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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 out (something)

To determine, clarify, or realize something through careful thought or consideration. They're still puzzling out how to get the system back online without losing any data. It took me a while, but I think I was able to puzzle out the solution to this riddle.
See also: out, puzzle

puzzle over (someone or something)

To think about or consider something, usually at length. After puzzling over the experiment all day, I think I've figured out where we've gone wrong.
See also: over, puzzle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: over, 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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

puzzle out

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
According to the ECG Puzzler, a short PR interval is one that is less than 0.08 seconds.
The detectives in these stories were not the amateur gentlemen, lady gardeners, or police inspectors of the British puzzlers but came across as hard, dangerous mensmart-talking cynics with a taste for beautiful women, hard liquor, and smoking pistols.
Michael Pearce's The Face In The Cemetery (1590580702, $24.95) presents another acclaimed Mamur Zapt mystery: this one revolving around an outbreak of war in Europe which involves the task of rounding up enemy German aliens in Egypt--and facing the puzzler of a cat cemetery receiving a human corpse amongst the felines.
?????S OF THE AGES Nintendo DS, pounds 29.99 In these times of austerity, who's going to turn their nose up at the prospect of two full games for the price of one - particularly if you're a Match-3 puzzler fan?
CHIME 360 FROM the 360 marketplace comes Chime, a lovely little game that fuses ideas from Tetris and Lumines to create an addictive and colourful musicbased puzzler. The goal is to join small, randomly shaped tiles together on a grid to create solid rectangular blocks called quads.
From a rhythmic sprint race to a Jenga-like puzzler, a few minutes with the five games on offer here can easily melt away into hours.
This game expertly combines the classic monsterbashing platform style with an intriguing puzzler to create a world of challenges and treasure that keeps you fighting for your health points through five different worlds and a few hidden levels.
TITLE: Puzzler Collection PLATFORM: Nintendo DS PRICE: pounds 19.99
YESTERDAY'S picture puzzler, right, and seen in more detail below, showed Meldon Hall, near Morpeth in Northumberland.
I propose that we add a third puzzler for bored drivers - the Ricoh Gyratory System and call it the Magic Roundabout because you need a touch of magic to get round it safely and in the correct lane.
Hereford's big hurdle at 3.40 is a puzzler but DRUMBEATER (3.40) can add to his growing reputation off a handy handicap mark.
Hugh Fraser lends a veteran and staid, smooth voice to her And Then There Were None (1572702516, $34.95), presenting the classic puzzler of ten houseguests trapped on an isolated island facing a dangerous killer.
1979: Lord Pilkington of St Helens, aged 73 and a life-long crossword puzzler, was one of 90 contestants competing in a heat of the Times National Crossword Championship at Chester.
Since 1975, the disease has grown from a local medical puzzler in Lyme, Conn., to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls "an important public health problem." The more than 10,000 U.S.
It's a puzzler from the old-school stable of Tetris & Co.