puzzle

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Chinese puzzle

1. A puzzle game consisting of intricate and complex pieces that fit together in a specific manner, especially of multiple boxes that fit inside one another. My uncle gave me this Chinese puzzle for Christmas, and I still haven't been able to solve it!
2. Any problem, question, or situation that is especially complex or difficult to understand. Dealing with growing income inequality is truly a Chinese puzzle for lawmakers today. I can't understand a thing about how this engine works, it's like a dang Chinese puzzle!
See also: Chinese, puzzle

puzzle over someone or something

to consider or ponder. I can't puzzle out the mean—someone or something. Anne is a bit strange. I've spent some time puzzling over her. While I was puzzling over why she had slapped me, she did it again.
See also: puzzle

puzzle something out

to figure something out. It took me a while to puzzle it out. I can't puzzle out the meaning of this argument.
See also: out, puzzle

puzzle out something

also puzzle something out
to study something in order to understand it The reader shouldn't have to puzzle out what the writer means.. Related vocabulary: figure out something
See also: out, puzzle

puzzle over something

to give a lot of attention and thought to something I puzzled over those words, trying to understand their hidden message.
Related vocabulary: tease out something
See also: puzzle

puzzle out

Clarify or solve something, as in It took him a while to puzzle out the significance of the statement. [Late 1700s]
See also: out, puzzle

puzzle out

v.
To come to a conclusion or find an answer, especially as the result of a careful thought process: I puzzled out the identity of the murderer before finishing the novel. The answer escaped me at first, but I finally puzzled the problem out.
See also: out, puzzle
References in periodicals archive ?
QINGDAO, China, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest product line from Qingdao Tianyang Machinery is puzzling.
The quizlings at the end of every section also allow the reader to hone their puzzling skills.
Mad Tausig vs The Interplanetary Puzzling Peace Patrol
More puzzling is the relative rarity of X and B in the Borgmann list.
PUZZLING ADVENTURES: Tales of Strategy, Logic, and Mathematical Skill DENNIS E.
Through puzzling days, days under siege, and times of "distress among the nations," we need to proclaim that God is at work now and will be to the coming of the Son.
Daniel has come a long way since his first puzzling construction.
You will have to concentrate to decipher the puzzling sequence of cryptic events and reveal the mystery.
As marriage proposals go, this one was pretty puzzling.