Five Hundred Easy Pieces

By In Photos

by Will Yurman

“Go ahead and start,” and they did.

Twelve teams each emptied 500 puzzle pieces onto the table in front of them and so began the Siuslaw Public Library’s first-ever jigsaw puzzle competition. Some teams had clear strategies. Sort the pieces by color. Build the outside edge first. Others divided to conquer – each team member working on a different section, color, or pattern. Some seemed a bit more, well, free-form, working the old-fashioned way by trying a piece here, then there, until they found one that fit.

In hindsight, the finish felt preordained. Stephanie Lauritzen’s tattoo of four interlocked jigsaw puzzle pieces seemed to mark her as a ringer. And her Facebook assembled team of four, (she hadn’t met two of her teammates until that morning) “Jiggy Sawdust,” crushed the competition completing the puzzle in 29 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s about 16 pieces per minute if you’re keeping track.

Second place went to Sarah and Kathy Skelly, the “Super Skellys.”

Librarian Kevin Mittge, who organized the event with his colleague Erin Gordenier, said it was the happiest time at the library in a while. He is hopeful they will repeat the event. For more information about library events, subscribe to their newsletter.

Editor’s note: I am married to the library’s director

  1. Stephanie January 27, 2024

    Love this feature, Will! It was a great time.

  2. PGodwin January 27, 2024

    Great community event! Way to go Kevin!

  3. Vicki January 27, 2024

    We had a great time. Thanks for capturing the event.

  4. Jenny January 28, 2024

    Fantastic event! I love our library!

  5. Steve Huebner January 28, 2024

    Can’t believe the times. Takes us half an hour just to turn the pieces right side up.


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