Ecorider

Showing posts with label packing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label packing. Show all posts

Sunday, August 9, 2020

IPP Puzzles, the good, the bad, and the ugly

I've been attending IPP for the past 9 years.  George has been attending for 19 years.  We have all but a few puzzles from IPP19 onwards and have started to finish off our collection from the earlier IPP's.  Currently we have 1936 puzzles in this collection.  It should be fairly obvious that we haven't had time to play with all of the puzzles, but we have played with a fair few.  The post today will not discuss any specific puzzles, but rather the packaging and displaying of them.  

I'm going to start with the worst of the packaging and work my way to the best.  I believe I am 'qualified' to comment on this as I have opened every one of those 1936 puzzles, removed them from their packaging, and placed them on our IPP wall.  You may not agree with my opinion, and I will take no offense to opinions that differ from mine.  

The absolute worst form of packaging is shrink-wrap that has been sealed and needs cutting open.  This cannot be reclosed after it has been opened.  If the puzzle has a lot of small pieces, they can easily be lost. One is stuck trying to scrounge a bag to repackage the puzzle in.  There is now a rule in place because of my dear lover.  He started using this rubbish and when he was producing puzzles for many, he used it exclusively.  Thank goodness that rule has been added!  But the wrap is good for those giant fractal puzzles that I don't want touched. They hold up nicely for display.

Next up is cling wrap.  Come on people. The only thing cling wrap sticks to the second time around is itself.  It simply doesn't hold up to rewrapping.  So again if the puzzle is played with at IPP...It is another mad hunt for packaging to bring it home.

Rubberbands.  Don't use them.  They simply don't hold up to the test of time.  They get brittle and break if you are lucky.  If not, they stick to the puzzle.  Many of them that have color to them discolor the puzzles we are so eager to get.  Going back through our puzzle collection, I've realized that rubber bands begin to deteriorate after three years.  And don't even get me started on having rubber bands as a part of the puzzle.  

Form fitting cardboard boxes.  Yuck!  They look nice, but are almost impossible to get the puzzle out of the packaging without tearing the box.  

Cardboard boxes with an open round window are better.  But sometimes the pieces fall out that window.  Especially if the puzzle is one of those packing things.  

Cardboard boxes with cellophane windows are a step up.  But be warned, not all gluing is the same. Some of it falls off rather easily.  

The best type of cardboard box is one that has a removable lid or is solid on all sides without any viewing windows.  If a cardboard box is to be used, please err on the side of too large. Put your instruction sheet inside as additional packaging to fill out the space.  I'd rather the puzzle slide around a bit than have to destroy the box to get to the puzzle.  

Next up bags.  Lots of puzzles are placed into a bag of some sort to help keep the puzzles together. As with others, some are good, some are just plain ugly.  

One form of bad packaging is paper envelopes or bags.  We've had a few of these. OK. One was a joke.  A nice wooden box was put into a paper bag because packaging was necessary. Taped paper tears, sealed envelopes can never be closed again. And really, How much protection does an envelope have anyway?

This brings me to ziplock bags.  Great. Easy to open if you use the kind with sliders.  The 'normal' zips?  Not so good.  I'm one of the younger ones, and I find I have problems resealing these things.  How would that work with 80 year old gnarled hands?  And while I'm on the subject of ziplock bags, please quit making them form fitting to the puzzle.  Again, err on the large side.  A form fitting bag has to be torn apart, or if you can get the puzzle out of the bag, it's never going in again.  

There are three other types of bags that have been used to hold IPP puzzles: thin mesh bags, linen/canvas bags, flocked bags.  All three have drawstrings and are easy to open and close.  The worst of the bunch is the thin mesh bags. These often disintegrate in about three to four years.  The linen/canvas bags seem to last forever, but get hard over time.  The flocked bags are great because they are easy to print on, but the flocking comes off after around five years.  Linen/canvas bags and flocked bags are not see through so that becomes a disadvantage to me. 

The 'best' packaging? Plastic boxes.  I kid you not.  More expensive, but well worth the cost.  First we have the clear malleable 'clamshell' packaging.  These can be custom ordered for the size of your puzzle for a few cents each.  Then there are the stronger thicker plastic boxes.  These are often made of HDPE (High density polyethylene). Nice for holding puzzles, terrible for display.  

CD cases are great.  If you have a flat packing puzzle, why not give them a try.  The puzzle stays in the box, and it's perfect for display. 

My last thought on packaging is tape.  DO NOT USE IT.  All tape is not the same.  Scotch brand tape is restickable, but only if you peel it off carefully. Duck tape.  Forgetaboutit.  

Now on to the puzzles themselves.  No, I'm not going to tell you what a good puzzle is, but I will talk about the 'bad' ones.  

1) A puzzle that has been laser cut and the exchanger/producer is too lazy to take off the backing tape.  I don't want to do your job.  Do it yourself. This one infuriates me.  I just got a kickstarter puzzle set in and darned if all four puzzles have to have the backing tape removed.  

2) A puzzle that can only be solved by a computer.  How am I ever to have a chance to solve it?  

3) A puzzle with a piece that must be destroyed to complete the puzzle.  An example would be a puzzle that needs a ballon to be broken in order to solve the puzzle.

4) Magnets inside the puzzle.  Just my opinion.

5) Puzzles that are too tight. If the last piece has to be forced into place, it's not a good one for me.

6) Just another piece....Meaning a puzzle is exchanged, and yet one more piece is sold at the puzzle party the next day and adds another few puzzle challenges to the original.  

7) Puzzles that are too easy.  If I can sit down and solve it within a minute...

8) Puzzles that are without logic. They don't have to be mathematical or the traditional logic type puzzle, they just have to have some sort of order about them.  Not a randomness.  In other words, a puzzle with over 1000 solutions is not a good puzzle. 

9) Jigsaws

These are my thoughts, they stem from opening, unboxing, un-bagging, de-rubber banding or un-taping and displaying 1936 IPP exchange puzzles.  Please share your thoughts with me.  Tell me I'm not completely bonkers.  



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Booze Crate

Today's puzzle is a nod towards my  affinity towards adult beverages.  I would not recommend this puzzle for those under 18.  

I bought this puzzle off eBay a while back and promptly forgot I had it.  When Wil came in January and we started to take out my toys, he discovered it and wanted to have a go.  It got left on my desk and has been staring at me ever since.  I got tired of the accusing looks so I picked it up and took it with me for a session of testing.  

The puzzle has 4 layers to it. Each with five pieces.  It is a plastic packing puzzle with the theme of alcoholic beverages.  One side of each tile is blank while the other has a drink outline raised slightly on the opposite face.  To make it a bit more difficult, each piece is slightly irregular.  The one segment shown here is only a sample of what is in store for the puzzler.  Odd shapes and sizes.  I like that it is nicely contained in it's own box complete with cover so the pieces won't easily be lost.

When playing with this one, I dumped it out on the side table and rotated pieces around during those in between times.  Over all, it took me around 30 minutes of play time to actually solve the puzzle.  Not too bad.  I must say, the difficulty level was greatly reduced once I flipped all the pieces in the same direction.  I would say it's a nice little challenge that you should try out, but like many of my puzzles, this one isn't easy to find.  Maybe the photo below can help you make your own, or you can try your luck on an auction site near you.  


Thursday, October 4, 2012

O'Beirne's cube

Today's puzzle was exchanged by Peter Hajek. It is really a bunch of puzzles in one. When he explained it during the exchange, I've got to admit that I really wasn't sure what he was on about. (not that that means much, at the end of an exchange day I don't even really know my name. It's truly an overwhelming experience that I'll never get tired of.) I did gather that it was a packing puzzle and a fitting puzzle and that's about as much as I managed to take in.

It is first off a puzzle of how to build a box. Now that may seem easy to some but remember this is Rox we are talking about. There are twelve bits that form two boxes. Ok putting together two boxes I can do. Then I noticed that the boxes fit one inside the other! Ha! There's more to this than meets the eye. And I have to say I'm glad. I was worried about how I was going to manage to fit the blocks inside the frame if there was a big hole under the frame. (yes, that thought did cross my mind).

Now here comes the cool part. The REAL puzzle. How does one go about making the bits fit into the frame? There are 6 bits that need to fit into 6 frames. Each bit and each frame is a different size and orientation. So here we have 6 puzzles. But wait! There is more than that! It seems that we get two more puzzles tacked on top of the 7 (or 8 depending on how you count) that we already have. There are two different ways to pack the 6 bits into the box that has been provided. So now we have 9-10 puzzles in one. Value for money or what?

