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11:56am on Saturday, 10th September, 2011:



A few Christmasses ago, I was given a jigsaw puzzle as a present.

I like jigsaw puzzles. I like them in the 1,000-2,000 size range, with a photographic image preferably of a scene rather than of some animals I'm meant to think are cute. I don't like puzzles with cartoons or paintings as subject matter. I also like them to be in colour.

Well, the puzzle I was given was of a monochrome pencil drawing my M. C. Escher. I really like Escher's work, but I could see immediately that this was going to be a difficult puzzle that I wouldn't enjoy doing. I therefore didn't do it. However, in the recent house-tidying frenzy that gripped my wife (sparked by her search for our elder daughter's National Insurance number) my younger daughter came across it. As it was she who had bought me it in the first place, she wanted to do it. She and my wife have been working on it in spare moments ever since (two weeks and counting).

They're starting to get frighteningly organised with it, too:

Yes, those are Post-It notes identifying what's in the various piles. Here's a close-up of what they say:

I don't think I've come across that degree of industrialisation before in solving jigsaw puzzles. Larger collections of pieces are all sorted by shape (although not by orientation, as my wife regards looking at the back of the piece to see the grain in the cardboard as "cheating").

I think I'm probably best keeping out of it...

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).