Personal Favorites

Dave Janelle

First let me qualify this by recognizing that our personal favorites may not be yours....this is just another source of info that may assist you in selecting the right puzzle. We forced ourselves to limit it to just one or two puzzles.

Dave: an old(er) man, engineer, moderate/high patience level, like analytical thinking.

Favorites:

1. Shippers Dilemma – a wonderful analytical puzzle. I nickname it "the engineer's puzzle". So hard, yet a solution that is sooooo elegant. The solution sheet that Mike Czerwinski wrote will walk you through the mental thought process required to solve it.

2. Word Wheel – one of the few puzzles I got completely hooked on. If you like scrabble, word search, or crossword puzzles this may be perfect for you. I found a picture of it on a museum site (its from the 1880’s) and knew it was one I had to make. Turns out that it can literally be a lifetime puzzle as there as so many possibilities to find yet each time you find one there is a small sense of joy and accomplishment.

The Word Wheel is a great puzzle for Scrabble and Word Search lovers

Dan Janelle

Being a relative newcomer to the shop, I find myself consistently amazed by the fascinating array of clever puzzles. The one that stands out for me is Martin’s Menace. It’s the only puzzle we make with which we do not include the solution. It’s named in tribute to Martin Gardner who tried in vein for two weeks to solve it. It is also among our top selling puzzles.

Martin's Menace may only be a four piece puzzle, but do not let that foll you. It is HARD!

Carol Janelle

1. The Soma Cube is one of my favorite purchases from Creative Crafthouse. So beautifully made with hard wood, hand crafted beautifully and excellent price. But my favorite part is actually doing it. There are 240 ways and I find working on finding one challenging and relaxing at the same time Everything else in my brain gets quiet while I am feeling my way though how to do it. I took it to a conference once and placed on a table where 6 different people (all stressed) tried it. Before you know it, everyone forgot about the issues and
was quiet minded and laughing. Great spacial brain developer for all ages. I love it! Have one in every size (except large) excited about that for my Grand kids.

Soma Cube is a classic puzzle sure to entertain all ages

2. Shut Box 1-12 one of the best games ever! This teaches simple Math strategy and fun in one package while stimulating the brain to work without any calculator! I have seen kids, teens and adults who struggle with math excel with this game. It is confidence building, while using strategies and luck to create the win result. Really fun. If you are person who hates playing games, you will love this one. If you are a game player, you will be addicted to this one.
Craftsmanship is top notch, lovely to touch, will last generations with just a little care. Great price for the work. Thanks

Shut the Box is a wonderful game to play with the family which encourages math in younger children

Don Janelle

Hide The Red Stone challenge is my favorite. It mirrors the real-world packing problem—how to fit objects into a finite 3-D space. After repeated trials to rotate and stack blocks of varied dimensions, frustration is overcome by attention to logic, mental recall, flashes of insight, and a solution—along with joyful self-satisfaction!

Hide the Redstone Packing Puzzle

Chris Combs

The Secret Lock box II is by far my favorite item that we sell here at Creative Crafthouse. It comes beautifully designed, comes in a variety of woods, and is highly customizable. I use this not only as a puzzle from time to time, but as a deck box for a variety of card games. I’ve given them as gifts to fellow card game enthusiasts and they have loved them. It’s also wonderful for giving people gift cards, as they have to solve the puzzle to get the gift card. I love versatility and this item has it. Can’t recommend enough.

wood puzzle box which is great for escape rooms

Phil Janelle

Picking a favorite puzzle can prove rather difficult. Much like when stating a favorite movie or song the answer can change depending upon your mood or day. With that said one puzzle which always finds a place in my top 5 is the Safecracker 40.

The concept is deceptively simple:  Just line up each of the columns until all 16 equal 40. Sounds easy right? While not the most difficult puzzle, it does provide a decent challenge (if you are looking for a more difficult version check out the Safecracker 50). Not every puzzle solution needs to take days on end in order to be enjoyable (check out the Calibron 12 for a great puzzle which fits this category). Sometimes being able to solve a puzzle in 30 minutes is just what I am looking for and the Safecracker 40 fits that better than any other.

an enjoyable intermediate level math puzzle