It's fun too. I've managed to sort out how to make the boxes-and let me tell you, that was an all teeth moment. I've also sussed out two of the six frame puzzles. I've got four more to go and for me, this isn't one of those puzzles that I will do once and remember. I'm sure there is some mathematical equation I could do to work out the solution but I much prefer the puzzle talking to me so trial and error it is.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bits and Pieces-The company.

Wow!  What a company.  I have a real love/hate relationship with them. Over the years I've had good and bad service and I really don't know which way to go.  And yet, like a battered wife, I keep going back for more.  We already know I'm a glutton for punishment because I'm a puzzler, and anyone who is a puzzler is a glutton for punishment.  We keep going back to the same old things time and again.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.  And that folks is my relationship with Bits and Pieces.

I first encountered this company way back in the mid 90's.  They had a booth at the HK toys fair and I went.  At that time, companies were still allowed to give out free samples and many did give out little bits and bobs in the hopes of drawing in customers.  Bits and Pieces was no exception to this and I have a couple of these puzzles within arms reach.  At that time, the quality was pretty good.  Although, the puzzles were small so I guess that may have had something to do with it.  Now, I'm not so sure.  The puzzles are getting larger, and it seems to be hit and miss with them.  Don't get me wrong, some are fantastic designs.  Others are just bad quality.  Wil's puzzles these are not.  But that's no reason to NOT get them.

Looking at the photo below, all are from Bits and Pieces.  Yes, I have many more that aren't shown here.  These are just the ones that were within reach, or from the batch that came in today.  The wooden 5 piece (The hole in one) in the right hand side is nicely done.  I've no complaints.  Hercules, just below it, is also a nice puzzle.  The Kamei gift box is not too shabby although you can see the lines where it opens.  The One way packing puzzle on the bottom center is ok.  It's a bit loose for the pieces that pack in, but with my humidity I almost like that.  Others will not.  The Kamei heart box on the bottom.  Boy that one is not so good.  It looks pretty, but the opening and design of it is just cheap.  You can see every glue line there is.  To open it, you just need to wiggle it a bit.

On to the metal puzzles.  The top left is called Sputnik and it's ok.  It's more of a guessing game than a puzzle, and other than the rather sharp edges, I've nothing to say about this one.  The next two: EZ Unlink and EZ Galaxy are very different. The EZ Unlink is nice.  it doesn't fall apart in your hands and has a nice heft to it.  I'd get this one. The EZ Galaxy I would pass on.  Go for the Puzzlemaster verion called Great Collision.  Moving down there is a 4 leafed clover and ying and yang.  Both hold together fairly well.  Not too problematic.  The torpedo is a different version of a classic and a bit on the light side.  I worry that this one isn't very sturdy.  The Knot Simple puzzle is dead easy.  In fact as a take-apart puzzle, it isn't a puzzle. It's a joke.  When I unboxed it it fell apart in my hands.  This one is a pass.  Secrets of the heart (that's a Sacajawea dollar on it for those of you who were wondering.) Is ok.  No complaints.  It works as it should and has a bit of weight to it.  The key with the ring.  What a joke!  It is so flimsy and sharp that I've never bothered with it.  It has a carry case, and I took a few photos then tossed it in the box. I don't think it will surface anytime soon.  All Hail the King (Marcel, you don't think highly of yourself do you?) I have two of.  One is boxed, the other is open.  Both are B&P versions.  Go figure.  And finally, Fit to a T.  The puzzle that started my long running affair with B&P.  A nice little puzzle that is just a tiny bit loose in the box. But hey, I'm not complaining, it was free!



And now for the reason I started this post.  Last July I ordered a bunch of puzzles from B&P.  They sent them to the wrong address even though I changed the one on record.  Nothing came in and around September I called to find out what was going on.  I mean they were only sending it to Florida.  When I found out I was more than a little bit upset. Mostly because they no longer had stock of the puzzles I wanted.  The company issued me a credit certificate in November and washed their hands of me.  around 4 months isn't too slow.  Or is it?

It turns out you can only use these if you call in the order. OK, I'm in HK.  The company is in the US.  Toll Free numbers are charged at international rates.  Long and repetitive story short, over the past year I've ordered twice from B&P both over th phone and neither time did the operator let me use that certificate even though I tried.  Well tonight I finally got an operator who was new and I got to use my refund certificate!  Finally. Only 11 months after it was issued!  Nice deal that is.  They have you don't they?  No money back and over a year to get your refund!  WOW!  Ok, so I got a bunch more puzzles that I hope will arrive before Christmas.  Oh, and for my trouble of spending 1/2 hour on the phone, they knocked $5 off the shipping.  Big whoop! 

