The Defense of the Sampo, 2020-02-11

Today is Kalevala Day or the day of Finnish culture. It’s not a holiday, unfortunately, just a flag day 🙂 The Kalevala is a national epic, put together in the 19th Century from ancient oral traditions. The puzzle shows a scene from the Kalevala, where a witch (the one with wings) is trying to get the Sampo, a magical object that brings wealth and good fortune. The man with the white hair is Väinämöinen, a central character in Finnish mythology.

The Defense of the Sampo by Akseli Gallen-Kallella, Tactic, 1200 pieces. Completed on February 11th, 2020.

As a result of this fight, the Sampo was lost forever.

The painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallella, from 1896, is very well-known in Finland.

I bought the puzzle second hand, but it was still sealed. I’m missing two edge pieces on the right, and while I usually blame myself, I find it a bit suspicious that I would have lost two contiguous pieces from the edges. Also, I noticed early on that those two pieces were missing because I did the edges early (not first, I started with the yellow and green sky).

Happy Kalevala Day!

Animals in the Jungle, 2020-02-06

Not my usual type of image, or piece count. I recently bought about 40 puzzles from someone who wanted to get rid of all her puzzles at once, and it worked out at less than 2 EUR / puzzle. All good brands, including about 10 Wasgijs and even a wooden Wentworth puzzle. This and the Wentworth were the only ones in the lot with less than 500 pieces. There were also four puzzles in there that I either have or have done previously, but I don’t mind.

This has XXL pieces and was pleasant enough to put together 🙂 (2)
Animals in the Jungle, Ravensburger, 200 pieces. Completed on February 6th, 2020.




Hand Made Puzzle #2

My friend brought the other puzzle made by her grandfather’s brother! The Christmassy one I wrote about earlier has only recently been re-discovered, but this one my friend remembers doing multiple times as a child. As you might expect, this is more worn, and on one piece the image is partly gone. Not a huge surprise for a puzzle that many children have worked on.

The image shows scenes with Native Americans doing the things white people expect them to do (there’s one white guy in the upper left-hand corner), and I doubt this image would be made today. (2)
[Indians], hand made, 49 pieces. Completed on February 12th, 2020.
The puzzle itself has 49 pieces, and the cut was more intricate than on the first puzzle. I’m convinced this was made later, and there were even whimsies: (3)

A shark, a dog, a duck and a tree with a woodpecker and an owl. Really impressive!

These are the only known puzzles by this artist, but I’m sure he did more, and I hope they will be found someday!


Soccer Stadium, 2020-02-16

It’s been a while since I did a King puzzle, but I recently got two as a gift. This was more difficult than I expected, and the King pieces are still quite thin, I’m afraid. I was never in any doubt whether a piece belonged in a place or not, and of course, I enjoyed the image 🙂

I’m in Dortmund again (heading back to Helsinki today), and on Friday we beat Frankfurt 4-0, so I was happy to spend the weekend on a football-themed puzzle. (5)
Soccer Stadium, King, 1000 pieces. Completed on February 16th, 2020.

London – Trafalgar Square, 2020-02-02

This was a fun and easy puzzle. Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s column and the National Gallery in the background. Another quick one.

London – Trafalgar Square by Christopher Rogers,  Ravensburger, 500 pieces.

And Happy Valentine’s Day! I got this 77-piece puzzle as a freebie with an order. This happens quite a lot in Germany, when you buy for a set sum, you get something for free. I think it’s a way of getting rid of stock they can’t move, and usually what you get is useless, but this was nice. It’s a Schmidt puzzle and excellent quality.

Niagara Falls, 2020-01-22

I bought this used and carelessly threw it on the backseat of my car. Of course, it slid off, and I had to pick up the pieces from the floor. When I had finished the puzzle, there was still one piece missing, so I headed back to my car in the middle of the night, and managed to find the missing piece 🙂 Happy end!

Niagara Falls, Clementoni, 500 pieces. Completed on January 22nd, 2020.

I enjoyed this a lot, I like doing water (also rocks, but not forests). At first, I wondered why everyone on the boat is wearing blue, but then I realized they must be raincoats.

Passengers Ashore, 2020-01-19

I bought this for the princely sum of 1.50 EUR, and it turned out to be complete! It’s a Ravensburger from 1980, and the quality is fantastic. The piece shapes are so distinct, I often connected pieces based on shape alone. It makes me kind of sad that quality has declined so much in the past 40 years. In fact, I decided that whenever I see a Ravensburger from before 1990 at a good price I’m buying it, whatever the image. Most of the time, I find cut and fit more important than the image.

Passengers Ashore, Ravensburger, 1500 pieces. Completed on January 19th, 2020.

Some of the pieces and the box showed definite signs of wear, it looks like this puzzle has been assembled many times.


There was actually a reason I decided to do this puzzle. I saw the Ravensburger 9000-piece Bombardment of Algiers for sale for a very good price, factory sealed, and I wanted to try a classic maritime image to see how I liked it. I did end up buying the 9000-piece puzzle:


The box has been opened, but the bags are still sealed!


The World, 2020-01-31

This one came together unbelievably fast! I expected to finish in March but ended up completing it in January.

The World by Rajko Zigic, Heye, 3000 pieces. Completed on January 31st, 2020.

The map itself if modern, but it’s done in the style of old maps. For a puzzler, this truly is the best of both worlds, because on old maps it’s often difficult to identify places, and on modern maps, there is far too much water (on old maps the seas are full of ships and monsters).

“Modern World – Antique Map. A tribute to Mapmakers and Seafarers.”

These are images that you might find on old maps.

While relevant, I can’t remember ever seeing the Morse alphabet with flags on a map before. There were also images of various knots, used by sailors, I presume.


I think these are the tools a mapmaker would use.


Finland and Germany.