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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Mariner’s Chest’ By Ravensburger Puzzles

As happens from time to time, I am making a short diversion away from the ‘bookish’ posts you will usually find here, to share one of my other pastimes with you.

Yes! I am a not so secret dissectologist! or someone who enjoys jigsaw puzzle assembly.

Clicking on the jigsaw box, will link you directly to its Amazon ‘buy’ page, where you will be able to enlarge individual areas of the puzzle.

Actual Puzzle Size 70 x 50cm

Mariners must collect an array of interesting artefacts from their travels across the world.

What happens when they return home and need to store everything away?

Perhaps they are gathered into a large chest, like the one shown on this puzzle. But it’s not just objects crammed into the wooden compartments … if you look closely there are eyes peering out at you, and little cottages which seem to be lived in.

Welcome to the mystical world of The Mariner’s Chest!


Photograph Of Illustrtator Colin ThompsonColin Thompson’s unique work is packed with fun and intrigue, objects and events, as can be seen in his hugely popular puzzle designs.

He is also a well known children’s author and illustrator, with many published picture books, collections of poetry and novels to his name.

Colin’s lifestory is unique, interesting and very personally told, so to attempt a ‘potted’ version here, I would never be able to do justice to the person and his amazing talent.

You really should visit Colin’s website and be prepared to be dazzled and amazed at some of the vivid imagery and fantastic imagination, which leaps off the page at you. I’ll leave a link to the front page and another to the jigsaw page, where if you scroll down (be sure not to miss anything on the way!), you’ll get to the the mammoth 18,000 piece Shelf Life jigsaw. Of course you should also check out that all important biography page!


Made in Germany, Ravensburger premium quality jigsaw puzzles provide a unique experience, resulting from decades of development and an exclusive manufacturing process that uses our own specially engineered cardboard and finest linen-structured paper to ensure sturdy, glare-free puzzle pieces. Our cutting tools are designed and crafted by hand to provide the ultimate, modern, interlocking mechanism so that no two pieces are alike. You can feel our Softclick Technology in every piece.

Catch up with all the latest puzzling news at the Ravensburger website

Join the Ravensburger Puzzle Club

Follow Ravensburger on Twitter, where there are always plenty of puzzles to be won!

Connect with Ravensburger on Facebook


The sheer number of individual images crammed into this 70 x 50cm space, is totally unbelievable. This is typical of all artist Colin Thompson’s puzzle designs and is why I am hooked on finding as many of them as possible, and yes, I have to admit, as cheaply as possible.

If I know what I am letting myself in for when I open one of Colin’s Ravensburger jigsaws, why oh why did I struggle so much with ‘The Mariner’s Chest’ and why did it take me so long to finish?

Firstly, I find that with this style of puzzle, I don’t tend to work it in the ‘usual’ way. Instead of sorting the edge pieces first and making up the frame, I find myself working random sections of pieces, generally colour based, then fitting them together, adding the frame as I go.

My next problem with ‘The Mariner’s Chest’, was that there were simply too many yellow images in the finished picture and I didn’t spend long enough periods working the pieces with sufficient accuracy and got into something of a muddle with them all.

I can definitely over analyse and justify exactly what went wrong with the entire process, but at the end of the day I am pretty much certain it was a case of ‘user error’ more than anything else.

Having said all that, I still thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of all those little eyes watching over me as I worked and the myriad of short messages dotted about all over the place, had me intrigued and on occasion, reaching for the magnifying glass, to check something out in more detail.

Definitely a value for money purchase!

This jigsaw puzzle was a charity shop purchase. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a purchase, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from person to person. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I love, love, love these puzzles. I’ve done a couple of the book ones and currently have The Craft Cupboard to do, which my daughter found in a charity shop. I love the fact that there’s so much detail and so much fun in the design. This one you have is lovely. They’re not easy I grant you but it’s well worth the effort and a very relaxing and absorbing way to spend time. I’ll do the one I have and do a post about it as you have. Delightful post, Yvonne.

    • Hi Cath,

      Aw! Thanks for those lovely words, I really appreciate them 🙂

      I have made up the ‘Bizarre Bookshop #2’ and I still have the first one in the series in my TBR pile (Yes! I also have a jigsaw puzzle TBR list, as I tend to buy all my puzzles from charity shops, so I pick them up when I see them).


      I also have ‘The Craft Cupboard’ and ‘The Kitchen Cupboard’ sat looking at me as I type!

      I hope that you have checked out Colin’s website, as he has some amazing work on display and I really want to collect as many of his jigsaws as possibe.

      I have a separate link to my jigsaw reviews, which can be found in the right hand side bar.

      Happy Puzzling and have a great weekend 🙂

      • I also have a large ‘to do’ pile of jigsaws. My daughter and son-in-law go down to Budleigh Salterton library, where they have a free jigsaw section, and pick loads up from there. You can take as many as you like as long as you bring the same number back. Budleigh must have a lot of puzzlers as there’s quite a large turnover, they find new ones there every time they go. They pass those on to me so I currently have two piles plus a load our gardener passed on to me when his mother passed away. It’s all good fun and keeps me out of mischief. Well, sometimes. LOL

        Jigsaw is started, it’s tricky but I have the edges done and have started on the interior.

        Hope your weekend is going well. What tragic news we have again this morning.


        • Hi Cath,

          Definitely tragic, but even discussing it feels wrong somehow, as it gives ‘them’ more air time and coverage!

          We have a growing number of telephone box lending libraries around here, where you can take as many books as you like so long as you replace them with a similar number for others to enjoy, but I have never come across the same arrangement for jigsaw puzzles.

