Anatomy of a Search
October 14, 2011 8:05 AM   Subscribe

What are some good strategies for searching for the image of an old puzzle? I have asked here a few times over the years and come up with nothing, unfortunately. At this point I am ready to brute force it and just look at images of puzzles until I find the image of that puzzle. Previous methodology inside.

I am looking for a puzzle image from a puzzle sold sometime around the early to mid 80's or before. I used think it was a circular puzzle, but now I think it was a regular puzzle that just had the meaningful parts in a circular image (like so).

-Regular puzzle with a circular border or circular puzzle
-Possibly split (above and below water) Underwater ocean/Sea scene
-Mostly black or dark
-Some kind of small house or cove or seahorse almost nearly in the center of it
-May have magic/fantasy theme elements

I posted questions to no avail in 2008 and 2009.
I looked through google images with keywords like circular, puzzle, and springbok.
I emailed Springbok, but they were bought from Hallmark in 2003 by Allied Products, and said they couldn't help with pre-purchase items.
I emailed the owners of the popular puzzle sites (, and one or two others that have large puzzle galleries that I have gone through image by image). No solution-related replies.

What is a good method to go through large batches of puzzle images in the most efficient way? Google's image search isn't that speedy, and Bing's isn't that much better. Also with both of those there are a lot of extraneous images.

If I could, I'd download a zip file of every puzzle image and flip through the thumbnails or something. But what ideas do you have for ways I can do this most effectively, given that I know elements of the puzzle, and that I know I don't want images flowers and hillsides?

If it isn't apparent, I really would like to see this image. I don't need to own the puzzle. The image holds a special place in my mind because it was around at a really life-changing time for me.
posted by cashman to Grab Bag (3 answers total)
This is a ridiculous longshot, but I remembered this from back then. Was it Wizard's Revenge?
posted by Madamina at 8:24 AM on October 14, 2011

I recently had the same desire, to track down a puzzle, and buy it. Searching Springbok collector sites wsn't all that helpful.

What did work was looking on eBay. I was amazed at how many puzzles they have. I didn't know the name of the puzzle, was fairly sure it was a Springbok. I knew the time frame. I put in a general description of the puzzle. Hearts, flowers. It took a little looking for a week but it popped up. It was even in new condition, never opened even after 30 years.

Try seaside, seaside house, terms of that nature. An artist by the name of Enright comes to mind.

I was suprised that the actual item differed from my memory. I remember the colors being softer, not so dated looking. Funny how time "prettied up " the real thing.
posted by moonlily at 8:42 AM on October 14, 2011

Response by poster: That isn't it, Madamina, but wow I had to study the box image and assembled puzzle images close and search my mind. I'm going to flip through ebay images I guess.
posted by cashman at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2011

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