Posted by Gabriel Fernandes on 3/1/2016 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers

In the world of packing puzzles, peanuts are a tough nut to crack (fun fact: they're actually legumes and not nuts), especially because of their irregular shape. Not surprisingly then, puzzles with the peanut theme are very challenging for a good reason.

Besides the Peanuts puzzle, featured in this review, I know of only another puzzle with peanuts - the Glass Puzzle Peanuts by Beverly Enterprises. Both are very challenging, although I only had the pleasure of playing with the version you see here, designed and built by Jean Claude Constantin.

The good thing about Constantin's Peanuts is that it's a flat 2D puzzle, unlike Beverly's 3D one. Nevertheless, don't be fooled. This is still quite a challenge to solve, so don't underestimate it. I know from experience that 2D puzzles can be just as difficult as their 3D counterparts, if not more in some cases.

The Peanuts puzzle features 10 unique peanut-shaped pieces, although some of them are unusually irregular, even for a peanut...but that's what makes it so interesting. The pieces are laser-cut, so they fit perfectly inside the hexagonal frame. Another interesting aspect of this puzzle is that each individual peanut piece has its own shell that can be separate from its kernel. This doesn't exactly make the puzzle that much more difficult, since you can easily tell which shell belongs to what kernel and vice-versa, but it's nonetheless a neat feature of the puzzle. For example, you can solve the puzzle first with the shells only and then pack the other pieces at the end.

As hinted before, this is a very difficult puzzle to solve due to the irregular shape of the pieces. Notwithstanding, you can actually take advantage of the inner shape of the frame to tell which pieces fit or don't fit in a particular part of the frame. This makes the puzzle a little less frustrating, but just barely... Be prepared for a real challenge.

Closing Comments:

Constantin's Peanuts puzzle is a real treat for puzzle lovers. It's quirky and has all the right ingredients for anyone looking for a tough but rewarding puzzle. I can't recommend enough this one. Give it a go, and I promise you won't go nuts.

About the Author:
He is an avid mechanical puzzle collector since 2008. He loves almost all types of puzzles and also likes to solve them. He has been sharing his thoughts on these fantastic objects since 2010 on his blog and he also has a website with all of his collection in individual photos.

See what's new at Brilliant Puzzles

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles Team on 10/28/2015 to New Puzzles and Games

The New Perplexus STAR WARS Death Star

Star Wars Death Star Perplexus brings a-maze-ing lights and sounds to the award-winning range of Perplexus 3-D games!
In this Star Wars Edition, you can use Rebel Alliance Squadron tactics to navigate the X-wing Starfighter through the Death Star's treacherous tunnels and precarious pathways.
Its unique shape maximizes visibility as you twist, turn and maneuver through the challenging maze mission.
Master the maze and destroy the Death Star! Star Wars Death Star Perplexus is a great game for ages 8 and up.
It's easy to play, yet hard to defeat the dark side!
Over 100 steps along narrow tracks in the Perplexus® Star Wars® Death Star™.
Requires 3 AAA batteries (included), for the awesome feature of light and sound.
Comes with Display Base.

Viking Box - Maze Secret Puzzle Box

Wow! The Viking Box, is a one of a kind puzzle box and a maze puzzle all together.
This unique puzzle box, can be opened only when you solve the maze on the top of the box. As you move towards solving the maze the top is moving and open slowly, till it is completely opened.
Combination of turning wheel, metal balls and sliding pieces that you need to move and turn in the right direction. This is one of the hardest we have seen.
Great size box, can contain also gift cards, money , jewelry and other small items. The bottom of the box if made from clear hard pvc, so you can see the inside compartment of the box.

Made by Jean Claude Constantin, puzzles designer, inventor, and artist.

Hummer H2 - 3D Jigsaw Puzzle Car Kit

This fancy orange Hummer H2 is a 70 piece 3d jigsaw puzzle.

Perfect gift and great for display in your office.

Your dream car in a scale of 1:32.

Mercedes SLS AMG GT - 3D Puzzle Car Kit

This fancy red Mercedes SLS AMG GT is a 62 piece 3d jigsaw puzzle.

Perfect gift and great for display in your office.

Your dream car in a scale of 1:32.

Power Of The Ring 3D Bottle Puzzle

The objective is to acquire the metal ring from the bottle and return it to starting position for its next victim.

