Notes from Puzzle Palace

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Thoughts on display and duplicates

 George and I have spent a great deal of time thinking about and discussing display options for our museum.  As noted in my last post, we have decided upon a mix of cubies and book cases.  Our go-to for this museum is IKEA.  Yes, you read that right.  IKEA.  The Kallax cubies are what we used on the front wall in the great room and kitchen, and in the downstairs guest room.  The library, half-way bedroom, and master bedroom will all be equipped with Billy Bookcases.  Now I know this sounds cheap, and it is.  BUT!  It is not.  We are fortunate to be living in a cinderblock home.  All units that are attached to the outside walls are mounted directly into the cinderblock walls.  Each bookcase is 93" tall and 30" wide.  This allows for mounting to every other stud of the building on internal walls.  

People have said this will not hold up to the weight of the puzzles, but unlike most, our shelves will not be crowded with puzzles.  Our motto in Puzzle Palace has been since day 1: Display and Play.  The same goes for the Puzzle Palace Museum.  The shelves are 11" deep, and I suppose it is possible to have the puzzles 2 or even 3 deep, this is not something we want to do.  If they are like that, you can't see the puzzles, and you will be unable to play with them.  The bookcased rooms are done that way in order to provide living space for any guests we may have.  

The Kallax cubes are a different story.  Each cubie will have six 14"x6"x4" clear PET lidded containers inside. Each will hold up to 8 standard sized Rubik's cubes. Each container will be labeled and each puzzle inside the contaier will have a unique identifier. This will allow visitors to quickly access the puzzles they are looking for.  

We plan to continue to use the Horden-Dalgety classification system with a few tweeks and additions.  Most notable of this is the absence of any classification for Twisty puzzles.  I have also spent many hours pouring over the Slocum, Hoffmann, von Delft & Botterman's, and Rob Stegman's puzzle classification systems. With each of these, there are many good points and there is always the possibility that I will be incorporating parts of them into our system.  If you have any constructive ideas, please feel free to pass them on to us. 

The library will house all of the puzzle books. Sadly, the only way I can see to hold all of them is to store them by height.  This will allow us to maximize the space in the room.  There will be a computer set up in the house with access to the public database for all guests.  

As for storage, we don't really see this as a problem.  All duplicates will be stored in the attic space of Puzzle Palace or the garage of the Puzzle Palace Museum.  All other puzzles will be on display as per our MO. 

And now on to duplicates.  Since we have announced this acquisition, we have had many requests to sell our duplicates.  Yes, we expect to have many but at this point we are not at all interested in letting any go. We have agreed with James that we will not put any up for sale for at least 3 years.  I expect it to be much more along the lines of 5 years.  It is my goal to have the collection completely catalogued before I even begin to think of disposing of any duplicates that we have.  As an example, when George and I combined our collections, we discovered around 3000 duplicates.  I have yet to sell any of those.  We have our treasure chest and duplicates are placed there for guests to take one when they leave.  We plan to continue this practice.  We also plan to trade puzzles for puzzles at some point in the future.  Perhaps when the dust settles and I have the puzzles put on shelves and catalogued we may run a special auction.

In the mean time, we are looking for yet more puzzles.  Unlike some museums that shall remain unnamed, we have every intention of increasing the size of our collection.  If you feel there is a puzzle we simply must add to the collection, please let us know. If you wish to donate puzzles to the collection, we will readily accept them without the need for you to provide any sort of funding.  Like America, our museum is a melting pot.  Send us your tired, your poor, your unwanted puzzles yearning to breathe free. 

Before I close, a small update on the progress of the museum.  This past week has seen the completion of the outdoor area.  All pavers are in place and work continues on leveling the driveway and completing the walkway to the pool area. We have had four more walls of shelving units completely mounted and another started.  Final plans have been ok'd for the workman's bathroom disentanglement walls.  The electricians have entered the building and have finished installing lights in both downstairs bedrooms and the great room.  The olive oak trees have been removed from the front of the property and a pool polluting oak has been removed from the back of the house.  The wood from the later is now curing in the garage to be used in the fireplaces.  Work continues at a steady pace.  I'm sure we will be completely finished by the time the puzzles arrive. 


  1. How are they transporting the collection to you? I have visions of several mighty Chinook helicopters dropping off crates of puzzles on your lawn 😆

    1. hahaha. A big ship then a lorry I'm guessing. A few dozen hunky men and they should all be in the front door.