Jim and I just finished alpha-testing our coming-soon India Map puzzle by Liv Wan, and it was a blast, and we finally learned where Tajikstan is!
Liv Wan does a fun job illustrating her maps with cheerful and colorful icons of the area and lots of famous foods, like komolar kheer, a famous Assam rice pudding dessert with orange and dried fruit.
For the puzzle design, Matt Lyon and I wanted to capture the diverse and exotic flavors of India.
We started with an Islamic style tessellation for the pieces, and added elaborate knob connectors in a Rajasthani style:
And we put in lots and lots of whimsies - mostly in the green and blue areas so those parts crackle along with cheery Hindu gods and peacocks and yes, there is a snake charmer and cobra whimsy scene!
If you haven't been to India, you might think snake charmers are just a made-up thing from the Arabian Nights. Nope, they are a real thing, they even have their own snake-charmer caste, and when not charming cobras, they act as pest control for snakes that snuck into people's houses, an all too real problem in rural India.
Here's a photo of me with a snake charmer in Delhi back in 1990!