A friend of mine has a taste for the higher – and more twisted – end of jigsaw puzzles, where bespoke creations can easily run into the thousands of dollars. Imagine eagerly dumping out several hundred intricately scroll-sawn chips of wood – only to discover they're all exactly the same color. When assembled, they create an unbroken visual field of silver, red, black, or white. (For a fee, you can even forego the paint, and try to reassemble the original surface based on the polished wood grain's details, alone.)
It gets stranger than that: jigsaw puzzles whose irregular borders offer no straight or corner edges for a frame, and those in which bluffs have been added – pieces that look like they belong, but don't actually fit anywhere. For my money, though, the most fiendish sets are the ones with no photo on the box. Only a title and written description of the pattern guide the players in assembling the puzzle.
Theatergoers find themselves in a similar circumstance with Harold Pinter's Moonlight, December's offering at Burning Coal Theatre Company. The 1993 drama, which marked the Nobel laureate's first full-length play after his landmark 1978 work Betrayal, embeds a family's troubled history in a theatrical cryptogram.
Read on . . .