A Pieceless Puzzle looks very much like your standard jig-saw puzzle. A two-sided standard jig-saw puzzle. Made of some kind of rubbery, foamy stuff, the colorful puzzle is solved by fitting what you might think of as pieces together, just like a jig-saw puzzle. Except they’re not really pieces, they’re connected to each other, permanently, in one, continuous, many-branching, uh, piece.
Putting one together is a bit like weaving – you start somewhere, anywhere. Like all jig-saw puzzles you probably want to start at a corner or edge. Unlike any jig-saw puzzle, you simply follow the connection – as much as you can – in case the non-piece it’s connected to will actually somehow fit into it. Sometimes it doesn’t. Which is weird. Which is what makes the puzzle so much fun. Because you have to find another branch.
If you can, try to lay the puzzle flat. This is not as easy as it sounds. It means untangling and untwisting the whole strand. If you’re trying one of the more complex puzzles from the “12 and up” series, the untangling, untwisting, flattening strategy can be challenging enough to be a puzzle in its own right.
All in all, we found the Pieceless concept to be a welcome innovation. The puzzles themselves are extremely satisfying to solve. They tend to take a lot less time than a corresponding uh “pieced” puzzle, but the time they do take is a good one – absorbing, visually, tactilely, conceptually pleasing.
And, yes, sure, it’s really wonderful that you don’t have to worry about losing any pieces. Which makes Pieceless Puzzles uniquely suitable for a library – anyone’s library.
One giant leap for all puzzlekind.