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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Amazing Flowers, Mr. Gogo

282 pieces.  Another puzzle with pieces that are pleasant to touch and brilliant colors.  My only complaint is about the boxes--they have external hinges that invariably break off during shipping!  I'd be satisfied with a less distinctive box, though I have been able to glue all of mine back together.  4/5

starting out

partly assembled

all done!

so many possible box types...

Sailboats on the River Scheldt, Artistry Puzzles

Artist: Theo Van Rysselberghe, 510 pieces.  I did this from the bottom (or was it the top?) up, which proved interesting.  Multipiece whimsies included several sailboats (visible at top).  3/5
starting out

getting closer; salboats incorporated

Almost done

Complete, with a different orientation
The bird flying in the top right corner isn't supposed to be highlighted, but the laser cutting leaves enough marks that it stands out--Artistry does a lot of little frilly bits that require a looser cut than Liberty.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Peacocks, unknown manufacturer

1000 pieces--a Chinese-manufactured strip-cut puzzle; an experiment in eBay ordering. Result: yes, it's wood, though very very thin wood, thinner than plywood even.  A step up from cardboard, but a step down from regular wood.  Very nice colors.  Fit between pieces was crisp.  2/5
starting out

Peacocks assembled

close to done


Hummingbird Illustration, Ernest Haeckel, Artistry

493 pieces. Birds!  This was the first Artistry puzzle I've done that arrived with a broken piece--one of the very thin hummingbird beaks snapped off.  Certainly a risk with pieces that narrow.  3/5
starting out

closeup on the whimsies, mainly birds

Nearly there

Finished, with observer/assistant

Monday, August 15, 2016

Puzzlemonk, Smaller and Smaller

160 pieces.  Wow!  These pieces are so well cut, and the image is so challenging with the tesselations, that even 160 pieces posed a serious challenge.  5/5, or 8/10 if I used my Stave scale.
starting out

some progress
closer and closer

victory is mine!

Artistry, Terrace Restaurant, Van Gogh

475 pieces. Artistry puzzles are laser-cut, like Liberty, with whimsies that get larger than the other pieces of the puzzle, which can lead to some weird shapes. Otherwise, basically a slightly cheaper Liberty. 3/5
Starting out

Some of the large whimsies

in progress


Friday, August 12, 2016

Optimago, Lawn Cottage

320 pieces.  I'm becoming fond of the Optimago strip cuts--both loose and also well done enough that it's perfectly clear when a piece is well placed.  3/5
All done

Liberty, Carolina Parakeet

John James Audubon, 332 pieces. Smaller than I usually get, but the dropouts made the difficulty match larger Liberty puzzles.  Fun!  4/5
starting out

Some of the whimsies--birds and other animals

Some of the twigs

partially assembled


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Optimago, The Professor's Dream

400 pieces, minus one (sigh).  As with earlier Optimago puzzles, the strip cutting means that all the difficulty comes from subtle color shading--and it is indeed subtle! 3/5
Starting out, with the darks mostly done

Finished except for the missing piece, argh!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Schloss Oberhofen Switzerland cut by Gustav De Marchen

About 300 pieces; dated to early 80s by seller.  Very thin plywood, though all the pieces have so far survived. Stored in a chocolate box--classic!  The cut was pleasant, not too different from Penelope. 3/5
Starting out

Halfway there...

Complete--some very similar pieces in the sky there

Black Bear Puzzles, Cottage Memories

401 pieces. Some nicely tricky piece interactions here, with two pieces fitting into a gap that looks like one and the like. 4/5.
Starting out

Nice box!

Mostly done


Monday, August 1, 2016

Liberty, Precincts of the Tenjin Shrine at Kameido

Ando Hiroshige, 500 pieces.  Some very nice dragon whimsies. 3/5
Starting out

Some of the more unusual whimsies


Stave, Wash Day

800 pieces. Spectacular!  Huge amounts of color that required careful distinction, and the usual tricky whimsy and other pieces, plus a rebus at one corner. 10/10
Starting out

Sorting by color

Something red

Something multicolored

Now there's just sky


Color line cutting made this section particularly difficult

Multipiece whimsies