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How do you approach a puzzle?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 FomoJnr

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:11 PM

I have started doing puzzles at home to help with my anxiety and stress. I find them very calming. I bought a lovely folding carrier so can spread out on the dining table and pack away easily.

I’m interested - do you have a particular approach? Do you sort first? Do you focus on multiple areas at once, or just one?

Thanks 😊

#2 Jenflea

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:18 PM

Sort into colours and start with the corners then edge pieces, fill in the middle.

#3 71Cath

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:26 PM

Corners and edges first.

If any pieces happen to be not cut properly and stuck together, they get put where they appear on the picture.

Once the edge is done, I will pick something obvious that leaps out at me (all one colour/pattern etc) and do that.

Then a cat will jump on the puzzle and muck it up and I will start again.

If I like the picture, I usually glue it with puzzle glue and hang it on the wall.

#4 JoanJett

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:26 PM

Depends on the number of pieces and the types of focal points in the puzzle.  I generally separate the edge/corner pieces and make any matches as I go then work on the frame.  Similarly for the middle, I try to group by colour or distinctive features.  If there's any particularly distinctive/focal parts in the puzzle, I work on those first.  Any small matches I make along the way, I place in the general vicinity of where they should go - helps to "bridge" different areas as you go along.

I like puzzles, but they're not calming for me - I find it hard to stop when I'm on a roll!

Edited by JoanJett, 14 November 2018 - 01:27 PM.


#5 seayork2002

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:37 PM

View Post71Cath, on 14 November 2018 - 01:26 PM, said:

Corners and edges first.

If any pieces happen to be not cut properly and stuck together, they get put where they appear on the picture.

Once the edge is done, I will pick something obvious that leaps out at me (all one colour/pattern etc) and do that.


Then a cat will jump on the puzzle and muck it up and I will start again.

If I like the picture, I usually glue it with puzzle glue and hang it on the wall.

This!

I redo so won't glue but I am also crazy and even happily do them with pieces missing

#6 marple

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:46 PM

I am back on a puzzle craze at the moment too. They are great. I like the Ravensburger ones. You know if the piece is definitely right as they sort of click.
I sort first - edges , 4 corners , any obvious colour groups - then do the frame. I generally start with the most obvious/ most colourful/ easiest bit first , then the next etc. Then any easy 2 or 3 piece groups. Then try to join them all together. I add in bits of sky/cloud/sea whatever when I see one that fits.
Love puzzles but they are addictive.
We have way too many as we started when our 6yo was a newborn and we wanted something quiet to do while he slept. We bought a LOT. Finally gave it up.
Have just recently got back into them.

#7 Redhead43

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:55 PM

In my husband’s family, looking at the picture is cheating apparently.
Pah, take no notice of that.
I do edges and corners first then sort other pieces into colours, or obvious things like brickwork, or flowers, rooftiles etc.
I love my puzzles.

#8 71Cath

Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:57 PM

If I've done a puzzle before, I will try and do it without the picture.  Apart from that I need the picture.

I also do them on my ipad.  Much more portable, although not as many pieces.

#9 bees-knees

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:01 PM

I have just "discovered" puzzles really (as a 44yo!)

I am working on a 3,000 piece one at the moment which I find alternately enjoyable and frustrating. It's just so incredibly BIG and there are many different sections of the same colour.

I started with edges and corners, then sorted roughly by colour, putting each pile into a ziplock bag, then I work on sections at a time.

As much as I do find it frustrating at times, overall, I really like doing it and I find it relaxing.

#10 seayork2002

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:20 PM

I find looking at the picture an effective use of resources

And I love Ravesburg (sp?) ones too

#11 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:23 PM

Edges and corners first, then obvious things like horizon, treeline, buildings then fill in the rest with sky or water last. ALWAYS hide a piece so that no other interfering busybody can come along and claim to have finished the puzzle after you have done all the hard yards.

#12 Inkogneatoh

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:32 PM

Like others, I sort and do the edges first, putting aside the magically stuck together pieces for later. Then while going back through to find the missing edges, I will sort, often into small takeaway containers, into distinctive features. It may be colours, it may be features like trees, building, sky etc. Then work on one area at a time.

I regularly call Mum weird, as once she gets lots of pieces that look alike (eg sky, or a crowd of people), she will sort by shape.

I normally stick to 1000 piece puzzles, and we have a couple of cork boards to do them on. This means you can rotate the board to switch between the top and bottom easily. Also means that I can keep the Christmas themed one I tried to do before last Christmas, but didn't finish until May, until this Christmas.

I love the Ravenburger, and will normally pick them up in special if I have the spare money, however the "cheap" ones from Big W and Kmart aren't to bad. Mum has most of the That's life series ones from Big W. I do have a collection of Wasjig ones as well, which don't have a finished picture, just clues to what it looks like.

#13 marple

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:38 PM

We have a green felt thing , with a red tube that you can roll up a half-done puzzle in and put it away temporarily. Great when you are having  dinner and need the table.
My DH goes by shape too for things like sky. He can't see the shades.
Oh and yes pp. I have an annoying 18yo that will come along after about 3 days and say how easy it is whilst putting in all my nicely sorted pieces!  Definitely need to hide the last piece from him.

#14 LittleMissPink

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:40 PM

I do edges, then randomly pick something from the edge pictures and follow that for a while, then pick another spot, etc etc

Im really enjoying the WASGIJ? Mystery puzzles at the moment. Love that the picture on the box doesnt match the puzzle!

