Category Archives: puzzles

hell level.

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today, on national puzzle day

i’m reminded of one of my most memorable puzzle-solving adventures

(sounds like an oxymoron, i know)

years ago, when in grad school

my sister sent me a very special puzzle

i’ve always been a huge fan of challenging jigsaw, crossword, and sudoku puzzles

after reading the description, i thought this would be right up my alley

the puzzle was all black, with a pale, delicate, and finely drawn vine winding through it

it had no straight edges, pieces were mostly all the same shape,

just slightly different sizes, and had no picture to use as a solution

i finally decided to tackle it one snowy day

that turned into three

as we were in the throng of what turned out to be a full-out blizzard

i cleared my large square coffee table, sat on a pillow on the floor,

put on some music, brought over a big cup of creamy coffee

and began

what turned out to be the most challenging puzzle of my lifetime

  determined to solve it

my back was hurting, my hands were hurting, my eyes were hurting

by the end of day one

 all the lights ablaze to detect any slight differentiation

only stopping for brief breaks or to sleep

at one point

i felt like jack nicholson in ‘the shining’

holed up, shut off from the world, snowed-in, and involved in an insane enterprise

but

solve it i did

with the gift of those three long days

when it was impossible to go anywhere

the local world pretty much shut down for the snow

 not going to let this puzzle beat me

after i put the last piece in place

 i tore it apart and put it back in the box

making a decision to never make this puzzle again

i passed it on to a friend at school, told her it was a gift not a loan, and wished her good luck.

about this item:

  • 🧩Black puzzles for adults – 1000 pcs. hell level difficulty jigsaw puzzles are made from premium quality materials, the size of each puzzle is different, each is precision made so that every piece fits perfectly, touch smooth, full of detail, Special surface film treatment. It’s a game to enlarge your brain capacity, a game to strengthen eye-hand coordination and your imagination. It’s not so easy to complete the black puzzle, but once finished, you will be proud of yourself.

puzzle history timeline:

2300 bc- early puzzles

before modern puzzles, labyrinth puzzles were popular in ancient egypt.

1767 – jigsaws

mapmaker, john spilsbury creates the first jigsaw puzzle

1908 – puzzle-mania

puzzles become a full-blown craze in the united states

1933 – peak popularity

during the great depression, puzzle sales soared to 10 million a week

“a puzzle with a solution is a game. a puzzle without a solution is a work of art.”
― marty rubin

carry on.

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trying to piece the world back together

Warehouse giant Costco likes to do everything big, from super-sized bottles of ketchup to barrels full of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Their latest exclusive offering: A jigsaw puzzle with 60,000 pieces that may take up an entire room when it’s finished.

The sprawling What a Wonderful World puzzle is actually 60 interconnected 1000-piece puzzles to make assembly (somewhat) feasible. Each features a painting from the Dowdle Art Studio of a fascinating landmark from different parts of the world, including The Great Wall of China and The Eiffel Tower.

Once each section is completed, it can be connected to the larger canvas. When finished, the puzzle measures 8 feet tall and 29 feet wide. An included legend helps you keep track of which puzzle goes where in the literal bigger picture of things. Costco has declared it the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, and that’s likely to be true. The What a Wonderful World puzzle retails for $599.

“the world is like a dropped pie most of the time.

don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together.

just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. then carry on.” 

-elizabeth gilbert

 

credits: penn news, chris hopkins, jake rosin, mental floss,

aha!

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yesterday was my favorite day of the week for crosswords

sunday paper delivered at home

weekend puzzle inside

waiting to challenge me

my personal process may include

a tiny bit (iota) of cursing (*&@^) at times

until that ‘aha’ (eureka moment) arrives.

word of the day:

cruciverbalist

cru-sih-Ver-be-list

part of speech: noun

origin: american english, mid 1970s

definition: a person who enjoys or is skilled at crosswords.

example in a sentence:

“my mother, the cruciverbalist, still receives the daily newspaper so she can solve the crossword with her pen.”

“just got excited at a crossword clue that was ‘cheese lovers’ and was like ooh,

there’s a name for people like me it turns out it was: mice.

-word porn

one of my fav films

these are my people.

 

cruciverbalist.

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 a wonderful surprise

from one cruciverbalist to another

this full-page spread crossword puzzle with 723 clues

what madness is this?

my dream come true. 

our whole life is solving puzzles.”

-erno rubik

cru·ci·ver·bal·ist  (kro͞o′sə-vûr′bə-lĭst)

n.

1. A constructor of crosswords.

2. An enthusiast of word games, especially of crosswords.

piece of my art.

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the cats have done it again

(the most likely suspects)

a long while after putting my latest puzzle away

without finding a missing piece 

they have left a piece at my feet

now all i have to do is find their secret lair

where i may discover a treasure trove

of all of my missing ‘one-pieces.’

 

“sometimes the hardest pieces of a puzzle to assemble, are the ones missing from the box.”

-dixie waters

tohubohu.

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today, someone decided

to quietly dump every single puzzle out onto the floor

mix the pieces together

then head up to the loft to play.

it was left in a perfect state of tobubohu

but somehow i couldn’t think of that word

at the moment of discovery

 tomorrow we will work on it together

and with it will come a new word.

toh-hoo-BOH-hoo

part of speech: noun

origin: hebrew, unknown

1. a state of chaos, utter confusion

examples in a sentence:

“The mayor’s unexpected announcement left the press in a tohubohu.”

“After recess the students were always in a tohubohu.”

anyone else ever achieve this perfect state?

solving.

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going through my piles of stuff

i found this page

from exactly 13 years ago

when I solved my first

nyt sunday crossword puzzle

all on my own

all spaces filled

I was so happy

this was a personal goal

I had worked on many puzzles

 and finally began to learn

the styles of the editors/writers

what spaces, clues, word play, patterns, punctuation, puns, word roots,

capital letters, italics, other languages, irony, humor, sarcasm all meant

I like to work in ink

not crossing out clues

not in any order

do as much as I can

walk away once or twice

then it somehow all falls into place

sometimes I master it

sometimes it masters me

now every sunday

I eagerly grab my newspaper from outside the door

and the challenge begins once again.

I attribute it all to sheer will and bit of magic.

‘our whole life is solving puzzles.’

-erno rubik

 

mind the gap.

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there should be a word

for the feeling you get

after you work many hours

to complete

a beautiful jigsaw puzzle

only to find

there is a piece missing. 

 

 

‘the historian has before him a jigsaw puzzle

from which many pieces have disappeared.

these gaps can be filled only by his imagination.’

-gaetano salvemini