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Glacier National Park

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@rlwemm :) For me, the real magic happens as a kind of meditation flow state, given the right puzzles, where my eyes just understand the pieces without thinking, and they all just fall together with relatively minimum focus on the shapes of the pieces. These days I suppose it would be pretty easy to code an app to pre-sort pieces, but that would defeat the whole point of hitting that flow state on good puzzles. The whole thing is a waste of time anyways, I don't think we really need even more special programs to waste our time even more efficiently ;)

Some day, if I ever get to play with a big touch screen "surface" type system (or big tablet), I'll definitely head straight to Jigidi and see how it feels to be able to just directly poke and slide pieces into place directly with my finger tips. I do think that could be the ultimate Jigidi experience, as long as the system is fast / smooth / accurate. But that's about the only thing I think a big touch screen would be good for. Otherwise my response is that my big beautiful 4K monitor is a precision optical device, and the first dirty monkey to stick their greasy paws on it is gonna get smacked up side the head. And I never hit people, but maybe even I have my limits :)

Cheers, and happy puzzling :)

rlwemm

@exploderator. P.S. I'll let you know if I come across an app that will allow finger sorting - or better still, one that will separate all the pieces so that none are overlapping, and my color gradient as well. Wouldn't that be nice? Or cheating. :-)

rlwemm

@exploderator. Starting with a small narrow screen is a brilliant idea. Why didn't I think of that? [No, don't answer that; it might incinerate me ;-) ]

The rest sounds similar to my strategies.

I also prefer to work with puzzles of around 100 pieces. I also go for scenery, and avoid the crazy-making ones with too much of one color, including those with large black edges. Because of my aging eyes I prefer bright puzzles rather than dull ones that look just about the same color without a very bright lit screen.

Thanks so much for your detailed explanation. If I get close to your time it will be thanks to your kindness, not my brilliance.

Hey @rlwemm :) I use a mouse too, on normal settings. I think the ultimate speed puzzling system would be a big high res touch screen, with good accurate finger tracking, so the pieces could just be dragged into place. But back in reality I don't have one to try.

The secret to my speed is mostly based on choosing puzzles where you can see generally where the pieces go based on their color / image content in some easy way. Nature puzzles with distinct sky, mountains, water, trees, etc.. It helps even more that sky and water often have distinct gradients, such as light to dark, both up and down and side to side, because you can see quickly by the color of each piece approximately where it will have to go in the final picture.

Next is about that sorting problem and having space to work. I always open puzzles with the puzzle window taking up the top half of the screen, so all the pieces are a big horizontal pile. If the pieces are too "clumpy", I will re-scramble them before I start, in order to get a more even spread, so pieces aren't covering each other up too much.

Then I go full screen, and all the pieces end up in the middle, with lots of space above and below. I then start with the top edge (usually sky with a color that makes them easy to spot in the pile, and drag them, trying to assemble each piece onto other pieces, so it only takes one step to get the piece mostly where it needs to be, and then only have to move bigger clumps. Sometimes the top edge isn't obvious, but the bottom edge has a distinct color, and sometimes it is both. I just try to get those easy zones done first.

By clearing the sky and/or bottom, I now have a MUCH less cluttered pile left in the middle. It then becomes much easier to find and add pieces to the already assembled bottom or top, which makes it much faster to spot and pull pieces and drop them where they need to end up.

The ultimate point is only having to move each piece once, no overly complex pre-sorting. Sometimes I will see things like pieces from a horizon line as I'm grabbing sky pieces, and start assembling them in clumps just above the pile. Sometimes if there is a lot of obvious sky, I'll end up quickly scattering those sky pieces just above the pile, but still assembling the top edge and down as I spot those pieces.

Final thoughts: I like puzzles with good clear resolution and natural color gradients, so you can really see the image in the pieces, and really see where each piece is headed in the overall picture as you work. I also never do puzzles much above 200 pieces, they are just way too cluttered to enjoy. 60 to 100 is the real sweet range. Puzzles where all the pieces look nearly the same (Seagirl's challenge puzzles) just drive me nuts, I'm super slow having to depend completely on the shape of the pieces.

rlwemm

Nice puzzle, @exploderator. BTW, I notice that you are often at the top of tree for fast solving. My main problem is separating the pieces so that I can see them. That is a hard job with my mouse. How do you do it? Do you have your mouse on a special setting?

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