January 29: Puzzle Day, Corn Chip Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
Jan 29, 2012

★~ Today’s Quote: “There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.”  ~ W.C. Fields

★~ Puzzle Day:

John Spilsbury, a London engraver and mapmaker, produced the first jigsaw puzzle around 1760 by mounting one of his maps on a sheet of hardwood and cutting around the borders of the countries to create interlocking pieces. Since then, puzzles have become an educational tool, and a family pastime. May I take this moment to remind everyone the proper way way to start a puzzle is to turn all the pieces over and work the border first, peeps…work the boarder first!

★~ Corn Chip Day:

The corn chip is often overlooked on the snack table. Put a bowl of chips next to some salsa or guac and it’s the dip that gets all the attention. Make a plate of nachos and the chips are the least thrilling layer. But while the humble corn chip doesn’t ask for much fanfare, today we salute it for all its hard work. I am a big fan of the Frito.

★~ Today in History:

♥~ 1802 – John Beckley became the first Librarian of the U.S. Congress. He was paid $2 a day. Not bad, considering in 1802 you could buy a house for $25.00 and two chickens.

♥~ 1845 – The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, was published for the first time in the New York Evening Mirror.

♥~ 1861 – Kansas, the Sunflower State, became a state. The capital of the 34th state is Topeka., The western meadowlark is the state bird, and the state song is Home on the Range. The roaming buffalo is the state animal, and the state tree is the cottonwood. Kansas, derived from the Sioux Indian word meaning ‘people of the southwind’, uses the Latin phrase ‘Ad astra per aspera’ or ‘To the stars through difficulties’ as its motto.

♥~ 1929 – The Seeing Eye was incorporated — in Nashville, TN. Its purpose was to train dogs to guide the blind. Going forward it has matched thousands of dogs with persons who are blind or visually impaired in the U.S. and Canada.

♥~ 1959 – Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was released. The animated fantasy features the voices Mary Costa (as Princess Aurora and Briar Rose), Bill Shirley (as Prince Phillip) Eleanor Audley (Maleficent) Verna Felton (Flora) Barbara Luddy (Merryweather) Barbara Jo Allen (Fauna) Taylor Holmes (King Stefan) and Bill Thompson (as King Hubert).

★~Born Today:

♥~ 1737 – Thomas Paine American revolutionary leader, political philosopher: :  The man who said, “These are the times that try men’s souls” came to America in 1774 at the request of Benjamin Franklin. Throughout his life, he wrote a number of influential books and pamphlets including The Age of Reason, The Rights of Man, and Common Sense. Each of these works brought public attention to key issues and helped establish the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution. Paine’s writing inspired many people to strive for political, economic, and social advancement. He was also one of the first people to call for an end to slavery and universal human rights.

♥~ 1880 – W.C. (William Claude) Fields (Dukenfield) entertainer; the man who said, “Comedy is a serious business,”  He ran away from home as a child, stole to survive, got in a lot of fistfights, and was arrested often. He was a skilled juggler, and at 14 he  joined the carnival. He went from juggling to doing a witty comedic routine, and then to acting in films. He toured a lot, and the more famous he became, the more he drank. When he was filming movies, he kept a flask of mixed martinis near at hand, referring to it as his “pineapple juice.” He quipped about his drinking a lot, saying things like, “Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.” And, “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.” And, “If I had to live life over, I’d live over a saloon.” Toward the end of his life, his career fizzled out some — he gained a reputation for being extremely hard to work with, was passed over for some coveted movie roles, and his alcoholism was taking its toll. He died Christmas Day 1946. And then his persona made a sort of comeback in the late 1960s. The Beatles even included his face in the collage on the cover of their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

♥~ 1945 – Tom Selleck Emmy Award-winning actor: Magnum, P.I. [1983-1984], Three Men and a Baby, Mr. Baseball, Runaway, Lassiter, Quigley Down Under, 3 Men and a Little Lady, Running Mates, Las Vegas, Blue Bloods

♥~ 1954 – Oprah Winfrey Emmy Award-winning talk show host: Oprah Winfrey [1986, 1990-1994]; actress: The Color Purple, Native Son, The Women of Brewster Place

★~ Did You Know: 

♥~ “For the purpose of teaching geography,” John Spilsbury, a teacher in England, created the first jigsaw puzzle in the year 1767.  The puzzle was a map of England and Wales, with each county making up a separate piece.

