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Categorization December 31, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Puzzle Project.
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To enter the pieces to the database, I knew immediately that each piece needed an identifier and an easy way to retrieve it, if required. Short of barcoding them, which I might have been inclined to try if I had a printer and reader handy, I began to number them methodically. Bag one- piece one. Bag one- piece 2. 60 to a bag and 15 bags total. I photographed each piece with it’s corresponding number.

Inspired by my daughter, who spent the last year of her life coding advertisements for a research study, I decided to do the same with the 800 or so pieces not comprising the edges of the puzzle. Eyes, clothing, hats, fur,  accessories.. etc. each of different colors. That way, if I need a piece with a yellow scarf and earrings, I could look it up and retrieve piece 8-19.  Simple!

The difficult part? Each and every piece will need to be entered into a not yet written database.  Anna warned me that this will take hours. Looking at each piece, determining its parameters and then completing the database.


  1. Color or each of the following- Brown, Green, Orange, Gold, Blue, White, Red
  2. Pattern- Argyle, Stripes, Polka-dots, Mottle, Solid, Hash marks, stars
  3. Accessories- Tie, Necklace, Scarf, Bowtie, Glasses, hat
  4. Fur color and gender
  5. Tail position: right, left or straight up
  6. Eyes- none, looking right, looking straight, looking left, closed.
  7. Other- mouse, flower

Once done, I could move from right to left completing the puzzle.. picking 10 pieces at a time by scanning the database for pieces that match the desired parameters.  Well, that is the plan.

Bag 2- Pieces 46-60

Here is Bag 13- pieces 1-60:

bag 13

Sorting Pieces December 31, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Puzzle Project.
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Once separated from the pack, the edge pieces were not hard to assemble.  I enjoyed the color, patterns and of course the cats!

But I conceptually struggled with the inside pieces.  Faces? Colors? Number of eyes? Hats? Glasses?  I started with the eyes..  one vs two eyes. But what of color, what about glasses? Add to that mix a real life cat who is naturally drawn to sitting on puzzles, it was a mess in the making.  I first sorted by the number of eyes.  Two eyes on a piece to the left.. one eye on the right.  No eyes back to the box.

800 or so eyes stared at me from the table.  Some facing right some left.  Some with glasses.  Do I sort these out again? Running out of room and patience with the real cat who claimed the puzzle table and pieces, as her own, I realized that there had to be a better way.

Then I remembered Microsoft Access.  I am sure that the developers were inspired by the same issue: Sorting Ridiculous Puzzles.sorting eyes