What's Wrong with this Puzzle?
Hello there! What a month it’s been. I just got back from my first-ever trip overseas – to the world jigsaw puzzle contest. That trip, of course, followed several months of puzzle practice and neglecting my family. But I haven’t had time to write about it or even get my thoughts in order yet, so more on that next month.
For today’s quick jaunt through the puzzleverse, I’d like to take a moment to focus on puzzles from the Warehouse that have, uh, issues. Specific issues that make me ask: What is wrong with this puzzle?
First up, this doozy of a situation, Kite Flight.
What’s wrong with this puzzle? Let’s pause for a moment, so that I can explain how flying a kite works. Boy meets girl. Girl marries boy. Boy buys stunt kite for girl. Girl has one amazing day flying kite in the sand of the Park Point shore of Lake Superior and a second amazing day flying kite in a farm field in the wind of a coming thunderstorm. Girl moves to the city and spends the next 10 years trying to get kite in the air with boy tossing it up, only to have it nearly maim him upon its violent descent. Every. Single. Time. Boy builds up resentment at repeated near-death experiences. Girl insists that they try flying kite “one more time” any time she decides she can see the wind. Boy starts fantasizing about kite “disappearing.” Girl senses this. One day, kite just isn’t there. They have to decide whether to get divorced over this.
Now that I’ve explained how to fly a kite…does this puzzle look anything like flying a kite to you? These people seem happy. There are kites in the sky. The men aren’t plotting certain deeds, at least as far as we can tell. I think I’ve made my point.
Now, let’s move on to an easy one. What is wrong with this Birds puzzle? Look closely now. Specifically, check out the bird in the bottom center panel.
You guessed it! What’s wrong with this puzzle is that Beatrice absolutely hates her headdress, and she will literally peck out the eyes of the next person who comments on it.
And for another one, although it’s a bit more tricky than the last: What’s wrong with Adorable Friends?
For a hint, check out Howard’s rather emotionless expression. I think that says it all.
Didn’t get this one? Let me explain. So, two weeks before this photo shoot, Howard and Miranda had, like, this huge falling out and Howard refused to come to the shoot if Miranda was going to be there. Well, of course Miranda was going to be there: She’s literally what makes it Adorable Friends, plural. So then Howard insisted that he have his photo taken separately, and yada yada yada, he was Photoshopped into the scene with Miranda so realistically that they actually look like adorable friends even though they really are adorable frenemies. Amazing what Photoshop can do, isn’t it?
Now, contrary to popular thought, not all puzzles reflect the deep-seated psychological issues of their subjects. So let’s mix things up a bit. Take a look at Tea Time Terrors.
There’s so much going on in this puzzle that it might be easy to think that one of any number of things is “what is wrong.” Is it the human who has set up a tea party, including pouring tea that will be cold with fur floaters by the time the guests arrive? Is it that this human still has friends who are willing to come to tea when they know this is the situation they are walking into? Is it that the most lactose-intolerant of all the cats in the room is about to dig into the layered sponge cake (I know how that ends)? No, friend! To figure out what is wrong with this puzzle, we need don’t even need to dig that deep.
Here is a hint: Do we all remember when we first adopted (multiple) cats and we took them to the vet for their checkups? I see the lightbulb above your head flickering on now. This is a simple math problem! If you said what’s wrong with this puzzle is that this house does not have the veterinarian-recommended number of litter boxes – one for each cat, plus one for the house – you would be right! This house should have 10 litter boxes, and it is woefully, woefully short.
And now this one. What is wrong with this Blue Birds puzzle?
This is presented to us as a sweet, innocent nature scene. But this is a working mailbox, and these birds have committed mail theft, wire fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering. Those are federal offenses, folks.
And finally, let’s check out this Baking Cookoff puzzle.
What. The actual. Heck. Is going on here? By which I mean, where is the body of the spaniel on the left? No really, I need to know this so that I can move on with my day with some sense of resolution. Is there a hole in the butcher block island? I gotta think that’s both impossible and unlikely. Is it one of those things where the dog with the camera said, “Everyone get together and smile,” and the short folks weren’t given time to get in front and you can just see their floating heads? I guess I can relate to that.
I like to think her resigned look is because she’s an introvert who can’t wait for everyone to go home, but she is also dreading it because her baking friends never help clean up and the moment everyone leaves is only the start of her late night of cleaning. But of course wishing for one essentially erases the other. And holding these two thoughts in her head at once has made her body disappear, like the photo in “Back to the Future.”
I want to tell her that I know someone who understands her. After all, it’s a bit like standing at the front of the church on your wedding day, waiting to marry a girl whose eye is fated to one day fall upon a kite.
So funny, Robin! I love it!
Okay, I was laughing hysterically throughout this entire blog. Too. Freakin'. Funny!
Great blog. Super funny. Glad I read this one!