♥~ Early puzzles were not interlocking until nearly a century after Spilsbury created the first puzzle. Puzzled? The reason for this was simple, power tools had not been invented.

♥~ In 1880, Milton Bradley made the first jigsaw puzzle for children “The Smashed Up Locomotive.”

♥~ Life: The great challenge is confirmed as the largest jogsaw puzzle by the Guinness World Records. It has 24,000 pieces

♥~ Puzzles are excellent brain training and co-ordination improvement tools, they develop your abilities to reason, analyze, sequence, deduce, logical thought processes and problem solving skills.  Jigsaw puzzles improve hand-eye co-ordination and develop a good working sense of spatial arrangements.

♥~ El Morno friend Isabel puzzled us with this puzzle last week: You are in a pit with two doors. Two guards are there, one at each door. Behind one of the doors is certain death, behind the other a path to freedom. One guard always tells the truth. One guard always lies. You don’t know whuch guard tells the truth and which one lies. You can ask one question to only one of the guards. What is your question? (answer at the bottom of page).


I come from a family of Jigsaw puzzle workers. My sweet mom and dad have a tradition of working Jigsaw puzzles over the Christmas holidays. They like 500 piece puzzles. I was never very good at working puzzles, my parents’ constant AHH HAA’s and evil puzzle laughter during my growing-up years made me anxious. I didn’t need therapy for it or anything, but still I think it thwarted my natural puzzle working ability and made me a little neurotic when it comes to puzzles.

Cole had a selection of lovely wooden board puzzles when he was little, and since we were a ‘no television’ family and I bored quickly of running matchbox cars across the carpet, going zoooom, I started to work these puzzles with him. One of my favorites was a rather challenging magnetic fish puzzle with a fishing pole. Very cool. My puzzle neuroses now centered on the idea that we might lose a puzzle piece. It was very important to me that all Cole’s board puzzles have all their pieces. Joe use to say that if he ever wanted to seek marital revenge, he would simple stick one of the pieces of Cole’s puzzles in his pocket and head to work. Cruel!

Soon, in this kinder, gentler puzzle climate that I worked to foster, we began to work larger family puzzles. Over time, my puzzle working skills improved and my early traumas began to fade away. I still insisted that all the puzzle pieces had to be turned over and made sure the flat border pieces were separated out from the middle parts of the puzzle, but I was content to do this while Joe and Cole jumped into the middle of the puzzle like savages.

These days, Cole almost always has a jigsaw puzzle going next to his stack of Call of Duty and Assassin 3 video games. This year, he asked for car puzzles for Christmas. I usually stop by to admire his work and add a puzzle piece or two…mentally calculating if he still has all the pieces…a mother never stops worrying.



Still Puzzling? Ask either guard what door the other guard would say is the exit, then choose the opposite door.

If you ask the guard who always tells the truth, he knows the other guard would lie, so he’ll point you to the door leading to death. If you ask the guard who always lies, he knows the other guard would truthfully show you the exit, so he’ll lie and point you to the door leading to death.

13 thoughts on “January 29: Puzzle Day, Corn Chip Day

  1. I like jigsaw puzzles and corn chips. Frito’s are my favorite. Working on my taxes today so I will be puzzling about where my money goes and how little of it stays. Maybe some corn chips and salsa will help.

    Have a good one.

  2. Fritos were a mainstay in my childhood lunches. Still enjoy those small bags of crunchy goodness. They do have competition with cheetos in my snack diet now. Those and cheezits. (sp?)

    People are like puzzles…got to work them from the outside in.

  3. I love working puzzles if they don’t go on forever. Lays potato chips are my favorites but Bugles are my favorite corn chips for fun and Fritos for serious salsa dipping.

    Hope you have a super Sunday!

    • BUGLES. Do you put them on your finger and pretend you have very long nails?? Love Bugles. ♥

      Sunday was very nice. The weather in Chicago has been so mild and sunny it is almost scary.

  4. glad to see you got the ‘answer to the riddle from opposite day 🙂

    Also big fan of Fritos — but I salute all corn chips.

    puzzles — I have a 500 piece glow in the dark here at the house. Shall I bring it with the sunglasses on Tues?

    • Sure…Would love to have a glow in the dark puzzle. I had a little help with the riddle…I have to admit. It was a good one. Frito’s are my adult corn chip of choice…Bugles for the kid in me….

  5. Love to work puzzles! We’d get along great because everybody knows you’re supposed to turn all the pieces right-side up and work the border first!

Comments are closed.