Quiz: How do you solve a puzzle?

Jigsaw_puzzle_01_by_Scouten                                                                                        (image source)

I’ve had a compelling urge to do a puzzle lately. Not really sure why, but the process has me amused. As stated in my “About This Blog” page, I think we all just need to have fun sometimes. So, I figured I’d share some questions I’m having in the form of a light-hearted quiz to see if anyone else finds this as amusing as I do. I don’t think the results will shed any great insights into our personalities, but maybe I’m wrong. Feel free to offer deeper observations about what our answers say about us if you’d like. Or, just take it for what it is and have some fun with me. Questions 1 and 2 are just groundwork. I think the fun begins at question 3 – at least that’s when I started chuckling at myself.

  1. Do you sort the pieces before you start the puzzle, or do you just dig right in? I sort.
  2. If you do sort first, how do you sort? I sort out the edge pieces first and get the frame done before I start.
  3. When you’re sorting the pieces, if you discover some pieces that are already attached together, do you feel guilty (like you’re cheating) if you don’t disassemble them before beginning the puzzle? Or, do you think, “Yay!” and feel like you’ve won a prize? I must admit, I feel a bit like I’m cheating, but I leave them together anyway because it just seems silly if I don’t.
  4.  As I pondered why I wanted so badly to do a puzzle, I thought, “Does this mean I’m getting old?” You don’t need to answer as to whether you think I’m getting old, but feel free to ponder if doing a puzzle makes you feel like you’re just one step away from a nursing home activity center. I took solace in the fact that I actually borrowed this puzzle from my son who is 26 years old and loves doing them, too. I suppose you might even defend puzzle working as a way of feeling young again. I also enjoy coloring, so maybe these things go together. Do you have any thoughts on puzzle assembling and age?
  5. Do you count the puzzle pieces before you start to make sure you don’t get to the end only to find you have a piece missing? I did not count them for this puzzle since it’s a 1,000 pieces. I did, however, consider that option.
  6. If you do get to the end of a puzzle and there is a piece or two missing, how do you feel? Was it time wasted? I usually make a dramatic scene – Can you believe that? All that work and I can’t even finish the puzzle! But really, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I enjoy the process either way.
  7. My final question is not about puzzles. Just wondering if you’ve had similar urges to do something you haven’t done in a long time, just for fun. Did you do it? Why, or why not?

7 thoughts on “Quiz: How do you solve a puzzle?

  1. I sort and do the frame first! Then I sort by major elements in the puzzle — such as sky, grass, building, etc. We used to have a table in our living room (at our old house) where a puzzle was always in work. My thought was that it would be a place I could sit with one other person and work on the puzzle, hopefully having wonderful, in-depth mom/daughter or mom/son talks. Instead I stopped every time I walked by and tried to work on it — seeing it unfinished made me a bit crazy and no one else in the family seemed to thing it was a brilliant idea!

    I REALLY want to come to the Merge some morning and would be happy to sit at a table with a puzzle to work on in!


    • I actually bought one of those roll up mats to put the puzzle on so I could take it back and forth from Merge to home and/or leave out at The Merge and be able to roll it up anytime we have little ones in the coffeehouse. I’d love to work on a puzzle with you, AND have that wonderful, in-depth conversation, Susan. 🙂


  2. This cracks me up.
    1. I always sort
    2. Always start with the edge
    3. Don’t separate the pieces already together but do feel a tiny bit like I’m cheating (not sure why)
    4. If I finish and there are pieces missing, I’m a wreck and the drama queen makes her appearance (this is why I don’t buy puzzles at garage sales) :/
    5. I also have my own box of crayons (the big box)

    We should totally have a puzzle table at the merge.
    Great post.


  3. Great comments above! I never sort–BUT I always look for the straight edges and corners. I’m more interested in color variations than the shapes of pieces. So with a big puzzle I group the colors. I would NEVER think of doing puzzles as a sign of being old or whatever else people might think! I love doing them with at least one partner–over a period of time. Leaving it all out on a table. Furthermore, I agree that having a puzzle table at the Merge would be a great idea. Too bad you’re so far away! And a final confession–the only places I’ve worked on puzzles lately have been at my grandkids house where it’s a family affair, and online–with all the pieces depicted and a timer. I like to break my own record! But I’m not a fanatic about it. Most of the time. Just don’t ask my husband about Scrabble. Definitely a blood sport when I play it with him.


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