It is the season to stay indoors, settle in, and open a new puzzle.
However, completing that puzzle is not an easy task. To end her year with a major puzzle under her belt, we consulted Valerie Coit, president and co-founder of the Puzzle Association of America, a group of puzzle enthusiasts who inquire about puzzle competitions and engage with the Federation. Puzzle World.
Coit has completed countless puzzles and specializes in speed, but he also knows how to start and finish a puzzle with minimal headaches and real enjoyment.
Best of all, we’ve turned their tips into GIFs, so you can follow them on the go. Happy bewilderment!
Choosing your puzzle
Coit says he likes riddles that reflect his interests – he likes fantasy books and pop culture, so he tends to like riddles covered with movie posters or “anything with a dragon.”
How many pieces?
It depends. If you plan to spend just a few hours on a puzzle or are not well versed in puzzle arts, Coit suggests starting with a 300-500 piece puzzle with bright colors that will be easy to make out.
Once you’ve mastered the smaller things, you’ll feel more confident tackling 1000 or even 2000 piece puzzles. “You don’t want to start with something very difficult that ends up being frustrating,” he says.
Location, location, location
Choose a spot for your puzzle that is large enough to spread out the pieces and fit the finished product, with enough light so that your eyes are not strained, Coit recommends.
Open your box and empty its contents (just be careful not to spill any bits on the ground or out of sight). It is easier to order your pieces when they are placed in front of you.
Then, start flipping them so the patterned side is facing up.
Once you can see all of your pieces, start locating the trim pieces; These are the pieces that have at least one straight edge. You will use them to build the frame of your puzzle.
You can also sort the pieces by color or image, which Coit suggests if you are working on a puzzle with a group. This way everyone can take over a section of the puzzle and complete it quickly!