Only a person who has never actually known jigsaw puzzles can say that it’s an easy task. Real puzzlers are aware of the challenges, anxiety, and difficulties that can come with hard puzzles to solve. Depending on the difficulty level of a particular puzzle, you may actually spend hours and hours juggling with it and the most fascinating part about this game is that you won’t be able to rest until you’ve solved it.
Not only does it challenge your sanity 🙂 but also puts your mind to a real test. So, if you’re a rookie in this field, you may believe that it’s a piece of cake. But beware! Without any practice and unfamiliarity with the proper tips and tricks, even the smartest of minds can fail to win this game.
It is human nature to enjoy a certain level of challenges every once in a while, however, something impossible to solve can only bring frustrations and misery. The most important thing to remember is that every puzzle is unique and requires a certain level of understanding of the right techniques.
You can’t treat each puzzle in the same way such as a puzzle that’s based on wildlife objects should be approached differently than the ones that have no objects, just the shapes, and colors.
The challenges of hard puzzles to solve
During pandemic times, it could be extremely hard to find an activity that can engage the whole family as an indoor leisure time. Puzzles can be an inexpensive, entirely thrilling, and indoor-oriented affair for times like this. Moreover, if you’re worried about your teenagers spending too much time on their gadgets, this could be a real life-saver. Not only does it make for valuable family time but also proves to be healthy for the body and brain as well.
However, if you’re new to this or your old tricks have started to disappoint you, it’s time to update your strategies and adapt to the latest tricks to ace puzzle solving. Have a look at this comprehensive guide of tips and hints to solve jigsaw puzzles like a pro;
- First and foremost, go easy on yourself. There’s no deadline unless you’re competing in the Olympics of jigsaw puzzles.
- Pick a Puzzle that makes you happy because at the end of the day, it is supposed to make you feel good and not add to your stress and anxiety (completely :).
- Keep calm and maintain your cool. No good will ever come out if you’re frustrated or overly anxious.
- Accept your defeat if you’re competing with someone else. Show good sportsmanship.
There are certain phases to solving a jigsaw puzzle just like any other game. Such as preparing for the game, solving the puzzle, and finally, finishing it up. It’s better to plan it accordingly by dividing your time, effort, and energy in a calculated manner for the best outcomes. Let’s dive deep into the professional tips that will help you solve the hard puzzles.
10 Tips to solve hard puzzles
No matter how big of an expert you are, there are always some tips that can be valuable to keep the thrill alive and make the best time out of puzzle-solving activities;
1. Pick a right spot
Nothing can be more distracting and unpleasant than a noisy, crowded spot during a challenging game such as solving puzzles. If you want to ensure your productivity without too much stress, always begin putting up the puzzle pieces when you’ve found the right place.
As far as the technicalities are concerned, make sure that the surface to layout your puzzle pieces is smooth. No distraction and the right kind of lighting can play a major role in helping you solve even the most challenging puzzles.
2. Adapt different strategies for different puzzles
One of the most important things to consider in this game is that different puzzles need different techniques and approaches to solve. Other than that, you would find it much more convenient and full of fun when you break a puzzle out into a series of manageable tasks instead of tackling it all in one go. It will keep your brain engaged in a productive way and allow for probably slow but steady progress.
3. Open the box and try setting it up
Open your puzzle and turn every piece picture-side up. It may seem like an unnecessary effort but believe me, it is going to save you a lot of trouble and time in the future. As mentioned earlier, management plays an important role in this sport, and sorting out parts of the puzzle before starting to put them together can make things easier.
Laying them in a single layer is essential to have them all exposed at all times and have it easier when connecting them all. This is where you would appreciate the spacious spot because laying out and spreading each part of the puzzle needs a lot of space.
4. Smart sorting of Hard Puzzles to Solve
Categorizing your puzzle pieces can help you beyond measures when you’re in the middle of the game. It’s advised by professionals to sort a puzzle into border pieces and the middle ones. This way, you’ll have one less thing to worry about during the game. It can also be helpful in moving these pieces back and forth to see which one fits in a certain spot.
