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I’m Giving You Just 8 Chances To Find The Right Word

January 29, 2013

I have a friend who’s almost as crazy as I am– and that’s saying something. His name’s Dave Beffa-Negrini. He creates custom, hand-cut wooden jigsaw puzzles.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can check out his work at Fool’s Gold Puzzles. If you’re only familiar with store-bought cardboard puzzles (as I was), you’ll be amazed.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Dave loves games and puzzles of all kinds. Not long ago, he discovered an app called Draw Something.

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highBasic idea: It’s a 2-person game. You’re given a word, you draw a picture on your iPad using a stylus, you transmit the picture to the other player who tries to guess the word based on your picture.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The app records every line you draw, every erasure. The other person watches your drawing materialize line by line, and can jump in at any point with a guess.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

He also gets two hints: the number of letters in the word, and a jumbled set of letters which contains all the letters needed to spell the word.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

For example: here’s Dave’s drawing for BARSTOOL. The other person would know it’s an 8-letter word, and he might get a set of letters like this: RKOAESBTDLO, which includes all the letters he needs to spell BARSTOOL, along with a few decoy letters.Draw Something image for word BARSTOOL showing bartender sliding bottle of beer down bar with bottles and cocktail glasses in background and barstool in foreground

Now most people would draw something simple: in this case, maybe a a stool and a cocktail glass on a one-line countertop. Not Dave.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

He’ll do something elaborate and add extra elements to make it more challenging. He’ll also try to make you laugh. He’d make a great cartoonist.blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Ready to try a few of Dave’s puzzlers? OK, here we go. Answers at end of post.BlankVertSpace.8pixelsblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

_ _ _    (3 letters)   LGBOISRPADraw Something image for word PIG showing pig walking across barnyard with barn in background with missile being launched up out of silo

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    (8 letters)   UNREETICHADDraw Something app image for word AUDIENCE showing crowd sitting in theater looking at stage curtain waiting for next act to begin

_ _ _    (3 letters)   SHOAIFCPUDraw Something image for word UFO showing two guys looking up at spaceship which is broadcasting message, "Take me to your leader!"

_ _ _ _ _ _ _    (7 letters)   LTADESRUNPEDraw Something app image for word ANTLERS showing Rudolph Red-nosed Reindeer complaining to Santa about working the night shift

_ _ _ _    (4 letters)   SACMZIJGZMDraw Something image for word JAZZ showing collage of musical instruments, guitar, sax, trombone, musical notes, and singing heads

_ _ _ _ _ _ _    (7 letters)   KCONIOPCEGHDraw Something image for word CHICKEN showing chicken coop with nests filled with eggs and part of chicken

_ _ _ _ _ _ _    (7 letters)   THIAPSAEEDRDraw Something image for word HEADSET showing airplane cockpit with pilot and co-pilot and stork with baby bundle flying past window

_ _ _ _ _ _ _    (7 letters)   REKTULNMIBPDraw Something image for word PLUMBER showing repairman with tools bent under kitchen sink with his pants riding down exposing his butt crack


PLUMBERblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

He snuck in some funny gags. My favorites were: the missile firing out of the silo, the little green Martian in the spaceship, the stork flying past the plane with the baby, and of course the plumber’s butt crack.blank vertical space, 16 pixels highBlankVertSpace.8pixels

There’s also a subtle touch in the JAZZ drawing that deserves a mention: two of the faces aren’t singing; they don’t have open mouths because they’re playing wind instruments (sax and trombone). They other face is singing; that’s because he’s playing a stand-up bass, which only requires the use of his hands.blank vertical space, 16 pixels highBlankVertSpace.8pixels

My thanks to Dave for sharing these with us. And if you’re curious about the amazing forms a hand-cut jigsaw puzzle can take, check out his work at Fool’s Gold Puzzles.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

What do you think? Do you enjoy puzzles? crosswords? board games? Ever put a big jigsaw puzzle together, then gnashed your teeth because there was a piece missing? Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2013 10:56 AM

    These are great! Unfortunately I didn’t get many right, but the illustrations your friend has made definitely has a loveable quality to them. My favourite has to be the jazz and headset ones.

