Pantone: Juicy Limes, 2019-12-30

Pantone is, apparently, a colour management system widely used in many industries. The things you learn while puzzling πŸ™‚

img_20191230_024357
Pantone: Juicy Limes, Clementoni, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 30th, 2019.

As a puzzle, this was one of those where you know exactly what to do all the time. I’ve done many puzzles lately where I place pieces here and there with no clear plan, but this was very clear and quite easy.

I started with the colours at the bottom, then on to the lime-coloured stripe on the right. This turned out to be the most difficult part, and I even sorted the pieces according to shape, but the cut was so great that it wasn’t much of a problem. I’ve grown more and more fond of Clementoni, and it’s now up there with Ravensburger and Heye for me.

img_20191229_095846

I went on to do the blue bowl, the plate, the table and finally, the limes and the green background.Β  There are three other puzzles in the Pantone-series, not must-haves, but I will get them if I see them at a good price. This was my last completed puzzle for 2019.

 

After School Fun, 2019-12-29

This was a great puzzle except for the boring cut (all pieces with two tabs opposite). Fun image,Β  strong colours, and the quality was great. I was appalled that the children are playing hockey in the street, but at least they’re not wearing skates πŸ™‚Β  Before I started working on this, I assumed they were on a frozen lake, but lakes don’t come with stop signs. The kid with #9 is wearing a jersey that looks exactly like the ones my favourite hockey team, HIFK, wears.

img_20191229_012853__yNI8D
After School Fun by Patricia Bourque, Eurographics, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 29th, 2019.

I had heard that new Eurographics have this boring cut, but this was my first experience with it. There are still 13 Eurographics puzzles in my to-do pile, no doubt some of them will have this cut as well, but not all. I bought this about a year ago, and my latest Eurographics purchase was about a month ago. I pulled out my newest Eurographics, and that still has the random cut that I’ve always associated with Eurographics:

img_20191229_013132

There’s also this on the box:

img_20191229_013210

From now on I’m going to assume that Eurographics has the boring cut unless I see this on the box. And if I find one of these cut with only two-tabs-opposite pieces, I’m going to complain about false advertising πŸ™‚

Another thing a noticed: the one with the random cut is made in Germany:

img_20191229_013247

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Eurographics puzzle that was made in Europe before, it’s always been Canada or the USA.

The puzzle with the boring cut is American:

img_20191229_013301

 

 

Zombis: The Blonde, 2019-12-24

A zombie Marilyn Monroe. Not really a fan of the image, but it was pretty entertaining to work on, except for pieces fitting where they don’t belong, as happens with Educa.

Webp.net-compress-image (4).jpg
The Blonde by Javi Meiner, Educa, 500 pieces. Completed on December 24th, 2019.

Zombis is, apparently, a registered trademark, but I don’t know if it’s a cartoon, or an art project or something else entirely. I expect there are other puzzles in the series, but it’s unlikely I’ll be buying them.

 

 

Stats

Here’s an extra post with my stats for 2019. I completed 113 puzzles and placed 101 494 pieces (I’m counting one section of an 18 000-piece puzzle as one 4500-piece puzzle). This is up from last year when I completed 75 puzzles and placed 85 659 pieces. I don’t think I will surpass this year before I retire πŸ™‚

Here’s a breakdown according to brand:

Brand Amount %
Ravensburger 27 24%
Heye 13 12%
Clementoni 10 9%
Tactic 5 4%
Peliko 4 4%
Grafika 4 4%
Schmidt 4 4%
Castorland 3 3%
Eurographics 3 3%
Educa 2 2%
D-Toys 2 2%
Unicef 2 2%
Trefl 2 2%
Extra Goods 2 2%
Unknown 2 2%
Gibsons Puzzle 2 2%
Jumbo 2 2%
Step Puzzle 1 1%
de-luxe 1 1%
Cloudberries 1 1%
Ingham Day 1 1%
Borussia Dortmund 1 1%
White Mountain Puzzles 1 1%
atregio 1 1%
Artifact 1 1%
Victory 1 1%
Lautapelit.fi 1 1%
Puzzle Michèle Wilson 1 1%
MasterPieces 1 1%
Calvendo 1 1%
MB 1 1%
Sunsout 1 1%
Micropuzzle 1 1%
Bluebird Puzzle 1 1%
Nathan 1 1%
Cobble Hill 1 1%
New York Puzzle Company 1 1%
Wardsback 1 1%
Dino 1 1%
Play Time 1 1%
Karmin International 1 1%
Grand Total 113 100%

Like last year, Ravensburger and Heye top the list, although this time Ravensburger is the clear number one, and Clementoni is up to third.

