The Valuation Day (What If? #14)

The Valuation Day
The Valuation Day by Geoff Tristam – Ravensburger (What If? Puzzles) – 1000 pieces

Such a fun puzzle! As per my usual rules I do not show the picture of the entire finished puzzle, to do so would be a spoiler and I’m not about spoiling anything. When I started my first What If? puzzle, I searched for a picture of the box to put on my “What’s on my board” section of the homepage and of course the first image that popped up was of the finished puzzle – what a disappointment for me! I couldn’t un-see it, I knew what happened in the image and I was upset. I will never do that to my readers, so all you get to see is the character shown on the box, heavily cropped.

You have to use more brain cells than normal because you don’t have the finished picture; but luckily with this series there are plenty of hints on the box image. You can see what everyone is wearing, what the background looks like, and you know what the premise is. This puzzle in particular was a little easier because you can tell as soon as you start turning over pieces and sorting what is going to happen. I can’t tell you what, but the “problem” is evident all over the pieces.

According to what we’re told, “The picture on the box shows the crowd’s excitement and anticipation….the puzzle inside this box depicts the shattering outcome! Doris Bootsayle loves rooting around jumble sales, charity shops and the like. She cannot wait to get TV auction expert Tom Wannapott to value her latest find. Will Tom make her dreams come true, or is there a sting in this tantalizing tale?”

So what happens? Of course I can’t tell you! That would ruin the fun out of figuring it out yourself. I love these puzzles where you don’t have an image and you have to figure out where everyone ends up and what happened. The artwork is fantastic, the puzzle quality is excellent, and the fun is built right in.

I’ve never shown this before, but one of the fun things about these puzzles is that they’re all drawn by the same artist, Geoff Tristam (one of my favorites 💖), and he does something fun on the back of the box. There’s a picture of him next to his bio, and in every picture he’s dressed up in the theme of the image. In this puzzle, which is a tv show much like Antiques Road Show, he’s dressed up as the expert…

I’ll try to remember to show his picture on the box with the remaining What If? puzzles I have left to do. They make me smile, and a smile can be such a help when you’re having a bad day, or just help to brighten a good day even more.

Have you done a Ravensburger What If? Puzzle? If not, I highly recommend giving one a try. I love them! 💟

The Safari Park

Safari Park
The Safari Park by Geoff Tristam – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

I had a great time with this puzzle, and found that it was very difficult to stay away from. Even when I needed to take a break and rest, all I wanted to do was get back to the board and continue the assembly. That’s not always a good thing for me physically, I love to puzzle so much that when one is this engrossing I tend to push myself farther than I should because I want to get back in the puzzle room and get back to assembling. (I always pay for it later, not a good thing. But I keep doing it, because I just can’t help myself. 🤷‍♀️)

Safari Park 2

The picture on the box tells me the types of animals I might be assembling, the color of the car and the clothes the characters are wearing. It also tells me what the premise is – What If the animals were more enterprising than we realized? That what the puzzle image will be. The box also shows one character as they will be in the finished puzzle, and this is always the character I photograph. I try to make sure that I don’t spoil these mystery puzzles for anyone who might have them in their to do pile. It’s such a bummer when they get spoiled for me, I never want to do that to anyone else. You’ll notice that the character I photographed is heavily cropped, if more was shown it would spoil some of the premise.

Normally I don’t show anything other that the one character from these puzzles, but there was something really funny that I just had to show you…

Safari Park 1

I’ve got no eye deer if you find this as funny as I do; it cracked me up!

What If? and Wasgij? puzzles make me very happy. There’s a mystery to solve and I have some hints to what the finished image will be but have to figure it out myself. There’s a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when it’s finished. And it’s nice to bring order to the chaos using only the colors and shapes of the pieces.

If you haven’t tried these puzzles I absolutely recommend both series. They both are excellent quality brands and the images are entertaining and great for puzzling. I have so many of them still to do, and I’m looking forward to every single one of them. 💗

The Cake Off (What If #12)

the cake off
The Cake Off by Geoff Tristam – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

Just what I was looking for in a puzzle, though it took longer because I’ve been sick. I wanted something a little easier to assemble and this was perfect. They aren’t easy, because you don’t know what the final image will be, but the cartoony aspect makes it simpler than, say, a landscape.

It’s sort of a take of on The Great British Baking Show, there is talk of soggy bottoms on cakes, etc.  Although I’m pretty sure what happened in this image would never happen on the actual show! The contestant’s names were hilarious; Ben Offie, Sue Flaye, Victoria Spunge, etc. The box shows a one of the contestant’s dreams collapsing, but “What If” she responded by rising to the occasion? That’s what you have to puzzle, and it’s quite an image. 😉

As is my custom, I don’t show the whole image so as not to spoil anyone else’s fun. I find it’s more entertaining to figure it out all by myself and want you to have the same fun too.  I only take a picture of the part of the solution that’s shown on the front of the box, so I’m really not spoiling anything at all. This was an excellent quality Ravensburger puzzle, with wonderful artwork by Geoff Tristam. I’m looking forward to finishing up the other 6 What If puzzles I have here. It’s been so long I’d forgotten how much enjoy putting them together. The next one is What If #13, The Safari Park; looks like another good one!


It might be a week or so before I get to this one, as I’m still working on my 2000 piece collage; but the Safari Park looks like fun, doesn’t it?

The Cake Off – In Progress

what if #12
The Cake Off

I’ve been sidelined for the last few days with a doozy of a cold, and haven’t touched my puzzle in progress. I did manage to do a bit of sorting early this morning when I couldn’t sleep, and finally got some pieces put together!

It’s a little more challenging for me than normal, because I don’t have any trays to lay out the pieces,  scrabbling through the box trying to find things is NOT how I like to work. All of my trays (and some borrowed from mom) are being used on the mystery box puzzle, so I’m having to try to assemble this puzzle in a completely different way. Ick.

This puzzle is perfect for me at the moment; it’s from Ravensburger’s What If series and it’s called The Cake Off. My husband and I have been watching The Great British Baking Show the past few weeks, and this image is a send up of that series. We love the show, so I was pleasantly surprised when the next puzzle in the series for me to assemble was this one. 🙂

It’s been relatively untouched for 3 days, but I’m hoping to be able to do a little more work on it today. Can’t wait to see what happens at The Cake Off!

(What If #11) Elizabeth and Raleigh

(What If #11) Elizabeth and Raleigh by Geoff Tristam – Ravensburger – 1000 pieces

What If puzzles are great fun, I love figuring out how things ended up and seeing the picture taking shape. As usual, I never show the entire completed image because I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone else. Half the fun is finding out what happens with everyone and how the picture is different from the box image – no spoilers here!

If you’ve never done a What If or Wasgij puzzle, the premise is simple; the image on the box is not the image you puzzle. Something happens to change the scene and you puzzle the result. What If #11 gives us this scenario….Good Queen Bess enjoys visiting favorite courtiers like Sir Walter Raleigh. He is handsome and dashing, and Elizabeth might just be fooled by his chat-up lines. But WHAT IF Sir Walter wasn’t a true gentleman? And WHAT IF Elizabeth really fell for his charms?

I didn’t enjoy this puzzle as much as I usually do, but it had nothing to do with the puzzle itself. The quality was great, the image is fun and funny – the problem was me. It took much longer than normal to complete because of physical issues making it difficult to sit and work on it for any real length of time. This got me a little down and I was avoiding it which kept the vicious cycle going. Taking too long, upset about it taking too long, avoid working on it which makes it take even longer – repeat. Eventually I got it done though, I promise I did the entire puzzle not just that one little section. 😉

Don’t be intimidated by these types of puzzles; they’re not as difficult as you might think. Ravensburger has the What If series, Jumbo does the Wasgij line, PuzzleTwist is a newer company whose puzzles all have a twist on the box image, and there are probably more I haven’t tried yet. I don’t think they’re too difficult; you can usually get clues from the image on the box which will help you with the assembly. The background is usually the same, many times the people are wearing the same clothing, etc. It’s good exercise for your brain and makes you really pay attention to the images, colors, and shapes. Besides all that – they’re great fun!