Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

We’re Still A Beautiful State. Come Visit!

Whew! Hurricane Irene sure has made a mess of things! As you’ve probably heard our area was in deep water a couple of weeks ago when the storm swept through town. We’re used to the snow and ice in the winter, but when five feet of water comes rushing through there’s not much you can do about it.

Thankfully, our friends at Stave came through OK. I spoke with Tammy a couple of days after the storm and other than a few people who couldn’t make it to work for a couple days due to washed out roads, there were no problems. The areas directly around them, however, were hit hard. The excessive rainfall caused record flooding of rivers causing major destruction in many areas. The raging waters ripped trees from the riverbanks, dragging them downstream. Cars and trucks were taken away in the current and homes were literally lifted off of their foundations. The homes that were able to hold strong were filled with several feet of mud. It’s hard to imagine the devastation unless you’ve seen it.

An event like this can either make you or break you and I’m proud to say the Vermonters are rising to the challenge! Rescue workers were out in full force during the storm, helping people evacuate their homes, directing them to the Red Cross shelters set up around the area. Local fire departments and rescue squads were at their best rushing from one location to the next helping all who were in need. The town road crews have been working practically non-stop to repair and, in some cases, totally rebuild roadways that were washed away. And the townspeople have banded together, offering food and supplies to those hit harder than themselves. Friends and strangers helping each other shovel the mud from basements, haul the ruined remnants of their lives to the town dumps. Life goes on and it’s made just a little bit easier by the kindness of others.

Sadly, many historic covered bridges were damaged during the flooding. Vermont is known for and proud of these iconic landmarks and to have them ravaged by the floodwaters was devastating. One in particular, the bridge in Quechee, by the Simon Pearce restaurant and glass blowing facility, was damaged. The Stave gang has spent many a holiday party at Simon Pearce, enjoying the good food, camaraderie of their co-workers and relief that the holiday rush was over for another year, all the while enjoying the view of the covered bridge. Hopefully they’ll be able to view it again this December.

Thousands travel to New England in the Fall to view the changing leaves and appreciate the scenery. In fact, I have a bunch of friends coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. I’m going to take them North to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury and after enjoying the foliage along the way we’ll sample a scoop or two. Then we’ll head over to Shelburne to the Shelburne Vineyard for a little wine tasting and after that maybe we’ll make it to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory just down the road. And after enjoying the reds, oranges and yellows in the trees, we’ll head back home to see who still needs help clearing out and re-building. We can all get by with a little help from our friends.

P.S. – Remember Stave is having a Puzzle Party at Twin Farms in Barnard, Vt at the end of October! There is still time to join in on the fun.

For more info visit: www.StavePuzzles.com

 

Can You Believe It??

I hate for these words to cross my lips, but I think Summer is just about over here in New England and Fall is getting ready to move in. After I get done with my favorite summertime activities – whether it be hiking, camping, canoeing, playing a little volleyball or badminton, or just hanging out at the beach – I love to come home for some R & R and sit in front of a Stave puzzle! Now that the nights are getting a touch cooler here in Vermont a puzzle and a hot fudge sundae are always a great way to end the day! (It is still Summer after all!) I can’t think of any better time to puzzle!

On those really cool, rainy days that we seem to be getting lately…a Stave puzzle is a great way to pass the time and bring some fun to a dreary day. Sometimes I will even invite friends and family over for a day of puzzling! What great fun that is! When we all sit down at the puzzle table… it’s game on!! There are always a couple of us who like to make it a competition and see who can put the most together or complete the puzzle first. The rest of us just like a nice relaxing experience so we can enjoy the satisfaction of each piece clicking into place. What kind of puzzler are you? Speaking of puzzles, I hope everyone is gearing up for a puzzle filled Labor day weekend. Break out your favorite puzzles and make a day out of it, rain or shine!

Okay..Okay! So we said Fall is around the corner and while I know we all love Summer and hate to see it go! There is one great thing about Fall… the AMAZING foliage we have here in Vermont! Have you ever been here during peek season?? It is stunning all the red orange and yellow colors painting the mountains. If you haven’t seen Vermont in the fall it is a definite must do! And while you are visting Vermont feel free to stop by the Stave shop and take a tour! Looking for a fabulous place to stay while you are visiting?? Why not stay at a STAVE approved Inn that have a great selection of our puzzles for you to work!

