Wondrous Journey, 2021-07-30

Wonderful image in the Inner Mystic series by Andy Kehoe. Like the first Inner Mystic puzzle I did, this wasn’t half as hard as it looks. I did the middle without trees first, then I finshed the edges, and finally the trees.

Wondrous Journey by Andy Kehoe, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 30, 2021.

I absolutely loved this, the image is great, and the quality is fantastic. I had a bad experience with a recent Heye last year, but since then, every Heye I’ve done has been excellent. Interestingly, the quality of Heye is now better than 20 years ago when they had a very loose fit. I bet not many brands can say that they’re better now than 20 years ago 🙂

There are currently four puzzles in the Inner Mystic series and I have them all, but I’ve only done two.

Howe Bicycles, 2021-07-28

Great puzzle in the D-Toy Vintage Posters-series. The vehicle pictured is actually a tricycle, of course. Not sure if “Glascow” is misspelled, or if this was correct in French in the 19th Century. It could even refer to some other place, not Glasgow, as I’m assuming.

Howe Bicycles, D-Toys, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 28, 2021.

I started from the bottom and worked upwards. The cut is great, I especially like having the two-tabs-opposite type pieces being a minority. It’s also good in the sense that it’s precise, although where the image is no help you do need two points of contact.

Transylvanian Habitat, 2021-07-25

Another puzzle in the Funky Zoo series by Marino Degano, and perhaps my favourite of the ones I’ve done so far. (I have all nine Funky Zoo puzzles, but I’ve only done 5.) The date on the bag says May 2021, so a very fresh puzzle.

Transylvanian Habitat by Marino Degano, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 25, 2021.

This puzzle somehow had the perfect balance of having lots of funny details, but not being too busy. It came together really quickly.

The only way to arrive in Transylvania:

You can (probably should) buy some garlic before you enter. Nearby, some rabbits are making their friends pass out from garlic breath.

A blind vampire meets a blind man. Also notice the little vampire fish.

The tireless cleaning woman present in all Funky Zoo puzzles has her work cut out for her with a blood fountain.

Someone has put a puzzle in the trash! I can actually make out what puzzle it is, it’s Dog’s Life, also by Marino Degano, and in a triangular box by Heye. I’ve done it, and still have it. I’m also happy that there will be more Funky Zoo puzzles, they are great!

The Laboratory, 2021-07-24

I did the Laboratory Escape Puzzle. You can see a photo pf the finished puzzle here, but I won’t show it in the post. This time, there weren’t many differences betwee the box and the finished puzzle. Unlike most puzzles in the series, this isn’t too dark, which is nice. Since it was only 368 pieces it wasn’t that much of a challenge as a jigsaw puzzle.

The backstory in the booklet is different in English than in the other languages. In the English backstory, you’re working late trying to develop a vaccine against a deadly disease (very topical), and accidentally inject yourself with the disease. Now you really need to finalize the vaccine to use it on yourself.

Apart from the last bit where you want a vaccine although you’re already infected (I don’t think a vaccine helps at that point), this is a pretty good backstory, as Escape / Exit puzzle backstories go. The same can’t be said for the story provided in German, French and Italian, and probably all other languages except English. In this story, you’re seriously ill, but you don’t trust doctors (!). Except, there’s this one slightly weird doctor you knew years ago, who cooked up his own medicines. This is the only doctor you can imagine entrusting your life to. Unfortunately, his phone number is no longer active, so of course, you pop over to his laboratory, where the doctor is nowhere to be found. The only logical solution is to develop the medicine you need yourself (WTF!). There’s even a handy book to help you:

Virology for dummies

This is the kind of nonsensical backstory I’ve come to expect, but apparently, the English translator couldn’t handle the idiocy anymore, and decided to make up his own story :-D.

There were six puzzles to solve, and I couldn’t do any of them without the Ravensburger hints, and the last one I didn’t understand at all.

A Wasgij and New Exit Puzzles

I finished the Wasgij-puzzle Uproar at the Vets. I won’t post the whole image here, but you can find it on my spoiler page for Mystery Puzzles.

A bird with tooth ache?

