Stave Puzzles clown Stave
maker of fine custom wooden
jigsaw puzzles since 1974
Puzzles that are in-stock can be shipped on the next business day:
See them all!
New Designs   
Limited Editions   
Time Share Puzzles    
Teasers vs. Tricks    

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

TAG | Weekend Retreat

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:


Aug 22

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

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-




Apr 27

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, 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.


Steve here! We're busy organizing a few Puzzle Parties for the coming year. Here's information for the first one planned for January 2010.


An exclusive group of Stave enthusiasts will share hours of fireside puzzling in rustic elegance. Join us!

At The Point, you'll feel like you've stepped into another era because essentially you have. Built at the turn of the twentieth century of massive native timbers and stone as the Great Camp of William Avery Rockefeller, The Point is both grand and fanciful. Each room retains its original character with twiggy Adirondack furniture, birch bark details, cozy woolens and furs, waxed wood walls, old books and unique features particular to its original purpose at the Great Camp. Fires are kept blazing for you and a bottle of wine always awaits, so you may never want to leave your room! But you will. With its comfortable house party atmosphere, The Point is the perfect place for fellow Stave puzzlers to meet and share a weekend together.

Click here for more details and a list of scheduled events.

© 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.