Puzzle: Tower Bridge in London, 3D

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, centre closeup 2, med

Size:  120 pieces
Dimensions: 76 cm x 12 cm x 23 cm
Producer: CubicFun, 3D Puzzle series MC, #MC066h, complexity 5/6
Original packaging: http://www.cubicfun.com/index.php?m=Products&a=show&id=43&bid=1

Puzzle: Following the St. Basil’s Cathedral, Taj Mahal, Parliament Buildings of Canada, and Neuschwanstein Castle 3D puzzles, I have my people periodically checking our nearby Mrs. Tiggy Winkles toy store for higher-complexity puzzles made by CubicFun. And this time, we have found the Tower Bridge of London.

Here is the box, the booklet (see below for the historical information contained therein) and sheets with puzzle pieces.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, package contents, med

I have done this in three stages:

1. Separating all the pieces from the sheets in which they were embedded.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, pieces, med

2. Punching out the holes in the pieces (I used a tip of a mechanical pencil). My 3.5-year old was very excited about helping, and so he did most of the hole-punching while I fitted the pieces together.

3. And putting together the puzzle itself. Below are the progress photos (this time I had enough willpower to stop briefly to snap a few photos):

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first bridge end front, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first bridge end, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, two bridge ends, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first tower, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, first tower beginning, med

I recommend to be very attentive to the assembly of the two large towers and follow the letters on the base and the roof, to ensure that the corner towers are connected to the correct letters. Below is the photo of what NOT to do: notice the two holes around the balcony – those holes need to be facing the other way, toward the middle of the bridge, yet the towers attached to those corners need to face away from the middle of the bridge.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, towers correct assembly, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, ends and towers, correct assembly, med

I had to re-do the two middle towers pictured above to face the holes the correct way in order to connect the two halves of the bridge.

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, parts before connection, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, connection, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, full bridge 2, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, full bridge, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, left closeup, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, right closeup, med

Londow Tower Bridge 3D puzzle, centre closeup, med

Lots of fun putting the puzzle together, even though the final product is a bit flimsy. It is, I suppose unavoidable, considering the flexible nature of the bridge.

Notes from the puzzle booklet:  “The world’s famous architecture we build it.

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is one of several London bridges owned and maintained by the City Bridge Trust, a charitable trust overseen by the City of London Corporation.

Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge up-stream. A popular urban legend is that, in 1968 Robert McCulloch, the purchaser of the old London Bridge which was later shipped to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, believed mistakenly that he was buying Tower Bridge, but this was denied by McCulloch himself and has been debunked by Ivan Luckin, the seller of the bridge. Its present colour dates from 1977 when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Previous to this, it was painted a chocolate brown colour.

1910 The high-level walkways, which were designed so that the public could still cross the bridge when it was raised, were closed down due to lack of use. Most people preferred to wait at the bottom and watch the bascules rise up!

1912 During an emergency, Frank McClean had to fly between the bascules and the high-level walkways in his Short biplane, to avoid an accident.

1952 A London bus had to leap from one bascule to the other when the bridge began to rise with the bus still on it.

1977 Tower Bridge was painted red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The walkways boast stunning views of the River Thames and many famous London sites, serving as viewing galleries for over 380,000 tourists who visit each year.

The bascules are raised around 1000 times a year. The bascules, weighing over 1,000 tones each, were counterbalanced to minimize the force required and allow raising in five minutes.

Tower Bridge is still a busy and vital crossing of the Thames: it is crossed by over 40,000 people (motorists and pedestrians) every day.

The tour value of Tower Bridge— There are the museum, exhibition hall, stores and saloons inside the Tower Bridge. HMS Belfast sails under Tower Bridge to take up her permanent mooring in the Pool of London.

In the New Year’s Eve, there is the catharine all over the the sky of the River Thames. Old-timey Architecture, the fragrance of the beer from the saloon, the jow fom the church, and the vintage taxi surround the Tower Bridge, makes people go backward to the London in The Nineteenth Century.” [sic, booklet included with the puzzle]

Puzzle: Windsor Castle, Britain

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Photo Gallery 10 puzzle pack
Notes: Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle’s lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as “a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste”. [Wiki]

Puzzle: London Street Scene

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 35 cm x 48 cm
Producer: Handley Printers Ltd., SK6 1BR, Made in England, jr Deluxe, The Edwardian Collection
Notes: London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium. London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile medieval boundaries.

