Puzzle 200 - On the Dock

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Puzzle #200 - On the Dock
Custom Marriage Proposal Puzzle

The image was provided by the customer, rendered with a "canvas look" (see detail of source image, below), created with softer colors, and I strived to print the image preserving the original intent of texture and color.

Puzzle #200, On the Dock, source image, detail

Cutting a puzzle like this is a bit of a challenge, and yes a bit of a responsibility (!), as the pieces, by necessity when cut in this size in proportion to the figures in the puzzle, have to subdivide the facial areas in a pleasing way. Marriage Proposal puzzles can play a big role in "the moment", and tend to be preserved long afterwards, so I take great care in trying to make a puzzle which will be a "welcome guest" for many years to come!

There are different strategies in how to cut the actual proposal pieces. In this puzzle "The Proposal Pieces" were made into a two piece Heart. The Heart helps symbolize the meaning of the pieces. One consideration however, is that the person being proposed to may become suspicious when the surrounding pieces are assembled and the Heart pieces are missing! (Being held by the suitor for "the moment"!)

Scott, the customer for this puzzle, was very generous in describing how the proposal went and included a poem that he composed and read for the occasion. He has given me permission to post his story here:

Stott's Story:

The puzzle was perfect. I received it a couple days before Christmas and opened it immediately because I needed to see how long it would take me to put it together in order to plan the proposal efficiently. You see, I made reservations at a classy Italian restaurant and told the manager that I intended to put the puzzle together while we dined and to use it to propose to my girlfriend. I wanted to make sure we had enough time to complete the puzzle so I reserved a booth for two hours. I must say that the manager and servers were all very cooperative. I planned the big day for New Year's Eve, which was also our three-year anniversary since we began courting. I picked her up at her house and drove her to the restaurant. Upon arriving, I insisted that we bring our anniversary gifts inside and open them while we ate the meal. She thought this was a little strange, but complied without too much insistence on my part. We had arrived at the restaurant somewhat early, but I made sure everything was in order after she had gone to use the rest room. As soon as we were seated and had ordered from the menu, I asked if we could open gifts. I opened her gift to me first and found a stylish silver analog watch. Thereupon she opened my gift and found a puzzle, which I must say brought a puzzling look to her face since it seemed so strange for an anniversary gift. But I explained that it was custom-made and insisted that I couldn't wait to put it together. So she opened the box and we started pulling out the pieces and setting them on the table. As soon as she recognized a couple pieces resembling each of us, her eyes immediately lit up. We started putting it together, but it was nearly fifteen minutes before she finally identified where the picture was taken. I thought it would take less time since I stole the picture from her bedside table. By the time the salads came, we had completed most of the upper section around the larger words. Soon after we completed the area around the heart. This worried me a little because she became dead set on finding the pieces that completed the heart. Since I kept them separate in my pocket, I had to find some good reason for her to simply abandon her efforts and help me. After insisting twice that she help me with "the more challenging bottom section", without providing an answer to her relentless questions of where the figure pieces were, I could tell that she was growing more suspicious. By the time our main course came, we had completed about 3/4 of the puzzle and had only 20 or so pieces left by the time dessert came. So the timing was perfect because we completed it just minutes after dessert. After every piece was in place and she saw that the heart figure was still empty, she looked at me with a curious look. I pulled out the remaining two pieces while simultaneously reciting a poem that I composed for the occasion entitled Complete My Love:

Here are the pieces that complete this picture:
Two sole segments that emerge apart from the whole.
In the form of a heart, they are molded together
Becoming intimately entwined, like body and soul.

Imagine God fitting our lives together
As he constructs the image of his master plan.
Envision this piece as my life and this one as yours,
As we are guided together by God's almighty hand.

Bringing both our beings closer together,
God created between us a passionate bond
That's resilient to distance and unscathed by trials
Which would afflict us with doubts about our dedication.

I know in my heart God ordained you for me
And that he will preserve us in the troubles ahead.
And so I anticipate our future eagerly
That I may consecrate this love as your wedded husband.

As a man and woman by the blessing of marriage
Are united together for the rest of their life,
So with this ring I pledge to you my token of love
And ask that you unite with me and become my wife?

And as I said, "Will you marry me?" I placed the pieces in the puzzle and pulled out the ring. Her first words took me by surprise: Are you SERIOUS! After confirming that I was indeed serious, she said YES! So we are now happily engaged and planning our wedding.

Incidentally, while we were putting the puzzle together, we received many comments and questions from the servers and people around us. All of them loved the idea of making a picture into a puzzle. I gave them your website address so perhaps you will have some more business soon. I thank you so much for doing such a wonderful job and for helping to make my engagement a possibility and a wonderful event.

* * * * *

Scott, you are welcome, and thank you!

Of the different proposal stories I've heard to date, this one is the most elaborate in terms of presenting the completion pieces.

One puzzle I made showed a picture of a young man (the customer) sitting on a wall on the MIT campus holding a box. There were no words in the puzzle! His girlfriend assembled the puzzle and then eventually asked "what was in the box?" Where upon he presented the box in real life, and when she opened it, inside was a ring!

Another customer had a bunch of clues around town and at each location was someone with a bag with some of the puzzle pieces.... and a clue to the next location!

Another customer set up a room with paper and lights to make the room look like night with stars and the moon. The puzzle contained a clue: "the moon is yours". At the location of the moon in the room was a little "pull tab" which when pulled revealed a ring hanging on a lamp!

On the Dock
Image provided by Customer
Date Completed
December 16, 2001
8" x 10"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
Popular two piece Heart

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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