The Mathemalchemy puzzle featuring OctoPi’s Mural

Mathemalchemist Kim Roth likes making jigsaw puzzles and in particular wooden puzzles with intricate cutting designs and special whimsy pieces; when she wondered about commissioning one that would be Mathemalchemy-themed, fellow Mathemalchemist and avid jigsaw puzzler Ingrid Daubechies enthusiastically seconded the idea. After some discussion, they thought a good puzzle picture would be the Mural painted by and with OctoPi on the outside walls of the Bakery and the Curio Shop, behind the Lighthouse. It would also be a way to make this picture more visible — in the installation it can (by design) only be glimpsed in bits and pieces, as behooves the spray-painted graffiti mural it impersonates. Mathemalchemist Bronna Butler, who had been directed by OctoPi to paint the Mural (in our world), was game as well.

Mural behind the lighthouse
Mural behind the lighthouse
Bronna Butler putting a last retouching hand to the Mural

Modifying the Mural for the Puzzle Experience

Because both Ingrid and Kim had previous great experiences with puzzles made by Artifact Puzzles, they contacted its founder Maya Gupta to explore whether a puzzle could be commissioned for a reasonable price — and it turned out to be possible! Maya asked for some changes: not only, as Bronna, Kim and Ingrid expected, to fill in the blank rectangle in the top left (not present in the mural because there is no wall there in the installation); she also wondered whether some of the colors in the original picture could be adjusted: white fields lead more easily to scorching in the laser-cutting process, so it would help if the white bits were changed. At the same time, it could also keep young puzzlers’ interest more engaged if there were more Mathemalchemy critters and objects around.

Updated version of the mural for the puzzle

The result is a more colorful version of the mural: with a dramatic sky filled with clouds and sunset colors, a puffin flying in with a theta-knot dangling from its beak, another theta-knot and a knotilus swimming in the water and a curious baby turtle peaking out.

Cutting inspirations

The cutting design is based on a Marjorie Rice pentagonal tiling different from the ones already featured in the Bakery Floor and the edge of the Great Doodle Page, and it has whimsy pieces that refer to Mathemalchemy (of course) pertaining to both Knotilus Bay and other scenes.

Marjorie Rice pentagonal tiling
Source: Wikipedia
Bakery floor
Marjorie Rice pentagonal tiling on the Bakery floor.
Great Doodle Page
Edge of the Great Doodle Page features another Marjorie Rice pentagonal tiling.
Open box of the puzzle, with Pi
Whimsy pieces inspired by Mathemalchemy

Ready for puzzlers

The 156-piece puzzle came out great, medium-hard and lots of fun for puzzlers.

Crafted in the USA by Artifact Puzzles.