Saturday, October 17, 2009

Solving the Puzzle

Two weeks ago, I got a 1000-piece puzzle (Grandmas Kitchen).  When I first opened the box and poured out all the pieces, I just looked at the pile and had no idea how to start.

I needed some sort of plan.  After some thinking, I figured that I would first assemble all of the outer edge pieces and then move inwards. My plan worked out pretty well and over the next week (and with little help from my mom and dad), I made steady progress. Finally, after a week and a half of work I put in the last piece (which had gone missing for a few days after my cat, Mango made it her toy)

After completing the puzzle I realized that I repeated certain steps over and over again (my dad called them algorithms). The next time you get a large puzzle and feel overwhelmed, feel free to use my following super easy puzzle assembly algorithms:

Solving the Puzzle I - Sheva Apelbaum Solving the Puzzle II - Sheva Apelbaum
 Stage 1 Stage 2
Solving the Puzzle III- Sheva Apelbaum Solving the Puzzle IV - Sheva Apelbaum
 Stage 3 Stage 4
  1. Find a  large flat and well lit surface (I used the top of our piano)
  2. Work on the puzzle in stages, a little bit each day
  3. Sort the puzzle pieces by color and shape and place them in related groups (keep them flat, don’t pile them up)
  4. Search all the groups for the edge units (with one flat edge) and corner pieces (with two flat edges)
  5. Start assembly by putting together the edge and corner pieces to assemble the puzzle’s outer frame (Stage 1)
  6. When possible, assemble each individual section outside the puzzle and then bring them into their location
  7. Periodically look at the picture on the box for reference

One 1000 piece puzzle down…one 5000 piece puzzle coming up!

Well, maybe.


  1. Perseverance pays off! You are always coming up with interesting things to blog about Sheva. You're truly an amazing kid!

  2. I had to look closely at that kitchen--today's standards are so much more convenient! Imagine washing clothes by hand!

    Great way to assemble a puzzle, but the question begs, what do you do with the puzzle when you are finished? :-)

    PS I guiltily deligate it to it's original container and put it in the cellar!