See, hit and miss.  Love/hate.  B&P and Rox.  I suffer through and will continue to buy from them as the years go by I'm sure.  But I do so willingly and know exactly what I've gotten myself into.  Go check them out, but remember I warned you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Decartes and Xbopocm b meuKe

And if those names mean anything to you, you're brilliant!  Both puzzles are designed by B. KpaCHoyxoB And that is a mouthful too.
As with many others I've been reviewing this past couple of weeks, I purchased these at IPP.  Here I go again with the 5 ducks (aka the toilets) That puzzle knocked me for such a loop I had to have these as well.  I was sharing Dave's table again this year and Turned around and there was Vladimir.  I snagged up about 6 puzzles or maybe more and dumped them under the table before heading out to puzzle hunt.

The first: Decartes was a nice one.  I didn't have any idea what it should look like in a solved state, and only purchased it because I liked the name.  I was on my night of puzzling/movie watching and played half heartedly with this as the movie was actually starting to get good (I basically stoped watching tv and movies and such in 2006 when I decided to start studying again-I've missed out on a lot so even the old ones are good to me!)  As I was fiddling, I was shocked to see that I had solved it!  There was a twist to this puzzle that I really liked.  I would highly recommend it to fellow puzzlers and non puzzlers alike.  This puzzle has 5 pieces to it: 4 irregular shaped pieces and one perfect square.  A real challenge to the brain when you first look at it.

The unpronounceable puzzle is a different story.  There are only 4 pieces and they are in very strange shapes with not all the edges being square.  There is also an added bite taken out of the frame.  I had dumped this into its bag when I purchased them and didn't look at it after that at all.  When I pulled it out to play, the bits had fallen out of the frame so I had the joy of solving two puzzles. One with the added bite and the real solution.  Believe it or not, the real solution was solved faster than the transporting solution.  The angular bits really threw me and I certainly wasn't thinking as I should have been.  I would have to guess for me to find both solutions took around 30-45 minutes of puzzle/movie time.


One of these years I might look at the watch I wear.  But life is so much more fun telling time via bathroom breaks, in between candidate times and distances between train stops.  Isn't it?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Black Square and Procrustus

I bring you two more puzzles from my long night of packing puzzles. Both of these puzzles were made by Vladimir Krasnoukhov. The Black Square puzzle is one of those 'add a piece' puzzles. Procrustus is one that requires you to place the pieces in a different configuration. Black square has five pieces, Procrustus has four. Ok. So now that you know the differences (aside from color that is) I'll tell you the similarities.

There's only one. Both puzzles are DROP DEAD EASY!!! I did Black Square first and it took me less than three minutes! Are you as shocked as I am? Even more shocking was the time spent on Procrustus. It was less than thirty seconds! I kid you not!

I lie. There are two similar things about These two puzzles. The other is they are both really good puzzles. Seriously. Sometimes simple is fantastic. After I solved them I handed them over to bug and she fiddled around for quite a while trying to work them out. Maybe twenty minutes on each one. These are two fantastic puzzles for the novice puzzler. They are easy enough done that my coworkers who I could coerce into playing solved them in less than ten minutes and one of the guys even asked me today to borrow the square one so he could use it in a workshop he was running.

When I can get one of MY co-workers to ask for a puzzle it's a winner in my book!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rectangling of the triangles

This one is a bit of a funny. I purchased this puzzle at IPP in August on a whim and a pass by a very nice man. See, as much as I hated 'the toilet' (little ducks) last year, I equally loved it. As such I vowed to go back to Vladimir's table and buy more at IPP. I got home and tossed it into the box with the rest of my IPP purchases and thought nothing more of it other than I need to buy bags to store it in because the packaging it came in, while great for traveling isn't great for storage.

I got home, made my way to my favorite wholesale street and bought my bags for those puzzles without good packaging. Then promptly left for a conference. This puzzle was in my initial carry along, but when I did the packing it didn't make the cut.

While in NZ I met with fellow puzzler Paul Dudding. As I was dipping into his bag I pulled this puzzle out. I fiddled for a bit but something else caught my eye and I handed the puzzle over to my research partner and best bud Mr. B. now he's not a puzzler so this really wasn't a nice thing for me to do. But I'll give him credit. He played around for about twenty minutes before giving up again.

