Our Speed Puzzling Champion

Michaela and her 'Puzzle Problem'

Meet Michaela:

Michaela, also known as Puzzle Problem on Instagram and part of Team Puzzle Problem, has been puzzling her entire life. Growing up in Northern Minnesota, puzzling was the perfect winter activity. Michaela competed in her first speed competition in 2016, and since then has become one of the top puzzlers in the country in individual and team competitions. Besides speed puzzling, Michaela also navigates for a professional combined driver (horse carriage driving), hikes, is a pre-doctoral candidate, and works full time for the University of Kentucky. In September 2021, she will be heading to the World’s Puzzle Championship in Spain to compete in teams, pairs, and individually.

Mchezo Puzzles: I'm Hooked

When I first learned of Mchezo Puzzles, I was excited to see a Kentucky-based company joining the puzzle industry. Although born and raised in Minnesota and only moving to Lexington in May 2019 part of my soul belongs in Kentucky. Probably rooting from my grandpa growing up in Berea, where his father was a professor at Berea College. Seeing a Kentucky based company, I hoped I could fall in love with them. So the first step was getting my hands on an Mchezo Puzzle to test it out. The pandemic caused a burst in puzzle sales and companies popping up across all social media platforms: all with various images and quality levels. This eruption of new companies has made me cautious and apprehensive of new companies, but Mchezo did not disappoint.

When I opened my package from Mchezo with two puzzles, I was excited by the sleek matte boxes that fit perfectly on any puzzle shelf. The detail that the creators of Mchezo put into their first batch of puzzles on the market was impeccable. Upon opening the box, I was surprised but happy to see a resealable plastic bag, which only a few companies have adopted for their puzzles.

As I dumped the puzzle out, I immediately noticed little puzzle dust, and no pieces were left uncut. The Mchezo pieces are thick, thicker than Ravensburger and Cobble Hill. And the click, do you know what I mean by the click? The undeniable click of two pieces fitting perfectly together: every single time. There aren't false fits to these puzzles. Between the ideal cut, the thick pieces, and the crisp images, you will never second guess if a piece goes in a spot.

The final puzzle put together seems even more satisfying than other puzzles, with its crisp image and seamless composition. Picking it up and doing the wave with these puzzles is easy. Even picking it up one-handed and having it fold in half, it doesn't fall apart. It has never happened before where I wouldn't change a single thing about a puzzle, and that's what got me hooked on Mchezo Puzzles.

Pepper Gasolines

We are proud that our Depot Street line of puzzles highlights the talents of Kentucky photographers and artists. All the images used in our Depot Street Collection come with a story, and have rich history. "Country Store at Night" is a perfect example. The "store" featured in the puzzle is a real place, located northwest of Nashville, Tenn. The cleverly altered photograph used for the puzzle was actually taken during daytime hours! The photographer, Corbin's Jim Begley, learned about this off-the-beaten path location from country music legend Ricky Skaggs, who you can see in one of these photographs talking with store owner David Peppers. We'll go inside the store in coming days to show you an interior view. Have fun and keep puzzling!


"Pepper Gasolines" - Located Northwest of Nashville, Tennesse.


Corbin Photographer "Jim Begley" and American country and bluegrass singer "Ricky Skaggs"