The Rabbit Hill Inn sits in the charming little town of Lower Waterford, Vermont. Beautiful vistas of the White Mountains of New Hampshie and the hills of Vermont can be seen from the front porch and lawn of the Northeast Kingdom Bed & Breakfast. (For more info visit www.rabbithillinn.com)

Another one of our favorites is Twin Farms! A unique country estate getaway situated on over three hundred acres of wildflower meadows, hardwood forests, ancient gardens and private ponds in Barnard, Vermont. Did you know that Stave will be taking over Twin Farms for an entire weekend in October?? If you ever needed a reason to come visit, this is the perfect excuse! See below for details! Can’t wait to see your happy faces there! – Penelope-

 

 

 

Friends One and All

A Reunion

We just wrapped up another successful, funfilled, spirited weekend at Blackberry Farm. We look forward to this every year and it never disappoints. I’ll try my best to give you a feel for what it’s like but I know I can’t do it justice. Soon after we organized the tables and unpacked the puzzles, Michael arrived to stake his claim. He’s got a favorite puzzling spot and wasn’t taking any chances someone else might grab it. We also made sure to have Victor’s big, comfy chair ready. He doesn’t puzzle but likes to keep his wife company, in addition to providing much entertainment for the rest of us. What a character!

When everyone arrived and got settled in, it was like a family reunion. We have 3 couples who have attended all 6 Blackberry Farm events and many others who’ve come multiple times. In addition to the 3 couples, this year included 3 mother-daughter kinships, 1 father-daughter, 2 sisters, 2 friends, and an engaged couple. Our group spans 7 decades! It makes us so proud that Stave can bring about this kind of connection. It really demonstrates the intrinsic value of puzzling together.

6 Degrees of Separation

While we love our old friends, we always encourage new guests, so it was with open arms that we welcomed a young couple from NYC. When they arrived at the Guest House and asked, “Who’s in charge?” Several unruly puzzlers in our group quickly claimed the title. Thankfully, Carol stepped up and greeted them but not before they had gotten a quick view of what they were in for. True camaraderie.

We ’ve alway s felt puzzlers are a tight knit group and here’s the proof in the pudding. Over the course of the weekend it was discovered that Rob & Debra, from NY, have a daughter who attends Duke. Guess who her roommate is? First time attendee, puzzler Carol’s, daughter, from Boston! What are the odds of that?!

But wait. It gets better. Remember our new puzzlers from NYC? We discovered that Matt went to Dartmouth and graduated with Carol’s (Stave’s Carol) daughter, Inga. He’s even been to Carol’s VT house. And, he’s friends with a young man I used to babysit.

They were meant to be part of our group, for sure.

Jennifer, already missing my buddies.

 

What Was He Thinking?

Have you been catching Steve’s crazy mystery photo contest? If you have, then you’re getting a very clear picture of just what a kook he really is! Steve has been taking intriguing photos of various things and posting them on his blog and our PuzzleNuts website, stavepuzzlenuts.com. If you’re the first person to correctly guess what is shown, you win a $25 gift certificate. If no one guesses correctly, the prize gets rolled over to the next week. Here are a few shots from previous weeks.

This is a shot that Steve posted… What is going on here?

Take a close look and you’ll see wing tip impressions in the snow. Steve and Martha think a hawk swooped down and grabbed whatever was running through the snow. They have a Coopers Hawk that uses their backyard bird feeders as its fast food outlet.

Here’s another shot. What is it???

We had some great guesses for this: a soda-bottle rocket toy sitting on its “launch pad” (i.e. the top of a two liter bottle), One of those pull-down cork screws to open wine bottles on Valentine’s Day, The knob to an air tank to fill balloons.

But E.M guessed correctly: It’s a party noise-maker/clacker!

This is the latest photo.

Go to the Tormented Tuesday page for more information and details on how to place your guess.
You could be the next winner of a $25 gift certificate.

 

Puzzle Weekend: Bring on the Fun!

BBF

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!!

www.StavePuzzles.com for more information.
For reservations call Blackberry Farm, 800-648-4252.

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.

Ready-Set-Go!

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!

