A Puzzling Mystery, Part I

I’ve been impressed by jigsaw puzzles for years, and watched as my wife LeAnn did them, some that seemed like such an endeavor to me. Though it was interesting to see her puzzle, I couldn’t imagine myself doing it. It seemed too hard, and I preferred the interactivity of a game.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic arrived. By that June I became interested in actually trying a jigsaw puzzle, and LeAnn happily obliged. We started with with a one hundred piece puzzle, then went to a five hundred piece one, featuring a painting of “Flora,” a cat on bed. It was a challenging puzzle, and by the time we’d finished, I was hooked.

Many people were drawn to jigsaw puzzling in the summer of 2020, and puzzles shortages were common. Still, we managed to buy a number of them, and for a while there we finished a puzzle every week or two.

By last count we have finished thirty-four puzzles in two years. Everything from beach scenes, to marbles, sea shells, the solar system, Star Trek, and the movie Die-Hard.

For the past year or longer we’ve been listening to audio books while we puzzle, broadcasting from my iPhone to a little Bose speaker. That’s how we “read” the first four Hannah Swenson mysteries, John Scalzi’s The Kaiju Preservation Society, among other books. We’re now started in on an epic reading of the classic Wilkie Collins mystery, The Woman In White, as we finish our thirty-fifth puzzle.

The mystery isn’t that I gave it a try. The mystery is, how did I go from doing a couple of puzzles to nearly three dozen in two years, and why I am a passionate puzzler now, and someone who supports a YouTube puzzler via Patreon?

Return tomorrow for the answers and more.

The Sting of Apep, the puzzle we’ve finished most recently. A mystery puzzle.

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