Donated to the Museum in 1978, this "sliced" puzzle on playing cards was manufactured by Ed-U-Cards in the 1970s. Sliced puzzles have a long history and were popular in the past. To find out more about sliced puzzles, click the item on the left menu.
The deck includes 36 cards.The card backs (not shown), have a white and brown diamond pattern with the manufacturer's name printed in the center. Each card is 5.7cm long x 9cm wide. To form a figure, three cards are used. The cards are placed along their horizontal (wide) sides. For example as in the photograph of the "Policeman" in the photograph at the left.
Twelve cards have sketches of "heads". Another 12 cards have sketches of the middle of a figure. The final 12 cards have pictures of legs, feet, shoes, and other "things". The theme of the deck is "The Circus". Figures that can be assembled are a "ringmaster", "majorette", "clown", "tight-rope walker", "snake charmer", "a vendor", the "policeman", and 4 animals: a bear, a poodle, a seal, and a kangaroo!
There weren't any instructions or a box with the deck when it was donated to the Museum. Thus, it could be assumed that one might "just" use the cards as they would with the pieces of any sliced puzzle, by taking the appropriate cards from the deck, and assembling the pictures, as in a game of solitare. However, why offer such a puzzle on a deck of cards? Usually, decks of cards can be used by two or more people for interactive play. Using this deck, two people might indeed play a "rummy" type game with these cards. Here is an example for two players.
A hand of five cards is dealt to each player, and they in turn "draw" a card from the closed pack or the top discard. When a player has a sequence of three cards in hand that make a figure, this is placed face up on the table, and the game continues. The player placing a figure on the table, is required to draw a card, and discard any card in hand before making the table placement. That player would have only 2 cards left in hand (which could make a sequence during a subsequent draw). The game would continue until no cards were left in either player's hand or the pack was exhausted. The player who made the most figures would be the winner. However, the players might decide that a "mixed" sequence was also permissible for table placement - such as the one in the photograph at the right.
Last update March 8, 2010