Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Lest you think I am referring to the adjective "puzzling" (ex: the clues were puzzling), I am actually referring to the noun "puzzling" (ex: I recently participated in puzzling). Last week I finished a 1500-piece puzzle called Noah's Ark.

Here are a few tips for successful puzzling that I decided to jot down from the experience:
  1. Start with the border. It's always the easiest part to put together.
  2. Organize pieces by color and begin on the section with the most color variation. In this case, the people and things on the boat provided the most variation, so it was the easiest part to put together.
  3. Match shapes. Look for variations in the hooking joints (not sure if that's the technical term). Sometimes an arm of a piece will be perfectly round--other times it will have a knob leaning in one direction or a straightened edge.
  4. When you get stuck, start organizing pieces by the grain of the paper. If you let the light reflect just so on a puzzle piece, you can tell the direction of the grain of the paper on which the puzzle was printed. You will then know if the piece fits in hortizontally or vertically.
  5. Don't spend too much time on the puzzle. I always can spend hours on a puzzle because I think, "Just one more piece!" Be sure to manage your life in such a way that you add variation into your daily activities.


Tom & Shalaun said...

Did you know I've been peeking at your blog? I like the "puzzling" post, and it sounds just like you to mince words. Congrats on completing it. Do it on the floor while you still can (our floor is no longer an option with kids around).


Maria said...

The term you're looking for is actually "chads." Instead of "Hooking joints," that is. Which reminds me of the 2000 presidential election in which there was so much controversy over the dangling chads on the Florida ballots. Which reminds me of the quiz question and (incorrect) multiple choice answer my government and politics teacher gave us shortly thereafter: Q- What is the largest impact of the voting inaccuracy allegations? A- People in Florida feeling sudden urges to name their sons Chad. Heh.

Daniel said...

We love reading your post and we look at it all the time. this puzzling post has me puzzled though. You call puzzling a noun, but I would have thought it were a verb, though perhaps you are using it as a gerund which would make it a noun. Puzzling.

Dad said...

Yes, this is puzzling! At first, I thought puzzling, as you are using it, Trish, is a gerund (the noun form of a verb ending in 'ing'. Example: swim and swimming). But, puzzle is not a verb, is it?? Rather, it's a noun. So, is puzzling (the noun) the 'ing' form of the other noun 'puzzle'. Help!! Ah, maybe I'm just an old man who can't think straight any more and is all confused?