On a refreshingly cool Saturday night, when the remainder of Chennai was most likely out having fun with the climate or catching a film, I discovered myself hunched over a desk, attempting to assemble a triangle out of three disjointed items of wooden. A younger man on the adjoining desk is having fun with a plate of nachos, revelling within the success of placing collectively a 3D mannequin of London’s Big Ben. Beyond him is a completely different form of chaos — a household of three desperately attempting to assemble a Lion King Puzzle.
We are at Untangle, a newly opened puzzle-solving lounge in Teynampet. Here, black tables and chairs are propped up towards brilliant white partitions, adorned with vibrant artwork. Nestled between the wall and the tables is an elaborately carved, big sudoku desk with numbered items.
For founders Senthilnathan and Subhatra, diving into jigsaw puzzles is a means to de-stress. Senthil, who beforehand labored within the banking sector for 12 years, says Untangle had its genesis throughout common outings with their four-year-old daughter. “At all these activity centres, kids have fun, but adults are just waiting, twiddling their thumbs and checking their phones. When we go to places like restaurants or pubs, there’s nothing for the kids to do. So we thought why not combine these two and create a space where both adults and kids can have fun together?”
Indeed, most of Untangle’s clients up to now have been households. They are likely to gravitate in the direction of the traditional canon of puzzles — the jigsaw. The vary of jigsaw puzzles right here at Untangle is huge: from comparatively easy 300-piece birds and animals, to mammoth 3000-piece landscapes and film posters, advanced 3D assembling of monuments, mosaic mind-benders and eventually, probably the most fiendish of all of them — puzzles with no picture for reference.
Senthil says he has seen a few Hall-of-Famers already: a nine-year-old boy who assembled an imposing Eiffel Tower and an eight-year-old woman who blitzed via 5 puzzles in simply 90 minutes.
If jigsaws don’t curiosity you, Untangle additionally has a assortment of ‘sit and solve’ puzzles. They are logic or pattern-based and include a job: both kind a sample or take it aside. Each take round 5 to 10 minutes to unravel, with a number of problem ranges. Senthil says clients normally enter with the thought of spending one hour however find yourself spending simply 3-4. What they’re after is normally the sheer elation of cracking it.
He provides that not one of the puzzles at Untangle are esoteric or want gamers to know a particular trick to unravel them. They are puzzles that may be labored out simply based mostly on a hunch or a trace. “We’ve collected about 40 such puzzles from around the world. Some were invented in the past and have died down. Most of our customers are unfamiliar with these puzzles,” says Senthil. They even have a Tamil model of Scrabble.
Untangle additionally homes board video games, however solely these which don’t contain any component of luck, just like the roll of a cube. They are purely depending on sensible pondering and strategising. For now, Untangle plans to host common occasions, like a jigsaw puzzle marathon, the place you may enroll and assist remedy a 6000-piece monster.
Both Senthil and Subhatra flit throughout from desk to desk, patiently explaining the foundations of varied puzzles, nudging the gamers with clues and sharing their elation when it’s solved. Subhatra, who runs Choc of the Town, additionally manages the cafe at Untangle, the place you may get every thing from filter espresso to waffles to assist you whereas flexing these brain cells.
Puzzle fixing for some is a strictly solitary pursuit. For others, it’s a probability to have fun as a group, to have a significant interplay that doesn’t use emoticons. Walk into Untangle and also you’ll expertise the conviviality: quick speak, laughter, the pitter-patter of items being sorted. The one factor you’ll not often see is somebody’s head buried in a glowing telephone display screen. A poster on the wall proudly says ‘Wifi password: ThereIsNoWifiHere’.
Untangle is at KB Dasan Road, Teynampet, and is open Tuesday via Sunday, from 11 am to 9 pm. Costs ₹200 per head for an hour, and ₹100 per hour afterward. Contact 9840673880