Heart Case by Juno

This year’s Valentine’s Day theme comes with another in the card suit series from Juno, the Heart Case.The idea for this puzzle was in Juno’s mind for more than twenty years, fully formed, but was far too difficult and time consuming to produce even as a prototype.However, once he had created the Diamond Case, and decided he would make a whole “trump card” series, he revisited the idea.Since he now owns a CNC router it became possible after all those years, but even with this advanced tool he notes that the second white layer was quite tricky.The milling of that white part was done from the back (the bottom of the case) leaving the last 0.2 mm to keep it together and then, after gluing the white layer to the main layer, the remaining 0.2 mm was sanded out. Juno enjoys thinking about how to produce his puzzles in the most efficient ways, and the Heart Case provided an interesting challenge.

Like love, it's more complicated than you think!

It’s the only puzzle in the card suit series which actually takes the shape of the suit, which is in this case, a heart.The other boxes in the series have their distinguishing shapes either mounted on the box (Diamond) or carved in relief as a window (Club and Spade).The heart seems to lend itself to boxes – there are so many from different artists.Juno’s is quite beautiful, in contrasting Rosewood, Jarrah and Koto woods.The initial movements of the puzzle are fun and surprising, and not too complicated.Knowing Juno’s penchant for complexity, this is certainly by design.Love shouldn’t be too complicated.The puzzle yields up a gift fairly quickly, and it comes with a disclaimer that Juno is not proposing his love for you, although I’m sure he does love you in a platonic sort of way.Don’t discount the objects you find as you open the Heart Case, these are likely tools you will need to fully solve the puzzle.There’s more than meets the eye here, and like love, there are multiple layers.But he lays them all out for you to see – Juno gives you hints and glimpses of what is required in all of his boxes. It’s another wonderful, heartfelt offering in the series.

Mon Sherry Amour by Sahil Mehta

This year’s Valentine’s Day toast comes from Sahil Mehta, a well respected mixologist who can be found shaking things up at Boston’s South End tapas restaurant, Estragon.Mehta has a self admitted love affair with sherry, the complex fortified wine made with grapes from the Jerez region of Spain, and has created all manner of sweet, savory, salty and bitter drinks with his favorite ingredient.Here he offers a wonderful chocolate Negroni variation, which is absolutely my favorite type of Valentine’s day drink.I’ve made my own versions over the years with bourbon, but Mehta relies on mezcal as a base to bring interesting rich and sultry flavors to the party.Of course, sherry is the real star here, and lends a dry and nuanced counterpart to the mezcal. The Campari and crème de cacao balance things out with some bitter and sweet components, and the result is sensational. Give this a try, or check out some of the previous Valentine’s Day toasts we’ve made in past years.Here’s to love, in a box, in a glass, or simply in your heart.Cheers!

Time for a heart to heart with this pair

Mon Sherry Amour by Sahil Mehta

• 1oz mezcal
• 1oz manzanilla or fino sherry
• .5oz Campari
• .5oz Creme de Cacao
• 2 dashes of chocolate bitters

Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Share with someone you heart.

For prior Valentine's Day offerings: