Friday, January 18, 2013

The puzzle from hell

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Two of my friends gave me different Jacquie Lawson advent calendars for Christmas.  (Thanks Ellery and Laura.)  I have to admit, I spent a lot more time with the puzzles than anything else.  In fact, I did them over and over again trying to make better time.

Then Leann told me about puzzles online.  Uh-oh!  Huge time sink.  I figured it might be better to do an actual physical puzzle, where I could spend a few minutes on it and then leave and come back later to play some more.

I bought a BIG box of 14 puzzles.  They had 100, 300, and 500-piece puzzles.  Since I only got that puzzle a week before Christmas, we only the two 100-piece puzzles and one of the 300-piece ones.  we would have done more, but ... we decided to save them until next Christmas.

Still, we were in a puzzle mood.  (And BTW, when did puzzles get to be so expensive?  Back when Mr. L and I used to do them on lazy Saturday afternoons (not all THAT long ago), they used to cost under $4.  Not anymore!)

I bought a bunch of puzzles from yard sales and gave them to my mother.  Somehow or other she never got around to doing them.  So I "borrowed" one from her last week. The picture on the box (above) is lovely.  A quaint English cottage.  Lots of contrasting pieces.  Easy, right?

OMG what a mistake!  This puzzle is a 500-piece puzzle and it is horrible! The picture to the right is many hours of work over three days! Too many pieces are almost interchangable.  The pieces are SMALL.  I have to wear reading glasses just to look at them.  There's far toooooo much roof on this house, and too much empty sky ... and too many tiny flowers.  Worse than that, there appear to be a number of edge pieces missing. Mr. L has already suggested we toss it in the trash, but I'm made of tougher stuff.  This puzzle isn't going to get the better of me!

Have you ever felt that way about a puzzle?
CONTEST UPDATE: A couple of weeks ago, I held a contest to name the next Booktown mystery.  The winner is posted over on my own blog (Dazed & Confused).  Click here to see if you won!


BusyMom said...

I have to laugh because I used to get SO frustrated doing puzzles. Now I do 1000+ pieces in days.

Stick with it. Good Luck

Unknown said...

This is just wrong. I clicked on puzzles online and the first puzzle was YARN. You know I'm a knitter right? And I can't be sitting in my kitchen two hours from now doing jigsaws, right.? I have an important waxing appt. and yoga to do and my crazy husband insists on eating dinner every single night. OK Just a few more pieces. ;-)

CindyD said...

You need to hire my daughter! She went with us to my stepson's where they gave up on a 1000 piece baseball puzzle and she finished it in two days.

LD Masterson said...

I was checking blogs around midnight last night before going to bed. Saw that link to online puzzles. One thing led to another and I didn't get to bed till 3:00.

I'm blaming you. *yawn*

Lynda said...

I love doing puzzles, however I have to do them in a spare room so the cats won't run off with the pieces. Problem is that I have no will power when it comes to leaving them and going to bed.

My brother and I used to try to see who could give the other one the hardest puzzles. He gave me a black cat - all you could see other than black were the eyes. I gave him a white baby harp seal in the snow, etc. But I won when I gave him one that had a different puzzle on each side, so you had to figure out which side of the puzzle piece went to which puzzle. I almost felt bad about that one because he finally had to admit defeat.

Linda McDonald said...

I have not done a puzzle in a long, long time. I used to love them when I was a kid. But yes, this one looks like it would make me feel very frustrated!

Karen B said...

I work a couple 1000 piece puzzles a week. I had one that took me 3 weeks but I was determined, finally finished it, took 1 last look and threw it in the garbage. NO ONE should ever have to do that one! I donate finished ones or pass them on to family, friends and my mailman.
I discovered several years ago that you can order them online - which I do too often.....!

Aurian said...

My family got the puzzle bug in 2011, when they discovered puzzles by Jan Haasterman, which are kind of comical, with some kind of action on each part of the puzzle. And some naughty things, and some crazy things that appear in each puzzle, like the shark, the ghost, the cat. It is fun, and I some as well. But in the end, I prefer reading. My mother recently did a 5000 piece puzzle, but it is just too big to be fun anymore, you have to walk around the table to be able to reach what you want.

Margie said...

One year, during the second or third season of Lost, by husband got me a Lost puzzle. It didn't come with a picture of how it was supposed to look. Took me over two weeks, but boy, what an accomplishment.

Kaye George said...

Here's another online puzzle site, in case you need more. :)

(I do online sudoku, too.)

Carol N Wong said...

500 pieces is not bad except I would hate the tree part of that one. I like to do 1,500 pieces. A few months ago I received a puzzle that was 2,000 pieces all in various shades of gray! I could not finish that one. Hated it.

I did have a 4,000 piece puzzle once from my mother in law. She thought that she would cure me of puzzles. I finished it!!


Hangman said...

Puzzles are always frustrating for the first time but later on they bring so much interest that you would spend more and more of your time on it. I like playing crosswords, puzzles.