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"The Chief Tormentor"
The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

CAT | Puzzle Destinations

Feb 15

Puzzle Weekend: Bring on the Fun!


Last I heard there were only a couple of spots left to join us at our Puzzle Party at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN, February 18-20. It’s a beautiful place to spend some time and we always have a blast at this event. Fellow Staver Carol, and her husband, Hank, will be joining me and Rick. Come see us. We promise to thoroughly entertain and puzzle you!! for more information.
For reservations call Blackberry Farm, 800-648-4252.

Oct 12

Let Us Entertain You!

stave party

Plenty of Opportunity

I know many of you were disappointed you couldn’t make it to our 35th Anniversary Celebration in July. Maybe you had a wedding to attend that weekend or the in-laws were coming for a visit. I’m here to make your day. There are three more opportunities coming up to join us for some puzzling fun!!! One of these dates is bound to work for you.

Twin Farms
November 12-14, 2010

If you’ve been itching to meet the Chief Tormentor, this is your chance. Twin Farms is a unique country estate get-away on over three hundred acres in Barnard, Vermont, just 35 minutes from Stave. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Twin Farms for many years and you’ll always find loads of Stave Puzzles to enjoy during your stay there. But on November 12th to the 14th, Steve and Paula will be puzzling guests. You may even see a few other faces from Stave during the weekend so don’t miss it. We promise you’ll have a great time. (Shh, word has it you may even get a tour of the Stave workshop!!)

The Point
January 29-31, 2011

Many of you probably remember Carol. She’s been with Stave for almost as long as Steve. Carol’s been retired for a few years now but every now and again we’re able to bring her back to the real world. One of those times will be in January when we puzzle guests at The Point. The Point Resort is a unique, private Adirondack estate amid Adi rondack Mountai n wilderness. Carol and her husband Hank have been hosting this gig for many years and look forward to it each and every year. Carol has almost as many stories as Steve and she loves to share them so call The Point today and tell them you want to puzzle with Stave in January.

Blackberry Farm
February 18-20, 2011

Located in Walland, TN., Blackberry Farm is situated on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. This is my favorite puzzling event because Carol and I host it with our husbands. We have a great following that’s developed over the years, with many guests returning year after year. There’s nothing like spending time doing something you love with other who love to do it, too. Puzzlers are a great group of people.

What Do We Do At A Puzzle Party?

party balloonEach party is a little different but you can be sure there will always be lots of puzzling time. In addition to quiet* puzzling time, we play several games using specially cut puzzles. Here are a few you might play at a party you attend.


This games uses a puzzle that’s around 7” x 7,” cut into 25 largish pieces. We have several sets of puzzles of the same image, each one cut into 25 pieces. You race against the other contestants to see who can complete their puzzle the fastest.

One Up, One Down

This game is played in teams of two. Each team has a 25 piece puzzle. It starts with one person seated in front of the puzzle while their partner is standing behind them. At the word Go!, the person seated searches to fit two pieces together. When they’ve fit two pieces together they stand up and switch places with their partner. You can only fit a piece if you are seated in the chair. First team to complete their puzzle wins! I love to listen to the person standing behind their partner. Talk about back seat drivers!!!

party star2Relay Race

This game is a hoot to watch. Picture this… several tables at the end of the room with unassembled puzzles, one for each team. The teams, usually 4 puzzler per team, line up behind a taped line that’s around 6 feet from the puzzle table. The first player of each team races up to their puzzle at the word Go! and searches to find a match. When they have fit two pieces together (and only two!) they race back and tag the next person in line. Reaching across the line is legal and boy, you’ll be amazed how far some people can stretch their arms!

Demolition Derby

This is another game that’s hysterical to watch. Here’s the scene: We set up the group in teams, usually 3 or 4 people per team. We use puzzles with identical images for this game and we take the same four pieces from each team’s puzzle and place them on a table in the center of the room, mixing them up. The remaining pieces from each puzzle are disassembled and placed in front of the players. At the word Go! the team races to put their puzzle together, all the while knowing they’re missing 4 pieces. Once their puzzle is complete they can race up to the table with the assorted pieces, select one piece and only one piece, race back to their puzzle and try for a match. It gets pretty crazy as each team completes their partial puzzle and starts racing up to the table. Invariably, someone else will have the piece you are searching for so it’s a real lesson in patience. We haven’t had any broken bones yet, only tons of laughs!

party star*Don’t expect quiet if Bryan, Jomary and Michael are puzzling. They’re our regular troublemakers at Blackberry;)

Pick your party and join us!


Apr 19

Our 35th Anniversary Celebration

party blog

Weíre celebrating our 35th Anniversary in July and we want you to join us!†Weíve had lots of puzzle parties over the years but none like this.†Here are a few reasons why you should call Stave today and RSVP.

Top 10 Reasons To Join Us


#10 Join the Club

How many people do you know who can say, ìYeah, Iíve been to a puzzle partyî? Join the fun and become a member of this select community.

#9 Meet New Friends

Have you ever wondered if there†were others as obsessed with puzzles†as you? Puzzlers are a unique group,†passionate about their hobby. Youíll†have the chance to meet other†puzzle fanatics just like yourself.†Hmm, sounds like a Stave Puzzlers†Anonymous support group in the†making!

#8 See Vermont

Vermont is one of the most†beautiful places you could ever visit.†In addition to puzzling, youíll be†able to enjoy the beautiful†countryside, kiss in a covered bridge*†and enjoy a Ben & Jerryís ice†cream… or two!

