Looking at the puzzle box top: cheating or not?

Just returned from vacation where my brother and I had the same argument we do every year. When doing jigsaw puzzles, I like to look at the box and if, for example, I see pink and I know the bats are pink and located up in the right hand corner, I’ll assemble them there. I can often determine where specific pieces are located in reference to the borders and will place them there. My brother maintains that this is cheating and that you should hide the box (or at least not refer to it beyond an initial cursory glance).

This seems like a good doper poll. What are y’all’s rules? Do you look at the box top or not? Is scrutinizing the picture to determine exactly where a specific piece is located cheating?

Huh, I was taught to look at the box. Kind of a puzzle within a puzzle I liek to do is to take a seemingly indecipherable puzzle piece and to try to locate it on the full picture on the box.

There is no overall boxtop rule. You, or your family, or your sewing circle, or whatever, set the rules the way you like them.

If the is “No Boxtops!”, then looking at the box top is cheating. If the local rule is that boxtops are OK, then looking at the box top is strategy.

If your local rule says no boxtops, and you are at your cousin’s where the rule says that boxtops are OK, no fair dinging him or her about it. When he/she/it is at your place, he/she/it can’t whine about your rule. The local rule is what it is.

I say that everytime your brother tries to regulate how you complete a puzzle, you eat a puzzle piece. I can’t possibly see the purpose in telling someone who is enjoying themselves that “they’re doing it wrong”.

You: [happily working on a puzzle]
Brother: Hey, you can’t look at the box!
You: snarf
Brother: What the hell?!? You can’t eat puzzle pieces!
You: gobble
Brother: Dammit, but you’re doing it wrong!
You: munch Bite me.

Man, that would be hysterical. :smiley: Even funnier since I’m 37 and not 3. And would totally serve him right. I think he argues about this just 'cause he knows it pisses me off. (for years I thought he was a ultra-right wing conservative until he finally admitted he just took that viewpoint to annoy me…)

This is hilarious :smiley: . I almost woke up my household. It’s 4 a.m. here, but I can’t stop laughing

I thought that’s why they printed the picture on the boxtop.

That’s what I always thought. I would go insane if I couldn’t see what the puzzle was supposed to look like. It would be nearly impossible to put together.

You gotta look at the box. Next time, buy a puzzle, dump it into a paper bag and tell him to have fun.

GAMES Magazine prints a set of easy clues and a set of hard clues for its big crossword puzzle. It’s not wrong to use one instead of the other; it all depends on what kind of challenge you’re up for. So it is with the question of looking at the box or not looking at the box.

And let me also add that Munch is a comedic genius. But instead of eating them, just squirrel the pieces away in your cheeks, which not only preserves the puzzle, but gives you the opportunity to spit out a huge mass of saliva-drenched pieces that will be sure to disgust the other person!

Munch I am SO glad I didn’t have a mouth full of coffee. I’m gonna be giggling all day over that.

And now IMHO looking at the puzzle box is not cheating. The ONLY puzzle I ever did wheer I didn’t look at the picture to go by was a mystery puzzle. You read a short mystery and put together the puzzle, the puzzle then gave clues to solving the mystery. They didn’t even print the picture at all. I had a hell of a time doing it, I don’t even remember finishing it (and I think the puzzle is long gone).

Hmm maybe I should go buy one of them again…

I always look at the boxtop, sometimes very closely.

On the other hand, I never, never look at a dictionary while doing crosswords. It’s not sporting. It’s a challenge, not an open-book exam. :dubious:

How can you cheat at a puzzle? It’s not a competitive game. You don’t win a puzzle.

I’ve heard the “no looking” rule before, but it just strikes me as bizarre. If your brother thinks it’s more challenging not to look at the box when he does puzzles, that’s fine, but why should he care if you look at the box top?

“Impossible Puzzles”**
are what you and your brother need.

If your brother wants to do it the hard way, why is he doing the puzzle picture-side-up? Call him a sissy if he won’t go gray side up. I rarely use the Wally, but this is for your brother: :wally

I’m another person who isn’t sure why looking at the box top is cheating. Now, I get irritated with my brother when he spends “too much” time looking at the box top. “Too much” is a subjective judgement strongly influenced by the principle of I ought to be able to look at the box whenever I want to. Also, my brother is prone to doing things like finding a piece with a pink star on it and then searching the box top to find where the pink star goes. Looking to figure out whether all the red brick pieces are one building is fine with me. Looking for five minutes with one piece in your hand is “hogging” the box top and exasperating. But just because it is exasperating does not make it cheating.
On another note, my brother age 7 or so placed a piece of a puzzle into his brand new transformer toy. He then proceeded to forget about it. Three or four days later, the puzzle was done, the floor had been searched and researched and we were just about to put the puzzle back in the box despite the missing piece, when he got the toy out again and found the puzzle. We remind him of this every now and then.

I have to admit that I am impressed by someone who does puzzles without looking at the box, in rather the same way that I am impressed by people who do crossword puzzles with fat felt tipped pens, and people who can juggle 4 balls or split a deck of cards with one hand, or

However, that esteem is quickly canceled out by the points you loose by bragging about such feats, or disparaging others for not being at the same level.

Uh, so, are you ever allowed to look at the box?

Like, if you remember from when you bought the puzzle that there was a kitten with a red ribbon around its neck on toward the left hand side, and you use that knowledge (even unconsciously) as you solve the puzzle, is that cheating?

Of course looking at the picture isn’t cheating. If it were cheating, jigzone.com wouldn’t show you the picture. <nodnodnodnodnodnodnodnodnod>

Unfortunatly I managed to spill mine all over the keyboard.

Posts like that should come with warnings :slight_smile: