Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

The Chief Tormentor

The Deliciously Devilish Blog of Puzzling News From Staveland

My First Choice for Puzzle of the Week

I see so many great puzzles come out of our workshop and they never cease to amaze me. It seems to me I should be sharing them with you! I’m going to choose one special puzzle every week and I’m going to post it here, for you to see. So check in every week and see what makes a Stave a Stave!!

Bordeux, by artist Kathleen Parr McKenna, is my first Puzzle of the Week. What do I love about it? From a puzzling aspect I like the colors. I could sort them to help me get started but they’re not so crisp as to make the puzzle easy. I love the grapevine wrapping around the top, too. Doesn’t it just bring things to life? From a cutter’s perspective I love the color-line cutting opportunities. The wine glass and sign are just calling out to be color-line cut. I could also cut out that nice bunch of grapes with a leaf and stem.

So pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine and sit down with a puzzle tonight!

Stave Quote of the Day

The following quote came from a long-time Texas customer’s email after placing order for his 54th puzzle and I promised him Christmas delivery,

“Sounds great – this is puzzle #54 – and I calculate about 28,000 pieces to assemble.

When is enough enough? Not quite yet.”



Chantilly (aka Champette) Rides Again

After my Ace Tester Riccardo ‘crushed’ Champette#1 and Champette#2 I licked my wounds and went back to the drawing board this past weekend. What sprang forth is Chantilly. I took the best of the Champettes and added a few zingers. Note that this version has handwritten clues showing where the swap points are. No need for Riccardo spending valuable time finding them. I want his brain power coming up with ideas on how to have Chantilly ever more beautiful.

Bill Bell Delivers His Masterpiece of Staveland 400 years ago.

Earlier this week Bill Bell drove up from New Jersey and delivered his masterpiece of Staveland. We were blown away. Three weeks ago he showed us his work in progress with part of the workshop unfinished because he couldn’t figure out how to have the Stave puzzles being crafted 400 years ago. Driving back to New Jersey he had an inspiration and VOILA! here it is. How ingenious!

Bill Bell Creates a New Staveland

Yesterday Bill Bell drove up from New Jersey and stayed at the Norwich Inn. This morning, bright and early at 8:15, he arrived at the shop much earlier than I had expected. Tammy called me and I quickly got my act together and hustled out to meet him, 5 minutes away. And much to my/our surprise he had a painting-in-progress based on our brainstorming 3 weeks ago. We are excited, agog, flabbergasted, double-whammied! Take a look. This is his/our fanciful vision of how Stave jigsaw puzzles might have been crafted 400 years ago. There is the Stave Puzzle shop on the left and, on the right, the King and Queen patrons in their castle doing Stave puzzles in their separate rooms. The scene is filled with Bill’s classic joyful humor. And, yes, when it is finished we will offer it as a Traditional puzzle. We are honored to have captured Bill’s amazing imagination.

My First Choice for Puzzle of the Week

I see so many great puzzles come out of our workshop and they never cease to amaze me. It seems to me I should be sharing them with you! I’m going to choose one special puzzle every week and I’m going to post it here, for you to see. So check in every week and see what makes a Stave a Stave!!

Bordeux, by artist Kathleen Parr McKenna, is my first Puzzle of the Week. What do I love about it? From a puzzling aspect I like the colors. I could sort them to help me get started but they’re not so crisp as to make the puzzle easy. I love the grapevine wrapping around the top, too. Doesn’t it just bring things to life? From a cutter’s perspective I love the color-line cutting opportunities. The wine glass and sign are just calling out to be color-line cut. I could also cut out that nice bunch of grapes with a leaf and stem.

So pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine and sit down with a puzzle tonight!

Stave Quote of the Day

The following quote came from a long-time Texas customer’s email after placing order for his 54th puzzle and I promised him Christmas delivery,

“Sounds great – this is puzzle #54 – and I calculate about 28,000 pieces to assemble.

When is enough enough? Not quite yet.”



Chantilly (aka Champette) Rides Again

After my Ace Tester Riccardo ‘crushed’ Champette#1 and Champette#2 I licked my wounds and went back to the drawing board this past weekend. What sprang forth is Chantilly. I took the best of the Champettes and added a few zingers. Note that this version has handwritten clues showing where the swap points are. No need for Riccardo spending valuable time finding them. I want his brain power coming up with ideas on how to have Chantilly ever more beautiful.

Bill Bell Delivers His Masterpiece of Staveland 400 years ago.

Earlier this week Bill Bell drove up from New Jersey and delivered his masterpiece of Staveland. We were blown away. Three weeks ago he showed us his work in progress with part of the workshop unfinished because he couldn’t figure out how to have the Stave puzzles being crafted 400 years ago. Driving back to New Jersey he had an inspiration and VOILA! here it is. How ingenious!

Bill Bell Creates a New Staveland

Yesterday Bill Bell drove up from New Jersey and stayed at the Norwich Inn. This morning, bright and early at 8:15, he arrived at the shop much earlier than I had expected. Tammy called me and I quickly got my act together and hustled out to meet him, 5 minutes away. And much to my/our surprise he had a painting-in-progress based on our brainstorming 3 weeks ago. We are excited, agog, flabbergasted, double-whammied! Take a look. This is his/our fanciful vision of how Stave jigsaw puzzles might have been crafted 400 years ago. There is the Stave Puzzle shop on the left and, on the right, the King and Queen patrons in their castle doing Stave puzzles in their separate rooms. The scene is filled with Bill’s classic joyful humor. And, yes, when it is finished we will offer it as a Traditional puzzle. We are honored to have captured Bill’s amazing imagination.