1. Trying to please a date is like trying to put such a puzzle together?

    And what about the secondary “joke”, on the package? Is it common to think that canoeing isn’t fun?

  2. When a couple goes canoeing, it can often turn into something not fun. Like hanging wallpaper together.

  3. So the guy has birthdays in both November AND June? There’s probably a gig economy joke to be made about that somehow, but I’m not awake enough to work on it yet.

  4. Kilby, thanks for finding and linking the earlier version!

    Um, no thanks for putting in that circular link.

    With this one, the idea of “mud” for the appearance of a uniform-look puzzle was so depressing and bizarre, that I suggested “sky” as the obvious alternative (in first comment here) — also playing off the puzzle-solvers’ strategy when working on a naturalistic landscape picture of “let’s start with the sky”. But there is something of a perverse answer in seeing that he used “sky” for the previous version of the comic, so may have regarded it as “used up”.

    Odd that the 1134 turned up immediately in the previous version, but rather late here. Personally, I don’t buy that Vic Lee would want to write ‘hell’ then DOUBLE-disguise it as an arabic numerals number then express it as roman.

  5. @ Shrug – I’m not sure where you got “November” from. The earlier strip was hand dated (5-June-2018), this appearance seems to have been dated Groundhog Day (2-February of an illegible year) by the syndicate.
    P.S. @ Mitch4 – The second link was to promote the older post into the recent comments list (sort of like the way you re-commented the music to get yourself back into the e-mail notification list) 😉

  6. P.P.S. Extrapolating from the existing data, the next appearance of this artwork will be on October 1st, 2021, when the box will contain 70000 pieces of pure lava, emblematic of the fires of 7734.
    P.P.P.S. I wonder whether Bill can queue up a comic that hasn’t been drawn yet.

  7. @Kilby: “I’m not sure where you got “November” from. ”

    My bad — Bill posted the earlier one in November 2019 and I just (incorrectly) assumed it was “new” then.

  8. @ Shrug – Ooops. My apologies, I completely forgot to look at the post date when I dug up the earlier link. I had it backwards: it was just dumb luck that the earlier strip was dated in the same month as the current post.

  9. Why didn’t he just rerun the same comic? What did he think was improved by making these minor changes?

    If you want a jigsaw puzzle with only a single color – and no shades or values – there is this one from Heinz. They only made 57 of them, though.

  10. Kilby: Why 70,000 pieces? With arithmetic progression I get 67,500, and with geometric progression I get 128,000.

  11. I too wonder why, if Vic Lee is going to rerun and old comic, he would bother making those trivial changes. It’d be cool if we could ask him directly (and get an answer).

  12. @Winter Wallaby, back a long time ago, Springbok made a puzzle, all red, called “Little Red Riding Hood’s Hood.” 500 pieces I think. I did it.

  13. My wife solved a similar one, all banana yellow, 20-30 years ago. I don’t think I could have solved it.

    Shrug: If they’re birthdays, one could be his wife’s or a kid’s, or maybe an anniversary.

  14. I believe there was a gag in the movie “Sleuth” in which one of the characters was half-way finished with a gigantic, all-white jigsaw puzzle, which is first disintegrated by the other character, only to appear later in the film fully completed. Presumably the props department got a puzzle manufacturer to deliver one (or more) special order puzzle(s) pre-cut, but not jumbled, and then “deconstructed” one for the “earlier” scene.

  15. P.S. @ WW – The amusing thing is that I originally got 67500 the same way you did, but I rounded it up for simplicity.

  16. Kilby – not so much a gag, but (spoiler alert) there had been a staging of the house to look as if a fight had taken place and the started puzzle as well as numerous other items had been tossed around the house making a mess. In the next scene (start of Act II in the original play) the room is back in order and the puzzle has been restarted and completed.

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