This week’s challenges: constellations (irregular borders) woodcuts [Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts.] Martinis Spies rule of thumb [a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.] calculus [ the branch of mathematics that deals with the finding and properties of derivatives and integrals of functions, by methods originally based on the summation of infinitesimal differences. The two main types are differential calculus and integral calculus|| a particular method or system of calculation or reasoning||a concretion of minerals formed within the body, especially in the kidney or gallbladder.] Glowing Puzzle weather vane savory [(of food) belonging to the category that is salty or spicy rather than sweet || having an appetizing taste or smell ||morally wholesome or acceptable.] Legendary
Lenny Puzzle was the twelfth child to Ima and George Puzzle. Ima was legendary within the community for producing so many children to a man known affectionately as Jigsaw.
They lived on Constellation Street, which was a fortuitous place, as there seemed to any one passing by an ever-increasing number of Puzzles to deal with.
Lenny by some quirk of fate had been blessed with brains and loved spending his mornings pouring over an old calculus text his dad had long used as a doorstop.
Jigsaw loved a martini or ten and sipped on them as he worked on his woodcuts, a skill he possessed and one which earned his family a few dollars at the Sunday markets where the Puzzles would descend in their haphazard way, set up their table and hassle every passer-by trying to sell their wares.
But Lenny was not interested in any of that. After studying the calculus text by day he loved to look through an old telescope his dad had found in the dump. He could see the constellations with their irregular borders, the rings of Saturn and the moon closer than he imagined.
Lenny having the brains in the family was also blessed with an imagination and often in-between the chapters of his calculus text imagined himself as a spy solving great problems with his famous catch cry, “Call a Puzzle to fix your puzzle. The smaller the pieces the better the fun.”
Another of Lenny’s favourite things was all things nature. His dad had come home one day with an old weather vane, a bit bent but once placed upon their roof provided Lenny with another source of fun and adventure.
The rule of thumb in the Puzzle household was if it required thought to fix an issue, Lenny was your first port of call as opposed to their dad who had a bad habit of destroying the problem thereby eliminating it, like the wonky leg on the dining room table he destroyed with the number 6 sledgehammer and stood back glowing with pride over his accomplishment until Ima reminded him he’d be eating off the floor until they could secure the services of a new leg or table.
With so many kids and all of them constantly hungry Ima had learned that anything savory was a hit with the family. So she fed them savory meats, savory fruits and savory porridge and in each circumstance increased her own legendary status.
Lenny being a typical Aussie kid loved vegemite on toast and was settling in to a night of star gazing when his dad, martini in one hand and woodcut in the other, tripped over the weather vane Lenny was repairing and landed head over heels in their fish pond, the one with the irregular borders and savory tasting water lilies.
As they later said: “Therein lay the biggest Puzzle.”