Political Map of Europe, 2020-11-07

I’m a little late today, because I wanted to be able to report that I’ve safely arrived in Helsinki, and now I have. I took a ferry from Travemünde to Helsinki, and the ferry was late, but I’m here now, and I’ve finally got all of my stuff from the car into my flat. I’m not moving a finger anymore today :-).

Great little Ravensburger with a map of Europe. I like maps, as long as there isn’t too much water.

Political Map of Europe, Ravensburger, 500 pieces. Completed on November 7, 2020.

Lübeck-Helsinki, 2020-09-19

Early next week, I will be returning to Helsinki with a ferry from Travemünde (a borough of Lübeck), and I found this puzzle that shows that the route has been popular for a long time 🙂

All of the city names are in Swedish or German (which is why it says Helsingfors instead of Helsinki, and Reval instead of Tallinn), and the text is in German. The puzzle is part of a Tactic series called Come to Finland, featuring old travel adverts for Finland.

Lübeck-Helsinki, Tactic, 1000 pieces. Completed on September 19, 2020.

I looked up some of the ships mentioned to try and date the poster, and it seems that the ships mentioned, Linnea and Storfursten (“The Grand Duke”), were both on this route from 1892 until the first world war. Interesting, and also lots of fun as a puzzle.

Engadin, 2020-07-28

This may be the oldest Ravensburger I’ve ever done. According to the Jigsaw-Wiki, it’s from 1972, so not quite as old as me 🙂

Unfortunately, this was not a good experience. Apart from the four missing pieces, the pieces that were there were extremely worn, falling apart really, and, even worse, dirty. Probably ancient food deposits. And I paid good money for this. In fact, this puzzle is not going to make anyone happy, so I decided to throw it away. I never thought I would be throwing away a vintage puzzle, but  I’m afraid this has come to the end of its life cycle.

Engadin, Ravensburger, 500 pieces. Completed on July 28, 2020.

The image is from the Engadin in the Swiss Alps. Since the box looks rather different from later Ravensburger boxes I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it:

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Greece: View of Oia Village, 2020-07-09

Somehow, I’ve never done a 500-piece Clementoni I didn’t enjoy, and this was no exception. It’s my second puzzle with an image from the island of Santorini, and both of them have been more difficult than they look.

Greece: View of Oia Village, Clementoni, 500 pieces. Completed on July 9, 2020.

The island itself is lovely, I visited briefly while on a cruise in 2009, and I would love to go back and stay a bit longer one day.

Kiss – The Albums, 2020-09-06

This was so much fun! I was a huge Kiss fan in the early 80’s, and I had almost all of the albums featured on the puzzle. I usually flip all the pieces before I start putting them together, but I couldn’t quite wait with this one, and there were so many pieces where I immediately knew what album they belong to.

Kiss – The Albums, Eurographics, 1000 pieces. Completed on September 6, 2020.
The pieces from Rock and Roll Over were perhaps the most easily recognizable.
Some of the albums were a bit too dark for the pieces to jump out at you. Dressed To Kill was one of the last albums I completed.
Creatures of the Night, one of my favourites.
The puzzle has none of the albums where the band appears without makeup. This one is called Unmasked, but that didn’t actually happen until 3 years later.

All in all, great fun, and a bit of a blast from the past. I don’t have any of these albums anymore, but they were still instantly recognizable.

Zozoville: Red Balloon, 2020-07-25

More adorable Zozoville monsters! I definitely want to do every puzzle from this series, I’m working on getting them all.

Red Balloon, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 25, 2020.

The images in the series seem especially suited to puzzles because there is so much subtle variation in the backgrounds that they never become really difficult or monotonous. And of course, I love all the monsters 🙂

Two Lighthouses, 2020-10-11 & 2020-10-17

A Ravensburger double pack with two lighthouses:

The one on the left is from Brittany, France. I was surprised to see that the one on the right is called Lake Constance, since I recognized it as Bodensee, but it turns out, Bodensee is called Lake Constance in English 🙂 Unusually for Ravensburger, the titles were in English only. The box was no bigger than the usual 1000-piece boxes, proving once again that the puzzle boxes are twice as big as they need to be.

I did Lake Constance first. It was a pleasant puzzle of excellent quality, not too difficult.

Lindau, Lake Constance, Ravensburger 1000 pieces. Completed on October 11, 2020.

The other puzzle was, of course, a lot more difficult. At least it would have been, if I hadn’t used the finished first puzzle as a blueprint. The two puzzles had exactly the same die cut pattern, so I started building the second on top of the other:

Took me a while to work out that it fits upside down on the first puzzle. Anyway, this was a lot easier when I knew exactly what piece shape I was looking for all the time.

At some point, I sorted the remaining pieces according to shape, and then I put in all the pieces with shapes other than two-tabs-opposite. This is what it looked like with only two-tabs-opposite-pieces left.

The finished puzzle:

Brittany, France, Ravensburger, 1000 pieces. Completed on October 17, 2020.

New Exit Puzzles

The latest three Exit-Puzzles are branded as Exit Puzzle Kids, but the only real difference to the previous puzzles that I can see is that the stories are a bit tamer, in the previous puzzles they almost always involved imminent danger of death. I still find the puzzles really enjoyable, but I couldn’t be be bothered to spend much time on the mysteries. While I do like the big pieces, I still prefer the 759-piece Exit-puzzles.

So far, I’ve gotten all of the Exit-puzzles that are available (14 puzzles), but I think I’m going to cut down a bit now, and only get the ones where I really love the image. My favourite of these three was the amusement park, and the backstory actually sounded like a promising start to a horror movie 🙂 I finished all three puzzle in one day.

I’ve added links to photos of the finished puzzles to my spoiler page for the series.