Doing my New York Times Birthday Puzzle
You know i can have humility, i can admit when i was wrong. This puzzle is so much harder than i thought it was gonna be hi. Everyone welcome back to karen puzzles. Today i am doing my new york times birthday puzzle. This was actually on my list of puzzles to do in 2021, and then my parents, without me, like specifically asking for it, they bought it for me for my birthday, so that worked out well.
Basically, this puzzle is an image of the front page of the new york times. On the day i was born, which is december 31 1990.. You can get them for any date. It doesn’t have to be your birthday and it goes all the way back to september 18th.
1851. Did i get that right september? 18Th. 1851. I got it, but i’m gon na talk more about some tips and tricks.
If you want to get one of these at the end of the video so for now, let’s take a look at the puzzle: [, Music, ], all right. Let’S open it up and take a look. I actually put down a black board because all of the pieces are going to be white, so that’ll help them stand out a little. So you can see here that it comes in a pretty plain black box, and then this front, i assume, is probably the same for you know whatever puzzle you get after that, if we flip it over, they actually print your name and address, and all of the Information about the puzzle on the back here on the sticker. Obviously i taped off all of my personal information, but you can see that it is the thousand piece version of the december 31st 1990 puzzle and just going to measure 19 by 27 inches, which is the perfect size, because my foam board is 20 by 30.
So this will fit perfectly so if we open it up, there is a bag of pieces. Obviously, and then there is a page that is um. You know the front page of what’s printed on the puzzle and it’s actually a pretty good size. It’S about the size of what the newspaper would have been, and then you also get this card saying that it is an authorized reproduction and it has this nice little embossing of the new york times, logo right on top all right. So my immediate thought on the pieces: they feel really nice.
The cardboard feels really thick. The cutting on the sides of the pieces feels really crisp. The printing looks to be um pretty good quality. I got a comment somewhere when i posted about this asking if it was true that the quality of the printing wasn’t very good, but i don’t know it looks fine to me. So i don’t know where that rumor got started.
So here’s one of the pieces, you can see that it’s a very matte printing there’s basically no shine at all there. You can see the thickness of the piece. It’S a really good thickness. The piece just feels really nice in my hands and it looks like all of the standard puzzle. Piece shapes are represented here, so you know pretty standard already, i’m spotting some pieces that are definitely from the images you can see.
Um that they’re just basically like grainy, black and white and then there’s a lot of different text and font styles, which will be really fun. I really like puzzles with a lot of text on them. So what is my strategy going into it? Um? Obviously, you know.
I’M gon na pull out all of the images, because those are the most distinct sections, as well as the new york times logo. Everything up here, these graphs – that should be pretty easy once i’m down to only the small like article text, that’s where it’s probably gon na get fairly difficult. But the thing about having text on the jigsaw puzzle is that it’s actually one of the easiest designs that there is because you know what direction it’s gon na go. You know you can read it, so you know where the baseline is and you can orient the pieces the correct way, and then there are so many fewer possibilities of how each piece could fit into the puzzle than if it was an image where the pieces could Be oriented anyway, so i’m going to start sorting and i will check back in after that [, Music, ], so [, Music ] all right. I just finished the edge and um.
Apparently there is, i don’t know. What’S going on. I live in such a loud part of la this year, apparently because there’s somebody who has been like hammering on a metal pipe, that’s what it sounds like for like the last half hour. So that’s slowly driving me insane, but let me show you the puzzle, so you can see that i finished the edge. I did end up having to rearrange like two small sections, but for the most part the pieces are very unique and they went together without many problems.
This edge actually has a really thin gray line on the edge, so that was actually easy to pull out, and so i could find all of those pieces pretty easily. So these are all of the logo pieces for up here at the top, and then i have all of the larger text like the headlines and then i have all of the images. So that’s what i’m going to work on first and over here is all of the rest of the text, but i’m not going to worry about that. Yet it’s a little intimidating so we’ll get back to that soon. [, Music, ], [, Music, ], all right!