    If it was me I’d go down the easy route of simplifying the word :p
    I once created a board game as part of my school exams. Don’t know if the school still has it though. But I do love the traditional games and puzzles. Especially word search. I was the word search and Connect 4 queen when I was a kid 😀

    Lately I have been looking for puzzle/board game apps so I’m definitely going to try out this one! Thanks for sharing Mark : )


    • February 6, 2013 9:13 PM

      Great to see you, dear Bean, and thanks for that lovely comment. Yes, I agree, the JAZZ drawing was one of Dave’s best. Has a wonderful surreal quality– it would make a great CD cover.

      You made your own board game?? Very cool. That’s gotta put you in rather a select category. I expect the school will dig it out and display it prominently after you become famous… : )

      Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for stopping by, Your Majesty! Uh, how else am I supposed to address a Word Search Queen?? : )


  2. January 29, 2013 11:01 AM

    Great work here. When I was playing Draw Something I set myself the challenge to include a robot in every picture:

    I was delighted when some of my opponents started to work one into theirs too.


    • February 5, 2013 2:01 PM

      It’s a pleasure to meet you, Trevor. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your link. I took a look, and I thought your robot drawings were fantastic– a superb example of variations on a theme. And I really enjoyed the fact that you inspired your fellow DS players to include robots in their drawings, too. Your good example was not in vain… : )

      Great to meet you, thanks for the comment, wishing you all the best with your work!!


  3. January 29, 2013 5:22 PM

    This is amazing. I tried to play this game, but on a Droid, using only my fingernail, the results were abysmal. Love it and thanks. I must check out those puzzles!


    • February 6, 2013 8:38 PM

      Aw, you’re just saying that to make the rest of us feel better– everyone knows they had to invent the concept of infinity ’cause there wasn’t a high enough number for your I.Q… : )

      Thanks, Julie, glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, do take a look at Dave’s puzzles– I think you’ll be impressed. Always a great pleasure to see you here, my dear Diva! : )


  4. January 30, 2013 12:55 PM

    We love puzzles. You’re lucky to have such a creative and fun friend!


    • January 31, 2013 10:41 AM

      I’m lucky to have a fun friend, and I’m lucky to have a kind and gracious supporter like yourself. Always great to see you, thanks so much for stopping by! : )


  5. January 30, 2013 1:50 PM

    What marvelous work he (Dave Beffa-Negrini) does, Mark. Interesting, indeed.

    I got stuck, Mark, on the reindeer… (not literally, of course 😉 ) Naturally, it was all too obvious when I read the answers..!

    I haven’t been a ‘puzzle’ enthusiast, having only put together a few board puzzles in my lifetime. (I’ll leave that sort of thing to the very diligent and patient souls with great intellect… ) 😉

    A piece missing..! Ahhhh, yes, I’ve experienced that..! What a let down that is; to have worked so hard and for so long only to be thwarted by a missing piece or two. Rather disappointing, to say the least.

    Once again, a delightful post….


    • January 31, 2013 10:40 AM

      Many thanks, dear Carolyn, your mere presence is always the solution… : )

      Reindeer– phooey! How can anyone be expected to concentrate with that big red nose glaring in their eyes?? It’s completely unsporting!! : P

      Many thanks for your vivacious support!


  6. robpixaday permalink
    January 31, 2013 5:07 PM

    Oh, these are wonderful! And his jigsaw puzzles are gorgeous!
    What a great game this is, Mark. So creative, lots of fun.

    I’ve done a few puzzles, never ended up with a piece missing but if I had I think I might’ve made my own piece — somehow — to fill in. Board games? Not a big fan. I’m not competitive enough to care who wins, even me! LOL



    • February 5, 2013 10:12 AM

      Yo-ho! Thanks, Robin! Glad you enjoyed the puzzles. Yes, Mr. B. does nice work… : )

      You know, I can see you making your own puzzle piece to compensate for a missing one. In fact, I think you may have just invented a new puzzle game, one that is truly interactive– by necessity!!

