In the 70s we put a lot of cardboard puzzles together. Then a high-flying cousin began sending us one by one by registered mail his collection of wooden puzzles. Some were Par puzzles, designed with the funky sensibility that Par was known for. The most difficult was a reproduction of Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. Almost all grass. I thought I would start my own collection until I realized I couldn’t afford to. The expense is not hard to understand. Cutting a puzzle by hand takes skill and time. There must be a way to automate the process.
My mother’s father was a gamesman. She said he put himself through Princeton with his poker winnings. Summers we used to play golf after we picked him up from the Cannonball Express Friday evenings. Part of the Maidstone Club’s short course was over a stile at the edge of our lawn. We could play three holes in a triangle bringing us back to the stile in time for dinner. Grandpa had three clubs – a wood for driving, a putter and a club with a face that could change angle from, I suppose, a two iron to a nine iron. He rented wooden jigsaw puzzles from our local library. We put them together. The time was 1940.