The New Puzzle Craze

No Sneezing
Gesundheit! How am I going to disinfect this puzzle now?

These are interesting times we’re living in, that’s for sure. Many of us are in our homes most of the time now; and when we’re not disinfecting doorknobs and drawer handles we have plenty of extra time for puzzling. It’s the “newest” thing, have you heard?

Those of us who aren’t new to this fabulous indoor activity and have large stashes of puzzles to do are very lucky indeed; the demand has increased mightily as housebound families look for activities to keep themselves occupied. On my last trip out to stock up on puzzles, the bookstore where I normally feed my puzzle addiction had really been picked over; there were still puzzles on the shelves, but not nearly as many as there usually were.

Our beloved jigsaw puzzles are becoming hard to come by, as many online retailers have stopped taking orders, some have hiked up prices, and many retail stores that carry puzzles are not considered “essential businesses” and are now closed in places with stricter quarantine rules. There are still some online retailers with reasonable prices taking orders, and a few places you can sneak a puzzle into your cart if you are shopping for groceries, but those are becoming fewer by the day as everyone is getting in on the latest puzzle craze.

So I hope you’re well stocked and ready for plenty of puzzle time; perhaps your family might be interested in helping you with your next puzzle. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for you or not, as many people prefer to puzzle in solitude. I’m good either way, puzzling with my loved ones makes me happy, as does quiet alone time with my puzzle pieces – and luckily I have a stockpile that should last me roughly 3 to 4 years. Or more.

I think it’s wonderful that more people are coming to appreciate the hobby that we PADS sufferers and puzzle addicts know and love. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time, and helps keep our minds occupied with shapes and colors rather than the latest bad news.

They’re good for our overall health too, which is some good news that we dyed-in-the-wool dissectologists and puzzle newbies all need to remember. Each little success that working on a jigsaw puzzle brings – completing a section, or just finding that piece we’ve been searching for – encourages the production of dopamine in our brains. Dopamine regulates your mood, and studies have shown that a positive mood can enhance your immune system; I think all of our immune systems could use a boost these days, don’t you? So turn off the tv, put down your phones, and puzzle on my friends – it’s good for you! 🧩

Happy puzzling!

 

*The picture above is from the back of the box of the current puzzle I’m working on, a 1500 piece Jan van Haasteren shaped puzzle called “Hotel”. It isn’t part of the image; it’s just a cute little drawing by JVH on the back of the box, and it seemed oddly appropriate for today’s post. 🙂

The 1970’s

The 1970's
The 1970’s – Re-marks – 1500 pieces

I can’t even express how much I loved putting this one together, it was a trip down memory lane and I loved every memory and every piece that clicked together. To be honest the fit wasn’t great, but for this puzzle it was all about the image. Almost every small section brought back memories and I had the best time!

Get ready for a long post rambling on and on about the days of yesteryear and my memories of these things in the 1970’s. This puzzle is a fantastic image, and for those of us that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s this collage will bring a smile to your face. 🙂

The 1970's 1

Now if you’re a young’n, this will blow your mind; the way we used to get music much of the time was compilation albums like this one. If you couldn’t afford to buy all the albums this was a much cheaper way to get all the music you loved. No downloading songs or smartphones anywhere in sight. Times were tough! There was another way too, if you had lots of time to sit and listen to the radio with your boombox you could hit record when a favorite song came on and make yourself a mix tape! I used to do that especially around New Year’s when the stations would play the top 100 or so songs of the year. The trick was to wait until the DJ stopped talking. 😉

The 1970's 2

My parents loved Laugh-In, and watched it every week. I definitely didn’t understand all the jokes, but for a child it was perfect; lots of colors and camera movements, and skits that were very quick for our short attention spans. I loved it too, but at the time I didn’t know all the reasons why. Ruth Buzzi’s character Gladys was a favorite, as was Arte Johnson’s Tyrone. Great show!

The 1970's 3

I’m sure many readers will recognize some or all of these songs, but I am old enough to remember when they were playing on the radio – not as classics, but as new music! I used to have 45’s of My Sharona, Y.M.C.A, and I Will Survive. If only I still had them they might be worth a lot of cash! (45’s were small vinyl records with only one song [per side] that you played on a turntable)

The 1970's 4

I don’t have much recollection of Richard Scarry’s books when I was a child, but my children LOVED them when they were young. I read them to my kids a lot, and my youngest even had a rug in his room with a map of Busytown on it, he adored playing with it and lining up his cars along the streets.

The 1970's 5

This is the one of the smallest sections of the puzzle, but it holds the most memories for me. My sisters and I had this album (and 8 track), watched the television special, and knew every word and every song by heart. If you’re not familiar, it was created by Marlo Thomas and released in 1972; it promoted gender neutrality, basically saying that boys and girls could be anything they wanted regardless of their gender and achieve amazing things. It had an all star cast; Rosey Grier (former pro football player), Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, Harry Belafonte, Mel Brooks, Dustin Hoffman, Kris Kristofferson, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Alan Alda, Dionne Warwick, and many more. It was a fantastic album for kids and I can still remember all the songs and scenes more than 45 years later. 🤍

I could write a little blurb about almost every section in this puzzle, but I had to stop somewhere. The Carol Burnett Show was one of my favorites – I loved all things comedy as a child (and still do). Sesame Street was another favorite when I was very young – in fact I’m older than Sesame Street. Oh my! Today’s post was brought to you by The Letter “O”. O is for OLD LADY. 👵

I loved this puzzle more for the memories than anything else, but that doesn’t mean the assembly was bad. In fact it was quite the opposite. Even with the loose fit it was great fun with a great image, and brought back great memories!