Here’s the breakdown according to piece count:

Pieces Amount %
1000 43 38%
500 31 27%
1500 7 6%
759 7 6%
2000 6 5%
300 3 3%
200 2 2%
150 2 2%
250 2 2%
100 1 1%
4000 1 1%
108 1 1%
3000 1 1%
30 1 1%
600 1 1%
80 1 1%
4500 1 1%
313 1 1%
350 1 1%
Grand Total 113 100%

The top 3 is unchanged here, but there are much more 500-piece puzzles than last year.

I thought I’d share one more statistic, not so much about my puzzling activity as about other people’s. I have mentioned before that, most days, over 90% of traffic to my blog is about the Exit/Escape-puzzle series that I have a spoiler page for. Well, apparently, these puzzles have been really popular as Christmas presents, because on Christmas week I had almost four times the traffic of any other week:

stats

I also feel confident in saying that the best selling puzzle in the series by a large margin is Witches Kitchen, with the Observatory coming in second.

Happy New Year!

Happy 2000, 2019-12-27

This is the best New Year puzzle I’ve ever seen. It was released in 1999 (as you can probably guess from the title), and I originally bought it 20 years ago. Unfortunately, I lost that puzzle (I still don’t know what happened to it), but earlier this year I bought another copy (still factory sealed). I’m not going into how much I paid, but I’m not sorry! I still loved every piece of this great puzzle, and I’m going to take better care of it this time. I wish Heye still used Jabo, he’s done some great images. I also see no reason why this puzzle shouldn’t still be in print, it would be great for any new year, not just 2000.

I did most of the bottle first, then onto the fireworks and the “Happy New Year” text.

img_20191227_135434
Happy 2000 by Jabo, Heye, 2000 pieces. Completed on December 27th, 2019.

There are lots of great details. Here are some unconventional spacecraft as well as the more familiar Enterpolice, with a pointy-eared pilot at the helm.

img_20191227_190529

Some devils are partying with fiery drinks …img_20191227_190628

… and the Rolling Bones perform.img_20191227_190636

Someone’s been abducted, but at least the aliens look nice.img_20191227_190657

The text and fireworks glow in the dark, but it’s incredibly hard to get good photos of that. This is the best I could do, the right half looks good, but it’s still blurry on the left.

Webp.net-compress-image(2)

Happy New Year!

Main Street, 2019-12-21

My first New York Puzzle Company Puzzle! There’s one piece missing (an edge piece on the right), which isn’t much of a surprise since this is one of the puzzles that were brought into the library. I’ve realized that one reason why so many puzzles that our library users do are missing pieces is that the cleaning staff use these big machines when they clean the floors, so if you drop a piece and don’t notice, that piece is probably a goner.

Webp.net-compress-image (3).jpg
The New Yorker: Main Street by Beatrice Tobias, New York Puzzle Company, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 20th, 2019.

The cut remindedΒ me of Sunsout, except the blades were sharper than the ones that cut the last Sunsout puzzle I did. Overall this was a very enjoyable puzzle, many old New Yorker covers make great puzzles! New York Puzzle Company-puzzles have recently become available in one of the online stores I use, so there will probably be some more of these eventually.

Santa’s Christmas Party, 2019-12-23

This is not exactly my type of puzzle, I’m not usually a fan of traditional Christmas puzzles, and I would never have chosen this myself,Β  but I got it in a lot with a bunch of other puzzles. I didn’t like it much at first, but I got more into it towards the end, but if it hadn’t been a Ravensburger, I’m not sure I would have finished it.

img_20191223_170838
Santa’s Christmas Party, Ravensburger, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 23rd, 2019.