After a little bit more work, here’s where we are, you can see that a lot of the headlines are together and sort of in place. Um. I framed out the image because that’s the easiest part since you have the line between the image and the newspaper, but filling this in is going to be a bit of a challenge. Look at how crazy that is, like you, can’t even see what is part of the image or not, and even when you look at the reference image, it’s like hard to see what’s going on, but i really need to get some of these pieces off of the Board and in place so that i can move all of this stuff down into place where it needs to go, and so i can finish framing the other image and then put that one together too [ Music, ], all right so after just staring at it unsuccessfully. For a few minutes, i decided to separate out the pieces by piece type, because that’s the only way that i’ll be able to tackle this and it’s actually kind of interesting.
We have a good cross-section of the distribution of the different types of pieces, so you can see that the vast majority is this standard two into out peace shape and then there’s really only a handful of all of the other types of peace shapes like this. One is usually pretty common, but in all of these pieces, there’s literally only three of them: [: Music, ], [, Music ]. Oh my god, you guys, i did not know what i was getting into with those images that took so long, but you can see that. Finally, i managed to finish them and now i’m hoping that the text will be a little easier because, as i said, i know what direction all of the pieces are gon na go in so it’ll, be you know not like this or it’s just a lot of Really blurry grainy black and white pieces, where i don’t know where they’re gon na go. So i think i’m gon na try to pull out all of these like sub heads pretty much any text.
That’S different from the body text. Try to get those in place, but uh first, i’m gon na have a lunch break, so yeah i’ll be back to finish it this afternoon, [ Music ] all right, so i’ve had lunch and i’ve been back at it for a little bit. So let me show you like where we’re at so you can see that a lot of it is really coming together, but what i’m gon na do next are all of the pieces that have lines on them and i think that’s really gon na help separate out All of the different articles, because then we have a lot of pieces that are just body text and all look exactly the same, so that’ll be fun, but you know just like usual, i’m just gon na not worry about that until we get there [ Music ]. Oh, my gosh, you guys, we’ve made it to the body text, look at how wild that is. So obviously i went ahead and separated out the pieces by shape, although since um you know since i know what direction all of the pieces are going to go in, i was able to separate them out based on the direction that they’ll go in and that’s even The case down here you can see these four would typically all be the same shape but they’re all separated out because it’s all text, so that will definitely make this easier same over here i’ll just kind of pan over.
So you can see all of my different piece categories and that’s what we have left to do. Wish me luck: [, Music, ]! You guys [ Laughter, ], so i’ve been working on this for another three hours and you know i can have humility. I can admit when i was wrong. This puzzle is so much harder than i thought it was gon na be, even though i know the orientation of the pieces they’re all just so similar that it has taken so long to even get to this point by now.
Since i have fewer pieces left they’re going in a little more quickly, so you know i should finish it this afternoon and at the beginning i tried to look at the image like as little as possible, but now i have completely admitted defeat so like over here I’Ll look and see what word i’m looking for up here and then i’ll find it. You know in here and then i’ll try to find the word and that’s definitely been helping, but i’m not gon na lie. This has been a struggle, oh also, for some reason. This piece shape seems to be the hardest one that there is so you might notice that i’ve left a bunch of them blank, and my strategy is, at the end, to just take everything: that’s left and go through them one by one. Until i have put you know each piece where it goes, this is not a strategy that i like to use a lot, because it is, you know, you’re not really like using your brain to figure out where it’s going to go.
It’S really just trial and error, and you know: oh there we go and brute force it’s not the most efficient, but sometimes it’s just what you have to do: [, Music, ], [, Music, ], [, Music, ], [, Music, ], oh boy! It is four o’clock. I started working on this at nine and i pretty much worked all the way straight through probably like 20 minutes taking off for lunch and like to stretch but yeah. I did it. I really was not expecting this to take literally all day, but there we are.
I finished my new york times birthday puzzle, so i’m just gon na go collapse on the couch now, just in a pit of exhaustion and i’ll be back to tell you all of my final thoughts all right. So there are definitely some pros and cons to this puzzle. I mean just like any puzzle: it’s actually really nice quality. You know, there’s no puzzle dust. The pieces fit together tight enough that you can pick up sections and move them around, and the cut is unique enough that you’re never really putting pieces in the wrong spot plus since there’s text all over the entire thing.
It is pretty easy to tell if the design doesn’t quite line up like if you do have a piece in the wrong spot and putting together the framework of the page was really fun like the logo. All of the lines that divide up the articles, all of the unique elements on the page that part was so fun. I love typography on a puzzle and this one has tons of it, but there were definitely some parts that were not so fun, specifically the images and the body text. This is definitely one where it would have been much more enjoyable to work on it. A little bit at a time like over the course of a week, rather than powering through and doing it all in one go, which is just what i have to do to make a video like this.
So would i recommend it yes, but with some caveats let me pull out my computer so that i can show you what i’m going to be talking about. So here is the page on the new york times store where you can order it. You can see that you can get it in 500 pieces, a thousand pieces or 300 pieces weirdly. The 300 piece puzzle costs more than the 500 piece puzzle. I don’t know why that is.
But if we look at the product photo, you can see that there are two just kind of generic stock photos here and no matter what date you choose, the product photo. Doesn’T change like it’s just the same photo, no matter what date you’re gon na buy as a puzzle, but wait. I have a little hack for you. I was clicking around in the new york times store and i found that if you look at the front page reprint and you change the date there, the front page design the preview image it changes. So you can get a preview of what the front page looked like.
I’M gon na link both of these pages down below, so that you can, you know, try them out for yourself, but this hack is really great. If you want something or like, if you want a historical event, that’s really specific, for example, um how about the moon landing. So obviously the moon landing happened on july 20th. 1969. But if we look at july 20th, it’s you know not the famous new york times front page that everyone knows you would actually want to get july at 21st and there you have the beautiful image like the really famous design.
So then you can go back to the puzzle page and you know you can find that date and you can order it here. So, in my opinion, if you’re going to spend the money on a puzzle like this, which is pretty expensive for a puzzle, i personally feel that it makes more sense to get a like major world event rather than a just kind of random generic front page. That just happens to have been on the day you were born, so something like the moon landing. As i said, it would be a cool one, maybe um the titanic – that one’s kind of interesting um, if you want something a little more recent and in color how about the new millennium or when obama got elected in 2008. I just feel like that kind of thing is a little more interesting to put together as a puzzle, rather than a just kind of generic front page with all of these stories that you don’t really have context for, because you were literally a baby when they happened.
But one of the great things about this is that you can really customize it to the difficulty that you want. So a really old one with you know tons of really densely packed text and no pictures that would definitely be way harder than a more recent one. With pictures and different things breaking up the page, a lot more different design elements and something else that i noticed is that you can literally buy them up to today, like each day. They add that day’s page as an option. So i’m filming this on january 18th and you can see that i can add january 18th to my cart.
If i go for tomorrow. Obviously i can’t do that, but it is, you know totally up to date, so i did a little bit of math and i’m going to read off the numbers. So, as i said, the first option that you can get is september 18th, 1851 and i’m filming this on january 18th. 2021. That means that there are 61 849 different days that you can get, and then you multiply that by three, because there are three different piece counts, which means that there are 185 547 different new york times.
Jigsaw puzzles that you could potentially order. How crazy is that? I don’t know who they like outsource this to to to make them, but they must just have tons and tons of flanks that they’re just constantly printing on each time. Someone orders one. So i would recommend this probably as a gift.
I think it’s a really unique idea: it’s just expensive enough that most people wouldn’t buy it for themselves, but if you bought it for someone else, it would feel really special without completely breaking the bank. So an idea that i had is, if you do, give it as a gift, you could even open this up and remove the reference image so that whoever you’re giving it to is going in completely blind. Obviously, only do this for someone who is already very good at jigsaw puzzles and maybe only do it for the 500 or 300 piece versions, because i mean, as we all saw, this version was hard enough, even with the reference image to be looking at. But i feel like that would be a really interesting way to do it, where you don’t tell them what date it is or like any context, and they just have to build out the page entirely on their own. So i would love to know in a comment.
What is your birthday also feel free to? Let me know the name of your first pet, your mother’s maiden name the first street that you grew up on. No don’t do that. That was a joke. Please do not give out your personal information on the internet.
What i actually want to know is what historical event would you most want to put together as a jigsaw puzzle, and this is just for fun, so don’t worry about if it actually made the front page of the new york times or not, oh, and you need A code word for, if you’re still watching all the way to the end of the video, i think that it will be newspaper all right. That’S gon na! Be it from me. I will see you all in the next one. You