Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Puzzle from H#$%$##@

About 4 weeks ago four of us started a puzzle. It was supposed to be a fun puzzle of the Grand Tetons. We bought it at the visitor center in Moose and we were excited about the prospect of doing the puzzle together while talking about the wonderful time we had just had in the two parks.

WELL...that was then, and this is now.

Generally speaking, we tackle a puzzle from the edge pieces to the inside pieces. Generally speaking there is a lot of information on the edge pieces, so all we needed to do was match the design and put the pieces together. This puzzle however was different! Instead of a design, all of the edge pieces were the same color! Not fun, but we thought we could do it! Look at the shape too...they are all the same!

Following the same tactic, we then divided the inside pieces into color groups and started to put them together based on the design. We divided the pieces into 8 color groups and discovered there was not much definition in the color groups:  blue where all the pieces were the exact same color; beige with the same problem as the blue;  mountain made up of beige, blue and light gray that was impossible to sort; two-tone with a definite line to follow; trees with jagged marks; water with a shoreline to follow; and  two different lettering groups. Of the 8 groups, only 4 had some clues to use. After several days (and long after my guests left) we were able to put together the two groups of lettering! We felt a small surge of success because we were not having any putting together the beige border, the blue, beige or mountain groups.
We tackled the tree and water groups and found some small success, although it was difficult. Again, the puzzle pieces were all the same size and most were the same shape! While we had lines to follow we discovered that many of the pieces looked like they fit into “space A" but really belonged in “space B."

This is when we decided to work on the two tone group. There was definite line to follow and the outer edge was beige (because it was going to fit into the beige border). We put these pieces together with relative ease and the puzzle now had a rectangular shape, albeit unfinished.

All that was left was the beige, blue and mountain groups. I used “brute”force to get some of the beige pieces together. In fact, you can see where there are beige pieces left inside the puzzle because who knows where they go.  To get that far,  I picked up each beige piece and tried to put each “outie” into each “innie” and I actually got about a dozen pieces to stick together! However, when I tried to place the beige pieces within the finished parts of the puzzle I was not able to find where they all went.

Then came the blue of the sky and the mountain group. We tried. I mean we really tried...but there was no way we could put the pieces together. We finally admitted that the puzzle defeated us! We are not used to quitting, but we needed to quit and get the table back! Afterall, the blanket-y-blank puzzle had been hogging the table for 4 weeks!

The “Puzzle from H#$%##" is now back in the box and I’m going to donate it to the puzzle room at the community center. Maybe someone with more stamina can finish it! In the meantime, if you should see this puzzle, please avoid it!

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