What Type of Puzzle Person are you?

  We have found that puzzle solvers can be grouped into four fun, but different categories.   They are: See-throughs, Solids, Do-nots and Children.

  The See-through type of puzzle solver likes to see all the information about a puzzle in one view.   You can tell these type of puzzle people...   they will pick up a wire type puzzle and sit there for what seems like an eternity,   just sitting and staring at the puzzle, as if they were hypnotized.   Then all of a sudden, with blurring speed, their hands start flying in all directions with a little whooshing noise and the puzzle is solved in seconds!   The initial impression that they give is, well...   impressive!   But give this type of person a solid puzzle and they will begin to have problems right from the start, even if the solid one is a much simpler level than the wire one they just impressed everyone with.   In order for them to get more information about the puzzle, they will have to turn it over or around.   As soon as they do that, they lose the perspective that they previously had and have to start all over again, (and again, and again...).

  The Solid type of puzzle solver is just the opposite.   They need to be able to see just one side of the puzzle at a time, digest what they have seen, then turn the puzzle for the next view.   They will examine this next view for a short time, relate this in their head to the previous view, and move on to another view again.   This will continue until the puzzle is solved.   Give this person a wire type of puzzle where they can see everthing in one view and it will look like they have achieved information overload!   Their eyes roll back in their head and their eye lids start quivering until the puzzle is finally removed from sight.

  The Do-nots don't want to do anything...   at least not with others around.   They usually have limited puzzle experience and are usually nervous that someone standing nearby will see them fumbling through a simpler puzzle and will start to make fun of them, out loud.   Not that this feeling is unfounded.   We have seen this happen at craft fairs on many occassions.   We usually handle this situation by giving the intimidator a level 7 puzzle and asking them to try it.   This serves two purposes.   One, it keeps them focused off the person they are intimidating and two, a level 7 puzzle solution is achieved only when you have finally determined that there is no way to remove the cord, ring or whatever. At some point, regardless of what type of puzzle person they are, they start to feel the same way as the person they were intimidating, (especially if that person is now over their shoulder watching them try to solve it!).   My son was the first one to try this technique at the age of 8 when he felt bad for an intimidated customer.   It worked great, so we kept up with it.   The recipient usually gets a kick out of it when we tell them what we did and why!

Children:   We have found that children, for the most part, have a higher success rate with puzzles than an adult.   We have attributed it to two things.   One, with the lack of any practical mechanical experience, they tend to handle the puzzle more, which allows them to try more options and complete more moves that have been started, and two, that when a child takes a puzzle to work on, they usually do it with all their heart and soul.   Their focus is usually intense and they pay no mind to the distractions around them.   It has happened many times at our craft fairs that parents will bring their children to our display booth, and once the child has picked up a puzzle that they have taken a liking to, the parents cannot get their childs attention back, no matter what they do!

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