* Folklore has it that covered bridges were designed†so couples could go into one and kiss without†being seen. Pucker up! Thereís an authentic†covered bridge just feet from the Woodstock Inn!

#7 Food and Dance

We promise you wonít go away†hungry, thatís for sure. Youíll have†plenty of time to wolf down a bite to†eat between puzzles and you can be†sure the Saturday night dinner will†be fabulous. To top it all off, you can†burn off the calories moving and†grooving on the dance floor after†dinner.

#6 Puzzle All You Want

Weíre bringing hundreds of puzzles†to the Woodstock Inn so you can†literally puzzle 24 hours a day.†Puzzle quietly by yourself, with a†group or compete in some zany†games.

#5 See New Stuff

In addition to new Teaser puzzles,†youíll get to see Steveís new Trick†TroubleMaker puzzle, too! And weíll†even give you a sneak peek at our†new catalog!!

#4 Be A Crafter!

Have you ever wanted to try your†hand at cutting a puzzle of your†own? Hereís your chance!

#3 Lots Of Prizes

Youíll have plenty of chances to win†prizes. Are you the fastest or the†smartest? Did you travel the greatest†distance? Have you been a Stave†Puzzler for the longest? All these†and more will walk away winners.

#2 Be A Doll

You could be the winner of the†FINAL EDITION of the Dollhouse†Village puzzle series. Yep, weíre†giving away #100/#100 at our 35th†Anniversary dinner on Saturday†night. It could be yours, just for†showing up!!!

#1 Meet The Gang

We may have been puzzling you for†years or maybe weíre in the early†stages of driving you crazy. When†you come to our party youíll have†the chance to tell your puzzle cutters†just what you love about what they†do. You can also meet the talented†artists who create the artwork for†our Teaser, Trick and Limited†Edition design puzzles and youíll†even have the chance to shake the†hand of the man who started it all.†Your Chief Tormentor, Steve†Richardson, will be around all†weekend to hear your screams of†torture and delight!

The Real Reason To Come

Many of us have been cutting your puzzles for years (a lot of years!) and we want the†opportunity to meet you. Give us a chance to tell you why we love what we do and say ìThanksî†for giving us the opportunity to drive you crazy year after year. Itís a tough job but someone has†to do it and we are so lucky we have the privilege. Please come spend the weekend with Stave†and let us thank you properly. You wonít be sorry you did. We promise!

Canít wait to see you in July!



The Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vermont is a charming, luxury four-season resort hotel set within the ‘Prettiest†Small Town in America,’ where breathtaking scenery and unspoiled rural character serve as the perfect backdrop for New†England’s finest cultural and sporting activities. The Woodstock Inn & Resort, a Rockefeller legacy, offers modern amenities†and services within a quintessential Vermont setting, providing the ideal destination for puzzling fun.


Stay on-site and receive a commemorative 35th anniversary puzzle.
Room Rate: Single Occupancy $995, each additional Adult $425
Children 12 & under $195
Room rate includes Puzzle Party attendance 7/9-11, 2 nightsí stay, all meals, taxes and gratuity.


Join Stave as a Day Guest: Puzzle Party Attendance Fee: $325 per person. Includes all Stave activities on Saturday 7/10†as†well as Saturday Lunch and Stave Evening Shindig & Happeniní Hop.


Get more information here!
Mar 13

Down on the Farm

If you werenít at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN., last weekend then you missed out on a great time! Carol and I, along with our husbands, Hank and Rick, entertained folks with tons of puzzles and several rounds of crazy puzzling competitions. We enjoyed great food, great wine and most importantly, great camaraderie.

This was our 5th year puzzling folks at Blackberry Farm and we welcomed lots of familiar faces as well as several new ones, too. Itís so nice to see our puzzlers settle into old friendships and making new ones, as well. Puzzlers are a welcoming group and those traveling alone were quickly gathered into the fold.

If you want plenty of uninterrupted puzzling time, to work as many puzzles as you desire, with a terrific group of people all while being pampered in the beautiful surroundings of the Smoky Mountains, then join us next February at Blackberry Farm!

molliAce Puzzler, Molli, was the grand prize winner of the 250 piece Traditional puzzle of her choice. Do you think sheíll let her friend, Jane B, help her choose the puzzle?!

One of the most exciting games we played at the party was a Relay Race. Teams raced against each other to be the first to complete their 25 piece puzzle. Players line up and race, one at a time, across the room to the puzzle table. When they fit two pieces together they race back to the line, tag their teammate and off they go! Much fun and laughter was had by all!


Puzzlers Unite! Puzzled guests work as a team to try to get it all together.

bbf puzzlers

Jan 11

Are you coming to Blackberry Farm?

I just got done booking my flight to Knoxville, TN, for our puzzling weekend at Blackberry Farm in Walland. Carol and I will be there with our husbands and LOADS of puzzles. Will you be there??? The dates are February 19,20,21. Check out the Blackberry Farm website for more info. Join us!! You’ll be so happy you did!

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© 2009 Stave Puzzles, Inc., Norwich, Vermont. Stave Puzzles, Inc. owns the copyrights in the puzzle designs, Silhouette designs, and Custom Edge designs of the puzzles appearing on this web site. Trick, Monkey Fist, Crazy Claw, Teaser, Twister, Tumbler, TroubleMaker, the Clown and Stave are trademarks of Stave Puzzles, Inc.