Shmuzzling – making jig saw puzzles jiggier

Cyber Shmuzzling is, well, Shmuzzling on line. Shmuzzles are salamander-shaped puzzle pieces designed by Sam Savage, who was inspired by M. C. Escher – especially by Escher drawings similar to these. Savage explains: “In the 1976 while teaching Management Science at the University of Chicago it occurred to me to cut some of Escher’s tessellation figures out of wood. I hoped they could be re-assembled many different ways. But to my disappointment they did not fit well, because they were drawn free-hand. Ultimately I discovered a formula, which in theory would make for a perfect fit. Inspired by Escher’s “Reptiles”, I created a salamander design according to the formula, and made a dozen out of wood on a bandsaw.”

We Shmuzzled with delight and occasionally with passion at the Games Preserve thirty years ago. “However,” Savage explains, “the extreme accuracy required (to create Shmuzzles) made it expensive to produce. In spite of continued demand, it became financially infeasible to continue, and production stopped in 1983.” Fortunately for the suddenly Shmuzzless world, in 2003, Professor Savage found a puzzle maker who helped him reShmuzzle the universe. And his new CyberShmuzzling is a gift to all of us immediate-gratification-seeking cyberfolk. ‘Cause we get to play with them and experience first hand the deep Shmignificance of free-form Shmuzzling. And there’s an actual CyberShmuzzle Puzzle, giving us exactly enough Shmuzzle Puzzle experience (putting the “jiggy” in the jigsaw puzzle) to imagine how much more gratifying it would be if we had spent the $15.95 plus postage and tax where applicable on purchasing any one of the many amazing Shmuzzle Puzzles. One thing to remember when Cyber-Shmuzzling – to rotate a piece, you click on it. It’s logical, once you know how. Then again, what isn’t?

2 thoughts on “Shmuzzling – making jig saw puzzles jiggier

  1. Wow MC Escher and jigsaw puzzles? I’ll say the gods are certainly smiling upon me. I’m such a jigsaw puzzle fanatic that I MUST have this. Also for my other jigsaw puzzle fiends out there…I found a site for making custom jigsaw puzzles..check it out I definitely can’t wait to check out Sam Savage’s work.

  2. So glad the wayward path of playfulness led you to Schmuzzles. I think you’ll not only enjoy solving the puzzle, but playing with the pieces and seeing what you can make.


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