Things Better Left Unsaid

I ran into old friend Jool last week.  We were checking in on another old friend who is under the weather.  She brought a few amusements for herself … librarians read, a lot, so she brought books.  For me and the patient, she brought a puzzle called Scramble Squares.


The game is a simple puzzle with only 9 pieces, each a perfect square.  This version, assembled correctly, shows a slightly magnified square foot of a pansy garden in full bloom.  To be fair she chose one of the game’s most challenging pictures; the easier ones show half of one kind of animal along with half of another.  Flowers images are tougher to suss out than halves of zebras, giraffes, and lions.  But still, only nine pieces, give me a break.

Might Be Easier, I Dunno
Might Be Easier, I Dunno

My initial thoughts, formed and sitting there on the tip of my tongue, eager to burst forth into a derisively comedic articulation was this.  “Nine pieces?  And only a few flowers?  We’re old men, but come on!  This puzzle was designed for ages 3 and under.  I can solve this sucker in under 30 seconds!”

Ours Looks Something Like This
Ours Looks Something Like This

Long ago the brightest fellow in my high school class (not me) found this wonderful quote from Abe Lincoln that has served me well ever since.  It goes like this.  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”


You must use the pictures to solve it, and one key in the pansy puzzle may be the ‘eyes”, the reproductive core or pistil and stamen of the individual flowers.  Eyes and color are the only distinguishing characteristics of this picture puzzle.  Jool and I messed with the damned thing for a couple of hours.  Then I experienced an “Ah-hah!” moment:  this bozo is TTFM.  Too tough for me.


Scramble Squares has 95 billion possible combinations.  Every edge is like every other: straight, ending in a 90 degree angle.

The Perfect Christmas Gift for Your Ohio State Friends
The Perfect Christmas Gift for Your Ohio State Friends

Just guessing, I’d say it’s too tough for a lot of people, and I have resolved to not let it annoy me further.


The garbage truck passes tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Things Better Left Unsaid

  1. Oh, that Jool. She is a wise one. 🙂

    I took a look at that puzzle over on Amazon. It looks like a one-sided Rubick’s Cube.

    If you are going to toss it out, at least leave it on top of the garbage, in case the collectors want to give it a try.

    In case you haven’t checked, I think the photo on Amazon is what it is supposed to look like if that helps:


    1. Surely by now you realize that from time to time I might exaggerate just a wee bit?

      No, I am keeping that 9 piece puzzle to amuse and ultimately annoy Christmas guests.

      Besides, if you would have seen our G-men you might suspect they’d quickly jam the puzzle into the greasy leftovers. Might be worse if he didn’t — take that damned thing home to his kids and unless one is The Einstein of Puzzles (a successor to Will Shortz?) they’d drop out of school right after the holidays.


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