Right before pandemic, in the summer of 2019, my family traveled to London and Stratford Upon Avon. For Christmas that year my wife and I both got each other the same gift – The World of Shakespeare 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle!
I love a good puzzle, but we’re very casual puzzlers. I have Facebook friends who are regularly posting their completed puzzles and what they’re working on next. Our kids have less and less interest these days so it’s become more a hobby for just my wife and I, when time permits. I’m happy to report that this past weekend we finally finished this one! We actually have an excuse – since we went to both London and Stratford on that trip, we got both a London and a Stratford puzzle … and we did London first 🙂
But we’re here to talk about the Shakespeare one, which has this cool “Where’s Waldo” element for any Shakespeare fan because there are dozens of Shakespeare references trapped inside, from bear-baiting to weird sisters. Each piece you’re looking at and thinking, “Ok, this might be a thatched roof, or Juliet’s gown, or a fairy’s wing?” There’s a document that lists all the references (with pictures so you know what’s what), but for real fun you’ll want to skip that until the end. That way you get to spot all the references yourself. The dude holding the skull might be obvious, but will you recognize all the other ones, too?
Great fun for everybody, even if there’s just one Shakespeare fan in the house. It’s great fun when somebody says, “I’ve got a guy with a sword stabbing another guy” and you get to say, “That’s Julius Caesar. Top right.” Or, “girl sitting in a boat.” “Miranda. Dead center. Next to the old guy.”
Anyway, on with the pictures!
I’d love to get another Shakespeare puzzle but I’m not sure how many there are to choose from! Plus, my wife will kill me.
By the way, if you’re into puzzles and don’t have a puzzle mat, seriously consider one. We got one for Christmas and it’s a game changer. Primarily it’s a big felt mat to do your puzzle on, but it also comes with this inflatable tootsie roll pillow thing. So if you need to move the puzzle you wrap the whole puzzle in progress around the pillow and wrap it up with these velcro straps. The friction of the felt keeps everything from moving around. So if, like us, you use the dining room table for puzzles and occasionally have to pick up and move the whole thing? Problem solved. The kit we got also came with organization drawers so you can break pieces out into different groups (in this case we put “people” in one, for example). Plus glue for when you’re done, because it has to go on the wall after all that effort.
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I also got this puzzle as a gift during 2020– a fun challenge! I haven’t seen any other Shakespeare puzzles that are as comprehensive as this one…