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I tried your method and I like it better. Thanks!
I use a similar method that places similar pieces together. As I sort the puzzle, I pull out the border and arrange in the middle. I put in vertical rows all pieces that are similar with points in rows to the left and the pieces with holes I put on the right of the border. I always reduce the size so I have plenty of room. My eyes get a bit glazed over after a few hours. haha
That is the method I used on the Cobblestones. It has no real subject or detailed areas. Now on a puzzle with subjects (lets say a boat and a light house). I would separate the edges, boat and light house pieces and if the sky and water were well defined I'd separate those pieces, as well. So you see, I use different methods for different puzzles.
I would try this method on the Tugman Cobblestones puzzle you will cut your time in half. Usually it takes about 30 min to sort the pieces. The slowest part is 19% and 50%. After that it speeds up. Lets say it takes 2hrs to reach 50%. It will take 1 hr to complete using this method.
By doing it this way, you will get a good number of "accidental fitting pieces" by just crossing the frame over them in your search! I know this sounds confusing, but it really works!
Now sort all of your pieces in those rows vertically. Of course, sort the edge pieces to the right. Now you are ready! Build the frame! Grab the frame and start at the top right hand corner. Let's say the corner has a place for pieces with a knob on top and a hole on the right. Drag the frame to the most right hand vertical column that is appropriate (in this case the vertical dog bone). Drag the frame down the vertical row and if none fit move to the next appropriate row (in this case the 3 knob ( hole facing right) and so on....
No No! This is my method! 1. There are 3 main piece types: Edge pieces, pieces with knobs and pieces with holes! Along the top of your screen arrange the pieces, left to right, in the following order: 4 holes, 3 holes (knob facing left), 3 holes (knob facing right), 3 holes (knob up), 3 holes (knob down), 2 holes (knobs top & left), 2 holes (knobs top & right), 2 holes (knobs bottom & left), 2 holes (bottom & right), 4 knobs, 1 hole (facing right), 1 hole (facing left), 1 hole (facing down), 1 hole (facing up), 2 holes (dog bone) vertical and 2 holes (dog bone) horizontal!
Clear as "mud", Zato, Very clever. I have no idea how you did this. Please don't explain - my brain couldn't cope!! LOL
Hi "tman" Ask me how long it took to figure out how to do this... Ahhhhh...
From top to bottom.. its edges on the top left and the sort on the right... top is the arrows (since renamed the mouse ears) then the flags, the tree stumps and finally the hearts. Hope this clarifies my insanity and "OCD" ROFL