A Puzzling Puzzle

At Christmas Tom and I gave my mom a couple of jigsaw puzzles.  Mom and I really like doing puzzles and we especially like it when we can do them together.  Wednesday we were at Mom and Dad’s – the guys (including nephew Jared) were doing manly man stuff like chopping down a tree – and Mom and I decided to start one of the puzzles we had given her.

Safety rope around the tree
Jared guides, Tom saws, and Dad supervises

We chose the Jane Wooster Scott puzzle.  Jane Wooster Scott is one of Mom’s favorite puzzle artists.  Her paintings are early 20th century scenes that evoke a bygone era.  They have bright colors, lots of detail, and are a joy to put together.

puzzle 010I bought the “Lure of the Sea” puzzle at Barnes and Noble in Fairlawn, Ohio, which has an awesome puzzle selection.  I could have purchased 20 puzzles – there were so many that I liked!  But I restrained myself and got this one and one other.  One of the things that I liked about “Lure of the Sea,” besides it being by Jane Wooster Scott, was that it was 500 extra large pieces.  I figured it would go together quickly and be fun to do.

So I purchased it, we gave it to Mom last Saturday, and we opened it to do on Wednesday.  As soon as we spread the pieces out on the table we knew we had a problem.  As you can see from the picture, this is a tranquil harbor town.  The pieces of the puzzle we had included movie star faces, titles of magazines, and candy bars.

We decided to put the puzzle together since we were puzzled about what it could be.  So we started sorting out the edge pieces.  The guys came in from taking care of the tree and we explained the problem to them.  Jared found it so intriguing that he immediately started helping us.  Now, I am an orderly puzzle put-togetherer (surprise, surprise!), so I was still sorting edge pieces out.  But Jared just started grabbing anything that was the color he wanted.  Despite our different styles, the three of us started to get the puzzle together.

We quickly figured out that it was a newsstand with various Hollywood magazines and candy bars for sale.  It was stylized, as the magazines were from many different decades.  But that made it easy to put together because each magazine cover was a separate puzzle.

puzzle 011Tom soon got drawn in to the puzzling puzzle and the four of us had it finished in an hour and a half.  It really was a fun puzzle, even though it was very different from “Lure of the Sea.”  Tom did the hardest part – the stacks of black and white Variety, and we all got our movie stars placed in the correct spaces.

Then we took a couple of pictures and sent an e-mail to the company that made the puzzle, Ceaco.  I tried calling their customer service number, but they must have this happen so often that it went right to “if you got the wrong puzzle in the box, please take down this information.”  I’d be a little concerned if that was one of the options on my company phone line.  So we sent an e-mail and got a quick response.  I filled out the paperwork and mailed it in today, so Mom should have a new puzzle (maybe even “Lure of the Sea”) in short order.

One of the things we found really humorous was the quality control slip of paper inside the puzzle box.  “This puzzle was inspected by Team #114 . . .”  The e-mail for Team #114 was included so we sent them a picture of the box and the completed puzzle.

I looked up the name of the puzzle we did on the company website.  Want to hazard a guess?  Yep, “Hollywood Newsstand”!

Mom and I have bought lots of puzzles over the years and this is the first time we have ever gotten the wrong puzzle in the box.  But I doubt that Jared and Tom would have helped with “Lure of the Sea.”  It was the lure of the mystery puzzle that drew them in and made this a puzzling puzzle worth remembering.

Happy New Year!  I hope you celebrated in a safe and sane way.  May 2016 be a year full of blessings, mysteries solved, and fun family times.