This is a guest blog post from puzzle investor Timothy Wright:
I seldom quote Joseph Stalin, however during the last days of WWII he is well known for saying: “At some point quantity has a quality all of its own.” After the Battle of Stalingrad, the Russian’s production of military goods far out-distanced those produced by the Nazis in terms of quantity, but not quality, of tanks, artillery and aircraft. That turned the tide on the eastern front and changed world history.
We all make trade offs of quality vs. quantity every day in our lives. A large portion of the world’s population drinks water every day that I would never consider bathing in. They don’t have a choice. I am very fortunate.
Yesterday I was reading about a nice lady who finished an 18,000 piece puzzle in four months and had “super fun” doing it. The completed puzzle is 109” x 75.5”. I don’t know that I am ready for such a commitment, or confinement, given my need to complete things I've started.
Without disrespecting those who finish such whale size jigsaw puzzles, personally I tire of any one cuisine. Does a talented puzzle designer need 18,000 pieces to create something novel and interesting? I hope not for their sake.
I have completed a number of not-so-gargantuan Artifact puzzles on my dining room table. I concede that a certain minimum size enables wonderful scale-based design concepts (examples: Migration of Knowledge, Skating Party). My argument against cardboard whale size jigsaw puzzles is that I don’t often observe the same care, complexity and detailed design in 1,000 plus piece puzzles that I frequently appreciate in wooden puzzles one fourth or one half that size.
I suspect that what may be true about military production seventy five years ago may be less applicable in less lethal venues such as modern jigsaw puzzles. I don’t want to imperil world peace by speaking out of turn; but Uncle Joe was wrong about a whole lot of things.