It’s Puzzling

Like many people at home with extra time on their hands, my son and I have been working on jigsaw puzzles.  Not only is MOH not interested in finding ‘the piece with the odd shaped blue nub that goes right here,’ but he is not a fan of having the dinner table perpetually covered in jigsaw pieces.  (We do save a small spot at the end of the table for him to eat.)  I don’t let that deter me.

As I paw through my puzzle boxes, it appears that I’ve downsized my collection over the years.  I remember a few pictures that I wouldn’t mind putting together again, but whatcha gonna do?  Springbok is my favorite brand and so far we’ve completed a 1000 piece puzzle picturing different types of dice and a 500 piece depicting shelves of books.  Next up, a 2000 piece puzzle of collectible stamps.  It has been put together only once before, with many family members participating during a holiday gathering.  It’ll be a challenge for the two of us.

After that, we have only one final puzzle that is not winter/Christmas themed. It’s a 500 piece round puzzle of spring flowers. Family pictures seem to indicate we received it and first put it together at Christmastime 1967. It has been put together so many times over the years, it’s as familiar to me as an old sweater. The box is long gone and it now resides in a gallon Ziploc bag, but the picture is burned in my brain and if I hazard a guess, I could probably put it together in less than two hours.

Look how happy my dad is to be puzzling with two of his girls.

Why do some people like to puzzle and some not?  Do people who like to puzzle have similar traits?  Here are a few fun google assertions.

  • A person who puts jigsaw puzzles together is called a dissectologist.  The BCD, or Benevolent Confraternity of Dissectologists to give it its fuller title, is a worldwide club for lovers of jigsaw puzzles from all nationalities and time periods. 
  • Jigsaw puzzles are excellent for the brain.  When you put together a jigsaw puzzle, both sides are engaged, and you experience a mental exercise of both sides at the same time. So, being good at jigsaw puzzles means a sharp brain.
  • The puzzle companies most often praised for their jigsaw puzzles are Springbok, Ravensburger and Clementoni.
  • It takes four times as long to do a 1,000-piece jigsaw than it does to do a 500-piece jigsaw. Why? Each time you double the number of pieces in a puzzle you quadruple the difficulty. So a 4,000-piece jigsaw would take SIXTY FOUR times longer to finish than it would with a 500-piece one.

I was intrigued by all the instructions on the internet about how to put a puzzle together.  Really?  Do people not know how to put together a jigsaw puzzle?  Perhaps because I’ve been doing them all my life, it seems pretty self-explanatory.  Although I must agree that there are rules that should be followed – and these may vary from family to family. 

Turning all of the pieces picture side up seems like a universal no brainer, and although it was a family rule when I was growing up to connect the edge pieces first, I’m not sure that is always practical.  Some puzzle cuts make it challenging to determine which pieces are edge pieces and I believe grouping by color or identifiable picture is the best start.

As our puzzle accomplishments change from day to day, I’ve been posting pictures on my Facebook page and I’ve had quite a variety of comments and emojis.  Expressions of encouragement, awe, and compliments regarding our patience and determination pepper my posts.  Thanks, Friends.  I was amused by one Friend who expressed her discomfort that we didn’t have all the edges done first. 

With the extended stay at home order, I imagine our puzzling will continue and I may have to figure out a way to procure additional reinforcements.  (I’m going to take a pass on putting the Santa puzzle together.)  I also have an app on my iPad which has some beautiful picture puzzles and I have been known to work on those to while away some time.  However, I have to say, there is nothing like a Springbok spread across the dining room table.

4 thoughts on “It’s Puzzling

  1. I too continue to enjoy puzzles. I sort both by edges and by color. I think I’m more tuned into color than shape but the more I work on them the better I get. Just before the Stay Home order was announced I was at the store and, in anticipation of the order, I looked for puzzles. No Springbok to be found. The games were already picked over and jigsaw puzzles were a scarcity. Must be that many others had thoughts of long hours at home also. There were only a few on the shelf but I did pick up a box with 9 separate jigsaw puzzles inside. A real find! I’ve spent hours of enjoyment during my staycation puzzling. Thanks for another great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love puzzles but have too many and am trying to deplete my inventory. Always sort by color and never do the border first. If you are in the area, I would be happy to set out a couple of puzzles for you – porch pickup!

    Liked by 1 person

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