By Stephanie Juno

All it took was 30 years of marriage and a global pandemic for me to realize just how fun puzzles are! And apparently, I wasn’t alone. Before the coronavirus, one of North America’s leading puzzle manufacturers sold an average of seven puzzles per minute. In the early months of 2020, puzzle sales had almost tripled to 20 puzzles per minute. I’ve seen 9,000 pieces of the Tower of Babel strewn about as my husband would sit for hours at the table and I would ask myself, what is the allure? Until I sat down to one myself, a fun, whimsical Colin Thompson that piqued my interest, then I was hooked. A trip to our local bookshop further enticed me, and several more puzzles would join our collection. Albeit, I find myself enjoying 500-1000 piece puzzles that satisfy my desire to move from one to another.

Some helpful tips:

#1 a flat piece of cardboard or poster board comes in handy for moving your puzzle, especially when just half of the 9000-piece puzzle takes up the entire dining-sized table.

#2 challenge yourself by not using the picture to help you.

#3 when purchasing puzzles, consider ribbon vs. random cut.

#4 build your border, sort by color, and then by tabs/blanks/ shapes. When working on the puzzle, work in clusters. This is especially helpful for larger puzzles.

#5 most definitely consider puzzle images that excite you.

Our personal favorites are puzzles manufactured by Ravensburger, Clementoni, Galison and Schmidt for their images, colors and cuts.

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