How to Puzzle

I've taken up puzzling, which is the art of putting together a puzzle.  You may think that art has nothing to do with it.  Like me, you may think that puzzles are much more 'mathy' than 'arty'.  But I assure you that there are techniques and strategies involved in puzzling successfully that your average bear just doesn't know about.

  1.  Always separate your edge pieces from your inside pieces, and begin by assembling those.  This creates your 'frame'.
  2. Before you begin in earnest, use boxes saved from previous puzzles to lay out all of your inside pieces in a single layer.  Try to collect a set of nesting boxes, boxes of incremental size, as these save space by allowing you to stack.
  3. Start with a colorful or intricate part of the puzzle, houses or people are always good, because it will go together relatively quickly and then you can work your way out to the less detailed bits.
  4. Look at shapes.  Do you have a two knob spot with a heart shaped corner?  Look for a piece with two knobs and a heart shaped corner!  I didn't think I was good with shapes, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to spot the right piece when you know what you're looking for.

Now, for a very special pro tip! – Shape matters more than color.  Yes, you heard me. Don't rule out a piece that has the perfect shape for your spot just because it's not the right color.  The picture on the puzzle box can play strange tricks with your mind. Sometimes colors on pieces look dramatically different, but when you put them together you notice the slow fade or darkening at the edges that allows them to flow seamlessly into one another.

And without further ado…here is my current project:


2 thoughts on “How to Puzzle”

  1. These are great tips! I hadn’t thought of saving the old boxes to help sort pieces. You have the bonus of having such pretty boxes to use, rather than the little bucket I was using last night!! Thanks for inspiring my new puzzling habit! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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