Posted by ESC on October 29, 2002
In Reply to: Partial answer posted by Word Camel on October 29, 2002
: : I was asked the other day whether there were actual words in existence for (and I quote) "the innie and outie bits" of jigsaw puzzle pieces. Courtesy of the most recent great act of democracy in the US, I toyed with the idea of "chads", but that is of course wrong. Do these words exist?
: Apparently there are lots of different ways of cutting the curves of a jigsaw puzzle, and part of the art of cutting a puzzle is to place the curves so that they don't detract from the design of the picture. Not all styles of cutting create pieces that lock together. Some just fit together, smooth edge to smooth edge.
: The only word I could find that specifically referred to the shape of a piece is the word, figural. "A Figural is a single jigsaw puzzle piece or a small group of jigsaw puzzle pieces within a full jigsaw puzzle that resembles an object of some kind, in the form of a silhouette." Figurals were one of the thinks that turned puzzles from a childrens' game to a serious adult pastime around the turn of the century. interlocking pieces were also a huge innovation. Prior to their invention, pictures were cut along colour lines without interlocking pieces. A simple sneeze could ruin hours of work.
: For those interested I am enclosing a link to the site where I found all this information. I emailed the artist - the puzzler? to find out if he knows the whole answer.
: Word Camel
VOID - "in jigsaw puzzles, the space into which the rounded projection ("nub") is placed to form a "lock" 'When he told the group that a 'void' is a 'female' jigsaw piece, many people regarded his remark as sexist, even though he didn't mean it to be." From "Weird Words" by Irwin M. Berent and Rod L. Evans (Berkley Books, New York, 1995)