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, December 29, 2017

Art Liestman puzzle vessels

No other puzzle today, but some beautiful puzzle art: Art Liestman's puzzle carvings. I bought one a few months back and I love it.
My vase is very light but sturdy, which I know because I am a fumblefingers.  Liestman does a number of different puzzle designs.  His website is here.

Mark Graham, Typographer's Wooden Puzzle

Liberty, 525 pieces.  Trees seemed to be the theme; a very difficult puzzle because of all the different colors, scattered evenly throughout.  3/5

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

3 3-D puzzles

Flair Woodworks, 18x3 pieces.  These hand-cut puzzles were challenging because a number of the pieces weren't cut identically on both sides, meaning that there was only one correct order in which they could be assembled.  That took some extra time to figure out!   They have a few more of these available if you're looking for something different for the puzzler in your life. 4/5

Closeup on one piece which has to be slid into another

Closeup on two pieces--note that they don't have the same profile on all sides

Eggplant bouquet

Five Frogs, 197 pieces.  Very wriggly pieces.  This is a fun one--very subtle color shifts, and the cutouts make for some tricky visual illusions.  There are also a pair of nearly identical pieces, differing only in color, so you have to place them right!  5/5

Thursday, December 21, 2017

William Merritt Chase, Open Air Breakfast

BCB Puzzles, 465 pieces.  There's a mini-puzzle matching the big puzzle here, and I have to admit I looked at it a couple of times after I finished it for guidance, which I think counts as a violation of my usual rule of not looking at the puzzle image.  Until I figured out what was going on, it was ... puzzling.  4/5

Laser-cut geometric puzzle in frame

Crazy Clever Puzzles, 24 pieces.  The challenge here is to fit the pieces into the frame, a bit like a teaser.  I found it entertaining but too small for my jaded tastes, and it needed a bit more protection in shipping--I ended up having to repair it with wood glue.  Still, always nice to see another puzzle creator, and I almost certainly would have liked a bigger one more.  2/5

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Roger Garwood, America Cup Winner 1987

Optimago, 308 pieces.  Nice challenge for its size, with some interesting color patterns created by the water.  3/5

Light Snowfall in New York, Linnea Pergola

Liberty, 702 pieces. A great extra-large Liberty, with nice snow- and New York-themed whimsies, including cabs, hot dog carts, and Lady Liberty.  5/5

Friday, December 15, 2017

Nadiezda, Night Ship

Artifact, 283 pieces.  Doubled image meant double hard, despite the presence of some very large whimsies.  4/5

Crazy Quilt

Stave, limited edition, 139 pieces.  It's not on the website any more, but I'm going to call it a Teaser given how hard it was to get right.  I had to redo the center a lot before I got it right, and I'm pretty sure the pictures show some changes at the corners too.  7/10

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Liberty, 507 pieces.  Nice puzzle with a lot of similarly colored areas, making assembly in stages the preferred technique.  There's a dancing bear in the whimsies, as well as a lot of bulb shapes on the pieces which I guess are meant to evoke streamers?  3/5

West Indian Garden, Alex Beard

Liberty, 522 pieces.  This is a fantastic Liberty puzzle, one of the best I've done--the Alex Beard ones seem to turn out well in general.  Very hard but also very rewarding.  5/5

some of the whimsies

A spiderweb!

... aaaand it looks like I didn't take a picture of the very end.  Trust me?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Welcome in London

411 pieces, Mr. Gogo puzzles: Another really tricky one, because of the nearly precise reflections--beautiful. Several multipiece, themed whimsies, of which the palace guard is the cutest (shown in the last picture).  6/10 Stave scale.