No need to worry about being a perfectionist at this stage because regardless of all the efforts, you’ll end up adjusting the pieces as you proceed in the process. This technique is super smart in circumstances where you have to move from one table to another or from outdoor to indoor. There will be limited to no chance of messing up the sorted pieces.
5. Corners and edges
While sorting out your puzzle pieces, pay special attention to the ones that are for corners and edges. At this point, don’t think too much about which edge to use for a particular corner. It will sort itself out soon. By placing each border piece edge side down, you’ll be able to look at all of them from a singular perspective. It ultimately makes it easier to instantly spot the obvious and crucial similarities in colors and patterns.
Now that the sorting is done, time to put corners together because that is the best approach. It creates a certain frame and eases up the overall process. Especially if you’re someone who is not pro at this, sorted edges and corners will make the whole process much more relaxing and speedy.
6. Work on small sections
One of the most common mistakes people make is to get most work done in a short time. However, even the biggest champions take their time and don’t rush anything. Categorizing puzzle pieces into smaller sections has its advantages.
Similarly, try putting those smaller groups together and combining them at the end. Not only does this strategy saves a lot of time but also limits the amount of stress and frustration. Pay attention to large shapes and unifying colors, and long/short lines. And remember, if you feel stuck, you can always move on to solve another section and come back to the current one later. Don’t waste your energy on something that can be saved for later.
7. Sort the centerpieces
This could be the most difficult part but as long as you keep going and follow some smart and strategic steps, you’ll be able to finish it productively. Firstly, look for pieces that stand out and you’re able to identify high-contrast features in those. Such as faces, lines, pets, doors, furniture or a building, etc.
You’ll be able to easily correlate them. Take your time to connect these parts to the borders you had created earlier. This may take a while, you’ll have to connect, disconnect and connect again to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction.
8. Consistency is the key
Now is the time to make the best use of that frame you built earlier with the edge pieces. Start putting smaller sorted sections inside and try to make something out of it by using your best judgment. Don’t be too proud and take help from the box and keep moving the clusters around till they fall into place perfectly.
No matter how hard the centerpieces may seem, you need to be consistent and keep trying different variations. With modern technology and art, new platforms on the internet for this game have been introduced. However, no matter to what extent things evolve, these basic strategies remain consistent.
9. Take a break
An important point to ponder is that the aim is to enjoy and not put too much pressure on yourself. If things seem to have stuck, take a break and return back to the game with a fresh mind and fresh pair of eyes. They come in all shapes, sizes, and difficulty levels so if one takes longer than the other to get solved, don’t worry about it. The more you puzzle, the more practice you’ll have and the easier it will get.
On a similar note, here’s a tip to remember for years to come;
Changing angles, standing up, and looking at the puzzle from different viewpoints can help offer a fresh perspective.
10. Keep it pleasurable even with hard puzzles to solve
Some of us can often get too competitive and lose the real spirit of this game. The key is to not take it too seriously or let it get to your nerves. With all the smart and strategic sorting, things should go pretty smoothly. All you need at this stage is to fill in the gaps and finish your puzzle. Take as long as you want and cherish the moment you put the last piece together.
Once you’re done, you can decide whether to scramble it again or get it framed, the choice is yours. However, if you’ve got the hang of it and looking for some hard puzzles to solve, you can always try some puzzles from the creative collection of PuzzQuest to keep going.
Because practice and a lot of practice will develop your skills quicker and more efficiently. On a concluding note, puzzles are not only a source of productive time pass but they can actually have a positive impact on your health. Studies show that solving puzzles regularly can improve your hand, brain, and eye coordination. It is highly likely that your color, size, and shape recognition senses will get sharper and stronger. Above all, the tiny dozes of dopamine on getting a puzzle piece right every time offer a certain sense of satisfaction. Enjoy!