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 20th Party Parade

20th Parade
The 20th Party Parade by James Alexander – Jumbo (Wasgij) – 1000 pieces

I love being able to show an entire Wasgij puzzle without having to worry about spoiling anything. Normally I have to make sure I’m photographing the correct person from the finished puzzle, and I have to crop it so I don’t show anything extra. This time I didn’t have any worries at all, this is the box image bonus puzzle and there are no spoilers here. It was a very busy image, but it made for a fun puzzle.

This was definitely not an easy assembly, the image is so detailed and all the boxes everywhere gave me quite a challenge. Most of the boxes in the foreground were pretty easy, but the ones in the background were much more difficult. There were so many in the store that all the smaller boxes looked alike. I saved them for last, but they were still a bit of a challenge. Overall though, I enjoyed it very much.

20th Parade 1

The intricacy of this illustration is amazing, it’s only about 15 pieces out of 1000 but it’s so incredibly detailed. I’ve actually assembled the Wasgij Mystery Puzzle #13, and this is exactly what the box looks like. I’m sure computers helped out quite a bit, but still, this entire image must have been a LOT of work!

I haven’t put together the actual Wasgij yet, this one is from the perspective of the priest, I wonder what everyone is looking at. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. 🙂