Puzzle 294 - Happy Flower Owl

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Puzzle #294 - Happy Flower Owl

Happy Flower Owl - Figurals, egg and a flower petal piece

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

July 18, 2002

4:44 pm - Yesterday I cut the eBay puzzle, Happy Flower Owl. I'll have more info about it within a few hours (need to assemble and photograph it), plus an interesting development.

8:35 pm - The puzzle is a "cute" K. Chin print, about 8 7/8" wide by 11 7/8" high and contains 271 pieces cut in Swirl Curl style. I had said I was going to cut it in Creative, but a combination of not being super psyched to cut Creative plus the realization that the wide array of bright colors in the print wouldn't enable me to "show off" Creative style, I decided to go for Swirl Curl instead.

There are two figurals in the puzzle, both have shown up in quite a few other K. Chin puzzles: an Owl and a Twirl Star. The Owl figural is positioned such that the branch that the Owl figural is perched on within the figural is an extension of an offshoot of the branch the puzzle's Owl is perched on. However, in retrospect, I wish I had positioned the Owl to take advantage of the "face" in the pansy! Instead, I got kind of a "cyclops owl". Next time.

OK. What in the world is an Egg doing in a Swirl Curl? Answer: the name of this section is "evolve.html". Brilliantly named because I knew from the start I would evolve as a puzzle maker, and this section is a log of that evolution. I was pretty dogmatic for a while saying that Swirl Curl could not spawn Eggs, even though The Observer knowingly pointed out that there were times while I was cutting Swirl Curl that an Egg could very well have been cut.

The Egg first came about in puzzle #54, Imperial Silver Dragon - that puzzle, by my current standards, is a "jumble" of Swirl Curl and sections of different breeds of Creative (for example, just below the Shooting Star figural in the upper right, there is some "square steppy stuff" that hasn't shown up since then, except for one section (upper right near the "red lines") in the spectacular London Puzzle, plus, maybe one or two other puzzles). Creative was still getting started in the Silver Dragon. In the far upper right of Silver Dragon is a section of Flow Curl, the first major instance of Flow Curl, which was an evolution of an earlier "Open Curl" style. #54 in fact spawned four Eggs, although I can't recall which Egg came first. The next puzzle was "all" Flow Curl and spawned 19 Eggs, a number yet to be reached in a subsequent puzzle! So Eggs became the domain of Flow Curl and not Swirl Curl. But later I realized that Flow Curl, besides being a very swoopy Swirl Curl style, incorporated a principle of "Flow Cutting" which could also be used in regular "non swoopy" Swirl Curl.

Just about all of my recent Swirl Curl puzzles incorporate some degree of "Flow Cutting" (the roots of Flow Cutting go back before #54). An Egg is an instance of a "Flow Cut" Swirl that returns to the "other side" of the starting point from the Curl, and there is no logical reason an Egg could not appear in a Swirl Curl puzzle, as an Egg has a "curl" and a "swirl", although oval swirls tend to be fairly rare in Swirl Curls - but as I noted earlier this year, "Sway Curls" do creep in from time to time.

In this Owl puzzle I was cutting out the centers of the flowers (flow-ers?) as semi treat pieces and when I got to a flower without an Egg-like center, well an Egg just happened. Actually the location of the Egg was serendipity, because a few minutes before I reached the flower, I spontaneously decided that it was "time" for an Egg. The first run for an Egg didn't pan out (don't know where in the puzzle this was although it was nearby), and the second one did and I just happened to be at a good location for it.

OK now, does this mean Eggs are going to start showing up all over the place in my Swirl Curls? My current thinking is that they will tend to show up in higher piece count Swirl Curl puzzles, say more than 200 pieces, maybe one or two every couple hundred pieces, and not in every instance. But then things may evolve. Almost as soon as I cut the Egg, The Observer was on my cell phone (how did The Observer know?) and he said (male voice again) he wanted to "take a look", and also mentioned something about "validation", but he didn't show up.

This puzzle is fairly easy to assemble due to the sections of bright colors. The Owl was the hardest part, but even that went quite quickly.

July 26, 2002

9:58 pm - Auction over, thank you for those who bid, and congratulations Sharon for winning! Sharon won one other Custom Puzzle Craft puzzle, the famous #54 puzzle (a Creative cut puzzle with my first "Flow Cutting realization" and first Eggs). As Happy Flower Owl has the first Swirl Curl egg, I think it fitting that these two puzzles will be in the same collection.

Happy Flower Owl
K. Chin
Date Completed
July 17, 2002
8 7/8" by 11 7/8"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
Three: Owl, Twirl Star

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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