Here are some puzzles, mostly between $ 10 and $ 200 for a beginner or an enthusiast.
Puzzle for beginners
Fortunately, most common puzzles indicate their difficulty numerically. A 100-, 200-, or 500-piece puzzle should satisfy the first-time solver, as should clear, brightly colored images that are cut into a regular grid pattern. “Most importantly, you have fun putting the puzzle together. So it should be a picture that you enjoy looking at, ”recommends Ms. McLeod. Beginners may start a search with some of the top brands such as Ravensburger, Springbok, Buffalo Games, and Puzzles and Bits and Pieces (prices ranging from under $ 10 to over $ 50) that you can use to search for the most part by topic. Ravensburger alone has hundreds of options, from astronauts to unicorns to Neuschwanstein Castle ($ 34.99), a riot of fall foliage and fairytale towers.
Teasers and tricks
When you've solved enough pictures of cats, candy bar wrappers, and picturesque Italian landscapes, you'll want a puzzle that offers a little more. The Wasgij brand specializes in comic book puzzles (around $ 20) which, once solved, helped explain what caused the disaster depicted on the box. Ravensburger has released a series of Escape Room Puzzles ($ 19.99) in which, as you solve the puzzle, you have to solve puzzles and arrange pieces into objects that can help you break out of the witch's kitchen or space observatory. Puzzles from the Magic Puzzle Company culminate in a trick ending with new pieces that you can use to rearrange the picture. The nervous system mixes up two puzzles ($ 175). PuzzleTwist specializes in puzzles ($ 20) that differ in key ways from the picture on the box. Stave Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles is a specialty of trick puzzles and others known as troublemakers, tormentors, and teasers. However, since these can cost more than $ 1,000, they're less of a pastime than an investment.
Jigsaws as an art
If aesthetics is important to you, there are companies out there that bring puzzles closer to art and design. One of them is Pomegranate, which specializes in fine art reproductions of works by Van Gogh and Diego Rivera ($ 17.95- $ 34.95), allowing you to focus on colors and texture suggestions as you solve them. "You can get to know brushstrokes and color palettes and remember the smallest details of extremely complicated and densely populated canvases," wrote the writer and puzzle enthusiast Margaret Drabble in an article last spring. On the other hand, an old master can still feel cheesy in 2D. Those who prefer a more modern feel can check out Piecework's hip and luscious illustrations ($ 26-36), Areaware's soothing gradient puzzles ($ 15-35) that change colors from light to dark, Pomegranate Charley Harper posters or Jiggy's Playful Rectangles ($ 40). Some collectors might argue that certain wooden puzzles are works of art themselves, or at least models of exquisite craftsmanship, especially those that specialize in whimsical shapes like Liberty Puzzles and Wentworth Wooden Puzzles.
Not easy pieces
You can try The Lines by Bgraamiens ($ 18.99) in 1000 crazy graphite strokes on a white background. Too abstract? Check out Puzzles from Nervous System, the makers of these mixed-up puzzle sets who specialize in organic shapes based on phenomena like geodes, ammonites, and fidgety amoebas ($ 45-95). For an extra devilish version of the Play Group Gradient Puzzle, try 5000 Colors ($ 50). No piece is the same shade as any other. If that's maybe too many colors, turn to monochrome puzzles, like Ravensburger's Krypt series ($ 20.99), which requires incredible patience as each piece is colored exactly the same. Or here's one that says it all in the name: Beverly Micro Pure White Hell (about $ 25).