I closed out 2022 with two WASGIJ? puzzles. First up, Strictly can’t dance:

This was probably the first WASGIJ puzzle where I didn’t really know where it was going until close to the end. Usually they’re pretty easy to work out, for example, you might have an image of some horrified poodles, and when you spread out the pieces there’s lots of grey fur and teeth, and then you know it’s wolves, and the rest is just filling in the details. (As far as I know, there is no puzzle with poodles and wolves, that was just an example). Anyway, this was great fun, even though there was one piece missing. You can have a peek at the finished puzzle here.

The second WASGIJ was Late Booking:

Here I did know immediately why the tourists are not happy, but it still turned out to be my favourite WASGIJ so far. In fact, I’m going to have to think about possibly keeping this to do again, I loved it so much. You can have a peek at the finished image here.

That was it for 2022, more to come in 2023, of course!

The Lovers of Vence, 2022-12-22

Not the easiest 500-piece puzzle that I’ve ever done, but the fantastic Ricordi quality made it a joy to assemble. The painting itself is not my favourite type of art, but it still made for a nice puzzle.

The Lovers of Vence by Marc Chagall, Ricordi Arte, 500 pieces. Completed on December 22, 2022.

Bullfighting, 2022-12-18

A friend brought me this old wooden puzzle, possibly from the 30s. The brand is NK (Nordiska Kompaniet, a large department store in Sweden), and i think it’s no later than the 30s, possibly even earlier. The box uses an old word for jigsaw puzzle (“läggspel”), whereas we now use the word “pussel”. (My friend said that the earliest use of the word “pussel” she could find was from 1919, but I don’t think this is quite that old.)

There was no image on the box (just the title in Swedish, written by hand). I have to say this must be one of the most difficult puzzles I’ve ever done. Some of it was fun, like working out how the pieces fit together when every piece is completely unique, but the less fun part was that since this is not interlocking, I had to be extremely careful, the slightest touch could push the pieces apart. Also, there were a lot of missing pieces, that also increased the difficulty level. I counted 19 holes, but at least one is so big that that there should probably be two pieces there.

Bullfighting, NK, 350 pieces. Completed on December 18, 2022.

There were many whimsies, here are some examples:

Part of the horse was cut so that it followed the outlines, making it quite tricky:

Anyway, it was fun to get to try a puzzle like this, even though it turned out to be more challenging than I expected.

Devolved Parliament, 2022-12-14

This was a Christmas present from last year that I finally got round to. It was hard, but nor quite as difficult as I was expecting. The quality was very good, and the random cut hepled as well in the dark parts. Unfortunately, one piece is missing (top right corner).

The image is, of course, the most famous painting by street artist Banksy, where the British members of parliament are shown as chimpanzees.

Devolved Parliament by Banksy, The Gifted Stationary Company, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 14, 2022.

Schönbrunn, 2022-12-10

A collage of images of the imperial palace Schönbrunn in Vienna, and of the castles most famous inhabitants, the Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Empress Elisabeth. Elisabeth was a very popular figure, but she found it hard to adapt to the formality of the Austro-Hungarian court. She was eventually murdered by an Italian anarchist in Switzerland in 1898, aged 60. Her life (especially her youth as a glamorous empress) has inspired many movies, the most famous of which are from the 50s and starred a young Romy Schneider. The films were a huge hit in German speaking areas, and they were popular in Finland as well (my grandmother loved them). Netflix now has a TV-series about her called The Empress, and I just heard that there will be a second season.

Schönbrunn, Piatnik, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 10, 2022.

The puzzle itself was nice. It’s an older Piatnik (I would say at least 20, maybe 30 years old), an Austrian brand. The quality is generally good, but you do get the odd false fit.

Celebrating Our Glorious Queen, 2022-12-04

This puzzle was released to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the summer of 2022. I had been meaning to get a puzzle to do after the queen has passed, and I put in an order on August 28. Two weeks later the queen had died, but since my order contained a lot puzzles that were not in stock, I decided to wait. Well, I finally got tired of waiting and cancelled the remaining two puzzles that still weren’t in stock. So here, finally, my tribute to Her Majesty Elizabeth II, who was also a puzzler.

Celebrating Our Glorious Queen, Gibsons, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 4, 2022.

The puzzle was easy and fun. There are images of the Queen, her parents, her sister, and her husband.

The Liljestrand House in Winter, 1860, 2022-12-06

It’s Independence Day in Finland today, so here’s a painting by Finnish 19th Century artist Magnus von Wright. This was a very pleasant assembly, and as with many older Tactic puzzles, the quality was excellent. The Christmas tree in the image looks like it’s on its way out, which would make this January 1860.

The Liljestrand House in Winter by Magnus von Wright, Tactic, 500 pieces. Completed on December 6, 2022.

Cobblestone Evening, 2022-12-01

There are lot of puzzles with paintings by Thomas Kinkade, but I think this is the first I’ve done. I got it cheap (3 EUR for a factory sealed copy), but I was expecting it to be really difficult. It wasn’t, really, and my dislike of green vegetation seems to be mostly about photographic images. The great quality helped too, of course. Like many Schmidt puzzles, it had a rather tight fit, which is pleasant while assembling, but a bit annoying when taking the puzzle apart. Anyway, I loved it!

Cobblestone Evening by Thomas Kinkade, Schmidt, 1000 pieces. Completed on December 1, 2022.