Ocean Habitat, 2021-08-31

Another Funky Zoo puzzle, one of my favourite series. These are always so much fun, and this was no exception. One thing I missed was the cleaning lady that has been present in all other Funky Zoo puzzles I’ve done. Maybe she’s on vacation, although it wouldn’t surprise me if she quit, given the working conditions 🙂

Ocean Habitat by Marino Degano, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 31, 2021.

There were quite a few cats in this one 🙂

Someone’s been sent to sleep with the fishes:

As for the quality of the puzzle, I’m happy to report that it’s excellent. The date on the bag says October 2016, and I found none of the problems I’ve had with some 2015-2016 Heyes.

Jane Austen’s Book Club, 2021-08-30

My second eeBoo puzzle, they do have some lovely images. This was pretty easy, with areas of different colours and patterns.

Jane Austen’s Book Club, eeBoo, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 30, 2021.

eeBoo puzzles have a very shiny finish, but I don’t mind that, and there wasn’t much glare anyway. The cut is very good, but there were some damaged pieces:

Not too bad, but at over 20 EUR these puzzles are really expensive in Europe.

Cat’s Life, 2021-08-28

Another installment in Marino Degano’s Life series. As always, great fun!

Cat’s Life by Marino Degano, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 28, 2021.

A lot of fleas live on the cat, and they are trying to keep out the ticks and the mosquitoes:

Some ticks try to get in wearing false noses to look like fleas:

The fancy part of cat, but on the right, the builders have stumbled onto an old burial ground, and all of us who have seen Poltergeist know exactly where this is heading…

The Stray Cats are playing:

After I had another less than stellar quality Heye right before I left for Dortmund, I consulted my database and found that I bought 38 (yes, really) Heye puzzles in 2016 (which is when both of my disappointing Heyes were produced). I brought some of the ones I haven’t done yet with me, and this is one of those. The date on the bag is September 2015. The pieces are indeed quite thin, but the fit is very good, and the pieces also lie flat. Given a choice, I would always like that extra mm of thickness in the pieces, but overall, this is fine.

By the way, the cat is wearing a QR code around the neck. My phone couldn’t read it off the puzzle itself, but when I read it off the poster it worked. It leads to a website by Marino Degano, where he’s shared some early versions for some of his puzzle art. There are also a couple of online jigsaw puzzles (all part of the Dog’s Life puzzle). Sadly, it hasn’t been updated since 2016.

Classic Romance, 2021-08-26

So, I was feeling pretty good about the quality of Grafika, but then I did this Clementoni right after Fish Magic, and I have to say, as soon as poured out the pieces, I remembered what true quality feels like. Grafika is all right, but not really top notch.

Movie poster collages may be my most favourite type of puzzle, and I knew this would go very fast (it’s only 500 pieces), so I did it without using the image on the box to prolong the pleasure. It was still pretty fast 🙂

Classic Romance, Clementoni, 500 pieces. Completed on August 26, 2021.

I counted posters for 34 movies (some movies have two posters), and I’ve seen about a third of them. Some of them don’t quite fit the title, especially North by Northwest & Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Fish Magic, 2021-08-25

I finally managed to finish Fish Magic, a painting by Paul Klee from 1925. The dark parts were quite challenging, and some pieces probably are placed wrong (there were at least two places for each piece where they fit perfectly, and sometimes it was very difficult to know which slot was correct). Each row had a repeating pattern, so that the exact same shape would appear twice in each row. I used this to identify what shape of piece I was looking for, and that helped a lot.

Fish Magic by Paul Klee, Grafika, 2000 pieces. Completed on August 25, 2021.

I even had some of the pieces in orderly rows to make it easier to find pieces. I’m usually far too lazy for something like this, but with this one, I really needed all the help I could get.

Next, I will do something much easier!

Fish Magic, In Progress & Shopping

I’ve now reached the “WTF was I thinking?”-stage with this puzzle. All of the remaining pieces (1000+) of this 2000-piece puzzle are very dark. At least it’s a Grafika and the precision of the cut is excellent, but this will take some time.

This year I’ve been very good about not buing a lot of puzzles, but now that I’m in Germany and get free shipping from my favourite puzzle vendors, I put in two rather large orders. Here’s what I got:

Artist’s Studio, 2021-08-15

I finished the Artist’s Studio Escape / Exit puzzle. I won’t post a photo of the finished puzzle here, but you can find it along with thoughts on the puzzles within the puzzle on my dedicated spoiler page.

As I expected, this turned out to be perhaps the most enjoyable jigsaw puzzling experience of all the Exit puzzles. Until the very end when I had to do the edges, that is. The puzzle had a rating of 5/5 difficulty for the puzzles within the puzzle, and I couldn’t solve all of them even with the help provided by Ravensburger.

The backstory was again a bit different in English than in German, but only in small details this time. The story is that in the early 16th Century, your master has been arrested, and you rush to the studio to do away with any incriminating evidence (it’s not entirely clear of what, but of some kind of illicit art). The final solution was quite funny, and I didn’t quite see it coming (usually it’s quite easy), so I really enjoyed that, too. All in all, one of the best Exit-puzzles, I would say.

Geometry, 2021-08-14

I decided to start with something easy in Dortmund. This was great fun, and it was easy to pick out the pieces for each section. The little car is my new puzzle mascot – I saw some people had mascots in a Facebook puzzle group and decided I needed one, too!

Geometry, Cloudberries, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 14, 2021.

It’s an Opel Adam, and I have this car, also yellow with a black roof, although instead of the large Borussia Dortmund logos I only have a small sticker in the rear.

Speaking of Borussia Dortmund, on Saturday the first game of the new Bundesliga season was played at home, and I was lucky enough to be among the 25 000 who were allowed to watch the game in the stadium. 25 000 is still less than a third of capacity, but it’s more than has been allowed since February 2020. We won 5-2 against Eintracht Frankfurt!

Ballooning, 2021-08-08

Great image by Loup. This came together much faster than I expected. Unfortunately, the quality wasn’t great. The pieces are thin, and the puzzle won’t lie flat, just like Rocket Launch, 2020-01-13. There was also a block of four pieces that were stuck together, because the cardboard had not been cut all the way through. Not what I expect from Heye. Like Rocket Launch, this puzzle is also from 2016, so Heye was definitely experimenting with lowering quality then. Fortunately, they seem to have got over it now. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way of telling which puzzles are like this, there are also versions of Rocket Launch that are perfectly fine. Quality may wary in different runs.

Ballooning by Loup, Heye, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 8, 2021.

This was my last puzzle in Helsinki for quite some time. On Wednesday, I’m finally beginning my vacation, and me and my car will again take a ferry to Travemünde, from where I will drive to Dortmund, where I’m planning to remain for about two months. I might have something to post in about a week.

Viivi and Wagner, 2021-08-07

Viivi and Wagner is a Finnish comic strip by Jussi Tuomola. It features a couple consisting of a woman called Viivi, and a pig called Wagner. Wagner is a pig in more ways than one. The first strips came out in 1992, and it’s still ongoing.

Viivi and Wagner, Tactic, 1000 pieces. Completed on August 7, 2021.

The puzzle is one of the better Tactics, the newer ones are unfortunately of lesser quality (and often ribbon cut). The older ones are grid cut, with a good mix of piece shapes and sturdy pieces. The quality here reminded me of Piatnik. The green background took a while, but it wasn’t too bad.

By the way, I found the lost piece from my previous puzzle, the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. It was in the laundry and was lucky it didn’t end up in the washing machine. I think it’s the first time a find a piece in the laundry.