When I got back home I spent a night playing with all these packing puzzles I purchased and this was but one I pulled out of the pile. Now I like my version better than Paul's. His was wooden. Mine is acrylic. Smoother edges and less danger of slivers.

It's a nice little puzzle because there is more than one challenge and because you need to think a bit to solve it. There are four challenges on the instruction sheet provided.

Me? I started with what appears to be the easiest make 4 triangles.  Yep.  That was easy.  It took just a few minutes.  Next...a few more minutes to make 3 triangles.  The last two puzzles?  I lost patience and the movie Matt put on was actually good for a change.  I got lost in 'Love and Other Drugs' and forgot about puzzling.

As Mr. B. was playing with this puzzle he said it would be a great one for Mr. Kok who came along on the trip with us (different presentation)  That got me thinking.  Now I've got to go get a few of these made for some math teachers I know.   Yep.  It's a good un.  Worth the pittance I paid for it.  Worth the price to get more.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jerrymander

This puzzle was exchanged by Bill Cutler at IPP 32. It's another packing joy. These things are beginning to grow on me. They really are. This one appealed to me not because it has four pretty colors, but because of the backstory that was told during the exchange and the 'in your face' albeit tactful way of asking the exchangees political leanings :)

There were four different parties you could belong to: red, blue, yellow, or green. I'll let you work out which is which. The puzzle starts out with 32 pieces of the four colors with no two of the same color touching. Your goal is to redesign the voting districts to give the party in power a bigger voting block. Gerrymandering is common practice back home (elsewhere too I'm sure but am too lazy to look it up) and almost always ends up with odd little pointy bits sticking out along the edges. The color I chose is now in charge and has a bigger block.

So I opened the package and dumped the pieces all over the tray table on the plane. Oh big mistake! My timing that is. I dumped just before the in flight feeding frenzy and since I do vegetarian in flight no sooner had I dumped than I needed to put the darned thing away.  They always deliver special meals first don't they... Now I can see you shaking your head thinking there goes Rox on a side trip agian, but this time I promise you there is a reason for this.  See I packed my watch because I had my phone and I was getting tired of beeping and having to take everything off again and again (this was the boomerang flight by the way) since we were in flight I shut off my phone and forgot to put it on airplane mode before I shut it off so I couldn't use that. Meals are a sense of time for me.  So after I finished my salad and carrot sticks I redumped and started again.  And then I redumped and started again.  And then I redumped and started again.    And then I redumped and started again.    Ok, you get the idea.  I was getting no where fast.

I heard the rustle of bodies as the next feeding frenzy was upon us yet again and I bagged up this puzzle yet again.  As I ate my rabbit food and watched Big Bang I began to get a sinking feeling yet again.  I hesitated but a moment and then opened the instructions.  I knew it! I was right!  The kind of puzzle I really hate!  ONE SOLUTION ONLY!!!

Needless to say, the puzzle has not been solved, but it did entertain me on that 8 hour flight home from New Zealand.  It's a good colorful puzzle and one I'll work on again because I am sure it is only a matter of moving one or two pieces around just a tiny bit...


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Der Mond

I saw this puzzle on someone's blog (http://magicpuzzles.org/wordpress/?p=1364) a while back and decided I wanted one. That's the problem with blogs. I read them and then I see things I like then I have to go buy them. Not the best way of doing things but it keeps me in puzzles anyway.

So this one is pretty clever. More clever than I (aren't you just do tired of reading that?) This one is a moon. But it's also a cross. There are only seven pieces to it. Not too many. Easy enough to solve right?

Well, yes and no. See I brought this one on the flight with me thinking I would solve it rather quickly. After all, it's only seven pieces. But as with all puzzles I think are easy-this one wasn't. We got into Doha and I still hadn't solved it. Maybe it was too much wine in flight and too little sleep. Maybe it was too much Big bang Theory. Maybe it was just a hard puzzle. During the first 13 hours of the trip home I kept coming back to this one and just couldn't do it.

After the layover from Hades, I picked this puzzle up again on the last leg thinking those curvy bits would yet again cause me major headache. Much to my surprise I solved the puzzle almost as soon as I dumped the bits out.

My overall verdict? It's a walk in the park. I say this because after the second attempt at solving it I had to dump it again and again. See, I don't trust myself to think a puzzle is easy and have it be so. I need to keep testing myself. Well, I've done this one quite a few times now so I officially deem it to be easy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas day puzzling

While the majority of my puzzle friends are dreaming of sugar plums, I've been puzzling the day away.
Santa was all right. But I would have to say, Christmas Eve present opening was much nicer! Thanks to a silly bug I had a few more presents under the tree than I expected.

