in the correct order and orientation initially and it was pretty easy to reconstruct the puzzle (and quite a nice thing to do too). Some days later I threw caution to the wind and jumbled them up! This then took me quite a while to reassemble this time around - probably about 45 minutes. I have to say that this was very rewarding. You can hold and see what you are doing but due to the shapes involved, it is quite hard to work out what is going wrong when things won't slide. This means there is a real sense of achievement when you finally get it back together.

There are also another 4 possible shapes for you to make. I originally did not intend to attempt this because the quality of the pictures in the leaflet were not particularly clear. However after Neil published his review he placed some photos of of the other shapes you can make. This was very useful and I have spent another rather happy couple of hours doing the rest. These are slightly harder than the original puzzles and still fun to do.

Overall, I am delighted with this one - it is big and beautiful and a very nice little challenge. It is a very classy puzzle for the price. Buy it - you won't be disappointed!

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