Puzzling Over Jigsaws
Ah, jigsaw puzzles. Some people love them, and some people just don’t have the patience for them. They take up a lot of space, and it can take a very long time to solve them. There’s only so much that the classic “edges first” tactic can get you before you have to inevitably tackle the middle.
Why jigsaws? Well, because I like them and because to me, they’re an excellent brain exerciser. It’s one of those things that consistently makes me feel like my brain is getting a workout instead of falling into a state of autonomy. It helps me feel sharp in ways that other things can’t, and it gives me an immense feeling of satisfaction when the puzzle is complete. Just sucks to have to take it apart and put it back in the box when you’re finished!
So, today, I decided I would take a moment to give you a few strategies that I use that may help your jigsaws feel a little bit more fun, and perhaps a few strategies that you’d never thought of before. Time to get puzzling!
Flip all your pieces to the picture side
If you have some pieces face up and some pieces face down, you’re only making your life more difficult! Keep in mind that face down pieces are going to be the reverse of what you’re eventually going to need them for, making them harder to find even if you think it won’t be a big deal. And while you’re flipping your pieces over…
Organize your pieces by pattern or colour
This is a very helpful trick that has often allowed me to solve large sections of a puzzle at a time. By grouping similar colours or patterns, you’re often far more likely to find pieces that fit together in close proximity to each other, and far less likely to have a neighbouring piece halfway across the table. Of course, these things do happen, but especially with puzzles where there are sharp and distinct lines between different pieces of a scene, you’re almost guaranteed to find pieces that fit together using this technique.
Look out for distinct or unique shapes / holes
If you see a piece that seems really oddly shaped or strange, chances are that piece is going to be really obvious as to where it will go when it comes time to place it. Similarly, finding an oddly shaped hole can be a big indicator that you’re looking for a very unique piece or you may have a piece in the wrong place, especially if none of your pieces appear to be correct. Careful though, just cause something appears to be incorrect, doesn’t mean it is, and especially when you have a very large number of pieces, even the oddest shapes can sometimes seem to be invisible.
Take a break
Yes. Take a break. Sometimes you’re just too tired or you’ve been staring at the same pieces for hours and not getting anywhere. My recommendation is to have a table that you don’t mind designating as your puzzle table for a period of time so that you can feel free to come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
Do you enjoy jigsaw puzzles? What are some of the tricks that you use to help you solve them easier?Follow: