Sunrise – Sunset is a Stewart Coffin design which I recently found for sale on Ebay with a Buy it Now option. Seeing it, I didn’t hesitate as this is a Coffin original, which was going for a very good price so I couldn’t resist. Labelled as design #181 in the Coffin numbering system it was used by Jerry Slocum as his IPP exchange puzzle at IPP22.
This is another tray packing puzzle from Stewart, and as I’ve noted in the past, I’m terrible at tray packing puzzles, so I didn’t hold out much hope for this one. If you’ve seen previous reviews of Coffin Packing puzzles, like the Check Me Out puzzle, you’ll know that Coffin is a real sod when it comes to messing with your head, and how you normally go about putting pieces into a square box.
The puzzle itself is a twofold puzzle, hence the name. The tray is two-sided, so you get twice the puzzle from the same pieces. On one side of the tray is a 5×5 grid, with the centre cube permanently stuck in place (representing the sun if I were to guess), and the other side is a 4×6 grid. The idea is simple pack the pieces into one side, then flip the tray over and do the same on the other side.
The base is make from three layers, making for a very solid frame. Guessing I’d say the frame is Mahogany, but that’s a wild guess! Four of the five pieces are five units in size and the fifth is four units and are made from three different woods. If I were to guess, I’d say Bubinga (the almost purple looking wood), Lignum Vitae (green), and Mahogany (light). As you can tell from some quick math, the pieces match the grid sizes, so they’re going to fit exactly in this one, which for me is a good thing, as these strange sized grids really mess with my head!
When I sat down to solve the puzzle, I expected to be at this for hours, as I have been with other tray puzzles, but I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I had solved the first side within 5 minutes. So I flipped the puzzle over and tried the other side, thinking it was going to be a lot tougher. Again I solved it fairly quickly and was very happy with myself. So on the difficulty scale I’d rate this one as easy, but rewarding.
Once of the really nice features of this puzzle is that the solutions (and there is only one per side) have a degree of symmetry to them, which really adds to the effect of the Sunrise / Sunset theme of the puzzle.
This is a great little puzzle, and if you’re like me and not very good at packing puzzles, if you can find a copy of this one, pick it up as you’ll feel better about yourself having solved one!
PS: I make no guarantees about your feelings or success at solving this puzzle 😉