I also finally received two new Exit Puzzles that I ordered back in January:

They were originally both listed as 759-piece puzzles, but sadly, the Laboratory is only 368 pieces. The artist’s studio has the full 5 difficulty points for the clues, so I don’t expect I’ll be able to understand all of them 😊

At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance, 2021-07-20

Nice little puzzle with a funny cut. Loved the image by Toulouse-Lautrec. Even the dark parts had some variations in shade, which helped.

At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, D-Toys, 515 pieces. Completed on July 20, 2021.

I think I was almost a third in when it struck me that all the pieces have the same basic shape. Usually I find this annoying, and I would probably get tired of this, too, in the end, but I found it a lot better than having only the usual two-tabs-oppsite pieces. The cut was advertised as difficult on the box, but it didn’t seem like that to me. If anything, it was easier than doing a puzzle with exclusively two-tabs-opposite pieces, because there was always just one way the pieces could fit together.

Finnish Matchboxes, 2021-07-19

Great collage of (mostly) Finnish matchboxes. Despite the name, there’s at least one that says “Made in Sweden”. According to the box, the designs are from about 1930-1985, and I do recognize a few. While many were produced for the domestic market, there are some more exotic designs as well.

Finnish Matchboxes, Lautapelit.fi, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 19, 2021.

The puzzle was produced directly for one of my favourite puzzle vendors, Lautapelit.fi, and made in Poland. The quality is nice, with a good mix of piece shapes.

This are two of my favourite designs: on the left a rather gruesome ad for insurance (in Swedish), and on the right for Philips radios.

Some of the matches were produced for use in other countries, like the USA and Saudi Arabia:

The most instantly recognizable design is this:

The brand of Sampo matches is still available and they still use a similar design, although with different colours. Since 1995, however, they are no longer produced in Finland.

Vive Notre Dame!, 2021-07-16

Great image by Loup showing Notre-Dame in Paris. The church was severely damaged in a fire in 2019, and Heye paid tribute by releasing this lovely image again (it was previously released in 1991, although some characters have been added for the new release).

Vive Notre Dame! by Loup, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on July 16, 2021.

This is my favourite kind of Loup puzzle, with funny details but not too busy. And it did turn out to be very enjoyable and quite easy.

Exorcism with a broom, a fleeing ghost and a flying nun:

Hotel World, 2021-07-06

I’ve been puzzling a bit less lately, and I’ve now used up all my photos. I’ve decided to abandon my schedule of posting always on Fridays and mostly on Tuesdays as well. Whenever I’ve finished a puzzle and written a post about it, I will publish it right away. I may still do in progress-posts about larger puzzles, but there may, of course, be longer periods when I have nothing to post.

But onto Hotel World, a great Heye puzzle from 2002!

Hotel World by Hugo Prades, Heye, 1500 pieces. Completed on July 6, 2021.

The fit was a bit loose for my taste, as it often is with Heye puzzles from this time. There was also something else that I noticed while working on Space Diner (1999) as well: while there is a good mix of piece shapes, there are no pieces with two tabs next to each other. All other common grid-cut piece shapes are present.

There are, of course, a lot of funny details. One of my favourites is the blob in the kitchen. Unlike in the movies, this blob looks as alarmed as the people around it:

I don’t remember where the blob came from in the movies, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t from a tin:

Is that supposed to be “Marinated blob”?

Here some horrified hens catch a cooking show:

There are some activities I would definitely not associate with a hotel, like surgery:

One theme that repeats throughout the puzzle is how everyone is online all the time, and it’s not presented as a good thing. Even in the surgery, everyone is looking at the screen.

In the chapel, the internet seems to have replaced the deity…

… while elsewhere people worship at their computers:

The internet also causes problems in the toilets:

There’s also an image which is much more political than I would expect in a puzzle like this:

A bunch of pigs are celebrating and playing with the world, and in the background a poster says “Be rich – Be happy” (I think it’s “happy”), and shows a small creature crushed under a boot. The pigs are entertained by the “Poor Band”, consisting mostly of non-Caucasian musicians. I can’t remember seeing anything this political in previous Hugo Prades-images that I’ve done, but there may of course be something that I just didn’t recognize.

Anyway, I loved this puzzle, the loose fit was the only thing I didn’t enjoy.