Jigsaw-style puzzling is a huge part of puzzle culture, one that’s easy to overlook. Even the average jigsaw is hardly average these days.
You can get them without squared-off edges — removing that crucial first step of finding all the border pieces — or with extra pieces that aren’t intended to fit anywhere. Some, like Baffledazzle puzzles, come without the final image as a guide, leaving you to rely on texture as well as shape. Others involve incredibly detailed or repetitive patterns, eliminating “find this color/image”-style searching. Some are even double-sided!
(My sister had a 550-piece edgeless puzzle that was nothing but coffee beans and some random cups. Another was golf balls and tees. They were mind-melting.)
Then there are the three-dimensional ones that tax your dexterity as well. Whether you’re making a sphere or a replica of the Taj Mahal, your jigsaw skills will be tested severely.
[A massive 3-D puzzle of New York’s skyline… in progress.]
Other forms of puzzles are hardly immune to jigsaw-style solving. Tangrams and pentominoes eschew jigsaw shapes for triangles, squares, and Tetris-style pieces. Even some pen-and-paper puzzles, like Penny/Dell’s Brick by Brick crossword, employs jigsaw pieces.
And, of course, there are all the building toys that rely on the same hand-eye coordination and pattern-finding skills that jigsaw puzzles require. Erector sets, K’Nex, Mega Bloks and LEGO and Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs and many many others… all have their roots in jigsaw-style puzzling.
But I think I’ve stumbled across one of history’s greatest jigsaw puzzles, and I’m curious if any of the jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts in the PuzzleNation community think they could’ve handled this challenge.
An entire London mansion, broken down and reconstructed jigsaw-style.
Yes, between 1910 and 1912 a mansion in Essex called Cedar Court was dismantled and moved piece-by-piece over 70 miles to its new home in Surrey and painstakingly rebuilt.
The mansion was already over 400 years old at the time, and it’s become known as the “jigsaw puzzle” house ever since.
According to the article in The Telegraph, “Every part of the building was sectioned out and numbered so that it could be stuck back together again exactly as it was after its trip across the capital.”
This was clearly a monumental undertaking, and even with careful planning, I suspect a few jigsaw-savvy workmen were required to get the mansion back in shape.
And hey, are any jigsaw aficionados out there interested in owning this bit of puzzle history? It’ll only cost you fourteen MILLION pounds to acquire it.
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