Twig’s Review of This Motherfucking 2000-Piece Gear Puzzle

This motherfucker made me wish I didn’t own a table.

This motherfucking 2000-piece gear puzzle is a puzzle produced by Big Ben Puzzles, and is officially called “Clockwork,” presumably to make you think that putting it together will be fluid and simple instead of harrowing and relationship-testing.

Spoiler alert: Dante and I didn’t actually break up. We love each other too much to let two thousand little motherfuckers cut from cardboard get between us. Except that they were literally between us for two months as we worked on opposite sides of the puzzle.

On the surface, the puzzle doesn’t seem like it should be that hard. Sure, it’s got a lot of similar things in it, but there are also a lot of really defined shapes and colours, like there’s enough white in there to pick it out and put it together first, then there are some shades of gold, then there’s different varieties of red, and all the black is at the bottom, right?

Fucking wrong. You’ve never been as wrong in your whole life. Wrong, wrong, wrong, you’re the wrongest wrong who ever wronged. Because yeah, when the puzzle is all put together and nice like it is up there, it’s got those defined shapes and colours and stuff. But when it’s taken apart in two thousand motherfucking pieces? Every single one of those motherfuckers looks the exact same, the exact fucking same. And half of them attach to each other even though they don’t go together.

Now that I live in a cool awesome big house, I have literally my own table, and Dante and I started doing a lot of puzzles because that’s what you do on a table, right? And most of them were pretty easy, we did them in like a day or two. Even the hard ones only took like a week. This one took two months. And it was excruciating. It took up my whole table. It never ended.

When you start a puzzle the first thing you do is the border, right? Right, that’s where the troubles start. If you clicked the link above you’ll have seen the box art for the puzzle on the store’s website. If you look at the picture, you’ll see that the box art doesn’t actually line up with the puzzle itself. The right-hand side of the box art includes almost an inch of art that isn’t in the actual puzzle, making it basically useless. The top is lower than it looks like it should be. The bottom looks like it’s huge but it’s actually only about three rows of pieces. The left-hand side is mostly fine, but what good does that do when the rest of the puzzle is a Mercator projection of misleading sizes, false proportionality and optical illusions that make white things bigger than black things when they shouldn’t be?

After we finally got the border together, we were basically at a loss as to where to even start. Ultimately, we did the top (not that top and bottom are real things when everything in the image is round), where you can see some of the more obviously white pieces. These turned out to be easier to collect, and then we could collect the next colour, and the next colour, and the next colour.

That didn’t happen, of course. Once we’d collected all the obviously white pieces and put them together we discovered that we’d only constructed about half the white gears. It was at this point that the aforementioned “all the pieces look the same”-ness of the puzzle became a problem. We had to wade through roughly nineteen hundred pieces that were all identically red and black to find the ones that had tiny, tiny pixels of white on them to fill out the white gears. This became the MO for the whole rest of the puzzle.

We were able to put together these little gold guys pretty quickly, but then couldn’t connect them to anything for basically ever, so all they were was in the way. The red gears came next, but that turned out to be most of the puzzle and some of them were not only identical in terms of their individual pieces but also identical once put together, which made sorting those pieces out from the rest a major chore.

We basically made a T-shape in the middle of the puzzle and worked our way from there. By the end, I wasn’t even looking at the images on the pieces anymore but was looking at how they were shaped (also not very helpful because somehow they’re all shaped the same?) and that worked a little better, but honestly I think it mostly worked better because at that point the number of pieces was decreasing.

Honestly, Dante was the MVP of this puzzle. He got really into it, and even when I didn’t want to do it. He spent hours basically every night working on it, and sometimes he got a lot done. Sometimes he only got like ten pieces in all night, and that honestly felt like an accomplishment every time. He did most of it, and I kind of came in at the end of every session and stuck a few pieces in to fill in the holes, because it’s easier for me to fill in holes than to visualize a big picture with a lot of small details.

I have to admit, it was very satisfying when the whole puzzle was finally put together. It really felt like we’d accomplished something major and intense. We’re basically never doing another jigsaw puzzle again, because this basically killed that pastime for us, at least for a little while. For now, I’m just proud of us for getting it done, and I’m mostly happy that I have my table back and can actually eat and put things on it. I’m writing this review on it like a normal person, instead of having my laptop on my lap, and that’s a nice feeling.

All in all, I’d recommend this motherfucking 2000-piece gear puzzle to anyone who has a strong enough relationship to withstand two months of torture. At the end of it, we had developed an unshakable bond, forged while being crushed in the gears of the impossible puzzle we’d surmounted, and now I don’t think anything can ever bring us apart.

No matter how hard this motherfucker tried.

2 thoughts on “Twig’s Review of This Motherfucking 2000-Piece Gear Puzzle

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