Jigsaw Puzzle for Dummies – Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark by Eric Dowdle – TDC Games (Jigsaw Puzzles for Dummies) – 1000 pieces

It was purely coincidence that right after I finished Noah’s Ark by Jean-Jacques Loup that mom found this Noah’s Ark by Eric Dowdle at the thrift store. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something – I hope it means rain is coming because we’re having a bit of a drought down here!

Interesting concept for this puzzle, the box looks like the “For Dummies” books and each pieces is alphanumerically numbered on the back. There is also a small instruction booklet that comes in the box to explain the steps of how to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, along with a map on the back to show you where each piece should go.

There are plenty of ways for those people who haven’t done jigsaw puzzles before to get the instruction and help they need to complete a 1000 piece puzzle. Or, if you are already a puzzler you can disregard the map and the numbers and just assemble it as you would any other puzzle – the choice is yours! Like it says on the box “you decide the level of difficulty”.

The quality of this puzzle was very good. The pieces were thick and sturdy and fit together well; the image reproduction was very nice and there was no image lift on any of the pieces. Very good all around quality!

Eric Dowdle’s artwork is compelling to me. There’s something about the symmetry of his pieces and the clean lines – I can’t put my finger on exactly why I like it so much but I like it very much. 😍 It does make for a more difficult puzzle sometimes but there’s fun in the extra challenge. At least I think so. There’s a bit of humor in this puzzle too, you’ll find a pair of unicorns boycotting the ark with placards that say “heck no we won’t go”, a traffic cop for the large animals, and even a polar bear with sunglasses and a beverage!

I did attempt to assemble the puzzle the “dummies” way, first by only using the numbers to do all of a few rows, and then by using the numbers to pull all the pieces for one row but then flipping the pieces over and putting the row together without the numbers. For me it takes the sense of accomplishment away – I just read letters and numbers and put them in order. There’s no fun in that for me, but I wanted to try it that way to get a sense of the brand. If it helps you and you learn to do jigsaws that way I’m all for it; assemble it whichever way makes you happy!

If you find a for dummies puzzle that you like, don’t be put off by the dummies part; the quality is very good – I say go for it. 🙂





Biking – Mega Puzzles – 63 pieces

Another one bites the dust. I was hoping that this puzzle was all there, because I knew my grandson would love it – he loves Mickey Mouse. Bummer!

This is one of the better Mega Puzzles we’ve found. The pieces were quite sturdy, the image is bright and colorful, and they fit together very well.

Oh well, he’s got plenty of other puzzles to work on, and there are still a bunch of them in my car to be delivered if I ever feel well enough to go visit. Unfortunately this was a no go, I don’t want to give him a puzzle with missing pieces. 😦

Slumber Party!

Slumber Party! (Wasgij Imagine #3) by Neil Easton – Jumbo – 1000 pieces

Why can’t grandpa get some rest? What in the world is going on while everyone else is asleep? You’ll be surprised when you puzzle the answer. 🙂

Another awesome Wasgij by Jumbo, with excellent artwork by Neil Easton. The box shows a crazy evening at home with everyone getting ready for bed, crying children, barking dog, etc. You must imagine what the scene looks like a couple of hours from then – what is going on and what has woken grandpa? I thought I had it figured out pretty quickly, but it turns out I was only half right. 😦 I usually get it early, but this one stumped me a little bit!

Jumbo quality is some of the best there is. It’s right up there with Ravensburger in my opinion; and in some areas I think Jumbo beats Ravensburger. They’re both at the top of my list, we’ll call it a tie.

This puzzle was quite fun, and I really enjoyed the assembly which is no surprise. Cartoon puzzle?- check, Jumbo quality? – check, Mystery picture? – check, Awesome puzzle play time? – double check!

Monday’s Child

Monday’s Child by Betsey Clark – Springbok – 500 pieces

Springbok octagonal puzzle from 1973! Cool, right? Precious Moments characters for each day of the week with the nursery rhyme Monday’s Child. It’s very cute, but also very pale and made for a moderately difficult assembly!

This puzzle was pretty difficult with the paleness of everything as well as a random cut. In addition, I believe the puzzle must have been stored for many years; there was discoloration on many of the pieces which helped in making the assembly a bit more challenging.

The image was adorably cute, and was for the most part a fun assembly. I will say that after all the words and kids finding the right piece became quite a task! Everything is so pale, there are small flowers here and there but otherwise the pieces were white/cream colored. With a random cut it’s difficult to know what shape piece you’re looking for if you don’t have color or pattern to guide you. With everything mostly white I didn’t know if I was looking for a large piece, or 2 smaller pieces. And when I thought I was looking for a small piece it would turn out to be the end of a great big piece! Random cut isn’t bad when there is something to guide you, but when the pieces are all the same color – it blows!

The Springbok quality wasn’t bad. Good piece thickness and they fit together well. I can’t speak to the image reproduction because of the discoloration and age of the puzzle. My only issue with this puzzle is that the piece shape is extremely obvious in the finished puzzle and you can’t see the artwork very well at all. Otherwise I didn’t have any problems with it.

I don’t usually take more than one picture, but I wanted to show a closeup of one of the kids, they’re so cute!


Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark by Jean-Jacques Loup – Heye – 2000 pieces

After the rocky start with the all white border it was fun and challenging (but not too much) and I ended up as I usually do – proud of myself! It looks amazing and I really enjoyed it.

As with the Emergency Room puzzle it is slightly overwhelming when the border is assembled, and I have a few minutes of doubt about where to start and how difficult it will be, etc. But once I forget all that and jump in and start working and it all ends up flowing together wonderfully. I’m not sure why I keep trying to psych myself out, perhaps my brain is slowly being cooked by hot flashes and becoming damaged? Next I’ll probably forget the number 12 or that underwear goes on the inside of my clothes. 😐

There are lots of interesting goings on in the inner workings of this ark, and Noah certainly has his work cut out for him. There’s a skeleton in with the tigers, and they look alarmingly quite satisfied. 😮 The beavers are chewing through the wood, the monkeys are everywhere, and the camels have gotten into the wine! There is also an interesting guest bunking with the cheetahs…..


It’s nice that we live in a time where knowledge is so readily available – I had to google the difference between cheetahs and leopards to be sure which one was sharing space with the pink panther. I had it right, I just wanted to be certain.

As always the artwork by Loup is detailed and amusing and makes for an excellent puzzle image.  And as usual the quality of the Heye puzzle is very good, with the only small problem being the slightly loose fit.

I love the Heye puzzles and they have the best catalog of cartoon puzzles around; there are always plenty of Heye cartoons on my wishlist. I’ve still got the 2000 piece Apocalypse to assemble, another Loup puzzle that will mostly likely be just as much fun as this one!

If you’ve got the room to work a 2000 piece puzzle I would definitely recommend this one, just don’t talk yourself out of it like some people – that’s just crazy! 😉