Reasons Behind Jigsaw Puzzles' Difficulty Level

What makes Jigsaw puzzles such a puzzling activity for everyone? Let us delve deeper into the intricacies that these puzzles contain and explore how that is so.

Although many factors contribute to the high difficulty level of jigsaw puzzles, it comes down to statistics and calculations in the end. Some puzzles have a rather intricate design to them, making stuff like determining correct patterns difficult as well. Other factors, such as the fact that jigsaw puzzles need more order to them, make it considerably difficult as well.

The creation of the first jigsaw puzzle to be recorded in human history was around 1762 when a map engraver by the name of John Spilsbury mounted one of his master maps on a piece of wood and then cut them out so that they got divided into different countries, through which he taught geography to the children in his neighborhood. As time went by, this concept started to gain popularity, which led to the creation of the jigsaw puzzle, and as time went by, the degree of difficulty started to increase. Fast forward to modern times, where jigsaw puzzles have become highly complex and one of the most difficult stay-at-home activities.

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The Origin of the Jigsaw Puzzle

As discussed earlier, the concept of the jigsaw puzzle originated when a well-known map engraver, John Spilsbury, divided one of his master maps into different pieces, cut around the countries which he distributed to the children of his neighborhood.

The purpose of doing this was to provide them with geographical education in a more interactive manner. This idea rose to popularity at a rapid rate, ushering in the invention of the jigsaw puzzle.

It was in the 1880s that the name was changed from dissected to a jigsaw puzzle, and the idea was inspired by the Jigsaw, which was a special type of saw created around that time, and was used to cut the puzzles.

Reasons behind the difficulty jigsaw puzzles pose.

As time went by, jigsaw puzzles started to expand from just being used for educational purposes to being an intellectual pastime, and people now spend hours in the hopes of recreating the original picture and completing the jigsaw puzzle.

Jigsaw puzzles also started to gain notoriety for being a very difficult and complex past time. There are a few reasons why they are considered to be so difficult, with a few due to the recent advancement in technology and some of them due to some fundamental difficulties they always had.

Puzzle Size

As discussed earlier, as time went by, technology started to become more advanced, and with that, so did some of the instruments required to make the jigsaw puzzle.

Due to this, companies started to launch newer, more complex pieces of famous structures and art pieces that covered much more detail, thanks to the capabilities of modern technological instruments.

Nowadays, every other jigsaw puzzle consists of at least 400 pieces. Considering statistics and performing some calculations, one can conclude that if someone finds a 100-piece puzzle to be difficult, then by that logic, a 400-piece puzzle should be 4 times as difficult. This would eventually make the more intricate and large-scale 2000piece jigsaw puzzle to be 20 times more difficult for someone who has trouble with a 100-piece puzzle.

Intricate Design

Speaking of 2000-piece jigsaw puzzles, the jigsaw puzzles launched nowadays are more so in that range due to the intricate design this era of technology is capable of replicating.

Due to this, most jigsaw puzzles nowadays contain repeating patterns, monochromatic color profiles, and sometimes designs within designs as well.

All of these factors add additional variables to the jigsaw puzzle, making piece placement very difficult because of the difficulty in determining whether it is placed in the right spot or not.

The pieces themselves

Another reason which makes jigsaw puzzles so difficult to form is the pieces themselves. Instead of doing puzzles that consist of edge pieces with straight sides, they further confuse the user by creating edge pieces with tabs.

This makes puzzles difficult because it makes it so that the jigsaw puzzle does not have any discernible order to them, and you will not have any knowledge of where the edge pieces fit until very far into the jigsaw puzzle formation.

However, it does not end here. After this comes the difficulties, which are the double-sided puzzles. What makes these puzzles a step above the already difficult jigsaw puzzles is that these sorts of jigsaw puzzles are cut from both directions, which results in the edge pieces having no ridges, so you do not know which pieces are the edge pieces.

Things to Note

These were just some of the reasons why jigsaw puzzles are considered to be such a complex affair. They are still considered to be very popular due to the challenge they pose, and some special jigsaw puzzles can go up to an astonishing 30,000 pieces, giving even the puzzle veterans a migraine.

In addition to that, there are a lot of gimmicks and random oddities which make each jigsaw puzzle different from the others, and some of the jigsaw puzzles to come nowadays take days and months to complete, due to which each puzzle is a challenge for the player.

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