About my ratings

Perhaps because of my day job, I'm a tough rater. Everything 3/5 and above I consider worth the time and money.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Liberty, Night Rain in Paulownia Garden

521 pieces, Ando Hiroshige. Unusual cut on most of the pieces brings the interest here.
Lots of squiggles

Finished, with uneven edges adding some challenge to the broad boarder

Optimago, Happy Christmas

300 pieces. This puzzle was like a good Impressionist--the individual pieces were very hard to understand as forming a larger picture, and then the larger picture was readily visible once it was assembled. Quite a challenge for its size. 3/5
starting out

Finished--looks a lot easier than it is!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Liberty, Arabesque by Rex Ray

533 pieces. The whimsies were almost all people, sometimes interacting, with a few geometric shapes.  Relatively simple to put together because of the ability to sort by color. Some of the interacting people were cute! 3/5
Starting out

Closeup on the people whimsies


Liberty, Armor-Hanging Pine

622 pieces, Ando Hiroshige.  Not too much to say about this one--a fair amount of variety in the whimsies.  3/5
starting out

Closeup on some of the whimsies


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Artifact, Liberazione di Andromeda

411 pieces.  Piero di Cosimo, artist.  Relatively large pieces; some were pretty tricky to place because of highly similar shapes and overlapping color.  Lots of multipiece mythology-themed whimsies.  2.5/5.
Starting out

Finished: pattern of pieces visible particularly in the sky

One of the mythological multipiece whimsies

Optimago, Nouvelle Mappe-Monde

600 pieces.  Strip-cut, fairly loose in the connections but, as with any hand-cut puzzle not trying to fool you, it's usually pretty easy to tell whether pieces are a fit or not.  For some reason, perhaps because of the relatively high number of sides that were curved (without interlocking heads), the puzzle made me think about how hard it must be to hand-cut all those interlocks. 2.5/5
Starting out--yes, this time I did some of the edges first


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Liberty, Atagoshita and Yabu Lane

564 pieces.  Some of the whimsies are part of a larger pattern tracking across the puzzle, which isn't as common in Liberty puzzles as in Artifact.  A few very nice interacting whimsies with kids throwing snowballs at each other.  4/5
starting out


closeup on some of the whimsies

Stave, Open Fairway

460 pieces.  Lots of golfers here and a particularly intricate border.  It's a Stave--what else is there to say?  8/10.

Part of the border; this took a while to figure out

Mini puzzle emulating larger puzzle
Full puzzle

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wheelgiant Puzzles, Tray puzzle

This was kind of like a Stave Teaser--it's all about the fit.  A nice little challenge (it came with a diagram showing placement for anyone who got stuck, but I don't think many people are likely to need it; the cuts are such that it's easy to tell whether or not you're right about placement).  3/5
Completed puzzle

Liberty, Ando Hiroshige, Suido Bridge and Surugadai

592 pieces.  Color variation makes this look relatively easy, but it's not really!  The fish only emerges from the picture over time. 3/5

Some of the more striking whimsies


Friday, July 22, 2016

Liberty, Birds and Camellia Bushes in Flower

511 pieces, Ando Hiroshige. That's a lot of blue!  Good challenge.  4/5


Peacock, Mr. Gogo Puzzles

Roughly 300 pieces.  Another solidly constructed puzzle from Mr. Gogo Puzzles. My only complaint is that the boxes in which they're shipped are a bit bulky, and the little blocks of wood that make up the closure always chip off during shipping. But the pieces themselves are thick and gorgeous, and the colors here are wonderful. 4/5
Beginning--bright colors!


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Liberty, Butterfly, Tamas Galambos

534 pieces: one very big butterfly!  Whimsies are the usual mix of people in rubbery poses and some animals and plants.


Two Elms Puzzles

Butterflies in the Garden, 500 pieces. Challenging picture; I like the mandala concept for puzzles. 3/5
Floral and butterfly whimsies

Starting out


Lose Your Marbles, 409 pieces. Whimsies seemed a bit random.  Color gave good clues to assembly here, though it was also interesting to see how color perception changes by proximity--pieces that looked black on their own were definitely green when assembled. 3/5

Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Artifact dragons

81 pieces, Hokusai dragon: Very simple; my first Artifact. Square pieces with connectors; the challenge is to match dragon parts to each other. 2/5


Barnard, Dragon Mountain, 277 pieces: Relatively large pieces for an Artifact puzzle. Some cute multi-piece whimsies, such as a dragon and a frog, but too small for my taste. Nice picture though. 2.5/5

Finished--dragon whimsy visible in upper right in the sky

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dan dos Santos, Stalking the Unicorn, Artifact

303 pieces. I got this for the trippy picture. The pieces are larger than they are in my favorite Artifact puzzles, though the whimsies show some of the cleverness I like best about Artifact, including the close-up I've included of a multi-piece whimsy that replicates a portion of the picture. There are also "footprints" that run across the picture, which is cute.  Fun picture, limited assembly challenge. 2.5/5
Murderous whimsies


January King Cabbage, Wentworth

225 pieces. Neat garden whimsies, but really too small for me. 2.5/5


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Turtle Teasers, the Kiss, Klimt

144 pieces. The similarly-shaped pieces are unusual and curvy enough to trick the eye if you're not careful. 3/5


BCB Puzzles, Four Seasons, Mucha

325 pieces total. The print was a little fuzzy in some areas, but the colors were beautiful and the puzzles were a challenge to put together even with all the edge pieces because of the similarities in coloring across the four seasons. 3/5
Beginning--lots of classic shapes


Wentworth, Almond Blossom, Van GoghTT

380 pieces. The tesselation means you have to rely on the picture, which here means a lot of reliance on distinguishing brushstrokes. Even through the 2-D reproduction you can see some interesting variations in shade and amount of paint. 3/5
Tesselated pieces

Finished puzzle