|Mad In China - Jean Claude Constantin|
As with all packing puzzles the objective is pretty obvious; get all four of the very irregular pieces to lay flat within the tray. At first glance it really doesn't seem that like much of a challenge. Even though the pieces have very irregular shapes the tray is actually very empty, apart from the four protuberances around the edge.
Immediately it became clear that all four pieces were far too large to go into the tray without being interlaced within each other, so then I began the process of finding the most space-saving assembly of the four pieces outside of the tray. This turned out to be a pretty ineffective method because I had to check each time if my assemblies would also fit into the tray, so I moved on to trying different assemblies within the tray instead.
After a good half hour or so I decided to give this puzzle a rest for a while, but I took it to the Midland's Puzzle Party (MPP) not long after. At the party fellow puzzler Nigel sat down next to me and solved it in what I guess to be less than 10 minutes! Now Nigel is a seasoned puzzler, so I didn't feel disheartened, but it did spur me on to try again later that evening once I got home. After another 10 minutes I managed the solution as well.
Now even though there are only four pieces I would still class this as a moderately difficult packing puzzle, mostly due to the highly irregular shape of the pieces. So if you fancy a challenging packing puzzle that doesn't have too many pieces then this is one for you.