          Even the libraries charge for borrowing them around here and by the time they finally get around to selling them off, they are usually in such a sad state that it’s anyones guess if all the pieces are there.

          I am so pleased that I am not the only one with a ‘to do’ pile! So that’s books and jigsaw puzzles covered – now about the ‘to knit’ wool mountain I also have!! 🙂

          • Exactly, Yvonne. Which is why I’m silent on the issue on Facebook & Twitter.

            Oh, how lovely. I’ve not seen any of those around here… possibly I’m not looking. I will keep an eye out.

            LOL. I don’t knit these days… I used to be an addict but pain in my shoulders and neck prevents it now.

            Craft cupboard jigsaw going ok. Sheer joy to do.

            • I also haven’t knitted or crocheted for ages, hence the ‘wool mountain’. I have plenty of good intentions, just not the time!!

              I really must decide which jigsaw to start next, perhaps today’s miserable weather will inspire me!

    • Hi Cindy,

      I feel the same way whenever one of my blogging friends publishes a post about their latest ‘crafty’ venture. I am so envious of their talent and yearn to try out some of their projects for myself, however there just never seems to be enough hours in the day!

      Unlike some of my other hobbies, making up jigsaw puzzles doesn’t demand any lengthy sessions to ensure continuity, although they are very addictive and it is quite easy to spend more time than I realise sat at the table. Also, whilst making up a jigsaw can be very relaxing and therapeutic, it can, as in the case of ‘The Mariner’s Chest’, become quite frustrating and challenging when the pieces just won’t co-operate!

      It was great to have you visit today. I always like ‘meeting’ new people and love to receive comments 🙂

  • I can see why working random sections would work better than the normal framing first method. There’s a lot to see in the finished puzzle! It’s been a while since I made space to work on a jigsaw puzzle but you’ve planted a seed today, Yvonne 🙂

    • Hi Mary,

      I have a three section puzzle board, where the two outer sections fold inwards over the middle, like a book. It is still quite large when folded, but being flat will slide under the bed or a piece of furniture quite neatly. I decided to limit my board space to 1,500 pieces, although I seldom go for more than a 1,000 puzzle.

      I always used the traditional framing method to get a jigsaw started, however as I no longer tend to work the ‘chocolate box’ scenery puzzles any more, my approach to clustering sections of a puzzle just seems to have become the norm now!

      I have to really be in the mood to set up a new jigsaw, but knowing that I can work on it at my own rate makes a huge difference.

      Thanks for stopping by today, it is always good to talk, no matter how solitary most of my hobbies are 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, I must tell Kelly about this.

    Such vibrant colours. It is puzzles such as this one that make me wonder how people can dismantle them when they have spent what I imagine will be a considerable amount of time completing them.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I used to sit at a jigsaw for hours on end, however these days if I get to spend more than a few minutes at a time working on couple of pieces, then I consider myself lucky! It is therefore quite difficult for me to gauge exactly how long any given puzzle has taken to complete.

      The point you make about breaking up a puzzle as soon as it is finished, is exactly the reason why hubbie isn’t interested in them at all, however to me, that is no more than giving a book away as soon as I have finished reading it!

      I know that some people take their favourite puzzles and frame them, but that is also not for me and I know is something that hubbie would draw the line at!

      I know that you are not one for making jigsaws, so I appreciate you stopping by and commenting 🙂

  • Here I am, Tracy, and I love what I see! I can imagine this puzzle was great fun to work with its eclectic group of items in the chest. I thoroughly enjoyed perusing the puzzle page at his website, too. Perhaps I need to get a few of his puzzles. I know I would enjoy them!

    So glad you shared this, Yvonne. I hope you have another puzzle in progress.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I would love to be as talented and perceptive as artist, Colin Thompson.

      Other jigsaws seem quite ‘tame’ by comparison, I love the busyness of his designs.

      I haven’t started another jigsaw as yet, although I do have a TBR pile for Puzzles, the same as I have for books!

      The trouble is, jigsaws are so expensive to buy new over here, that I tend to keep a look out for them in the charity shops and end up by buying far more than I can actually make, on the premise that when I need one in the future, they may not be available!

      Thanks for your visits this week and I hope that you have a great weekend 🙂

  • I know you enjoy your puzzles Yvonne, these look like fun. I like the intricate artwork and it sounds like you really enjoy the challenge! I think I see a Nintendo Gameboy in there too. I actually get a little angsty if I have to sit and focus on a puzzle or on needlework, things like that where you have to really focus.
    Glad you are enjoying your puzzles. My mother in law used to do them alot herself, she always said she found them a relaxing way to clear her mind of daily stresses.
    Enjoy your weekend!

    • Hi Naida,

      My blogging friends seem to be fairly equally divided between the ‘love’ and ‘loathe’ jigsaw puzzle camps and to be fair, they really are the kind of thing you either love or hate!

      I have always enjoyed making up jigsaw puzzles since I was a young child, when a new jigsaw puzzle and book were my ideal birthday and christmas gifts, so not much has changed there!

      I quite enjoy solitary hobbies and I am quite happy with my own company, although I do get a little angsty myself if something won’t go right, no matter how hard I try!

      Jigsaws can be quite a good way to relax, although I do find myself losing hours of time where I become so engrossed. Especially when the picture is as intricate as this one, or most of Colin’s other designs, which are so well put together and so colourful to work.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope that all is well in your world and have a good weekend 🙂

Written by Yvonne