For a start, in the shop I thought it was 500 pieces. It wasn’t.
The edge pieces were easy enough to collect, and modestly tricky to assemble. After that I chipped away for days:
1. There are no distinctive colour areas except the moon. You can make an estimate of proportion on each piece (50:50 blue and white; 50:30:20 blue, white, yellow) but it doesn’t mean the pieces belong to the same area of the image.
2. There are almost no lines to follow. Each part of the image blurs, twists and swirls into the next part. Any one piece could be orientated in any direction.
3. There are hardly any local textures to identify. And those characteristic brush strokes are so broken, and vary so wildly in their quality, that they cannot be followed from one jigsaw piece to the next. It’s worse than dazzle camouflage.
4. Owing to Vincent’s cheery freedom, there is brown, black and green in the sky and blue, purple, white and yellow on the ground. When did I last do a jigsaw where many of the pieces could go in the sky, one of the stars, the hills or the buildings with equal plausibility?
The puzzle was cut with a certain grain or direction to the shapes which was marginally helpful, but on many occasions I was reduced to trial and error. And after trying a piece in every probable or improbable location, I would finally offer it up to a ridiculously unsuitable partner piece, where it would settle in with a soft complacent snick.