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If you like both wooden puzzles and Sudoku puzzles, you're in for a treat, as Jean Claude Constantin makes yet another great-looking puzzle that promises not to disappoint fans of either category.
Sudoku Bunt takes the basic idea of Sudoku and turns it into a beautiful puzzle by twisting the rules a little bit. The result may not be for everyone, as this takes more or less a trial and error approach, but the high difficulty level should keep you intrigued enough to keep trying, or at least keep you busy.
The puzzle is beautifully made with five different actual wood colors, not painted wood. Nine different pieces make up the total of 25 wooden chips joined in groups of two and three units each. It's made of laser-cut wood, which makes the puzzle lighter and of course, much more affordable.It measures 13.5cm in diameter (5.3").
This type of puzzles, seen in countless versions by now, are based on the original design by Mcloughlin Bros, known as The Giant Puzzle, which was invented in 1888. The goal is simple: on a 5x5 grid there should be a different color in each of the rows and columns. No repeating colors shall appear in any of the rows or columns. By order of elimination, the diagonals will have a unique color in each space as well.
The goal would be fairly simple if the pieces were individual colors, like the original puzzle. In fact, the solution is pretty straightforward once you understand the logic. In Sudoku Bunt's case however, that logic is thrown out the window because of the nature of the pieces. As you have groups of two and three colors joined together in a unique piece, the puzzle becomes much more difficult and the solution is switched from logic into trial and error. Now, if you're not that good at puzzles, this is good news for you, since you'd be in the same playing field as an experienced puzzler. To solve this, it's more like a stroke of luck than pure skill.
The clever twist in the original concept makes this puzzle a must-have for fans of Sudoku and the classic Giant Puzzle. Even though it's a bit difficult to solve, I believe it's accessible to any level of skill. It's a gorgeous design that manages to capture the attention of any curious and puzzle-orientated minds.
Availability: The Sudoku Bunt is available at Brilliant Puzzles for just $18.95 USD. There are also many other interesting designs by Constantin available.