On the box, it says “20th Anniversary Limited Edition”, but I’m not sure what that’s referring to. Not the image, because that’s copyright 2016. Then I started to imagine a series of puzzles, all called Santa’s Christmas Party, where you start out with traditional, glossy Christmas images, but over the years it grows progressively darker, ending up with elves taking meth to keep up with toy production and a drunk Santa vomiting in the punch πŸ™‚ Yeah, I know, I’m never going to be put in charge of a series of Christmas puzzles. Because I think Hugleikur Dagsson‘s series Santa Exposed would make great puzzles (Warning! NSFW, naughty, and often gross! You have been warned!)

Anyway, since there seems to be only one puzzle called Santa’s Christmas Party, but a great many beginning with the word Santa, this probably refers to the Santa-series. They could be clearer about what anniversary this is. Also, how come Santa has time to party on Christmas?

img_20191223_170958

Nice little detail: there’s a Ravensburger puzzle among the presents.

img_20191223_170902

Merry Christmas!

 

The Messenger, 2019-12-17

This wonderful puzzle (thank you again, Stacey!) is actually my first high-quality wooden puzzle. Because the cut is so distinctive, I looked much more at the shapes, usually, I go more my colour and image. Also, with cardboard, you push the pieces into place, but with wood, you have to sort of drop them. I’m sure I’ll be doing this again!

Webp.net-compress-image (7)
The Messenger, Artifact, 313 pieces. Completed on December 17th, 2019.

I pulled out the whimsies, althoug I’m not sure I got them all. I left the Roman numerals in

img_20191217_095022

There were lots of turtles, the composite one is my favourite of all the whimsies.

img_20191217_095052

An hour glass and an alarm clock.

img_20191217_095056

There are other animals as well, including two elephants with an acacia tree in the bacjground. I think the white one on the bottom is a bird, partly because it’s part of a book called “Birds of America”. The only other title could make out was “The Silent Sky”.

img_20191217_095100

There also seems to be a “group whimsy” with two native Americans warming themselves at a fire.

img_20191217_095106

Finally, there’s another composite, with a lot of turtles standing on top of each other, and on top of it all the earth. This reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, a flat planet balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle.

img_20191217_095112

Castle of Horror, 2019-12-05

I finally finished Castle of Horror, and, surprising no one, I loved it! I worked on this with no plan, and without anything resembling sorting, and it took me quite a while, but I enjoyed every minute.

img_20191205_084138
Castle of Horror by Loup, Heye, 2000 pieces. Completed on December 5th, 2019.

There are vampires everywhere…

img_20191205_084226

… and ghosts …

img_20191205_084218

… and witches …

img_20191205_084235

… some of whom can’t navigate very well. This is such a typical Loup detail πŸ™‚

img_20191205_084242

This couple arriving makes me think of some many movies where clueless innocents end up in castles with vampires.

img_20191205_084205

Since this is Loup, there are of course some naughty scenes. This puzzle actually caused a bit of a stir in Finland about 10 years ago. A blogger spotted it in the toy department of a major department store in Helsinki and was horrified (“won’t someone please think of the children”). I think the image below was what set him off. Someone from the department store had to answer questions in the newspaper, but I don’t think they pulled the puzzle.

The situation only arose because sometime earlier, the department store stupidly moved all of their puzzles to the toy department, previously they had a separate section for puzzles for adults. I can just see it, “Why do we have puzzles in two locations? Puzzles are for children, anyway!”. I remember buying my 10 000-piece Garden of Earthly delights there, but sadly, it’s no longer a good place to shop for puzzles, at least if you’re over 10.

img_20191205_084156

I usually prefer to work with the image on the box rather than the poster, but I couldn’t find the box image this time (I don’t keep the triangular Heye boxes, but I cut out the image). The poster actually worked quite well when taped to my lamp πŸ™‚

Webp.net-compress-image