Puzzle masters share gift with local school

Ashley Thompson
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Windsor Elms Village residents Donald Barkhouse and Glenn Joudrey stand beside the tricky puzzle many people told them they’d never complete. (Submitted photo)

They’re known as the puzzle masters.

It’s not unusual for staff, residents and visitors at the Windsor Elms Village in Falmouth to find Glenn Joudrey and Donald Barkhouse hunched over a difficult puzzle someone has already given up on.

Passersby will pop over to their table for frequent progress reports while they pick away at a puzzle, some try to place a piece before bidding the duo adieu and others joke that they’re in over their heads with their latest project.

The masters recently tested their skills with a 1,000-piece puzzle that was a picture of a lone purple crayon surrounded by hundreds of pencils.

“People passing by said, You’ll never do that one,’” Joudrey recalled.

Naturally, the masters completed the puzzle in about two weeks, but they admit it was challenge.

“You can sum it up in one word: patience,” Joudrey joked.

Barkhouse said they started with the frame of the puzzle, and filled in the middle using trial and error tactics. When the puzzle was complete, they decided to donate it to the Falmouth Elementary School.

“When I saw it I said ‘what… would we do with a puzzle like that? Where would you put it?’ Well, there’s only one place it should go. It should go to a place where these things are used,” Barkhouse said.

A local man built a frame for the puzzle, and Apple Auto Glass donated the glass. Barkhouse and Joudrey had the gift ready for the school when the students came to serenade Windsor Elms residents with Christmas songs last month.

“They were very happy to get it,” said Joudrey, with a smile.

Anne Parks, a Windsor Elms employee, says the puzzle masters’ latest endeavours typically end up being hot topics of conversation at the Elms, and even the staff wanted in on the action when the pencil puzzle was on the table.

“We all wanted to get a piece in if we could.”

Both Joudrey and Barkhouse say assembling puzzles bring them a great amount of joy — as long as no pieces are missing. 

Organizations: Falmouth Elementary School, Windsor Elms

Geographic location: Windsor Elms Village, Falmouth, Falmouth Elementary School

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