How to Solve Jigsaw Puzzle like a Pro - Tips and Sorting Techniques
If you’re a puzzle enthusiast, how many jigsaw pieces can you solve in a minute? Is it more than five, but less than ten? Believe it or not, 15-year old Deepika Ravichandran can solve 18 pieces per minute.
In 2014, she set a world record of the fastest jigsaw puzzle solver by completing the 250-piece GWR Hasbro Puzzle in 13 minutes and 7 seconds. This teen puzzler’s secret was to solve the focus feature first before solving the other piece and complete the whole puzzle.
Another technique that made a world record in solving a puzzle is by dividing the puzzle pieces by sections. Some 1,600 students from the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam made it into the Guinness World Records by solving the largest jigsaw puzzle in the world. They divided the puzzle into 3,132 sections with 176 pieces each and solved each section.
There is no right or wrong way of solving a puzzle. But tips and techniques like these will help you solve it faster. Here’s your ultimate guide on how to solve a jigsaw puzzle like a pro.
- Prepare your Workspace
- Pre-sort your Puzzle Pieces
- Start Solving Your Puzzle
Prepare your Workspace
Study shows that organizing your workspace can improve your mental health. Getting rid of the clutter can reduce stress, helps you stay productive and able to focus. In solving a puzzle, a clean workspace is important to prevent pieces from missing.
Setting up good lighting is another tip for a more productive puzzle playtime. To keep all the pieces in place, you need a puzzle board and mat. A removable mat is easy to use; you can roll and tuck your puzzle away in no time. A sturdy puzzle board, on the other hand, is perfect for storing and playing your pieces on a flat surface.
Here at Puzzle Ready, we combined the convenience of a puzzle mat and the security of a puzzle board in one design: the 1000/1500 piece puzzle board. Two awesome puzzle tools for the price of one. Made from high-quality materials, it’ll feel like you’re competing in an actual professional tournament.
Pre-sort your Puzzle Pieces
Now that your workspace is ready, it’s time to pre-sort your puzzle pieces. Yes, it will take time but this will help you familiarize the pieces and identify the different sections of your puzzle.
Turn every piece picture-side up, and sort the pieces according to:
Edges and corners - Working on a thousand puzzle pieces could be overwhelming. After popping out the pieces from the box, you probably have no idea where and how to start. So start by collecting the edges. It’s easy to recognize the edges of a regular cut jigsaw puzzle. Just look for pieces with one or two straight sides.
Colors - Classifying and sorting objects or numbers is a fundamental mathematical skill that has been taught to us early on in our education. In solving a jigsaw puzzle, this is a useful technique. This is best used for sorting puzzles with 5 or fewer colors because anything more becomes confusing. Especially if you’re color blind.
Puzzle’s Main Features - This sorting technique involves the puzzle’s main key features. The average puzzle will have a dominant outline, like a face or a door or some printed text. Refer to the picture of the puzzle in the box and identify the parts that will stand out as puzzle pieces.
Background/Sections - Separate the pieces with the featureless backgrounds. You can easily spot these sections once you’ve already grouped the harder ones. Some puzzle backgrounds may include the sky, ocean or vast field. These can be in contrasting colors or other distinguishing parts of the puzzle.
When sorting your puzzle pieces, you need a puzzle board with drawers to help you organize the puzzle sections well. After sorting it all, it’s time to start solving each section.
Start Solving your puzzle
Though there are a lot of strategies out there, most puzzle enthusiasts in online forums believe that dividing and solving the puzzle into small clusters is a more efficient way of solving the puzzle.
If you’re working on 250 to 500-piece puzzles, it is best to start with the edges then work your way to the center. The edges will give you a small framework that serves as your guide on where to put the sub-sections.
For a 1000-piece puzzle, solve the pre-sorted pieces. You can start bottom-up or top-down as long as you solve the part that is easier for you. Study shows that solving easy puzzle sections or subsections can increase your brain’s dopamine - the neurotransmitter that makes us feel good and accomplished.
Every time your brain feel this rewarding neurochemical, it will want you to repeat the associated behavior, therefore, challenging yourself for bigger goals like completing the whole puzzle. Sorting and solving the pieces into sections will help you finish the puzzle faster.
Need help in sorting, organizing and storing your puzzle?
Here in Puzzle Ready, we are committed to bringing family and friends together for moments of fun and social connection by playing with puzzles. That's the reason why we designed the best puzzle product only for you.
Our puzzle board organizer comes with a protective mat and 4 removable color-coded drawers. Whether you’re sorting, organizing or storing your puzzle piece, this board organizer is all you ever need.