Raspberry Tart

Raspberry Tart
Size: 1000 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 68 cm x 48 cm
Manufacturer: Mega Puzzles, No. 50931ABN, A 24024 PP
Photographer: zoryanchik / Shutterstock
Original: photograph
Puzzle: Bright and uplifting, this puzzle is an eye candy. Some challenging areas where similar colours are blended in slightly different ways. Easiest places to start are the green leaves, the pink tin, the bright red berries, the white plate and the chocolate tart. Large areas of uniform pattern and colour would benefit from good lighting.

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Spring Field

Spring Field
Size:  1000 pieces, 7 missing
Dimensions: 68 cm x 48 cm
Manufacturer: Mega Puzzles, No. 51152 ABN, A 20084 PP
Artist: Rudy Reichardt
Original: painting
Puzzle: A lovely serene scene of a countryside in autumn. Calm blue water reflecting the sky, the covered bridge, the sky and bright tree leaves border, and the boat are distinct regions that make a good start for the assembly. Good lighting is a bonus for the subtler transitions of colour among the trees and grass.

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Petrodvorets outside St. Petersburg

Petrodvorets outside St. Petersburg
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 49 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #40687-3
Photographer: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: A wonderful depiction of the Grand Cascade fountains in the Petrodvorets (Peterhof) Palace in Russia. I’ve visited this beautiful place in the 1990s, and it was a pleasure to assemble this puzzle almost 20 years later.

Good places to start are the border of the pool and the grassy areas, the sky, the pool water, the palace, the evergreen trees, and the statue in the bottom right corner. After that, stairs, fountains, rock walls and arches between the stairs, striped embellishments, and statues can be assembled.

Notes: The Peterhof Palace (Russian: Петерго́ф, Dutch for Peter’s Court) is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles”.

The fountains of the Grand Cascade are located below the grotto and on either side of it. There are 64 fountains. Their waters flow into a semicircular pool, the terminus of the fountain-lined Sea Channel. In the 1730s, the large Samson Fountain was placed in this pool. It depicts the moment when Samson tears open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War, and is doubly symbolic. The lion is an element of the Swedish coat of arms, and one of the great victories of the war was won on St Samson’s Day. From the lion’s mouth shoots a 20-metre-high vertical jet of water, the highest in all of Peterhof. This masterpiece by Mikhail Kozlovsky was looted by the invading Germans during the Second World War; see History below. A replica of the statue was installed in 1947.

Perhaps the greatest technological achievement of Peterhof is that all of the fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the Upper Gardens. The elevation difference creates the pressure that drives most of the fountains of the Lower Gardens, including the Grand Cascade. The Samson Fountain is supplied by a special aqueduct, over four km in length, drawing water and pressure from a high-elevation source.

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Postcard from the Kremlin

Postcard from the Kremlin
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 68 cm x 48 cm
Manufacturer: Mega Puzzles, CxC32 ASST DFD13, A 07075 PP, #50941
Photographer: Gorbach Elena (Shutterstock)
Original: photograph
Puzzle: Lovely vibrant puzzle with lots of intricate details. My five-year-old loved it so much, it is now decorating his bedroom wall.

Good places to start are the border with the sky and specific colour patterns, such as dark green and yellow of the forefront tower, dark red and white of the top dome, yellow and red of the spherical embellishments on orange pedestals, flower-adorned arches, and white walls. The smaller details can be filled in afterwards.

Notes: A kremlin (Russian: кремль) is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. [Wiki]

The Kremlin in Izmaylovo is a unique center of culture and entertainment, based at the famous Izmaylovo Vernissage. It is built in a pseudo-Byzantine style, based loosely on what palaces in Russia looked like in pre-Petrine times, but more inspired by drawings of Russian fairy tales. This complex is used for civil weddings as it has a wedding palace, a restaurant and bars. However, it is also used as an amusement park/open-air museum for children on the theme of ‘Old Russia’. There is a reconstruction of a wooden Russian church that used to dot the Russian countryside before the Russian Revolution but it is not used for weddings. There is also a big market that sells souvenirs amongst other things. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Rock Wall by Craig Joiner

Rock wall, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.95 cm x 48.10 cm
Producer
: Mega Puzzles, Vibrant series, 2015, CWR87 ASST DFC35, 966C, A15055LP, #51692
Artist:
Craig Joiner

Puzzle: Beautiful yet non-trivial puzzle, due to very few distinct colours, lots of slight shade variations and repetitive patterns. Easiest places to start are the birch trees that can serve as the vertical guides later and the rock wall with its bright green moss, distinctly grey rocks, and lighter pink leaves in a few crevices. From that point on, it’s a play of shade and light, slow but rewarding assembly. This puzzle is good for contemplation time and can be stretched across multiple evenings.

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Puzzle: Riverside, California, U.S.A.

Riverside, California, medSize: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12 cm x 66.52 cm
Producer: MB Puzzle, Hasbro Canada, 2009, 17077C-43969
Photographer:
Larry Ulrich

Puzzle: A colourful gazebo in a California park, with bright white steps, red pillars, orange roof and ornate decoration. Beautiful and peaceful puzzle to assemble, challenging enough to take a bit more time.

Good places to start are the orange striped roof and its border with the sky, the red pillars, the grass and the paths at the bottom, as well as the white steps and fence, and the red dome of the tower in the background. The more challenging parts are the sky, the greenery, and the brown tower and tree trunk regions.

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Puzzle: Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle 2, med

Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack, #40617-13
Notes: I have put together another puzzle of the Neuschwanstein Castle before, 500 pieces.

The inspiration for the construction of Neuschwanstein came from two journeys [of Ludwig II] in 1867: one in May to the reconstructed Wartburg near Eisenach, another in July to the Chateau de Pierrefonds, which Eugene Viollet-le-Duc was transforming from a ruined castle into a historistic palace.

The king saw both buildings as representatives of a romantic interpretation of the Middle Ages as well as the musical mythology of his friend Richard Wagner. Wagner’s operas Tannhauser and Lohengrin had made a lasting impression on him.

In February 1868, Ludwig’s grandfather Ludwig I died, freeing the considerable sums that were previously spent on the abdicated king’s appanage. This allowed him to start the architectural project of building a private refuge in the familiar landscape far from the capital Munich, so that he could live his idea of the Middle Ages. [Wiki]

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