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[Tidbits] Puzzle


If a squirrel and a half
Eats a nut and a half
In a day and a half
How many nuts will nine squirrels eat in nine days?

Okay okay. It’s not a puzzle. It’s a riddle. Let’s start over. What
was the name of the engraver–he was also a mapmaker–who lived in
London circa 1760 and was credited with producing the first jigsaw
puzzle? Did I mention I have a pair of yellow gold jigsaw puzzle
cufflinks for you to see?

The name of the puzzle-maker–as I know you all surely know–was John
Spilsbury. And the answer to the above riddle is … is … nah …
you figure it out and get back to me … I’ll tell you if you’re

Olden day puzzles were more complicated than the thousand piece
puzzles you see in the stores today. First … they weren’t
interlocking. Second … they did not have transition color to
indicate–for example–that the white rock jutting out from the
blue-green sea was that piece over there with white and blue-green
on it. Third … there were no pictures on the box to even give you
a clue as to what it was you were putting together in the wee hours
of the morning when everyone else in the house was sleeping except
for your mate who was slightly irritated by your obsessive
-compulsive behavior. One more piece hunny bunny … and I’m coming
to bed. Yeah. Sure.

On top of all that … puzzles were rather expensive and by the early
1900’s they cost around $5.00 while the average family income was
around $50.00 per month. They were the craze and passion of High
Society who rushed to buy them early Saturday mornings for their
weekend parlor games at their retreats when the weather was just too
too nasty to be outside playing croquet. Ahh … for the good old

Without interlocking pieces one had but to sneeze to disrupt an
afternoon’s work. And so … Parker Brothers and a few others began
making the odd shapes we all know and love so well today. And the
craze was on. 1920 … the Great Depression … puzzles surged to the
forefront of popularity. By 1933 sales were reaching the astounding
figure of 10 million sold per week. For pennies … one could attain
a sense of accomplishment during a time when one felt one’s failures
keenly and there were few jobs to be had.

So … you wanna see my gold puzzle-links? Hmmm? Okay okay. After
this one last little Tidbit. The original puzzles made by John
Spilsbury formed the pictures of maps and were primarily used to
teach Geography to students who learned by assembling the world
maps. Now … me lads and lassies … now you can see my golden
Jigsaw- Puzzle pieces.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: Puzzle …
where you’ll see an image of a pair of yellow gold Puzzle cufflinks.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

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