Tonight’s Tabletop Tuesday is the return of Puzzle Mania. We had a lot of fun doing the Legend of Zelda Puzzle last month, so we decided to make it a regular thing. We’re not puzzle addicts. We swear.
Amanda’s brother loves puzzles, so for Christmas, we bought him four reasonably difficult puzzles and gave them to him mixed up in a single box. This sounds cruel and unusual, but he really loves puzzles. He spent around 16 hours straight trying to complete them before giving up and finally going to bed. Anyway, this lead to us realize that our puzzle addiction will get expensive. After researching some, Amanda found that you can buy multipacks of puzzles, sometimes getting four puzzles for the price of one, as was the case for the puzzle we are doing tonight.
We started the first of a four-pack of Thomas Kinkade Disney-themed puzzles, Lady and the Tramp, based on the painting of the same name. After completing the Zelda puzzle, we sat down and evaluated how we could do puzzles better in the future. We started by rearranging our initial setup to allow us easier access to all of the pieces. For this puzzle in particular, we used our TV as a giant visual aid for the design. Since these are Thomas Kinkade puzzles, very high resolution copies of the original image can be found online. That let us see the tiny details of the puzzle much more clearly. More importantly, this meant that we didn’t have to pass the cardboard box back and forth because we could both see at the same time.
The puzzle was 500 pieces, same as the Zelda puzzle, but this one was more difficult because it was smaller, measuring 18×24″. We spent about 3 hours working on it, but only got maybe half way done.
To not let our puzzle addiction get out of control, we have resolved to only do a single puzzle every month. We also struck a deal with our friends to trade puzzles when we finish them. They have a truly insidious Doctor Who puzzle of Van Gogh’s exploding TARDIS. We are both looking forward to it, and are terrified of it a the same time. We spent about 2 hours at their house one evening trying to help them out and got practically nowhere. Brutal.
As an interesting note, we came across an article on CBS News from a couple years ago while searching for puzzles. According to the study referenced in the article, solving puzzles, along with reading and other activities that engage your brain, helps prevent the plaque in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s. So not only are we having a fun date night together, but we’re also exercising our brain to be healthier, so we can remember these dates nights for longer. Two dates and a lifetime of memories in one!