If you want to possess the metal ring, then you're in for a challenge. Evil thinking -out of the bottle- will help you most.
Design by Wil Strijbos-NL.

The Chain Gang 3D Bottle Puzzle

Free the black ring from the red chain and attach it again for the next prisoner, that is the objective of this brain teaser puzzle.

A Chain Gang was a group of prisoners chained together to perform challenging labor as a form of punishment. In their attempt for escape it was essential to free themselves from the chain.

Can you find the trick how to free the red chain from the black ring, while all remains inside the bottle?
Designed by Sándor Bozóki-HU.

Gluckspilz - Packing Problem Wooden Puzzle

A great packing problem puzzle for mushroom lovers, made in laser-cut wood. 5 mushroom-shaped pieces, and a clover shape frame, are included with this puzzle.
This puzzle is made of natural wood and the different colors of the wood parts are because different kinds of wood are used, which makes it very special to have as part of your collection.
The object is to take the mushrooms out of the wooden frame, and then try to insert all five mushroom-shaped pieces into the clover frame, in a way that all 5 mushrooms will lay flat, in one layer, inside the frame.

Handmade by Jean Claude Constantin, puzzles designer, inventor, and artist.

Bridle Bit String Brainteaser Puzzle

The objective of this puzzle is to remove the rope from the metal frame, and then get it back.

This puzzle is imported directly from Belgium.

Fall 2015 Promo and Featured Items

Posted by Brilliant Puzzles on 10/5/2015 to Featured Puzzles and Brain Teasers
Featured Items

This Large size and challenging woodcraft assembly kit of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral 3D puzzle, is a high grade 3mm wooden puzzles come with assembly instructions.
Designs are pre-cut. Contains 239 pieces that simply push out from the boards, No cutting or tools are required. The Individual pieces are slot together to form a 3D model. Can be painted or left natural.
It would be a hit with both children and adults, providing a challenging, educational and creative activity for all ages. Once assembled, it can be displayed or played with.
For age 8+
This Large size of the famous Taj Mahal 3D Jigsaw Woodcraft Kit, is a high grade 3mm wooden puzzles come with assembly instructions.
Designs are pre-cut. Contains 176 pieces that simply push out from the boards, No cutting or tools are required. The Individual pieces are slot together to form a 3D model. Can be painted or left natural.
It would be a hit with both children and adults, providing a challenging, educational and creative activity for all ages. Once assembled, it can be displayed or played with.

Harder than it looks... this puzzle is not as easy as you may think

The objective is to take the 6 pieces out of the wooden frame and arrange them in such a way where they perform the letter 'H'.
excellent quality with high attention to details.
Handmade by Siebenstein Spiele, puzzles designer, inventor, and artist.
Brilliant and unique puzzle. There are 2 compartments with 5 different pieces in each one and the colors of the pieces in one compartment are different that the ones ion the other compartment.
The objective is to take the pieces of each compartment and create a cross. When you are done, you will have 2 crosses that should be identical in dimensions, so if you place one on top of the other it will completely cover it.

Excellent quality with high attention to details.
Handmade by Siebenstein Spiele, puzzles designer, inventor, and artist.


Maze Puzzles

Posted by Gabriel Fernandes for Brilliant Puzzles on 5/28/2015 to Educational

This time I am venturing on an often neglected type of brainteasers - maze puzzles. These are sometimes viewed as a puzzle more geared towards the casual fan, but you'd be surprised by the sheer variety of mazes available right now, and they are the delight of both aficionados and casual puzzlers alike. Read on to find out more about the different types of maze puzzles and some of their history.

Mazes have intrigued and fascinated us since the dawn of civilization. In fact, the Egyptians are thought to be the first ones to come up with this incredible concept over four millennia ago (around the time of the first ancient pyramids). Mazes have come a long way since the era of the Pharaohs. They have evolved in countless different ways and have many different uses, but the approach is the same: to baffle and perplex anyone that witnesses this incredible feat of human inventiveness and ingenuity.

Many people use the terms Maze and Labyrinth interchangeably, and that's probably correct in most cases. However, personally, I prefer to use the word Maze when referring to puzzles. Why? Because a maze always has dead ends and other red herrings, commonly used in puzzles, and a labyrinth is not always used as puzzle, which implies a solving process with a beginning and an end.

Today you can see mazes everywhere in your daily life, but I want to focus particularly on the mechanical maze puzzles, the ones that you can touch and play with, the ones that make me glad I'm a puzzle enthusiast, collector, solver...and writer... There's an array of different types of mazes that can please even the most uninterested of puzzle fans. They can go from simple ball-bearing puzzles, like the popular money puzzles, for the casual puzzler, to more complex structures, like the Perplexus puzzles. Whichever type of puzzle you choose, a maze always has the ability to entertain and satisfy our needs for a good mental challenge.

With so many types of mazes available, how do you choose the best ones? It all depends on what you like most about maze puzzles. One popular type of maze, usually used as an original gift, is the money mazes. This type of puzzles have a wide range of shapes and sizes. The goal is to navigate a ball bearing through a maze and unlock the mechanism that opens the puzzle so you can retrieve what's inside. You can put inside the puzzle anything not thicker than a few sheets of paper, which can be money, gift certificates, event tickets, etc.

Hidden Mazes have also been quite popular these last several years, mostly thanks to the Revomaze, although they weren't the first ones to appear, and there are certainly many other interesting designs. The hidden mazes, as the name suggests, have some part or the entirety of its mechanism hidden from view, forcing you to rely on other sensory skills, like touch or hearing. These puzzles are exceptionally harder than the more traditional maze puzzles, but they're quite a treat for the experienced puzzlers who are looking for a serious challenge.

If you're a more adventurous type and sometimes feel like a kid on a toy fair, the Perplexus puzzles are a perfect way to immerse yourself with a really cool and fascinating 3D maze. These original and unique puzzles let you explore and navigate with a ball bearing within a large sphere full of contraptions and winding pathways, reminiscent of a roller coaster.

If none of these are your thing, why not try a 3D maze with a classic feel but with a new and completely different approach in design. These examples below, from Jean Claude Constantin (right) and Jez Goode (left and center), show what 3D mazes have achieved in recent years and how good they can be with a gorgeous but functional design. They are also quite challenging.

Mazes that require a good dose of dexterity on your part are also a fun alternative to the previous, more demanding, examples. In these puzzles, perfect hand-eye coordination will dictate your success or your failure as you try to guide a metal sphere with the help of your steady hands and...Gravity.

Double mazes (and so on) are also fascinating in the sense that you have to keep in mind your progress on both of them simultaneously. There are many good examples, and Jean Claude Constantin is a craftsman that knows very well how to make a good maze puzzle, especially when two, or more, mazes are involved. His puzzles have a great complexity, and are mostly appreciated among expert puzzle enthusiasts for their unique designs and mechanisms.

There are still more types of mazes and unique puzzles to discover, but these are the most important ones within the realm of mechanical puzzles. There may be some missing ones here and there, but I believe I compiled enough for you to have a general idea of the subject and to encourage you to research further if some puzzles interest you more.

Final Thoughts:

Mazes have evolved so much over the centuries that it's unfathomable to even think of how they will continue to baffle us in the coming decades. Judging by what history taught us time and time again with new inventions, it's safe to say that mazes are here to stay for as long as civilization exists. It's part of who we are, part of our curious minds, and it's essential to our development as an intellectual species. I sincerely hope that, after reading this, you'll be more inclined to try a maze puzzle - any maze - and see for yourself how fascinating these puzzles can really be.
To view all maze puzzles offers.

Trick Puzzle Locks

Posted by Gabriel Fernandes for Brilliant Puzzles on 5/4/2015 to Educational

Over the last few months I've been writing about the most beautiful puzzles out there, made by talented craftsmen - like Jean Claude Constantin or Vinco - and respectful companies, like Hanayama or Meffert's. There are so many more to talk about, but in order to keep writing about varied topics I must change the subject to other interesting themes.

So, this time I want to focus this article on Trick Locks, a much beloved type of puzzles with very dedicated aficionados, some of them committed only to collect these puzzles and nothing more. Now, I'm no big authority on the subject of Trick Locks, but I'm a curious and informed enthusiast with many impressive designs in my collection, and I hope I can get you interested in the subject if you're not already a fan or a connoisseur.

