The Chinese party’s over. In my little place anyways.

Look fast!

Now you see it!


Now you don’t!


Like I’ve said, I don’t keep completed puzzles around. The pleasure’s in the process, not in gazing at it when it’s done. That 500-piecer freebie from the library is titled “China Town Festival.”

It was OK. Neither the highlight of my life nor puzzling world. Overall rating: 3 stars. My notes:

* It was made sucky because the entire puzzle was not represented on the box.

About 1 inch of the puzzle perimeter is absent from the box picture. For a puzzle 14″ x 18,” that’s significant missing acreage. 64 inches to be exact.

Anyone who does puzzles, especially detailed ones, which this is, relies heavily on the box graphic. When the box picture is incomplete — i.e., absent, covered by stickers, scratched up, you lose! You stumble, fumble, guess and second guess through the areas missing.

* Pieces are small. That’s not a hinderance unless your eyesight and/or hands are challenged. That’s a nickel; have a look-see:


Was my first with pieces sized between standard and the super tiny ones of mini-puzzles (which I won’t do). Wasn’t sure how I’d like it but I’m game to try anything once. Verdict: 1-1. Win: They take up less space on my limited-size table. Loss: Tiny details are hard to spot.

* “Fun puzzle but one piece missing — circled on box lid. 2nd window up from the ‘Food Co’ over the Sun Win Food Co. sign. Found it!! Oh joy! Complete as of 1/1/2015”

That was a note inside the box.

That person lies!

There ARE pieces missing! Two, in fact! And one a border piece! Sucks. Any puzzler knows the importance of the border. It sets the foundation for the puzzle. Establish border, then fill.

Can you spot the missing pieces? Okay, I’m making it waaaay easy with close-ups!



So that lying note’s going into the trash, to be replaced by an accurate one. Plus I circled their locations on the box. Because I’m thoughtful and helpful.

Here’s a point. Missing pieces are to be expected when doing puzzles from a public pool, I suppose. Still, it’s irksome. And rude. It’s irksome that people are careless and careless about pieces of puzzles NOT THEIRS. They’re puzzles intended for all. Carelessness in general is profoundly irksome to me.

Head’s-up notes in boxes for future puzzlers are thus much appreciated and in my view necessary. They’re courtesy. Ooops, there I go again. Using the c-word! Courtesy. Courtesy has gone the way of the Edsel. However, I’m guilty of being both courteous and very thoughtful. I’ll have to work on ridding myself of those traits if I hope to become a member of the American culture.

* I’ve oft said I’m an Asian trapped in a Western body. Chinese New Year’s means as much if not more to me as Western New Year’s.

This year Chinese New Year’s falls on Feb. 19. Theirs is by the lunar not Gregorian calendar, you know.

I chose this puzzle in the spirit of Chinese New Year’s and aspired to complete it by the 19th. Which I did. With weeks to spare! I’m now ready to embrace the new year!

So China Town Festival is over. In my little place on the hill behind the library, that is.

Back into the library pool it goes. In keeping with the New Year’s spirit, a special celebratory sendoff seems appropriate so …

Sayonara China Town Festival!

Sayonara China Town Festival!


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