2000 Ways To Hate Las Vegas

(...and other puzzling bemusements)

Posted by MikeE

I lost exact count at 50-something trips, but since turning 21, I've averaged about five Vegas visits per year. Tack on another 20 before legal age and that's over 70 trips. I like to think I know the city on the most granular level. I dork-out on signage, renovations, and general minutiae that doesn't make an iota of difference to my livelihood. "They moved that trashcan" I'll say while touring Aria with friends. I feel their body language as they're walking behind me. They look at each other with widened eyes certain that I'm going to murder them when they fall asleep. When friends visit Vegas and post pictures of their view on Instagram, I get satisfaction in commenting, "You're staying at Encore and your room ends in an even number most likely under 30." They usually comment back with "You're sick" or something to that extent.

I can assure you, I'm not sick.

Anyway, while scoping out the GILFs at Michael's arts and crafts store, I came across a 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the Vegas skyline. I had to snatch it up. This will be a piece-of-cake.

Or so I thought.

I came into the project with some experience beyond Vegas. Previously this year, I had completed two 1000-piece puzzles - a caricature of a Crab Cooker restaurant and a cliche panorama of some hot air balloons. I learned that organization is key, to look at the image at the most microscopic level and yet be able to pan out and absorb the big picture, and to take frequent breaks - you simply can't visually process that much information for long periods of time. The hot air balloon puzzle took me approximately 830 minutes. At twice the number of pieces, and without factoring in the knowledge I have of the city, I safely estimated that completion of this Vegas skyline would run under 1700 minutes.


First, a look at the box itself.

Puzzle Box

Let's flex our Vegas muscles. The shot was taken from Foundation Room atop Mandalay Bay. I'd place the general timeline of the image sometime in early or mid-2008 - Encore is topped out but the lights aren't on, Mirage's signage indicates that Danny Gans hasn't OD'd yet, Tropicana isn't the "New" Tropicana, and CityCenter is about two-thirds risen. The hotels have characteristics which I hope are definitive enough to easily place the tiny pieces. Bonus points for not having an enormous amount of sky. Fuck sky. You just sit there like an idiot with a pile of blue pieces for hours on end trying to make them work. This sky is mauve-ish with a few clouds and a definitive mountain range providing guidance.

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Comments & Discussion

I needed a bright spot in my day (fuck, at 10 p.m., no less). Thanks.

I have not read much prose about puzzles, but now I don't need to. This is the luminous Luxor light of literature. (Speaking of which, who knew reproducing the South Strip could be so perplexing?)

Now take the next 41 hours to actually GO to Vegas. You've earned it.

Wow! After reading this I think I must acquire a puzzle! I haven't put one together in probably 20 years...since my mom went on a super aggressive purge of the "game closet" at the family ski cabin not long after I graduated from college...about 20 years ago. Up there we had two totally Vegas related puzzles...one that showed a bunch of brightly colored cocktails against a black background (so many totally black pieces to fit) and another featuring a ridiculous breakfast buffet of pastry and meats and eggs and waffles and ... ... ... Oh my! GREAT STUFF!

I can think of 2000 other ways to hate Las Vegas...one dollar at a time.

This is great, thanks for the Vegas details and for confirming my will to never do a puzzle of this size.

Just checked and Amazon has another Vegas puzzle that is over 5 feet with 6000 pieces. Using your calculations, that is 123 hours to complete. Yikes.

It reminds me of when I put together a Mt. Rushmore puzzle 20-something years ago, So many gray pieces.....

Maybe puzzle building will become an event at #VIMFP we could compete in teams and I want to be on MikeE's team as you are clearly the master. That was the ultimate test of patience and persistence. Well done sir

While I'm reading this wife is cooking and asking me " why are you laughing" %u2026LOL..

Sad MikeE is sad.... nice work tho

Great post! I never thought I'd laugh during a story about a puzzle.

This made my day!!!! Thanks Mike :)

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