So there are a lot in there from Bits and pieces, and a few from Eureka, a Smart Games, a Karakuri, and one from the Juggler.

Now while any and all of these are pretty neat, I would have to say thus far, my favorite has been....oh don't hate me....Oskar's Matchboxes. :-) There is just something mesmerizing about the way those blocks come apart. They have this sliding motion to them that is just plain fun to watch.

Solving wise. Well, the configuration it is in when it arrives is easy to do. I've managed that with the cardboard set I made a while back. Now I've seen somewhere that there are 2 more solutions to this puzzle. I guess I'll have to spending bit of time giving it a think.

What? Not fair I hear you scream out! I shouldn't like a toy I already have? Ok then, this time I'll agree with you.

I'll be serious then. I like all of them and will post later on each of the other puzzles I received, but first. I want to talk about Neil's Unhappy Childhood.

I saw this one and was taken by it. Why? I'm not entirely sure. It's a 5x5x2 checkerboard. Maybe it was the pretty wood. Maybe it was the poor finger. Or maybe it was a temporary bout of the "I think I can solve that" Well, what ever it was, I now have that puzzle in my possession. and it is pretty.

Upon closer inspection, there are 10 pieces each with 5 cubes. The puzzle is simple. Put it back in the box so that there is a checkerboard pattern on both the top and bottom layers. So is it possible? I've been told, but after about 2 hours on it today??? I'm beginning to wonder. And for all you naysayers who think I never muck up a puzzle that is difficult to solve...

Nice of Mr. Coffin to make another devil of a puzzle. Nicer of Neil to remake it. I won't bore you with telling you about the way it was made or anything like that. I've A major snowstorm brewing in my bedroom right now that I need to put an end to. I'll just say I love the box the puzzle is in. Very creative. I wish I knew what the smell was that is in there. It's not the wood that is for sure. And I'll leave you with a link to Neil's page on how he built this thing.

Oh yes, and for those of you who are wondering, there is no blood to be found.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What? Another post so soon?

Well yes, of course. I'm bored. So what should one do when bored? Why not play? I read this book once. It was recommended by Mr. Tangle (Richard X. Zawitz of Tangle Toys) Anyway, it was called...what else...Play. (You can find it on Amazon among other places) Well, what was so great about this book is that it talked about the value of play to stimulate the brain and cause the creative juices to flow. Well I just love that book an use my play time as an excuse to become creative! Yep. That works for me and I'm not changing my mind. It's interesting, according to this author, animals play naturally. Children play. It is only adults that seem to devalue the value of real play. So us puzzlers? I think we are the lucky ones. Our hobbies allow us to play. Now if I could work out a way to make a living off this...

So why play now? Well, my class is taking an exam. I have to sit here and watch them to make sure they aren't cheating and all that, and this little 4 ducklings puzzle is perfect. It fits in my pocket and I can pull it out and play at will.


See, small puzzle. Easy right?

Wrong. This one I have changed the name on. It's no longer 4 little ducklings but 4 toilets. I have come to hate this puzzle! I really have. It has been in my bag since I got back from IPP and I have yet to solve it. Ok, I can get the 4 ducks in the top bit. But the bottom? Nope. Only 3 ducks fit. Like with the bears, I'm ready to cut off their little feet (and make someething tasty??) Those things definitely fit into the 'frustrations' part of this blog.

I downloaded burrtools the other day and am attempting to learn to use it. Perhaps I should attempt to put those 4 toilets into the program and see what happens...

Right. So enough feeling sorry for myself, I noticed something today. I have a number of puzzles sitting in the windowsill at work and aside from the discolored stickers, I noticed a funny with a wooden puzzle I have. It must be all that lovely Hong Kong sun, but this one has had something happen to the wood so that it now solves itself. I've never seen this before...

That gapping in there is huge! Ok, shadowy phone photos don't do it justice, but you get the picture. (oh no, another bad pun) So can that puzzle be unshrunk? Maybe I'll dunk it in water for a while. If it soaks up enough it might just work...but then I'll have a wet puzzle that will need drying out and it will have to go right back into the windowsill...

If you give a girl a puzzle.....she'll have to play with it.....and if she plays with it she'll have to ask for......(go read the books! :) )