Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Puzzling Good Time This Christmas

Snow piled on barbecue that didn't get put away in time.
 We have snow on our barbecue and the snow scoop set up and ready to go. Lots of the white stuff in Burton this December. And unless we get a few balmy days it is looking good for a white Christmas which are always the best.
Wintry backyard.
The bird feeder is taking care of the birds but I do worry about the squirrels. The snow is too deep for them to make it up the post to the little house in the backyard. Hopefully they have lots of nuts and seeds squirrelled away for a winter like this. I like to think the critters have a sense of the kind of winter it is going to be and plan accordingly?

I too have been planning and shopping squirrelling gifts away. Things are going well.

My Snowbuddies

These Snowbuddies keep me company in my "yellow room" where I write and work and plan and think during the winter months. I also keep all of my books here on shelves that are bursting at the seams. Underneath I store picture puzzles that I sometimes take a liking to. Four years ago I bought one in Cambridge Ontario in a small toy store. It intrigued me since it said on the box that it was based on a mystery story and that once I solved the mystery, I could complete the jigsaw puzzle. Wow okay. But it got to the bottom of the pile and sat there until this month when I decided I would tackle it.

Puzzle box but not picture of puzzle inside.

My sister was visiting from Ontario for three days so it seemed like a good time to put this thing together. We took the cellophane off the box and opened it.1000 pieces and a booklet. The booklet contained the story written by the author Jonathan Kellerman.

Pretty straightforward story but no help to us!

Not a long story so we jumped right in, me reading it aloud as Jane turned over the pieces. But as I got towards the end of the story we didn't know any more about what the puzzle was supposed to be of, than we did when I started. I turned the page and found the author had solved the mystery for us but had written it to be read in the mirror.

Why make the solution only readable in a mirror?
So now our dilemma. Do we try to put the pieces together with what we knew? A woman in a restaurant with her baby having lunch while her husband was at a business meeting. The restaurant was Italian and in a seedier side of town. A town the woman was totally new to. She has heard on the news that a man has been murdered in the town. When she takes her baby to the washroom to change her diaper she overhears a table of rough looking men talk about the murder. They must have done it. One of them chases her out of the restaurant and she is trying to  run with her baby and her baby bag. Okay there must be a baby bag here somewhere and maybe an Italian restaurant?

 Did I say that there wasn't ANY PICTURE OF THE PUZZLE on the box!!!  The picture on the box was not the puzzle picture.
We worked away at the puzzle to no avail so I go into the bathroom and read the ending loudly hoping Jane will have an Eureka moment and we'd be home free. 

The solution to the mystery was no help to us!! We don't know if the puzzle is of the scene in the restaurant or of the scene outside where the mystery is solved. The woman gets caught by the man but something unusual happens (don't want to give away the ending). But needless to say we now have two possible scenes.
And we have a big shared headache.

I love having a puzzle or a giant crossword, like the one that is in the Globe and Mail just before Christmas, lying about to keep idle minds busy when the Christmas cheer gets to be too much. It is usually me that needs these things but I have been pleasantly surprised how many guests take a break and have a go at them.

I decided that I needed a puzzle board to store the pieces on while I work. The theory is I can take it wherever I am in the house so I can be efficient at getting it done.

Puzzle Board with tape while glue dries.
But the guys at Kent aren't sure what I am asking them to make so they construct the whole thing to the dimensions I ask for, including the edge which makes the board too small to hold the completed puzzle. So it goes back onto the table where we continue to struggle with the pieces wishing we had a photo.
Jane goes home relieved that she doesn't have to take the damn thing with her. 

Puzzle started on my coffee table. A long way to go!

I finally decide this isn't a good choice for my family and guests to work away at while they are visiting me.  I am keeping at it until there is no more time but it will go back into its box to be completed another time (maybe). I might wait until Jane comes back for another visit.

The winner for this year's Christmas puzzle. No mystery here.
This is the puzzle I will put out for the guests. It is also 1000 pieces but it has a picture--a nice clear picture with no mystery and it will fit my new board. Happy Christmas to me!!!!


  1. I bow down to you! A puzzle with no picture! For a visual person like me that makes me feel slightly ill! I love that you were working on this with your Christmas! I need a card table where I can set a puzzle up now and then - we have not done one for a long time for that reason and you are inspiring me to get one!

  2. I made the decision today to put the mystery puzzle back into its box. I have to let it go and move on to better things.

  3. How frustrating!! Don't you want to burn it?????????????????

  4. Yes but at the same time I don't want it to defeat me! It is back in the box for now.