The specific origin of Trick Locks (also called Puzzle Locks) is not exactly known, but they date back several centuries. The first ones may have been manufactured in China and Japan, which has a long history of producing furniture and other objects with secret compartments and other locking devices. India has also been a major producer of Trick Locks for a long time now and, in the process, it's also a country brimming with talented designers and avid collectors.

One of the most well-known Trick Lock collectors is Dr. Hiren Shah, a native from Ahmedabad, India, who turned his house into a museum (a Houseum) with a few thousand Trick Locks from around the world, spanning centuries of cultures and other influences. It's one of the most impressive Trick Lock collections in the world. To know more about Dr. Hiren Shah, a simple Google search will yield several interesting articles.

Trick Locks were invented more as a mean to lock other people's possessions, and not as much as a traditional puzzle. With Trick Locks it's much more difficulty to tamper with their mechanism, since many of these locks don't even need a key to be opened. To discover their solution one must find hidden clues around the lock, like a sliding part that reveals a hidden keyhole, or a well-disguised button you need to push, a hidden mechanism you need to uncover...Anything out of the ordinary could just be a red herring or yet another clue to unlock the puzzle.

Other mechanisms simply work by using the force of gravity, as you need to tilt the puzzle in different directions to unlock certain elements. Everything about Trick Locks is made so the solution is always a mystery to the casual observer, as if it were impossible to open them without resorting to brute force.

Today, Trick Locks have a very dedicated following, and since their traditional use is no longer needed, or less used, curious people find them fascinating and become eager to unravel their secret, but only the most cunning and observant will succeed. Trick Locks are a type of puzzle that intrigues people, and even the non-enthusiastic about puzzles will find these objects quite interesting and will try their luck by attempting to open them.

There are so many types of designs for Trick Locks that a single article would not be enough to describe all of them. Instead I will only scratch the surface by pointing out a few of the most interesting and important mechanisms, and at the end providing you with enough information to help you make your own research.

One of main issues about many Trick Locks, if we include the most sought and the higher quality ones is their high price tag. Many of these puzzles can easily reach hundreds of dollars, due to their high quality materials and the fact that many of them are hand-made, one at a time. These are the ones serious collectors go after - The most prestigious designs. If money is no object to you, I highly recommend taking a look at a few ones.

In the high-end spectrum of Trick Locks, one of the most respected designers is Rainer Popp, from Germany. His Popplock series is extremely popular among enthusiasts and collectors all over the world and, of course, the price matches the expected high quality of his creations, as each one is painstakingly turned and milled by the designer himself.

You should also consider a couple of Trick Locks from a not so well-known Dutch designer, Splinter Spierenburgh, but just as talented as any other.

If you prefer a more affordable option, there's always some good choices from a different number of manufacturers. Over the years I tried many of these and, despite some disappointments, I have encountered some nice designs that I can easily recommend to any fan, like the Houdini Lock Series, a good introduction to Trick Locks. I have recently tried the IQ Locker Series, which is a collection of Trick Locks made from wood, also quite affordable.

In the mid-range of Trick Locks you can find a whole different selection, and with completely unique mechanism that require dozens of moves to be opened. I'm talking about the n-ary puzzles, and in the Trick Lock (or Puzzle Lock) category there are some really impressive designs by Jean Claude Constantin. The trick to open them is also a bit different, as it has more to do with finding the correct sequence of moves rather than finding out how the hidden mechanism works. One of such puzzles is the Generation Lock with a whopping 340 million + moves. If you find that a bit excessive, you can settle for a more modest choice, the Schloss 250+ ( guessed it...250+ moves).

Another type of Trick Locks and probably the most appreciated and sought after by collectors are the antique and vintage locks. These locks have the most unique and fascinating mechanisms, and were often decorated with whimsical designs. Many of these locks were clearly designed to impress rather than being practical or to keep your secrets locked, even though their mechanisms were usually quite tricky to figure out. In the end, their purpose was spot-on, because there are many enthusiasts around the world who appreciate the qualities and nature of these fascinating objects.

Final Thoughts:


Trick Locks have been around for several centuries, and judging by how much they're appreciated by collectors and aficionados alike, I bet they'll be around for many more centuries to come. This is a type of puzzle that can capture the attention of any curious-minded person and can be a great way to entertain a group of friends and family. Find all the Puzzle and Trick lock puzzles, that available at Brilliant Puzzles.

Browse By Category
New Releases
Top Sellers