Jennifer

A Good Time For All!

party

Tired But Happy

Iím tired. Weíre all tired. Donít†feel sorry for us because itís a great†feeling! We had an amazing time last†weekend at the Woodstock Inn,†celebrating our 35th anniversary†with a fabulous group of puzzlers.†Weíre lucky enough to be able†to talk with a large number of you†when you call but we donít get to†meet our puzzlers very often. Not†only does a party give us an†opportunity to get some face time†with our fans, it gives you a chance†to spend time with others who are†just as crazy about puzzling as you!†Plus, you get to work as many†puzzles as you want !!!

Wild Times

We had a bunch of arrivals†Friday night for quiet puzzling but†the official festivities began†Saturday morning. Paula and Bri,†our Star Party Planners, organized†a bunch of games to keep everyone†puzzled throughout the day. Our†guests were challenged with games†like Guess the Rebus, Scrambled†Names and Guess the Silhouettes,†among others. We were handing†out prizes left and right!

Big Winners

In honor of our 35th†Anniversary we gave away over†$35,000 in prizes. We had prizes as†simple as Stave bumper stickers and†note pads and biggies like a $3,500†gift certificate. The Grand prize of†the weekend was the complete†Final Edition of our Dollhouse†Village, worth over $25,000!!†Congratulations go out to Y.Y.,†Annandale, VA who won the gift†certificate and P.A., Glen Head,†NY who won Edition #100/#100†of the Dollhouse Village.†Thank you all so much for†coming. You are what make our†jobs fun and I hope you all walked†away feeling like you were a winner.†I hope to see you at the next†party!

Jennifer

photo page

Steve Torments 6 Best Puzzlers at 35th Puzzle Party

Here I am instructing the 6 finalists (narrowed down from 45) on the Trick TroubleMaker puzzle I have specially designed for their 2 hour marathon race. Basically the first one to get both solutions within the 2 hours would win the $3500 (in puzzles) first prize. Guess what? No one came close. In fact, no one got one solution which made my day!! YEAAAA!!

2107Party11

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!

Jennifer

THE WOODSTOCK INN & RESORT

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.

WOODSTOCK INN ACCOMMODATIONS

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.

BE A DAY GUEST

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.

PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS
EARLY BY CALLING STAVE AT 802-295-5200

Get more information here!

We’re Still A Beautiful State. Come Visit!

Whew! Hurricane Irene sure has made a mess of things! As you’ve probably heard our area was in deep water a couple of weeks ago when the storm swept through town. We’re used to the snow and ice in the winter, but when five feet of water comes rushing through there’s not much you can do about it.

Thankfully, our friends at Stave came through OK. I spoke with Tammy a couple of days after the storm and other than a few people who couldn’t make it to work for a couple days due to washed out roads, there were no problems. The areas directly around them, however, were hit hard. The excessive rainfall caused record flooding of rivers causing major destruction in many areas. The raging waters ripped trees from the riverbanks, dragging them downstream. Cars and trucks were taken away in the current and homes were literally lifted off of their foundations. The homes that were able to hold strong were filled with several feet of mud. It’s hard to imagine the devastation unless you’ve seen it.

An event like this can either make you or break you and I’m proud to say the Vermonters are rising to the challenge! Rescue workers were out in full force during the storm, helping people evacuate their homes, directing them to the Red Cross shelters set up around the area. Local fire departments and rescue squads were at their best rushing from one location to the next helping all who were in need. The town road crews have been working practically non-stop to repair and, in some cases, totally rebuild roadways that were washed away. And the townspeople have banded together, offering food and supplies to those hit harder than themselves. Friends and strangers helping each other shovel the mud from basements, haul the ruined remnants of their lives to the town dumps. Life goes on and it’s made just a little bit easier by the kindness of others.

Sadly, many historic covered bridges were damaged during the flooding. Vermont is known for and proud of these iconic landmarks and to have them ravaged by the floodwaters was devastating. One in particular, the bridge in Quechee, by the Simon Pearce restaurant and glass blowing facility, was damaged. The Stave gang has spent many a holiday party at Simon Pearce, enjoying the good food, camaraderie of their co-workers and relief that the holiday rush was over for another year, all the while enjoying the view of the covered bridge. Hopefully they’ll be able to view it again this December.

