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Summer Puzzlin’: Cheeky Options from New York Puzzle Company

Oowee has it been hot outside! We’re just coming out of a massive heatwave here in New York City. As I’m writing this, last week it was in the 90s for about four days straight, and even though I usually love to walk around the city and explore in the summertime, it was just too darn hot to spend much time outdoors, aside from a few blissful hours I spent with some local friends at a local puzzle swap, which of course was well worth it. Spending some time with a puzzle in the A/C has been the perfect antidote to the sweltering heat, and I’ve got a few recommendations for options that you might enjoy if you’re seeking the same. 

When it’s so uncomfortable out, it’s nice to have a puzzle that has a sense of humor. One of the brands that I like most for cheeky, funny puzzles is New York Puzzle Company. Because they have so many puzzles of covers from The New Yorker, there’s no shortage of silliness within their catalogue. Plus they have a number of other fun images from other sources as well, some of which I’ll show you at the end of this post. 

Over the past year or two, New York Puzzle Company puzzles, especially in 500 and 750 piece counts, have become mainstays of my puzzling. I like the unique and interesting shapes, the linen piece finish, and the reliable quality. In these mid-size piece counts, I know that I can while away an afternoon with the puzzle and have it finished in time for dinner, instead of sitting on my puzzle board for days at a time.


New York Puzzle summer puzzles


For this blog, I picked out a selection of puzzles with The New Yorker cover images. There’s one 500-piece puzzle, Summer Getaway, and two 100-piece minis, Bay Watchers and Central Park Oasis


working the puzzle


I started with Summer Getaway, with its silly image of some revelers drinking wine out on their porch while their long-awaited lobster dinner cheekily escapes through the side window. I was immediately drawn to this image once I saw the lobsters’ googly eyes. It’s just too cute. 

I started by sorting the pieces and putting together the border of the puzzle, which was fairly easy. For these New Yorker puzzles, I also like to pull out the text pieces at the top first and put in as many as I can find. It’s always one of the most satisfying parts of the puzzle – maybe because it’s a constant that runs across each of these magazine puzzles, and I know that I’ll enjoy it every time.


another section of the puzzle


Here’s a close-up of the lobsters, which were the first part of the puzzle to come together.


and another section


Along with the red of the lobster pieces, the beige and golden pieces that made up the folks hanging out on their back porch were the other part that stood out to me most. Here are the people, who were the next section to come together.


summer  getaway puzzle

Summer Getaway 

Once I got through the easier sections of the puzzle, the rest of the puzzle flew by. I really loved doing this one, and it only took me about 2 hours or so to complete at a leisurely pace. The blue and white sections were among the more difficult, but because there are so many distinct areas of the puzzle, and only 500 pieces, it’s a fairly easy puzzle overall. To my mind, easy puzzles are perfect for summer.


2 100 piece summer puzzles


Next, I decided to move my mini puzzle board onto my larger one and complete the two minis that I’d picked out. I decided to do them both at the same time, alternating between the two as I went. On the left-hand side is Bay Watchers, and on the right is Central Park Oasis.


working the 100 piece puzzles


I started with the borders and the text at the top as I usually do. Since these were only 100 pieces, there wasn’t any sorting necessary. For Bay Watchers, I started with the purple of the umbrella, the yellow of the hair, and the red bathing suits. For Central Park Oasis, I started with the yellow-and-white gradient pieces that border the park and worked my way inward.


2 mini summer puzzles

Bay Watchers and Central Park Oasis

Voila! These two puzzles came together really quickly and were perfect for a summer afternoon. I haven’t gotten to go to the beach yet this summer (and I may not get to this year), so it was fun to piece together a beach scene – and as for Central Park, it’s a perfect place to get away within the city and forget that you’re amidst all the hustle and bustle. I thought it was fun of the illustrator for this one to set the park amidst a desert with some pyramids receding into the distance. That’s exactly how Central Park can sometimes feel – a magical respite.

Here are a few other fun New York Puzzle Company options:


Liberty puzzle

Liberty

Another fun New Yorker option from New York Puzzle Company, this one is called Liberty and also has 500 pieces. Lady Liberty deserves to kick back and relax.


the Floating Population puzzle

The Floating Population

Here’s another 500-piecer called The Floating Population, this time featuring a 1930 cover from Judge magazine. Even though this cover is 94 years old, it still somehow feels contemporary. That’s the brilliance of timeless illustrations. 


Surf Shark Bar puzzle

Surf Shark Bar

I’m sure there are many fans of Janet Hill reading this. I also love this fun 500-piece beach-themed image of hers called Surf Shark Bar.


Apple Pie parade puzzle

Apple Pie Parade

Here’s another cute 100-piece mini called Apple Pie Parade that’s perfect for July. I love these smaller mini puzzles for a fast puzzle snack. It’s the perfect size if you’re puzzling outdoors on a patio or balcony. 

Whichever puzzle you choose for yourself to complete during these dripping-hot months, I’m wishing you a super-cool – and slightly cheeky – summer of puzzling. To co-opt a lyric from Grease – “Summer puzzlin’ had me a blast, summer puzzlin’ happened so fast.” Before you know it, we’ll be into the cooler fall months, getting ready for pumpkin spice latte season and Halloween – so enjoy this warmer weather, as much as you can and in whatever way you can, hopefully with an iced tea or coffee in hand – and, of course, a puzzle at your fingertips.

-Richard (@piecebypiecepuzzler / YouTube channel: Piece By Piece Puzzler)

 

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