Creative Crafthouse Blog
Exploring different puzzles that are great to display on any table
These puzzles are perfect to leave on your coffee table, kitchen counter or even a lobby waiting room or any place where people might be sitting or waiting. Have one or two on your coffee table and a long wait turns into not having enough time to solve the puzzle on the table! They are not only fun but a beautiful decoration and an interesting, unique conversation piece.
by Peter Janelle • June 08, 2022
A brain teaser is a puzzle that often requires a little extra outside-the-box thought to solve. Brain teasers come in all different shapes, sizes and difficulties. There are mathematical brain teasers, logic-based brain teasers, magical brain teasers and so many more. Maybe the most recognizable of these would be the Rubik's Cube. Similarly, most of us have likely never solved the Rubik's cube, but that doesn't stop us from trying! There's something about picking up a brain teaser and trying to solve it that attracts us. I've seen countless times, all over the USA, everyday people pick up a puzzle, try it, most often not solve it, but most importantly have fun! It's an addictive and healthy challenge. It exercises the mind, provides a sense of accomplishment, and is a lot of fun even after it's solved. In fact, it might even be more fun for some. Watching friends and family go through the same struggle you went through is a devilishly enjoyable time.
That's where these 5 brain teaser puzzles come in. They are perfect to leave on your coffee table, kitchen counter or even a lobby waiting room or any place where people might be sitting or waiting. Have one or two puzzles on your coffee table and a long wait turns into not having enough time to solve it! They are not only fun but a beautiful decoration and an interesting, unique conversation piece.
What makes a good coffee table puzzle? For a coffee table, I like visual brain teasers and puzzles that look easy but in reality, most definitely aren't. Those who try, myself included, will think they're just a few pieces away from solving it and will keep on trying and trying. Move this piece there or turn that piece just the right way where it seems like it should fit.. but it doesn't. It's a fun challenge and the enjoyment is contagious. Others will want a try or add in their own ideas on how to solve it. It's just good fun and something many don't see or experience very often. As a bonus, the 5 puzzles in this list all have few pieces or are just one piece, so there's not much to lose!
Our first puzzle that's perfect to leave on a coffee table is called Martin's Menace. The objective here is simple, just put the 4 pieces into the large rectangular opening. Easy, right? Not so much! This puzzle (as well as others on this list) was designed by world-renown puzzle inventor, Stewart Coffin. It was originally called Four Fit but was renamed after Martin Gardner struggled in vain for a week straight to solve the puzzle! Martin Gardner (1914-2010) is considered the father of recreational math and has designed volumes of brain teasers of his own to give you some context. Martin's Menace is a puzzle that everyone can try and enjoy as it's only 4 pieces and isn't intimidating or complicated to attempt. Leave it on your coffee or waiting room table and sit back and watch your guests be entertained. The 4 pieces total also makes it easy to put down and resume at a later point. Martin's Menace is an attractive puzzle that is sure to impress.
The second brain teaser puzzle on our list is the Cracked Egg. Another one of Stewart Coffin's designs, the goal here is to put the 6 pieces into the large egg-shaped opening. This one is a challenge and we recommend it for those seeking one or as a gift for someone who thinks they can solve anything. The oval opening on this puzzle is especially unique for this type of brain teaser as generally, it will be a square or rectangular opening for the pieces to fit into. This oval shape also makes it nearly impossible to even create a computer program to solve the puzzle! Another great puzzle for the coffee table as it looks fun, interesting, and is fun to try though few will solve! But don't worry, the solution comes with the puzzle.
One of my personal favorites, the Cruiser puzzle is our third brain teaser that's perfect for a coffee table. Our final puzzle for the list that was designed by Stewart Coffin, the Cruiser is elegant in both look and design. Consisting of just 4 pieces, it comes unsolved with a convenient place to store the fourth piece when finished playing. Although not as challenging as the puzzles mentioned above, what makes this a fantastic puzzle for a coffee table is its subtle difficulty hidden in simplicity. The four simple pieces should be easy to fit in the rectangular opening but just wait until you try! I've seen young children to mechanical engineers attempt this puzzle with nearly all having similar results: an unsolved puzzle and a big smile. It really seems like the solution is so close and that's what keeps those who try so entertained.
Now, time for a different type of brain teaser puzzle that would be a great addition to any coffee table: the SafeCracker 40 and SafeCracker 50 puzzles. These beautiful and unique puzzles are based off an English design from 1911. The goal for these is to have each of the 16 columns add up to 40 for the Safe Cracker 40 or add up to 50 for the Safe Cracker 50. Both are challenging but the 50 is quite a bit more difficult. The Safe Cracker 50 has over 65,000 possible permutations with only one correct answer! What makes these puzzles especially great for a coffee table is that they're only 1 piece and that means there are no small pieces to lose. This also makes it easy to put down and start again when you're ready. For added convenience, the instructions are laser engraved on the bottom, so your guest won't be wondering what to do. Made with eye-catching hardwoods such as maple and cherry, these are sure to attract attention and be a great addition to any living or waiting room.
The Word Wheel is our final brain teaser puzzle that is perfect for the coffee table. This unique one-piece puzzle is ideal for those with linguistic minds or fans of crossword puzzles and Scrabble. The object of this solid and sturdy puzzle is to arrange the wheels so that at least two 4-letter words show at the same time. This is a fun challenge and is actually much more difficult than it looks. Guests will be gravitated towards the wooden puzzle out of curiosity and enjoy spelling different words on the wheel. They might think it's easy at first as there are over 350,000 possible single word combinations but getting two or even three words to appear at the same time is much more difficult and is sure to keep them occupied. The learning nature of this puzzle, and its simplicity, makes it a perfect puzzle for kids. This puzzle also happens to be excellent for educators or for those learning the English language. Leave it on your coffee table and your guests of all ages will be entertained for a long time to come.
Be sure to check out these puzzles and more at CreativeCrafthouse.com. If you're looking for specific recommendations for a gift or to customize a puzzle with a special message, let us know! We are able to laser engrave a wide variety of messages or images on a puzzle depending on the amount of available space. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for more updates and a look into what we do here at Creative Crafthouse.
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