For anyone that has ever picked up a Stave wood puzzle before, you probably have figured out there are three main types of Staves, Tricks, Traditionals and Teasers (as well as a fourth type called Treats which are not too common). When I first got into Staves it really took me a little bit of time (meaning time being frustrated) understand why people prefer Teasers or Tricks.
First let’s talk about Traditionals. Traditional Staves are your “normal”, if you can even call Staves that, puzzle that you probably grew up with. They have a series of interlocking pieces that usually form a rectangle or similar shape (although sometimes they can be cutout to the image). They are often fun puzzles within the puzzle such as interlocking special pieces and rebuses as well that add to the fun of assembling the puzzle. So while they may take as long as complicated Tricks, they are relatively pretty straightforward in terms of understanding the concept and extremely enjoyable.
Teasers, on the other hand, are an entirely different kind of puzzle. These are usually special pieces that are centered around a theme, say a fish or a teapot. Each piece interlocks with the other in a very special way that can sometimes get frustrating as it seems like they should go together, but they don’t. They are often made up of an entire group of the same type of animal or object. They even have their own rating system and a huge selection of themes to choose from. Tricks are for the really adventurous looking for a real challenge. These can be extremely intricate designs that can be assembled in a lot of different ways. One of the most famous Stave Tricks, “Champ” has something like 30+ ways it can be put together. Pieces that look like the are supposed to go together don’t. We have spent hours assembling and re-assembling (because we did it wrong) Tricks. When you start to talk about the large Limited Edition Tricks, you can be talking months to figure out how to get it together! So hopefully you now have a little overview of the difference between the three types of wood puzzles.