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canidmajor's avatar

So...quarantine. Puzzling. Are you resorting to this?

Asked by canidmajor (16202points) 1 month ago

Jigsaw puzzles are in high demand right now, with people at home finding ways to get along and not go nuts.
Are you doing puzzles? Having trouble buying them? Digging out that big one your Aunt Mabel gave you four birthdays ago?

There has been quite a run on them, according to this WSJ piece.

I loves me a good jigsaw puzzle, how about you?

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29 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I love them too. Wooden ones. Mine come from Liberty Puzzles. The 500 to 600-piece* ones are just right for me, and I like the art ones best. They can withstand a lot of close scrutiny without being boring, and having a Where’s-Waldo look at the detail of a master’s painting is fascinating in itself.

There was a huge fad for jigsaw puzzles in the thirties, and there were circulating libraries of them. Cutting them out with a jig saw was a cottage industry. It was even fashionable in some circles to host puzzle parties where guests with cocktails in hand would assemble 10,000-piece monstrosities.

It seems that for a lot of people (although not the ones at the cocktail parties), that’s how they got to see art reproductions.

Also, curiously, the puzzles came in plain boxes, so you didn’t know beforehand what the picture was going to look like and couldn’t search the cover for help in identifying a piece.

My collection of wooden puzzles goes back quite a few years. I haven’t bought any lately. I used to be a fan of Springbok, well-made cardboard puzzles, but you can’t beat the wooden ones.

I haven’t done any lately, though. Most of my shut-in time has gone to reading and crossword puzzles.

*The interface won’t let me use a hanging hyphen, even with a hard space after it. It forces a change to an em dash. Foo.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

We have been giving jigsaw puzzles for the last four years at Christmas.

canidmajor's avatar

Are you doing them yourself, @Tropical_Willie? Or just giving them to people?

JLeslie's avatar

I have several. I haven’t pulled them out yet, but I mentioned it to my husband last week.

My dad had bought me about 8 of them at the library store ($1 each I think) about 8 months ago. I did most of them, and then I exchanged them at my recreation center closest to me, so I have a bunch more to do. I was just going to donate the ones I had completed, but the guy there said I could take some if I wanted so I did. I assume even when my recreation center opens it won’t have puzzles for a long time. That’s a shame, if was fun to do the puzzles there.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We always have one going and one completed. Before the pandemic, folks drifted in to work on them and gobble up our food. The wife trades em with her girlfriends, a couple of milk crates at a time. Since the shutdown the house is quiet, and I’ve now gotten used to walking around scantily clothed. The big blocks of cheeses now last forever, and the grocery bills have plummeted though we eat like piggies. The puzzles take weeks now because there are no more visitors & I don’t devote the intensity to the things that the wife and her girlfriends would as they guzzled wine or fruity tequila and vodka slushy drinks they concoct with the shaved ice machine. Life was pleasant before the plague. Actually it still is.

filmfann's avatar

Usually I work jigsaw puzzles during winter. This past winter, I finished two; a two sided puzzle and an entirely white one.
Those kind of burned me out on such things.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I do digital puzzles can set the number of pieces from easy to difficult.

I do Tim Potrash puzzles every day because he does Ukrainian Church images and video photography as well.

Another one is
( free online digital puzzle with a variety of images and difficulties to choose from )

AshlynM's avatar

No. I’ve been drawing more.

canidmajor's avatar

@Jeruba, I haven’t done a wooden puzzles in decades! What a treat for you. I occasionally lose pieces and the dog eats them, I would hate to lose wooden pieces.

@filmfann Those would burn me out, too! I have a very specific type I enjoy doing, they help me unwind my brain and kind of reboot.

seawulf575's avatar

One of my early jobs was making those 3-D puzzles…the apples, etc. Those were always tough until I had to whip them together in 60 seconds.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve been working on a huge 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle. It’s a damaged and abused Hobie Cat 16 sail boat. Got it for practically free ($140). It was left battered on the rocks of the Columbia River. The two hulls had several holes but the rest in good shape. Spent the last 3 weeks taking every aspect of it apart to clean, inspect and repair. Sanded it completely to reveal the extent of the damage. Put in a couple yards of new fiberglass. Prepping the hulls now for a few coats of gel coat. Still have to clean and do some repair on the sails.

I plan on having this puzzle together and on the water by July 1st.

Surely my friends think I’m crazy. But now is a great time to get intimate with this boat because with the Hobie Cat 16, I feel the kind of love that one could ever feel for a sailing vessel. It’s that special.

canidmajor's avatar

Now there’s a puzzle! I did some racing on Hobies in the 60s, loved the fast, hated the restrictions posed by a multi-hull. (I did my best work in mono-hulls).
Have fun!

Patty_Melt's avatar

Ugh! I hate fiberglassing hulls.

I haven’t done a puzzle in quite a while.
A couple of years ago I got some 3-D puzzles for my daughter.

Jeruba's avatar

Would you believe I’ve read two books on the history of jigsaw puzzles? Quite fascinating, actually.

Anne D. Williams, The Jigsaw Puzzle: Piecing Together a History
Chris McCann, Master Pieces: The Art History of Jigsaw Puzzles

As with so many other writings that tackle a relatively narrow topic, they turned out to be a kind of miniature cultural history. Everything has to be understood in context, and the story itself provides a lens for viewing that context.

SEKA's avatar

I haven’t been on the jigsaw train yet. I do keep several word games, match 3, find the difference,etc on my cell, my kindle, and my computer so just in case I’m stuck with nothing to do, I’ve got something to do to occupy my time. I’ve noticed that I’m enjoying youtube more frequently than normal especially the short clips that make me chuckle

raum's avatar

We love puzzles in our house! Usually ones we can finish quickly. But with so much more time at home, we’ve been busting out 500’s and 750’s. I love 1,000+. But I’m guessing I’d be the only one finishing it towards the end. Kids have short attention spans.

Ordered some of these recently. Curious to see what it’s all about. But even if it’s a flop, I dig the illustrations.

Lightlyseared's avatar

My daughter went through a phase at the start of lockdown. Fortunately we had several christmases worth of unopened puzzles. Although shortly afterwards she discovered Animal Crossing and that was the end of that.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @raum, those look interesting, and a magical surprise! I loves me a magical surprise! I am going to look further in to this, thanks for the link!

jca2's avatar

I bought my daughter some jigsaws from Amazon at Christmas 2019 and she was not interested. Part of the problem for me is that we have limited space and cats tend to jump around and knock things down.

Incidentally, the news said jigsaw companies’ business is up 300% because of the virus (that was as per CBS Sunday Morning Show a few weeks ago).

My friend told me her daughters do paint by numbers for adults. I bought a few but haven’t done them yet. I used to enjoy them when I was a kid. In those days, they were small, on white boards. Now they’re large, on canvas, and arrive folded up.

gondwanalon's avatar

@canidmajor Wow you were one of the Hobie Cat pioneers! The first Hobie Cats were made In 1968. This beast that I have now was likely one of the first 16’s. No hull or pylon ID. It was not registered with the DMV. The only number that I’ve found is the sail (number 8519). Perhaps the DMV will use that number as the VIN or simply make up a new number.

canidmajor's avatar

I was teaching sailing at a small private community on Fire Island. Our school boats were heavy old fiberglass tubs, when the first Hobie came in, we were all about that! They were crappy in any kind of chop, and wouldn’t go to weather worth a damn, but stretched out on a reach…yikes! It was a whole new sensation!

raum's avatar

@canidmajor I’m really curious about what it could be! Any magician jellies in the house that can wager a guess?

canidmajor's avatar

Maybe a holographic picture?

Jeruba's avatar

No magician, but I’ll take a guess. I would guess that (aside from the intriguing piece-by-piece detail) there are embedded traces that complete an electronic circuit when connected, in sections and then in the whole, probably causing something to light up and/or appear to be animated.

The wooden puzzles don’t have that, but they do have a feature that some will remember from old puzzles, namely, whimsies: pieces cut into a recognizable shape or a coherent figure, as shown here.

Note also that the wooden pieces are much thicker than typical cardboard pieces, and they don’t fray at the edges or split or have the picture peel off. So they’re very easy to handle. Their irregular shapes can be delicate, though.

If you click on one of the puzzles, you can see the actual cut pieces, just as a preview.

I don’t get magical revelations when I complete one (other than things like “So that’s what that was! It didn’t look like a finger”), but I sure get a sense of completion and satisfaction, things that are a bit hard to come by for me elsewhere these days. Folded clean towels or a neatly changed wound dressing don’t really do that much for me.

raum's avatar

@Jeruba I love wooden puzzles with their beautiful craftsmanship and whimsy. Have had one in my save-for-later amazon cart for years. Keep thinking it’s too expensive. Though it is like buying a work of art.

I thought about the circuit idea! Especially since we were working on an art project soldering circuits before the pandemic hit. But I was like, nah, that would be super cool. But where would you put the bulky battery in a puzzle piece? Would be really cool if they found a solution to that though.

kruger_d's avatar

That’s usually a Chistmas break activity for us. I think I’ll keep it so, so it doesn’t lose its appeal.

nightwolf5's avatar

I do jigsaw puzzles all the time, not just in these hard times. I have well over 30 I still need to complete. Last one I finished was of leopards in space glow in the dark scene, 2 weeks ago.

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