Posts Tagged ‘jigsaw’

Readers may have noticed that quite a few pictures of jigsaws have been appearing in my Flickr Stream, which appears below the Archives link – to the right of this post. These have all been completed by me, over a period of years.

I started doing the jigsaws sometime in 2012. Our friends Karen and Dave had invited us to stay with them at a cottage in Derbyshire and Karen had brought one along with her.

I was hooked.

It helped that I’d heard from friends that jigsaws were good for memory retention and brain exercise and as I was getting quite a way into my 60’s, I started scouring the charity shops for examples to complete. Sharon bought me the first puzzle, https://flic.kr/p/dQ8VK1 which almost put me off for ever. It was well-worn to begin with, but I persevered and managed to complete without too much frustration.


Studies [..] have shown that keeping the mind active with jigsaw puzzles and other mind-flexing activities can actually lead to a longer life expectancy, a better quality of life, and reduce our chances of developing certain types of mental illness, including memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s Disease (by an amazing third)(3).


That first jigsaw was one created and published by King, a Dutch manufacturer. I’ve completed many others by this manufacturer since and all have been tricky – even new ones. This is because the card used by King is quite flimsy and many of the pieces fit many of the other pieces – even though they shouldn’t. The boxes are also quite cheaply constructed and I generally have to cellotape the corners to stop pieces from falling out.


Ravensburger, a German company, have consistently produced well-made jigsaws on good card and which click together in a quite satisfying way. The most recent one to be completed was a scene from a 1960’s village green. https://flic.kr/p/UDQqbb. All of the puzzles have been challenging and all quite colourful.


Gibsons is a British family run company based in Surry. I’ve experienced a range of quality from Gibsons, but the more recent examples have approached that of Ravensburger.


I have my own Flicker Album of jigsaws and am also a member of the Flickr Jigsaw Group, which displays a vast array of jigsaw puzzles from around the world.


Now that I am semi-retired and have more time on my hands, I find myself completing more and more jigsaws. When we visit Spain, I tend to have less time as we are out and about more, but we have a room there where the jigsaw can be left out and sat at for a few minutes at a time. Here in the UK where it is always overcast and dark, I wait for sunnier days or, in winter, make sure I’m sat under the brightest lights (which then bring a problem of too much reflection – but ….).

My board is from https://www.theworks.co.uk/ and folds away whenever I need the space.


  1. http://figur8.net/dream/2014/03/14/what-are-the-brain-benefits-of-jigsaw-puzzles/
  2. http://www.ebay.com/gds/How-Puzzles-Help-the-Mind-/10000000177633935/g.html
  3. http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/The_Healing_Power_of_Jigsaw_Puzzles.html
  4. https://www.unforgettable.org/blog/what-are-the-benefits-of-dementia-jigsaw-puzzles/
  5. https://www.ravensburger.com/uk/start/index.html
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibsons_Games
  7. https://www.ravensburger.com/uk/start/index.html
  8. https://gibsonsgames.co.uk/

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Under_way_WasgijSome of you may know that I like to solve jigsaw puzzles. Some of you may not. However, I do enjoy the concentration they demand.

I started doing jigsaws again about three years ago. We’d been away for the weekend with Karen and Dave, at Ipstones and Karen had had one on the go. I was surprised how relaxing it was to just sit and make the pieces fit (actually, to consider which piece fitted where, NOT ‘make the pieces fit’)! Another friend, Carol, was already hooked and many is the time we’d go to her house and find a partially completed jigsaw open in the living room.

Discussion and research told me that jigsaws were good for the mind, especially as people age. So, as a nod in that direction (the avoidance or deterrence of dementia/Alzheimer’s) I began to solve jigsaw puzzles.

Sharon bought me my first [see it here] and that took an age to build. There were lots of dark corners and an uncertainty of which piece fitted where. Then Carol gave me more, often passed on from her mum and/or her friend Jennifer. I also began to buy my own from charity shops. Locally, they were 50p a time and up and down the country they could cost as much as £2.00 and generally speaking, they were all OK. Nevertheless, some had pieces missing, which is frustrating and this is one of the reasons I will not pay the £2.50 – £4.00 that some national charities now want to charge for their jigsaws. Why would I pay that much for something that is incomplete – because there’s nothing more challenging than looking for a piece (or pieces) that are just not there. PLEASEif you know there’s a piece missing, say so when you leave the box with the charityorthrow it away.

Different manufacturers use different qualities of board. One popular brand; King, is one of the more ubiquitous makes but often their pieces fit in more than one place, which is unhelpful. However, they do have a fabulous range of pictures to work with. The best so far, for me has been Ravensburger, a German company. The board they use is thicker and the pieces fit with a satisfying click (ish). A new one to me, of similar quality to Ravensburger is Wasgij, recently to be found in Aldi stores. They have the same satisfying click when pieces fit and there is no doubt about the quality. The one featured on this page is a children’s ‘what did the goldfish see’ puzzle, where you don’t know what is contained on the finished picture.

At home I tend to work with 1,000 piece puzzles but on holiday (I’m in Spain now) a 500 piece puzzle is enough. I have to like the finished picture and one of the best has been Clarke Gable and Vivien Leigh in a poster from Gone With The Wind.

See my Flicker jigsaw album to see all the ones I’ve solved. These are now mostly passed onto friends or relatives.

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