London’s buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, and have been built over a long period of time. Many grand houses and public buildings, such as the National Gallery, are constructed from Portland stone. Some areas of the city, particularly those just west of the centre, are characterised by white stucco or whitewashed buildings. Few structures pre-date the Great Fire of 1666, except for a few trace Roman remains, the Tower of London and a few scattered Tudor survivors in the City. One notable building that remains from the Tudor period is Hampton Court Palace, which is England’s oldest surviving Tudor palace, built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey circa 1515. Wren’s late 17th century churches and the financial institutions of the 18th and 19th centuries such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, to the early 20th century Old Bailey and the 1960s Barbican Estate form part of the varied architectural heritage. [Wiki]

Puzzle: New Palace Gardens, Warwickshire, England

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles
Notes: Warwickshire is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. Even today, road signs at the county boundary describe Warwickshire as “Shakespeare’s County”. The county has also produced other literary figures such as George Eliot (from Nuneaton), Rupert Brooke (from Rugby), and Michael Drayton from Hartshill.

Much of western Warwickshire, including that area now forming part of Birmingham and the West Midlands, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden  (most of which was cut down to provide fuel for industrialisation). Thus the names of a number of places in the northwestern part of Warwickshire end with the phrase “-in-Arden”, such as Henley-in-Arden, Hampton-in-Arden and Tanworth-in-Arden. The remaining area, not part of the forest, was called the Felden – from fielden. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Royal Courts, London

: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, Impressions
Notes: The Royal Courts of Justice, commonly called the Law Courts, is the building in London which houses the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. Courts within the building are open to the public although there may be some restrictions depending upon the nature of the cases being heard. The building is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style and was designed by George Edmund Street, a solicitor turned architect. It was built in the 1870s. The Royal Courts of Justice were opened by Queen Victoria in December 1882.

Entering through the main gates in the Strand one passes under two elaborately carved porches fitted with iron gates. The carving over the outer porch consists of heads of the most eminent Judges and Lawyers. Over the highest point of the upper arch is a figure of Jesus; to the left and right at a lower level are figures of Solomon and Alfred the Great; that of Moses  is at the northern front of the building. Also at the northern front, over the Judges entrance are a stone cat and dog representing fighting litigants in court. [Wiki]

Puzzle: House in Wales

: 500 pieces
Notes: Not depicted on the puzzle, Simon Dale has built a house fit for hobbits in Wales. “Some of the characteristics of the wooden house are that it’s dug inside a hillside for shelter, lime plaster and mud are used to keep the walls sticking together, straw balls are used in floor, roof and walls, solar panels are installed for lightning, music and computers, and skylight on the roof gives natural light.” There are a few photos on the site, and it does look like a fairy tale dwelling. [Planet Oddity site]

I do not have a record of the producer of the puzzle as I do not have the box anymore. A clarification is welcome – if you have any clue as to the details regarding this puzzle, I would much appreciate that information.

Puzzle: Taste of Tuscany, Cucina Allegra

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Taste of Tuscany series
“Cucina allegra” according to Google translates to “Happy kitchen”. If anyone speaks Italian, please correct this if it is wrong.

As I could not find anything online with this name, I assume it is the artistic description of the painting. And so, I found a site in the UK called “Happy Kitchen” and browsed around. It seems, the kitchen is ran by two women making wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free organic dishes. Would be interesting to try, although I could not tell from their contact page where they are based. [Happy Kitchen site]

Puzzle: Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London, England

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles
Notes: Covent Garden is a district in London, England, located on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane. It is mainly associated with the former fruit and vegetable market located in the central square which is now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as “Covent Garden”. The district is divided by the main thoroughfare of Long Acre; north of which is mainly given over to independent shops centred on Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials, while the south contains the central square with its street performers, and most of the elegant buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the London Transport Museum. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Places of Interest – United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

: 100 pieces
Dimensions: 38.2cm x 61cm
Producer: Early Learning Centre
100 piece board jigsaw with outline guide featuring the United Kingdoms. [Puzzle box]

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. It spans an archipelago including Great Britain, the northeastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border with another sovereign state, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state. It is a country consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. [Wiki]

Ireland, described as the Republic of Ireland, is a state in Western Europe. It encompasses approximately five-sixths of the island of Ireland, which was partitioned into two jurisdictions in 1921. The country is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea to the east, St George’s Channel to the southeast, and the Celtic Sea to the south. [Wiki]