Let’s Work That Puzzle!

Finally! I know I’ve been talking about it for months now, but tonight is THE night. No fooling or false alarms this time. My parents won’t be back from Vancouver until tomorrow, the fridge is stocked with beverages and I just texted everyone we know. That’s right, go ahead and update your Facebook status to “is stoked,” because tonight, LET’S WORK THAT PUZZLE!

dolphinfallsGo ahead – jump up and down in the air for a while and then pump your fists in the air (I’ve been doing it all day), but do me a favor and get it all out of your system now. Because when it comes to working puzzles, an over-stimulated mind is public enemy #1. I’ve seen it happen countless times to some of the BEST puzzle workers in the world (i.e. me) – you lack focus and the puzzle wins, pure and simple. So if you want some expert advice on the subject, I’ve just got three little words for you: Zen baby, zen.

Okay, for some reason you’re not jumping up and down right now. Maybe you’ve forgotten just WHICH puzzle we’re gonna be working tonight? If so, then I must say I’m a little annoyed because I must have shown you the box at least A DOZEN TIMES already!

Remember? It’s the one that my Gran got me for Christmas? Here, let me go ahead and give you the box art (again). See that title? Dolphin Falls! I’m TELLING YOU, this has got to be the most PERFECT puzzle of all time.

Okay, let’s go ahead and state the obvious right now – that picture is TOTALLY AWESOME. But this isn’t just some boring-old poster you buy from the store, slap in a frame and put on the wall (although we will be doing that).

No sir. This is a puzzle, and from a puzzle standpoint, this bad boy has a heck of a lot going for it. By now I’m sure you’ve noticed just how much blue is in this puzzle. That sure is gonna make it hard to pick one piece apart from the other, isn’t it? And – uh-oh – what’s this? 1,000 pieces? If that number has you thinking we’re gonna be working this puzzle all night, well then I just have one thing to say to you: IT BETTER!

A puzzle is just not worth puzzling unless it’s a challenge! And sure, when we dump all those pieces on the table, it’s gonna look like an IMPOSSIBLE TASK. But once we get on a roll, those little pieces are gonna be popping left and right! I guarantee it.

QUICK! What do you think is the coolest thing about dolphins – the way they do back flips out of the water or the funny way they talk to each other? I know, it sounds a little weird right now, but crazy questions like that are just the kind of thing you talk about when you’re working a puzzle. Take it from me, your mind is just gonna wonder, so you better be prepared for a couple zingers like that over the next few hours!

Now, before I open the box, let me go ahead and give you some pointers. The sight of all those pieces, the smell of the wood, the smooth, familiar touch of the painted graphic – no doubt you’ll want to dive right in and start throwing pieces together willy-nilly. Well, let me just say that kind of wreckless puzzle working is a recipe for disaster.

Trust me, when you’re working a puzzle, a little planning goes a long way.  First thing’s first, flip all those pieces over so they’re face-up. Then organize pieces by color and separate all the side pieces. Then, connect all those side pieces and go from there! I know, I know. It sounds simple enough, but trust me, IT’S HARDER THAN IT SOUNDS!

Alright wise guy, lucky for you it’s also MORE FUN than it sounds, too. So grab yourself a soda, have yourself a seat at the dining room table and LET’S WORK THAT PUZZLE!

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