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It's All In The Stars

I grew up in the 1970s.

There was a lot going on in those years, though much of it wasn’t something a schoolkid followed too closely. Here in the U.S. the news was about Vietnam, Richard Nixon, Civil Rights, and an energy crisis. To take our minds off politics we had TV shows like “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “The Love Boat,” “Three’s Company,” and many others that are still talked about today. At the movies there was “Jaws,” “The Godfather,” “Grease,” “Star Wars” and, one of my favorites, “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” 

And we had hippies. 

Hippies were interesting people. Their clothes were crazy, their music was alternately folksy (Dylan, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne) and raucous (Aerosmith, Queen, Led Zeppelin), and their choice of smokes was…. alternative. As an impressionable youngster, I took all of this in. It’s cool to copy people a few years older, right? And that’s how I came to know one of the most famous pick-up lines ever. It was everywhere, it was unavoidable, and it went like this…

“Hey babe, what’s your sign?” 

To figure out what they meant (hey, I was 10), I had to learn the basics of astrology. After learning my sign, it was fun to read the horoscopes in the paper. Somehow, knowledge of the future was hidden in the stars! I loved reading what was going to happen, then matching events to predictions. At school, my friends and I would compare signs, and laugh at how the traits associated with them fit us (or not). As a Sagittarius, I was proud of being honest, friendly, and optimistic (I had to look that one up but, again, I was 10). And I was glad I wasn’t Cancer (sorry, Cancer folk), because they were moody and suspicious.

These days I don’t pay much attention to horoscopes, or astrology, though I did marry a Gemini - a good match for me. But when wondering what to write about this month, I noticed several star-related puzzles in my stash and figured, why not? It’s like a little walk down memory lane.

I started with Zodiac Cats, from Eurographics. I don’t typically do collage style puzzles, but this one had cats so it was okay. See my Sagittarius cat? He’s in the tree, with a bow and arrow. Artist Lucia Heffernan obviously had fun with this image. Heck, the puzzle even makes Cancer look good, baking those fish cookies to share with some friends.

Zodiac Cats puzzle

Zodiac Cats by Eurographics

Next, I took a detour from U.S. astrology and puzzled another Eurographics collage, with a humorous take on the Chinese Zodiac. Like the first puzzle, this one consisted solely of standard “two-bump + two-hole” pieces. Regular blog readers here on Puzzle Warehouse may remember this puzzle from Gail O’s blog post last month, in which she wrote about the Chinese New Year. It’s called Chinese Calendar and it’s a fun 1000 pieces.

Chinese Calendar

Chinese Calendar by Eurographics

To finish things off, I left the funny cats and animals behind, dropped the collage theme, and went old school… straight to the stars with Astronomy Constellations from Tomax. At just 500 pieces the puzzle went together quickly. The pieces of this Tomax puzzle didn’t have the same look and feel as those in the other puzzles, but they fit together well and I could pick up the finished puzzle as a whole.

Astronomy Constellations puzzle

Astronomy Constellations by Tomax

For those interested in astrology, or just the constellations in the night sky, there are many others available at Puzzle Warehouse. For fans of the Cobble Hill brand, there’s an entire star sign series to try. Their entry for Sagittarius is on my list.


Sagittarius by Cobble Hill

There’s also a series from PuzzleLife, with a different take on my sign…

Sagittarius puzzle

Sagittarius by PuzzleLife

Overall it was great growing up in the ‘70s. I learned about astrology, I discovered biorhythms (a story for another day), and I enjoyed the great music, TV, and movies. There really are a lot of fun memories to look back on. I have to mention, though… I never did try those alternative smokes. 

Happy Puzzling. 

Phil (aka Puzzle Buster)

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