Spotlight on Anatolian
A few months back, my Jignificant Other mentioned, once again, that my to-do collection of puzzles seemed to be growing faster than my “completed” pile. That comment prompted me to take a look through the stash, to see if maybe some could be passed along to someone else, to be returned in future. During my tour of household puzzle storage closets (yes, multiple closets), I discovered several beautiful puzzles from a brand I hadn’t tried before. So, as a fan of always trying new things, I pulled them out, put them at the top of the pile, and planned to do a write up to share with you.
But things don’t always go exactly as planned. Sometimes the real world, the bit that exists outside of puzzling, puts us on a slightly different path. While I hoped to finish all four of the Anatolian puzzles I’d selected, the other goings on in my life limited my time, slowing my pace enough that the final puzzle is more a “puzz,” ending up about ⅔ complete, just like that word.
This brand has been reviewed a few times in these blogs, with this most recent one published in 2021. You can also see an overview of Anatolian from the link on the PuzzleWarehouse brand comparison page. And if you want to shop the brand, I’ve got you covered.
Rather than duplicating what those earlier bloggers wrote about the brand, its history, and the details of piece size, shape, and thickness, I’d like to share my own experience; my likes, dislikes, and the overall “feel” of the puzzles.
First on the table was “African Colours,” a gorgeous and colorful depiction of an African elephant. At just 1000 pieces, this was still the most difficult of the four I chose, because the colors were a jumble! Without color as a primary reference, I relied on texture to get me through. Fortunately there were enough differences between sections to help me through.
In doing this, my first from the manufacturer, the overall quality of the pieces really stood out. They were firm, had a good feel, and not a single one of the 1000 had any peeling or separation of layers. I thought the fit was too loose, because I couldn’t pick up sections of the puzzle without slipping something under them to help. However, when fully assembled, the entire puzzle could easily be lifted without losing a piece!
My second of the month was another 1000 piecer, this one titled “Delightful Woman”. Like the first (and the next two, so I’ll mention it here and be done with it), the pieces were extremely well made. Unlike the first, this was a solve-by-color for me. That being my comfort zone this one went together quickly.
The next from the brand was a step up to 1500 pieces, and a step away from single-element focus to a more general street scene. It’s called “Canal Cafe Venice” and was just as much fun to work on as the others.
Then my world was disrupted and my puzzling time severely reduced. I did my best, with another fun Anatolian but, as of this writing, it still sits unfinished on my table, waiting for me to get back in town to finish it up. So here’s where it stands, and what it will eventually look like with another few hours of work. It’s 3000 pieces, called “Mystery Writers.”
Mystery Writers in progress
My overall impression of this brand is as simple as a single word: Wow. I’m impressed by both the quality of the pieces and the images used. What they’re missing (as are several brands) is a poster. As a puzzler who prefers working 2000+ pieces, I appreciate the detail of a larger-than-the-box poster as I try to figure out, “where the heck does this piece go?” So if you haven’t tried an Anatolian yet, take a look - I think you’ll be impressed.
Phil (aka Puzzle Buster)
Love the term "jignificant other" and the fact that you owned up do not being able to finish on time - happens to all of us for sure!
Purchased the No Place Like Home puzzle about 6 months ago and here I read I got a winner. Didn't know a lot about Anatolia puzzles but thanks for the information.