Brainteaser Puzzle Challenge

Alyssa Ludwig, 8, of Sturtevant works on a brain

teasing puzzle on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at the Logic Puzzle Museum, 533 Milwaukee Ave., in downtown Burlington. Every time she successfully completed the puzzle, she rang the hand bell. / KRISTEN ZAMBO kristen.zambo@journaltimes.com / Buy this photo at jtreprints.com

CITY OF BURLINGTON — Boxes and bins filled with puzzles packed shelves and overflowed from tables as nimble little fingers quickly moved mini train cars from slot to slot.

Evan Ludwig, 5, of Sturtevant, didn’t mince words on Saturday when explaining why he liked trying his hand at the roomful of puzzles at the Logic Puzzle Museum in Burlington.

“They’re really awesome,” the kindergartner at Racine’s Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School said. “Easy.”

“Just for you, apparently,” his dad, Adam, quickly added with a laugh. “I love it. They’re difficult. It’s frustrating. It blows your mind how difficult. You’re missing one piece — it drives you nuts.”

Ludwig’s family took part on Saturday in the Brainteaser Puzzle Challenge at the nonprofit museum, at 533 Milwaukee Ave. Ludwig, 35, a service manager for Porcaro Ford, said he and his wife, Liz, wanted to bring Evan and their daughter, Alyssa, 8, for a chance to use their minds — not their iPads.

“That’s what I like about it: the kids are with the parents. You can do it together,” museum director and curator Judith Schulz said. “It truly makes it a family museum.”

Sixty different types of puzzles are involved in this special puzzle challenge, Schulz said, which began on Saturday and runs every Saturday through Feb. 15. One puzzle, she added, requires at least 81 moves to complete.

The sound of hand bells ringing punctuated the air inside the shop on Saturday as Evan, his big sister, mom and dad completed puzzle after puzzle. Schulz said the bells signaled a little celebration for successfully completing each puzzle.

There were a few puzzles that Alyssa and Evan tried repeatedly — usually completing them rather quickly before ringing their bells.

“That (feeling of) accomplishment is pretty powerful when they solve it,” Schulz said.

She said NASA scientists once toured the museum and there were puzzles they couldn’t solve.

Ludwig said he read about Saturday’s kickoff to the several-weeks-long Brainteaser Puzzle Challenge in The Journal Times and “thought it would be fun. The kids love puzzles. They love the challenge. I like to challenge them (to) use their minds, figure things out.”

Liz Ludwig, 35, a national account manager, said Alyssa and Evan visited the museum once before, with their day care.

How did her husband — who suggested the outing — fare?

“Pretty bad,” Adam Ludwig chuckled. “They all have me beat.”

The museum was established in 1995. Schulz said about 30 of the 60 puzzles used in the Brainteaser Puzzle Challenge are available for purchase at the museum.

If You Go

90-minute brain-teasing puzzle challenges are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays through Feb. 15, at the Logic Puzzle Museum, 533 Milwaukee Ave., downtown Burlington. Admission is $8 per person, including children. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (262) 763-3946. The museum is suitable for ages 5 and older.

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