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.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Orbicular Geode Puzzle No. 1142

Nervous System, 355-375 pieces (marked that way).  The geode puzzles are so beautifully colored and with a complex, organic cut.  A lot of fun to do but very difficult to see how it goes together. 4/5

Yuletide Memories, Beryl Peters Designs

Liberty, 690 pieces. A big one! A lot of present/holiday-themed whimsies, unsurprisingly; my favorite was the ball surrounded by jacks.  Similar colors for the different vignettes made this one a tough challenge to assemble! 4/5

multipiece snowman

multipiece train (three different parts)

ball and jacks

kid on tricycle

Friday, January 24, 2020

Piet Mondrian, Oostzijdse Mill

Artifact, 181 pieces.  Small but very nice. With geometric pieces and big areas of similar color, there's a fine line between hard and unduly frustrating.  This puzzle successfully stays on the hard side, and I'm generally a fan of the way Tetris-like pieces break up an image and complicate assembly.  4/5

John Atkinson Grimshaw, On the River Greta, Lake District, England

Liberty, 609 pieces. A very challenging Liberty, with the kind of construction I expect more from Artifact--a number of whimsies embedded in circles.  The colors took a while to become legible--it's a dark palette--but the ultimate result was very nice.  5/5

multipiece tree

two-person canoe, with some of the encircled whimsies above

Monday, January 20, 2020

Pavillons Arbores (Naval Flags)

Penelope, 500. Side note: Penelope puzzles have a wide variety of dimensions and come in very different boxes. Even the 500 piece puzzles are generally not exactly the same in dimensions and neither are the boxes. Even in our age of customization, it's not handmade customization; I can't imagine what it took to have all those different boxes made (many Penelope puzzles are stored flat, so you need dimensions that match the puzzle).  It's a view into a different, lost world.  Anyway, this is a view into an even more lost world--old flags of governmental entities that are mostly gone, though it's interesting to see to what extent the flags portrayed as large/central were more likely to survive into the modern age than the smaller ones. A lot of fun to put together as I figured out various orientations of different flags. 4/5

A Resounding Success

Liberty, 513 pieces. Really elaborate multipiece cat whimsies--two of them, seemingly nearly identical (I think you couldn't quite have moved pieces freely, but maybe!). Cat and music and snow whimsies. 4/5

two piece guitar


drum set

Friday, January 17, 2020


Penelope, 500 pieces. Another heir to the dissected map--faded colors initially added to the challenge, but ultimately subtle shadings reasserted themselves in guiding assembly, which is a phenomenon I really enjoy.  3/5