Saturday, February 07, 2009

Puzzle From Hell

Someone gave us this puzzle for Christmas. Now, before you read any further, follow that link. Looks like a perfectly ordinary puzzle, apart from the funky shape, right?

Here's what makes this particular puzzle a form of torture:
  • There is no indication whatsoever on the box that it is a shaped puzzle. Looking at the packaging, it appears to be an ordinary rectangular puzzle. It's hard to start by finding the edge pieces when the box art lies to you about what shape the edge actually is.
  • The pieces fit together very loosely. We semi-jokingly said that the easiest way to tell if two pieces were a fit was if they fell apart when you touched them. When it's all done, there is a full inch of play across the entire puzzle - you can squeeze the pieces together and stretch them apart by a full inch. I measured.
  • The title, "Snowy Trees", is a misnomer. It should be called "Snowy Tree", because whoever created the picture only bothered to paint one tree, and then used Photoshop to copy and paste that tree everywhere else. Oh, sure, he transformed some of them a little: One of them is squished down really squat and wide, another is stretched out tall and skinny; one is flipped to a mirror image of the rest of them. But it's the same goddamned tree, over and over.

We didn't let it beat us, though: