When the coronavirus pandemic happened, aside from toilet paper and hand sanitizer (and other cleaning supplies), there was another item that was selling like hot cakes: jigsaw puzzles.
I didn’t buy any puzzles, unlike a lot of Americans apparently, since I already owned a few. But I did set out, like many Americans, to try to do a puzzle during the lockdown period in April and May.
I have two superhero-based puzzles, one that’s a number of Superman DC comic book covers, and the other is based off the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. Both are 1,000-piece puzzles. The latter is slightly more challenge because it’s a lot of dark, similar looking colors. At least with the former, it has more color variation and different characters to help.
I started with the latter, though. I spread all 1,000 pieces across my bedroom floor. I organized all of the edge pieces into one pile, and all the other pieces scattered around.
And then it sat there for a good three weeks. I didn’t even get the frame. The frame! Every puzzle advice article I’ve read or video I’ve watched advises you to start with the edge pieces and then move forward. Well, hell’s bells, even with the edge pieces, I couldn’t manage to get the full frame.
I gave up and collected the pieces back into the box.
About a week or so later, I felt bad about quitting on the puzzle, and tried the Superman one, and also spread it across my floor, as you can see in the feature photo to this post. It was marginally easier in terms of, at least with this one, I did manage to get the frame, and a decent amount of the inside. By decent, I would wager I still had quite a bit less than half of it solved.
I gave up again after a few weeks, and collected the pieces back into the box. It’s worth pointing out here, that I think I might be missing a piece, too, which bugged my brain. It was a frame piece, no less.
So yeah, that’s my answer. I’m not adept at solving puzzles. I know other people who regularly do jigsaw puzzles and regularly solve jigsaw puzzles. I guess their mind just works that way. Mine doesn’t. I can literally look at the puzzle for two hours and find about five pieces that go together. It takes that long, legitimately.
To be fair to myself, perhaps I bit off more than I could chew starting off with a 1,000-piece puzzle. Perhaps if I had started with even half of that, it would have been more manageable and given me more confidence to not quit.
It’s also not ideal to put a puzzle across my bedroom floor and have to keep walking around it or have the dog mess up what I already have accomplished (which happened, and yes, I’m partly blaming the dog!).
How do people who can actually accomplish puzzles do it? On a dining room table or something? That probably would be more ideal, and also less painful on my neck and back.
But I’ve never been that good at puzzles of other kinds, too, like crossword puzzles. Or god forbid you try to make me play Sudoku. Now you’re adding math logic I don’t understand.
I do enjoy a game of Wordscapes, an app I have on my phone, where you get between four and seven letters and have to “unscramble” them to make as many words as are on the puzzle as possible. I’m up to level 2,117 on that. It’s one of my daily “brain exercises” I try to do. So there’s that. At least, I’m not completely hopeless on the puzzle front.
Similarly, I’ve enjoyed Scrabble, although I don’t get a chance to play it much.
So what’s the thing (or things) you’re not adept at? Obviously, I could keep adding to my list, but in particular, I had puzzles in mind.