Top 10 Facts Every Puzzle Lovers Should Know
If you're a puzzle enthusiast, did it ever cross your mind that one day you will solve the history of jigsaw puzzle? Wouldn’t be awesome to connect the puzzle pieces of how it started before it becomes the favorite family board game of all time? Well, today is your lucky day!
Here in Puzzle Ready, we list the top 10 facts every puzzle lovers should know. Perhaps you might already know a couple of them, or heck, even all of them. But for those who don’t, you’ll love these factoids we’ve pieced together from all over the internet.
So without further ado, here are the top jigsaw puzzle factoids.
- An 18th century mapmaker created the first jigsaw puzzle.
- Jigsaw puzzles were originally called "Dissected Maps".
- Puzzles are therapeutic tools for autistic children.
- The record for the fastest jigsaw puzzle solver belongs to a 15-year old.
- Human skin can also be used for puzzle pieces!
- The world’s most difficult puzzle is printed on both sides.
- There’s also a jigsaw puzzle with no solution.
- Enigmatology is the study of puzzles.
- In the USA, 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles are sold annually.
- Puzzle mats and boards are popular game accessories.
An 18th century mapmaker created the first jigsaw puzzle.
The first jigsaw puzzle was meant to help teach geography to young children. In 1760, John Spilsbury pasted maps on wood and cut them into pieces. Little did he know that his invention would become the birth of the first jigsaw puzzle. Since then, children are taught geography while playing the puzzle. And Spilsbury’s puzzles were sold to elite boarding schools.
Because of its popularity, other jigsaw puzzle inventors created puzzles with diverse subjects, not just maps. During the 18th century, jigsaw puzzles are developed for lessons and entertainment; they manufactured pieces that depict animals, alphabet, scenery, nursery rhymes and modern heroes.
Jigsaw puzzles were originally called "Dissected Maps".
The old term for jigsaw puzzle is “Dissected Maps”. When Spilsbury first designed his tool, he used a map of Europe and divided it into pieces. As it became popular throughout the years, different jigsaw puzzle styles and pictures emerged.
In 1909, puzzle makers started to use a mechanical saw to cut curves and complicated patterns in wood or other materials. The word “jigsaw” was used to describe how it worked. The word jig describes the “up and down motion” as it saws the wood into pieces. And that, ladies and gents, is how the jigsaw got its name.
Puzzles are therapeutic tools for autistic children.
Autism is a behavioral condition that affects an individual’s nervous system. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has different symptoms in different people; it includes developmental disability to communicate, behave and interact with others. These symptoms typically appear during 18months to 3 years old.
Studies show,unlike other activities, jigsaw puzzles help left and right brain coordination. The left brain as the logical hemisphere and the right brain as the creative one. Therefore, puzzles are best for children with autism to build fine motor skills, reading and writing skills, even explore new textures and sensory input. It is a great brain exercise to enhance cognitive development.
The record for the fastest jigsaw puzzle solver belongs to a 15-year old
Fifteen year old Deepika Ravichandran from East Hampton, University High School of Science and Engineering holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest puzzle solver in completing a 250-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Assembling 18 pieces per minute, she successfully completed the oval puzzle in just 13 minutes and 7 seconds, even without a guide picture of the puzzle. Awesome, ain’t it!
Human skin can also be used for puzzle pieces!
The Enigma is the world’s first and only human jigsaw puzzle. Paul Lawrence commissioned more than 200 tattoo artists to create 2,123 puzzle pieces all over his face and body.
He’s now the most tattooed man in the world. And he’s not stopping at his puzzle tattoos. This American performer's body modifications include horn implants, ear reshaping and multiple piercings. He performs various tricks with fire, electricity, blades and other power tools. A true enigma, indeed.
The world’s most difficult puzzle is printed on both sides.
Who would have thought that a 529-piece Dalmatians puzzle would become the world’s most difficult puzzle?
Designed by Paul Lamond Games, the puzzle needs to be solved on both sides. Each tile needs to be matched with the shape, color and fit on each of its side. It will leave you scratching your head for weeks. Amazon reviews claimed that the puzzle is hard in the beginning but once you’ll get the hang of the pattern it wasn’t so bad at all. Now, you know the trick.
There’s also a jigsaw puzzle with no solution.
Believe it or not, someone actually created a jigsaw puzzle with no solution. In 1989, Stave Puzzles, an American puzzle company from Norwich, Vermont, created 5 Easy Pieces, an April Fool’s puzzle with no solution.
Consisting only of 5 pieces, it forms a not-so circular puzzle since it has no solution or an end-piece. Basically, you're just puzzling around in circles.
The first thirty buyers of the game were so enraged that the company refunded their money. Their marketing trick worked though. Because of the puzzle, they became known as the company that made the world’s best and most difficult jigsaw.
Enigmatology is the study of puzzles.
Enigmatology is the study and science of puzzles of any kind; mathematical, word or logic-oriented.
Designed by the American puzzle creator and editor Will Shortz, who also happens to be the one and only academically-accredited enigmatologist in the world,the course is taught at the Indiana University.
IMP majors undergo a personalized curriculum under the university’s Individualized Major Program (IMP) . It culminates in a final project such as a thesis, performance or internship.
So far, the university has only produced one degree holder, Shortz himself.
In the USA, 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles are sold annually.
Jigsaw puzzles are popular among Americans. Approximately half of America’s population bought at least three to six puzzles a year. That’s about 1.8 billion jigsaw puzzles sold each year. No wonder, more people enjoy jigsaw puzzle each year than any other table game.
To celebrate the game’s popularity, toy companies in America launched the International Puzzle Day in 1995. And oh, if it's not obvious enough most of the renowned puzzlers in this list are Americans. Stave Puzzles, Paul Lamond, The Enigma and Will Shortz, all are Americans. We should be proud of with these puzzle icon and geniuses. Cool!
Puzzle mats and boards are popular game accessories.
The popularity of jigsaw puzzles has spawned an industry catering to the marketing of assorted puzzle-related products and jigsaw accessories.
Puzzle mats are also called jigroll cloth; it is lightweight and easy to use. You can just roll the non-assembled pieces in its original position and unroll the cloth if you're ready to play again. Puzzle boards, on the other hand, provide a more sturdy flat surface for playing and storing jigsaw puzzles.
Get Puzzle Ready
Here at Puzzle Ready, we’ve combined both aspects to give you the best of both worlds.
Our puzzle boards with storage includes a removable mat so you can cover and tuck your puzzle away under your couch or bed for safe keeping. It’s a mat and puzzle board for the price of one. Truly a must-have for the avid puzzle lover.