      Not competitive? Hey, you don’t need to compete– you’re in a class by yourself!! : )


  7. February 1, 2013 10:46 AM

    I love puzzles… but this one will really make my nose bleed… hehehehe
    Great post Mark 🙂 Thanks for sharing! xoxo


    • February 5, 2013 10:06 AM

      You love puzzles? No wonder you’re so fond of me… : P

      I’m sorry I made your nose bleed. I’m calling an ambulance right now. They’ll take you to the Lemons R Us Café where you can have some donuts and feel better fast!

      Always delightful to see you, Dear Dolly… : )


  8. February 1, 2013 5:12 PM

    Hi! There’s an award for you!
    All the best!


  9. February 1, 2013 11:14 PM

    Very clever. I enjoyed the artwork and the gags. I’ve never been good on those scrambled letter things. Adding decoy letters would just drive me over the edge. 🙂


    • February 5, 2013 9:55 AM

      I’m reaching out a hand, I’m pulling you back up from over the edge… Whew! Close call!!

      I knew you’d enjoy these, Judy, because they’re almost like visual puns! And I agree: eggs are for scrambling not letters… : P

      Thanks a heap for checking in! : )


  10. February 2, 2013 5:26 AM

    Ah, I guessed the first three. I love this game and I would like to play your friend sometime. He seems like such a cool character capable of coming up with the wackiest ideas. I love people like that.


    • February 5, 2013 10:01 AM

      Dave B. is nothing if not wacky! But yes, he’s also cool and very funny, and he’s always up for a game. I’m sure he’d be delighted if you’d care to drop him a line.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, it’s very nice to meet you, and thanks so much for your lovely comment. And I agree: we need more wacky people with wacky ideas to make the world a happier place! : )


      • February 5, 2013 12:53 PM

        Nice to meet you too 🙂 I really only know one wacky person and he goes by the name of Tricky Dick The Bruiser Anderson. He says that’ll be his wrestling name and if he turns into a superhero then he’ll go by SuperTrickyNInjaHeroMan like he says the asians call him XD He has some kind of mental disease, but I think that’s what makes him cool. It’s like everything he says you’re like “why didn’t I think of that?” He’s some kind of mix between a retard and a genius and he’s come up with multiple awesome sayings. When he finishes his book I told him I’d put it on the internet for him.


  11. Margie permalink
    February 2, 2013 11:07 AM

    I’ve been playing Draw Something with family and friends for a few months now. In fact, I’m writing a post about it right now, and I was going to link to your blog (to show people the work of a good cartoonist) and here you are, talking about Draw Something!
    Your friend Dave is very good!


    • February 5, 2013 8:42 AM

      The work of a good cartoonist– where do I come in?? : P

      Thanks, Margie, I appreciate it. I can see you being an excellent Draw Something player. As a photographer, you’re a natural visual artist, and you know how to frame a subject, and show it to advantage. I think that counts for more than just mechanical skill. Thanks for your support!! : )


  12. February 4, 2013 4:48 PM

    Those are great – and cheerful. I like that. My coworker devours crosswords like a starving wolf. I’m terrible at them but I enjoyed these puzzles, and jigsaws are the best!


    • February 5, 2013 8:31 AM

      Thanks, Amelie! Great to see you, glad you enjoyed the post. I get into crosswords now and then, but always wind up googling and using the dictionary, and even then I always seem to miss a few– arrgghh! Nice to meet a fellow jigsaw fan– thanks for stopping by!! : )


  13. February 23, 2013 12:10 AM

    I enjoyed it! This is marvelous! The first one I thought it was BIG though I knew it is a pig in the picture 😛 LOL

    Very funny and enjoyable. He does a great job for his Fool’s Gold Puzzle. I’ve never known it before.

    Thanks for sharing this, Mark. Hilarious! 🙂


    • February 27, 2013 10:58 AM

      So happy you enjoyed the post, Inge! And we’re giving you partial credit for that one answer, because let’s face it: that PIG was very BIG!!

      As always, thanks so much for your cheerful support!! : )


  14. February 2, 2013 9:33 PM

    You couldn’t’ve picked a finer chap to name drop– thanks, Margie!! : )



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