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 Fire Station

Fire Station
The Fire Station by Jan van Haasteren – Ceaco – 550 pieces

It’s been years since I’ve assembled a puzzle with an image by Jan van Haasteren, and I remember why – I don’t really like such crowded, busy images. But this one being a gift, and only 550 pieces made it a little easier for me to handle. Still, it was no walk in the park!

Fire Station 1

There are several things that you’re supposed to be able to find in every JVH image, but I confess that I was only able to find the shark fin and the hands. Even though I scoured the image from top to bottom and side to side I wasn’t able to find the self-portrait of the artist, or Sinterklaas (Santa) – they were nowhere to be found! Ah well, it does make you pay attention to the artwork and gives you an appreciation for the hours and hours of work that must have gone into it. They’re unbelievably detailed!

Fire Station 2

My youngest son came in the room as I was finishing the puzzle, and pointed to this section, he said “I don’t think you could do that in real life, you would hurt your back!” I completely agree. It’s one of those things that when you’re younger looks like it would be fun, but now, at my age, it looks like it would be terrifying!

Fire Station 3

These two men in the firetruck have the right idea if you ask me, there’s no way I’d want to be a firefighter! They’re fantastic, brave people and I have all the respect in the world for them, it just isn’t a job that I could do. I can’t image the heat they have to deal with in fighting fires, it would be way too intense for me! I’d be happy to be able to drive them around though, as long as I could stay in the truck once we got there. 😉

This was a fun assembly, and I was pretty proud to get it finished – it was quite difficult!