Putting together a great jigsaw puzzle is one of those pleasures that seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years.
It’s a shame, really. There’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes from spending hours on a peaceful activity — or in some cases, a surprisingly challenging one — that culminates in something cool for you to gander at or even keep displayed on your coffee table.
In that spirit, we’ve collected five of our favorite jigsaw puzzles for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Ever completed a puzzle and thought to yourself, “Y’know, this didn’t really challenge me at all”? Kick the difficulty up a notch (or three) with this blank “Krypt” puzzle by Ravensburger, with its 654 unique, solid-color pieces that you must rely on shape alone to properly fit together.
Unlike most puzzles, you’re not assembling a picture, painting, or even a gradient here. The only other clue you’re given is that the pieces form a spiral shape toward the center. If you can complete this thing in under 12 hours, consider us impressed.
If you’ve completed the “Krypt” puzzle above and need something of similar challenge, check out the insane “1000 Changing Colors” puzzle designed by artist Clemens Habicht. It’s printed with a lenticular lens to create an iridescent/holographic effect where the colors change at different angles.
The effect is gorgeous to look at…
…but all the more challenging for it, as explained by Redditor u/puzzlecolornerd:
In case anyone is curious, it was definitely challenging but two things made it doable: first, the holo effect is made using lenticular imaging, which uses parallel tiny tubular lenses for lack of a better word so that you see the different colors at different angles, and that gives the entire surface a consistent grain which I could use to orient the pieces. Secondly, every piece was two colors, and along a gradient, so I could sort by the color pairs and find all the green/magenta pieces and separate them from the green/red or blue/yellow, etc.
I do not recommend gifting this to anyone who is colorblind unless they’ve wronged you in some extreme manner.
As of this writing, the “1000 Changing Colors” puzzle is on back-order for $150 AUD (~$107 USD) at Lamington Drive (a large part of which is international shipping fees). While this particular set is currently unavailable on Amazon — meaning there’s no way around that overseas shipping — you can at least get the “1000 Colors”, “1000 Vibrating Colors”, and “1000 Halftone Colors” editions there for about $48–$50 each.
When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings.
Modernist artist Charley Harper’s 1,000-piece Monteverde puzzle is a good way to spend several quality hours with a loved one, or on a quiet afternoon by yourself. The artwork — which can also be purchased in poster form — is charming and there are lots of little creatures to discover as you assemble the puzzle.
The “Camera Collection” jigsaw puzzle by Jim Golden and the New York Puzzle Company is a 500-piece, 18″x24″ puzzle that displays a knolling-style grid of cameras from all eras of photography history:
Remember when a camera was a camera? Before a camera was a phone, it needed film and a flash, lenses, and equipment. Let Jim Golden’s Camera Collection refresh your memory of this photographic past and you piece together the beautiful details of an historic art form.
Feeling nostalgic? Then you’ll enjoy assembling White Mountain Puzzles’ “I Had One of Those” jigsaw.
Designed by Charlie Girard, this 1,000-piece puzzle depicts a collection of vintage toys and memorabilia you’ll swear you had as a kid (or your parents had in an old box somewhere). As the pieces come together you’ll find classics like Chatty Cathy, Easy-Bake Oven, Spirograph, Play-Doh, Wooly Willy, Gumby, Beatles, Monopoly, Drive-In Movie, Inchworm, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Creepy Crawlers, Slinky, and more.
+ Another great puzzle from Charlie Girard and White Mountain Puzzles along this same vein is “Things I Ate as a Kid”.