#15 Tinsilitis

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:55 PM

The first night of a new puzzle is spent sorting - find the edges, and sort the other pieces into colours or by some other method dependent on the puzzle.

Then put the edges together.

Then just muddle through

I always do the sky last.

#16 amdirel

Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:58 PM

Corners and edges first.
Then the exciting bits.
Then the boring bits.

#17 Itchy_Elf

Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:21 PM

View Post71Cath, on 14 November 2018 - 01:26 PM, said:

Corners and edges first.

If any pieces happen to be not cut properly and stuck together, they get put where they appear on the picture.

Once the edge is done, I will pick something obvious that leaps out at me (all one colour/pattern etc) and do that.

Then a cat will jump on the puzzle and muck it up and I will start again.

If I like the picture, I usually glue it with puzzle glue and hang it on the wall.

I do this too, but without the glue. My cat also steals puzzle pieces, not just mucking it up so I am usually missing a few pieces at the end.

My problem is finding somewhere to do it. I tried those felt mats that rolled around a tube, but never found they filled quite right. I think I need a dedicated puzzle table, but then where would I keep it?

#18 amdirel

Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:59 PM

I bought one of those felt roll thingys and I hate it.
A friend of mine bought a large piece of chipboard and we do puzzles on that, and can move it off the dining table when necessary. I plan on doing the same at some stage.

#19 Zalie2222

Posted 14 November 2018 - 04:48 PM

I've always loved puzzles but at the moment I have to limit myself to 500 pieces or it sits around too long and I lose pieces or interest before I get a chance to finish.


I make the border first, then start on some obvious details, like  roofs or fence lines.  A lot of the time I get a nice surprise when I realise three or four large groups of pieces actually fit together in a way I'd never noticed.

#20 Inkogneatoh

Posted 14 November 2018 - 05:27 PM

View Postmarple, on 14 November 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

We have a green felt thing , with a red tube that you can roll up a half-done puzzle in and put it away temporarily. Great when you are having  dinner and need the table.

We've tried the tube, but didn't like it. Actually I think there may be a half done puzzle in it packed away from the last time we moved. Before we got the boards, we did just use a huge piece of felt on a table. The board idea from one of the cancer care units when Mum was first diagnosed. Being a cork board the pieces don't move easily just like felt, plus you can pick it up and move it if necessary without disturbing or bending any pieces. Also you can cover work in progress with a second board to keep out unwanted helpers. The majority of our boards came from the Reject Shop.

We threw one puzzle out after the cat got into it. It was the 3rd or 4th we'd done in that spot and she hadn't gone near any, until we were 4 months onto an Impossipuzzle. It had a repetitive pattern of cows in boots on a background of wooden boards, had no edges and 5 extra pieces. We had about a quarter done in random sections, and she not only chewed a couple of pieces, but after scattering others, she then batted some down the gaps in the floorboards. She never touched another puzzle again.

We currently have a card table each set up in the lounge room. They can easily be pushed out of the way, but also folded up if necessary (with the boards either on a coffee table or a bed).

Once the puzzles are done they are either packed away and kept, traded with a puzzle loving friend or donated to either the Cancer care unit or the Rehab unit. I spent a lot of time sitting doing puzzles while Mum was undergoing radiation, while chatting with others waiting around as well. It gave me an interesting prospective on how vital the unit was to the regional area.

#21 FomoJnr

Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:56 PM

Thanks everyone! This seems to be what I’ve been doing. Border first then working my way in in little clusters.

DH and DS (4yo) keep sitting down with me to help... I’ve told them to go find their own puzzles because I’m enjoying meandering over this one!

It’s a beautiful Ravensburger one, seaside cottages etc. I’ve just browsed their website too.. oh my!

#22 marple

Posted 14 November 2018 - 08:07 PM

View Postamdirel, on 14 November 2018 - 03:59 PM, said:

I bought one of those felt roll thingys and I hate it.
A friend of mine bought a large piece of chipboard and we do puzzles on that, and can move it off the dining table when necessary. I plan on doing the same at some stage.

Oh I'm surprised people don;t like these. ( the felt and tube thingy) Ours works pretty perfectly. The odd piece will be out of place but it can be fixed in moments.

Edited by marple, 14 November 2018 - 08:08 PM.


#23 BECZ

Posted 15 November 2018 - 02:22 AM

Nah, I don't like the felt ones either.  I find that pieces come loose and I like a firmer surface.  My mum has a great one that sounds like one a PP was describing that's like a giant (but ultra thin) briefcase that fits a standard 1000 piece, but we did one of those no picture, clues ones last holidays and that didn't fit.
I still use my old board, but the one my mum has would be much easier. It also comes with two half sized boards to spread pieces out on.

Like others, I do the edges first, then main features and then fill in the boring bits like sky, water etc.

The hardest one I've done is a 2000 piece Blue Poles painting.
Like this
https://www.abc.net....pollock/7912004

It took my sister and I all school holidays to finish it.

Edited by BECZ, 15 November 2018 - 02:26 AM.


#24 Riotproof

Posted 15 November 2018 - 06:58 AM

The last time, I found the edge pieces and sorted by colour at the same time. Then i tried to make pieces and join pieces together.
Then I realised that puzzles make in 1982 had flaws whereby the wrong piece would actually fit and the pieces didn’t snap together properly.
Then I packed up all the puzzles Dh had taken from the in-laws when they moved and gave them to vinnies. I did chuck out the ones with notes on the side about missing pieces though.




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