The Puzzle Continued

puzzle

Although it really doesn’t look like I have made much progress on this puzzle since I started it on November 4, the reality is that I have indeed made great progress, especially over the past couple of days. This puzzle is a lesson in patience, perseverance, and noticing the details, because those are all necessary to finishing the task.

Once I finished the “easy” parts, the edges and the giant candy cane across the centre, the rest of the puzzle can be quite overwhelming. All you see are shades of white, red, and black…and it seems impossible to make any sense or order out of any of the pieces. The only way to tackle an impossible task is in small steps, and that is how I tackle this puzzle.

I began by picking out those pieces that stand out by nature of their shape. This puzzle has some pieces that are not interlocking, so I pulled those all out and paired them up with their matches. Other pieces had odd shapes that were paired up in a similar fashion. So I wind up having oodles of small matched groups of 2 or 3 pieces scattered all over the board. This is where the brain begins to smoke and overheat, because now I need to begin to add more pieces to these little sets, and I need to find where they belong in the picture, so they can be put in the proper place. Oh, that is an amazingly slow process!

But then, eventually, I get to the point where the little matched sets are much bigger, like involving a dozen pieces, and suddenly I can pick out the subtle nuances of individual candy canes. As I pick up on those details I can look at the picture and eventually find that exact spot. Although the piecing together is truly still slow-going, it feels like I am placing pieces like crazy.

This morning was like that…I was able to “attach” several large clusters of pieces, and that means that it will become increasingly easier to place the remaining little clusters. The picture is becoming more clear. There are fewer pieces left in the box. I know I am making good progress; I just can’t wait to be done!

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