TAG | Trick puzzle
The name of this newsletter is a little deceiving for me this week because I’ve had no peace of mind since I began cutting Steve’s new Trick puzzle, Atlantis. I’ve felt like my ship has been sinking for days now. SOS!
Come bail me out!
Atlantis is based on the theory that in 9000 B.C. , the city of Atlantis disappeared in a horrendous storm.
Atlantis has been in the works since January. Yep, eight long months. Steve has literally been consumed with it for practically every minute of every day. Just ask Martha! She was trying to get Steve’s involvement in planning a special 50th wedding anniversary celebration and she had a very hard time tearing him away from the puzzle. He’s lucky she’s agreed to keep him for another 50 years.
The puzzle takes you through the workings of Professor Samuel K. Robinson’s research and ultimately reveals where he found Atlantis to be located. That is if you can solve the puzzle! New designs go through many prototype stages but Atlantis has beaten our record. Steve spent hours locked in his home office, working and reworking the puzzle on paper and then he’d come to the shop and cut it in wood. Some things worked, some things didn’t! I can honestly say that all the time he spent on it was worth it. It’s an amazing puzzle. Now let’s talk about the puzzle cutting.
Lost at Sea
When the design was finally ready to go, Steve went through an arduous training session with Elizabeth. It wasa painstaking process because the steps you have to work through in its cutting are intense. The puzzle consists of seven circles, each larger than the next and it’s safe to say, they’re loaded with puzzlement. The difficulty levels range from a not so hard one sword to a hair pulling four swords. I rate the cutting experience a ten plus swords.
Why am I complaining? Because Elizabeth left for vacation and Steve and Martha were finally going to take some time to get their lives back after eight months of living with Atlantis day in and day out. That left little old me holding the bag. Thank goodness I roped Ginny in to help me. I knew I needed a second pair of eyes and ears when Steve went through the puzzle with me. There’s so much to remember!!
The training session went well. I remember thinking, “This isn’t so hard! What’s the big deal?!” Steve and Elizabeth had documented the cutting steps well and Steve incorporated several things into the design to guide us in the cutting. Then he left town and all hell broke loose!
Things started out smoothly, cutting up the puzzles we had worked on with Steve. But then we had to begin anew. Ok, step one isn’t so bad. Nicely done. Step two? Got that! Step three is when the water got choppy. Who would think that one little quarter inch difference in placement of a trick cut could mess something up so horribly? The nature of this design is such that one little mistake messes up the entire puzzle. There’s no saving it. The entire puzzle goes in the trash and you start again. So I did.
Step one, good. Step two, nice. Step three, I learned my lesson there, it worked great. Step four, man overboard! The angle on that baby has to be just perfect or else you get an oval instead of a circle. That’s all I can say about that. Back to the drawing board. Step one, good. Step two, good. Step three, made it. Step four, still afloat. Step five, tidal wave! How did that happen?! At this point I’m cursing Steve and wishing he had been on the island of Atlantis when it went down. Needless to say, it was a learning experience but Ginny and I weathered the storm and came out alive.
The puzzle is AMAZING and I think our puzzlers will love it. This may just be the trick puzzle that I have to own. You all know I’m a loyal Traditional puzzle fan but this design is so cool and clever that I want it for myself. I think it might be a while before I work up the muster to cut it for myself, though.
May your seas be calm- Jennifer
Great minds think alike. Isnít†that how the saying goes? Letís test†that theory, shall we?
Weíre always striving to come†up with something new here at†Stave. Earlier this summer I was†working with Steve and Molly on†the design for the 35th anniversary†commemorative puzzle. We were†figuring out the list of the 35†elements to include in the puzzle:†whammies, color-line cutting,†phony corner, TroubleMaker,†Trick…you get the idea. It was then†and there I decided to retire before†we hit our 60th anniversary. Thatís†a lot of stuff to get into a puzzle!!
Occasionally we have a contest†on the PuzzleNuts site where we†show you a new puzzle design and†ask for title suggestions. You always†have such great ideas. We even took†it one step further when Stave†artist, Molly Delaney, drew some†cute little donkeys that we couldnít†figure out what to do with. Instead†of racking my brain, we threw it†out to our puzzlers and your†suggestions were awesome! Due to†your ingenuity, Donkey Tonk will†be coming your way, soon!
This tired mind needs your†help, again. Now I want you to do†it all. Iím going to sit back and let†you do the work! (What took me so†long to think of this?!) You can†design your very own Stave puzzle!
Give me the theme
Give me the look
Give me the title
If you can come up with the†fixings for a new Stave Teaser†puzzle, weíll do it!†Now that youíre doing my job,†Iím going on vacation!
Jennifer- Many hands make light work! Lighten my load!!
P.S. See details on the below
REMEMBER! Email ME at Jennifer@stave.com with your puzzle suggestions.
Hey all you CHAMPions of Champ… guess who’s getting a girlfriend! Steve promised he would return from vacation last month with a new Trick puzzle design and he did. Lily is her name and puzzlement is her game. She’s Champ’s new girlfriend and if you enjoyed being puzzled by him you’re going to love Lily. She’s being tested right now by our Ace puzzler in Delaware and we can’t wait to hear his screams of frustration and delight. Puzzle designs take time and usually go through several prototype versions before we go to final art but we know how hungry you are for a new 2-way Trick puzzle so we’re keeping on top of this one so you will see it soon. Listen for those screams of agony from the East coast. Hopefully our Tester won’t cry Uncle!
So where are the tulips and daffodils? As you may know, Spring in Vermont can be an iffy thing. We had a week of temps in the 50s last week but now we’re sitting in the high 30s and it’s windy. What’s up with that? I’m choosing to look at it as having my glass half full. I’d much rather be inside cutting puzzles than outside in the chilly air. But guess who doesn’t see it that way? Yep, Steve and Martha have headed off for warmer climates and time with their grandson. Thank goodness Steve does some of his best designing in the sun. And now I’ll let you in on a little secret. Before they left, Paula and I made Steve PROMISE he would come back with a NEW 2-way Trick Design!!! We’re so excited and we know he won’t let us down. WooooWeeeeee!! You heard it here first!