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 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

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 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

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 ?
What, if any, benefits would accrue from learner puzzling?
What, if any, aspects of learner puzzling would prove challenging?
In line with EP'S principle of exploration for understanding, these three research questions also imply a focus on underlying notions of "Why?" Moreover, the undergraduate level business English context represents a new setting within which learner puzzling could play out.
This therefore informed my approach as I followed Hanks' (2017b) advice to reframe sessions rather than replace them when looking for ways to integrate learner puzzling into my already busy business English syllabus.
This made it of the utmost importance from the beginning that learners saw puzzling as integrated into the curriculum and not a superfluous add-on.
This was to gauge learners' areas of interest early on and help me as a facilitator of puzzling. The inclusion on the NA of this question was also an attempt to locate puzzling within the wider context of learners' past, present, and future language needs.
One learner, Pierre, was selected in an attempt to foreground a more critical voice on learner puzzling. In my analysis of open-ended responses to surveys, reflective reports, and reflective journal entries, I used manual coding to stay close to my qualitative data and identify prominent themes in the dataset.
I start by examining the nature of my learners' puzzles before moving on to foreground learners' perspectives on the process of puzzling, utilising the three case studies and drawing upon supplementary data from other learners.
When asked why they felt positive about puzzling, learners cited the chance to work on understanding something specific to their individual situation, noting that puzzling "allows to focus on a personal issue" and "it has definitely been interesting to explore it" (B6 2017 learners).
By contrast with Naomi and Janice, Pierre's perspective on puzzling was more critical and he seems to have found puzzling less worthwhile.
These three learner perspectives provide a snapshot of learner puzzling in a business English classroom.
My second research question focused on the potential advantages of getting learners to set their own research agendas: "What, if any, benefits would accrue from learner puzzling?"
My experience scaffolding learner puzzling chimed with that of Perpignan (2003), who recognised that rather than the understanding gained, it is often in the exploration itself where real value resides.
Other kinds of positive linkage emerged from learner puzzling. Janice used her puzzle to make connections to her native language and her past language learning experiences.
Challenges: Puzzlement Mind-sets and Tensions in Facilitation of Puzzling