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Steve Crisp is a British artist who creates rural country scenes, British nostalgia, jungle wildlife, and other lovely images that have been made into jigsaw puzzles. He's published by many brands including Sunsout, Gibsons, Falcon, and White Mountain. See all Steve Crisp puzzles on Puzzle Warehouse here. Those who have followed my blog for awhile know that I'm a fan...

Sunsout presents "Summer House" by Steve Crisp as a house-shaped puzzle. I love the irregular border on shaped puzzles and this one is quite fun with the pine tree, roof of the house, and flower beds providing the border. The quality of the puzzle is excellent with thick pieces and a crazy fun random cut. The cut includes whimsies--pieces shaped like dogs, birds, trees, and other objects. The image reproduction is wonderful with bright colors and sharp details. The beautiful illustration by Steve Crisp makes a great puzzle. The various colored rooms in the house are separate vignettes you can piece together. The rooms are easy, but the half-timbered exterior walls and thatched roof provide a little more challenge. This is an unusual puzzle that goes above and beyond the standard rectangular, grid-cut puzzle. Highly recommended.

White Mountain's "Winter Village" is one of my favorite puzzles so far in 2016. The snowy image by Steve Crisp is gorgeous and really hit the spot when I worked it during the hot summer months. Though this is a nighttime scene, the colors are bright and appealing. There's a nice mix of detail and simpler areas where you can put the pieces together without referencing the box (like the sky and the bridge). I loved the large White Mountain piece size and the larger size of the final puzzle. The random cut is fun to piece together and the finish is very flat and smooth. This is an easy-to-moderate puzzle that is never frustrating. Highly recommended!

Since I first started doing the brand comparison two years ago, I've changed the scoring criteria to be more rigorous and also less subjective, with specific points added or deducted for everything I could think of. I'm still slowly going back and updating some of my very early brand comparisons to the new system. I just...

This beautiful winter collage puzzle is a super easy and relaxing puzzle to assemble. The distinctive colors, and the three separate photo scenes, make the puzzle go together quickly. The Trefl brand from Poland is a grid-cut puzzle with standard piece shapes and sizes. The pieces are not as thick as some Euro brands like Ravensburger or Jumbo, but thick enough to resist bending and damage. Recommended for children, seniors, and anyone who enjoys 500 piece puzzles. 7.8/10

The House of Puzzles brand from Scotland has announced their new puzzles for July 2016. They're hard to get in North America, so if you're in the UK you're in luck. If not, your best bet at the moment is ebay. But hopefully they will have US distribution in the future. Here are my top picks of...

This is a striking fantasy image with a positive message–dream big! The Trefl brand from Poland is a grid-cut puzzle with fairly standard piece shapes and sizes. The pieces are not as thick as some Euro brands like Ravensburger or Jumbo, but thick enough to resist bending and damage. This puzzle is easy to assemble. The girl is a brightly-colored element that goes together quickly. The cityscape is not as interesting as the girl to assemble, but slight variations in color in the fog, and the recognizable buildings, keep it from being difficult. Recommended to fans of fantasy images. 8/10

There are a lot of awesome new puzzles to talk about this month! Tis the season for the Christmas and Fall releases to start to appear. First, let's look at the ones that were just announced (and aren't yet in stock). NEW PUZZLE ANNOUNCEMENTS Buffalo Games Buffalo Games tends to release a few new puzzles a month...

This is a gorgeous 2000-piece puzzle in a bright and fun cartoon style that should appeal to men and women alike. The colors are lovely, and there’s a lot of detail in this scene. The large size and the sketchy cartoon art style make this puzzle more challenging than most. Be prepared for a serious puzzling effort! The final puzzle is very large at 38.5″ x 26.5″ and feels like a major accomplishment. The finish is flat and smooth and the puzzle would look good framed. The Buffalo Games quality is quite good and pleasant to assemble, though there can be glare off the glossy surface under strong overhead lights. Recommended for those like cartoon puzzles, puzzles in larger sizes, or those are looking for something a little more challenging.

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