Some of the puzzles for the Yankee Swap. Is the prettiest the best one? Maybe the plain one wrapped in newspaper!

For the quite a few parleys, we have held a fun-filled informal puzzle swap on Friday evenings after dinner. Those who wish to participate bring a puzzle of their choice, wrapped to cover any revealing information about the puzzle maker, size, type, etc (gift bags work well). The puzzle must be a "good" puzzle, made of wood, complete, but worth no more than $100, and one you are willing to part with. Puzzle crafters can use one they have made even if they would charge more than $100 for it.

How does the Swap work?

  • Each participant will randomly choose a number ranging from 1 through the number of participants there are.

  • Numbers will be drawn from a hat the evening of the swap after gifts and participants have been counted.

  • The number 1 is the best number to have.

  • Starting with number 1, participants will choose a "gift" to open. You are allowed to look at the gifts, but no touching! Once a gift is chosen, it will be opened in front of the group and details of title, maker, number of pieces announced to the room.

  • Next, number 2 will pick a puzzle from the remaining gifts and open it. Once details are announced, number 2 can choose whether to keep the puzzle or swap it with number 1's puzzle.

  • Number 3 picks a puzzle and can choose to either keep or swap with numbers 1 or 2, and so on.

  • At the end, number 1 gets to choose from all puzzles available and can make 1 final swap.

Puzzles can be swapped any number of times. When your turn comes, you can keep the surprise puzzle you picked, or swap for the prize puzzle you spotted earlier. But beware, the puzzle you choose, could be swapped at any turn, unless you are number1!

Photo courtesy Rick Tucker