Thousands travel to New England in the Fall to view the changing leaves and appreciate the scenery. In fact, I have a bunch of friends coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. I’m going to take them North to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury and after enjoying the foliage along the way we’ll sample a scoop or two. Then we’ll head over to Shelburne to the Shelburne Vineyard for a little wine tasting and after that maybe we’ll make it to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory just down the road. And after enjoying the reds, oranges and yellows in the trees, we’ll head back home to see who still needs help clearing out and re-building. We can all get by with a little help from our friends.

P.S. – Remember Stave is having a Puzzle Party at Twin Farms in Barnard, Vt at the end of October! There is still time to join in on the fun.

For more info visit: www.StavePuzzles.com

 

Can You Believe It??

I hate for these words to cross my lips, but I think Summer is just about over here in New England and Fall is getting ready to move in. After I get done with my favorite summertime activities – whether it be hiking, camping, canoeing, playing a little volleyball or badminton, or just hanging out at the beach – I love to come home for some R & R and sit in front of a Stave puzzle! Now that the nights are getting a touch cooler here in Vermont a puzzle and a hot fudge sundae are always a great way to end the day! (It is still Summer after all!) I can’t think of any better time to puzzle!

On those really cool, rainy days that we seem to be getting lately…a Stave puzzle is a great way to pass the time and bring some fun to a dreary day. Sometimes I will even invite friends and family over for a day of puzzling! What great fun that is! When we all sit down at the puzzle table… it’s game on!! There are always a couple of us who like to make it a competition and see who can put the most together or complete the puzzle first. The rest of us just like a nice relaxing experience so we can enjoy the satisfaction of each piece clicking into place. What kind of puzzler are you? Speaking of puzzles, I hope everyone is gearing up for a puzzle filled Labor day weekend. Break out your favorite puzzles and make a day out of it, rain or shine!

Okay..Okay! So we said Fall is around the corner and while I know we all love Summer and hate to see it go! There is one great thing about Fall… the AMAZING foliage we have here in Vermont! Have you ever been here during peek season?? It is stunning all the red orange and yellow colors painting the mountains. If you haven’t seen Vermont in the fall it is a definite must do! And while you are visting Vermont feel free to stop by the Stave shop and take a tour! Looking for a fabulous place to stay while you are visiting?? Why not stay at a STAVE approved Inn that have a great selection of our puzzles for you to work!

The Rabbit Hill Inn sits in the charming little town of Lower Waterford, Vermont. Beautiful vistas of the White Mountains of New Hampshie and the hills of Vermont can be seen from the front porch and lawn of the Northeast Kingdom Bed & Breakfast. (For more info visit www.rabbithillinn.com)

Another one of our favorites is Twin Farms! A unique country estate getaway situated on over three hundred acres of wildflower meadows, hardwood forests, ancient gardens and private ponds in Barnard, Vermont. Did you know that Stave will be taking over Twin Farms for an entire weekend in October?? If you ever needed a reason to come visit, this is the perfect excuse! See below for details! Can’t wait to see your happy faces there! – Penelope-

 

 

 

Friends One and All

A Reunion

We just wrapped up another successful, funfilled, spirited weekend at Blackberry Farm. We look forward to this every year and it never disappoints. I’ll try my best to give you a feel for what it’s like but I know I can’t do it justice. Soon after we organized the tables and unpacked the puzzles, Michael arrived to stake his claim. He’s got a favorite puzzling spot and wasn’t taking any chances someone else might grab it. We also made sure to have Victor’s big, comfy chair ready. He doesn’t puzzle but likes to keep his wife company, in addition to providing much entertainment for the rest of us. What a character!

When everyone arrived and got settled in, it was like a family reunion. We have 3 couples who have attended all 6 Blackberry Farm events and many others who’ve come multiple times. In addition to the 3 couples, this year included 3 mother-daughter kinships, 1 father-daughter, 2 sisters, 2 friends, and an engaged couple. Our group spans 7 decades! It makes us so proud that Stave can bring about this kind of connection. It really demonstrates the intrinsic value of puzzling together.

6 Degrees of Separation

While we love our old friends, we always encourage new guests, so it was with open arms that we welcomed a young couple from NYC. When they arrived at the Guest House and asked, “Who’s in charge?” Several unruly puzzlers in our group quickly claimed the title. Thankfully, Carol stepped up and greeted them but not before they had gotten a quick view of what they were in for. True camaraderie.

