10 More Things You Probably Never Knew About Jigsaws

Jigsaw puzzles are as popular as they ever were, and now that they’ve moved online they seem to be going from strength to strength.

Online jigsaw puzzles offer the player a huge range of options, including the images used on the puzzles, the number of pieces each puzzle will have, and even the shapes that the pieces will be.  When you then consider all the additional features such as using your own pictures and being able to play online with other puzzlers from around the world, and you can see the appeal of online jigsaw puzzles.

The current popularity, however, is not just limited to being online puzzles for kids.  Regular puzzles are making their own mark in many ways.  Here are ten trivia facts about jigsaws that you probably didn’t know.

  1.  Jigsaw popularity peaked during the 1930’s, but declined after the Second World War.  Better production techniques which have greatly reduced production costs and the arrival of online jigsaw websites have led to a marked revival of the popularity of the hobby over the last decade.
  2. The most expensive jigsaws are made out of wood.  The wood costs more and it’s harder to cut, so the production costs are higher.
  3. Despite this, wooden jigsaws are becoming more popular, due largely to the laser and water jet cutting technology now in use, which is reducing the production costs to a large extent.
  4. Jigsaws are by far the most popular table game in the UK.
  5. If a jigsaw is actually used, i.e. the hand held tool, it takes around 6 hours to cut out a 200 piece puzzle.
  6. The most expensive jigsaw was produced by The Stave Company in the US which sold for over £8,000 in 1993.
  7. Jigsaw competitions take place with players racing the clock and each other to complete puzzles, and the fastest players stand up as they can more their arms more freely and scan the pieces more efficiently that way.
  8. It takes about half an hour just to sort the pieces for a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle so that the edge pieces are put aside and the pieces are all the right way up.
  9. A 1000 piece jigsaw is not twice as hard to do as 500 piece puzzle, its four times as hard.  This may seem strange, but it’s all to do with levels of complexity.  So, following the maths, if you decide to do a 4000 piece jigsaw it will take you sixty four times as long to finish than a 500 piece puzzle!
  10. The smallest mass produced 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles come from Spain.  They are 46cm x 30cm in size, and the small pieces make them extremely challenging.


The more you delve in to the world of jigsaw puzzles, the more you’ll discover just how varied and interesting such a simple puzzle can be.


John is founder of Jigfun, a jigsaw website offering some of the best  online jigsaws features found anywhere online.

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