Week 50: Puzzles, or Stifling Stippling

Five Day Discipline: Spend thirty minutes each day working on a puzzle. I didn’t have to finish a puzzle each day I just had to spend time on one.

The idea behind this week was that puzzles are fun and relaxing and I was starting a new job this week so I wanted to be able to relax at the end of each day and not be thinking about the new job.

Day 1 and 2 went according to plan. I chose a Mickey Mouse puzzle and an animal puzzle from my childhood and put the pieces together. They were fairly easy so I managed to complete them each on the days that I worked them. No funny business.

Then my week took a turn. Do you recall from two paragraphs ago when I said this week was supposed to allow me to relax? Well, on Day 3 I chose poorly. I picked a puzzle called “Hand With Reflecting Globe” that was a picture of M.C. Escher’s “Hand With Reflecting Sphere”. Why the puzzle used “globe” instead of “sphere” I can’t say but the internet tells me it should be “sphere” and the internet is all-knowing. Anyway, I cracked into this thing not knowing that it would be the hardest puzzle I had ever done. It wasn’t the piece count (551) but the fact that not every piece had hard edges and that there was no color and only stippled value (a term I (re)learned this week).

Curse you, stippled value!

Around the same time I chose this puzzle I started getting headaches and being unusually tired. Now, I’m no doctor but my theory is that my new job of staring at a computer screen all day was messing with me. That, plus coming home and then staring at these cursed dots. So, medium story short this week was actually pretty exhausting to me and didn’t end up being relaxing at all.

BUT-it actually had a pretty cool unintended consequence. That Escher puzzle taught me to rethink my approach to difficult puzzles. Because there was no color I eventually realized that what I had to look for was shape instead. By the last day of working on it I had organized all of the pieces into groups by shape. I’m sure this isn’t a new technique to you, dear reader, but for me it was the first time I had done this. Likely it’s an ancient approach that was created by cavemen and cavewomen and has some clever name and I am a great fool for not knowing it already. Lob your virtual stones upon me. Such is life. Now I know. Next time I won’t be so stifled by the stipple.








After all that work there is still a piece missing. The universe mocks me. 
The Gallins Gallery entry into the “Most Pretentious Puzzle Caption” award of 1977. Connoisseurs only, y’all.
I didn’t get to this puzzle this week. I guess I’ll never know that the toy surprise inside is.

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