We ’ve alway s felt puzzlers are a tight knit group and here’s the proof in the pudding. Over the course of the weekend it was discovered that Rob & Debra, from NY, have a daughter who attends Duke. Guess who her roommate is? First time attendee, puzzler Carol’s, daughter, from Boston! What are the odds of that?!

But wait. It gets better. Remember our new puzzlers from NYC? We discovered that Matt went to Dartmouth and graduated with Carol’s (Stave’s Carol) daughter, Inga. He’s even been to Carol’s VT house. And, he’s friends with a young man I used to babysit.

They were meant to be part of our group, for sure.

Jennifer, already missing my buddies.

 

What Was He Thinking?

Have you been catching Steve’s crazy mystery photo contest? If you have, then you’re getting a very clear picture of just what a kook he really is! Steve has been taking intriguing photos of various things and posting them on his blog and our PuzzleNuts website, stavepuzzlenuts.com. If you’re the first person to correctly guess what is shown, you win a $25 gift certificate. If no one guesses correctly, the prize gets rolled over to the next week. Here are a few shots from previous weeks.

This is a shot that Steve posted… What is going on here?

Take a close look and you’ll see wing tip impressions in the snow. Steve and Martha think a hawk swooped down and grabbed whatever was running through the snow. They have a Coopers Hawk that uses their backyard bird feeders as its fast food outlet.

Here’s another shot. What is it???

We had some great guesses for this: a soda-bottle rocket toy sitting on its “launch pad” (i.e. the top of a two liter bottle), One of those pull-down cork screws to open wine bottles on Valentine’s Day, The knob to an air tank to fill balloons.

But E.M guessed correctly: It’s a party noise-maker/clacker!

This is the latest photo.

Go to the Tormented Tuesday page for more information and details on how to place your guess.
You could be the next winner of a $25 gift certificate.

 

Puzzle Weekend: Bring on the Fun!

BBF

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!!

www.StavePuzzles.com for more information.
For reservations call Blackberry Farm, 800-648-4252.

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.

Ready-Set-Go!

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!

Jennifer

A Good Time For All!

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Tired But Happy

Iím tired. Weíre all tired. Donít†feel sorry for us because itís a great†feeling! We had an amazing time last†weekend at the Woodstock Inn,†celebrating our 35th anniversary†with a fabulous group of puzzlers.†Weíre lucky enough to be able†to talk with a large number of you†when you call but we donít get to†meet our puzzlers very often. Not†only does a party give us an†opportunity to get some face time†with our fans, it gives you a chance†to spend time with others who are†just as crazy about puzzling as you!†Plus, you get to work as many†puzzles as you want !!!

Wild Times

We had a bunch of arrivals†Friday night for quiet puzzling but†the official festivities began†Saturday morning. Paula and Bri,†our Star Party Planners, organized†a bunch of games to keep everyone†puzzled throughout the day. Our†guests were challenged with games†like Guess the Rebus, Scrambled†Names and Guess the Silhouettes,†among others. We were handing†out prizes left and right!

Big Winners

In honor of our 35th†Anniversary we gave away over†$35,000 in prizes. We had prizes as†simple as Stave bumper stickers and†note pads and biggies like a $3,500†gift certificate. The Grand prize of†the weekend was the complete†Final Edition of our Dollhouse†Village, worth over $25,000!!†Congratulations go out to Y.Y.,†Annandale, VA who won the gift†certificate and P.A., Glen Head,†NY who won Edition #100/#100†of the Dollhouse Village.†Thank you all so much for†coming. You are what make our†jobs fun and I hope you all walked†away feeling like you were a winner.†I hope to see you at the next†party!

Jennifer

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Steve Torments 6 Best Puzzlers at 35th Puzzle Party

Here I am instructing the 6 finalists (narrowed down from 45) on the Trick TroubleMaker puzzle I have specially designed for their 2 hour marathon race. Basically the first one to get both solutions within the 2 hours would win the $3500 (in puzzles) first prize. Guess what? No one came close. In fact, no one got one solution which made my day!! YEAAAA!!

2107Party11

Our 35th Anniversary Celebration

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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!

Jennifer

THE WOODSTOCK INN & RESORT

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.

WOODSTOCK INN ACCOMMODATIONS

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.

BE A DAY GUEST

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.

PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS
EARLY BY CALLING STAVE AT 802-295-5200

Get more information here!