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Jigsaw Puzzle Stories

Updated on October 18, 2014
Jigsaw Puzzle Stories
Jigsaw Puzzle Stories | Source

Fascinating Jigsaw Puzzle Stories

Until you start looking, you might not know that there is a whole world out there of people who love a good jigsaw puzzle and who are, in one way or another, engaged in this puzzling pastime! What follows are some interesting and often moving stories about people and their passionate hobby of working jigsaw puzzles.

On this page you will find human interest stories about people like Ted Howard whose love letter jigsaw puzzle took 15 years to solve, Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan the young lady who solved the world's largest puzzle and about George and Laura Bush's jigsaw puzzles. You'll also find out a bit more about why working puzzles is good for you, the strategies that people employ to solve puzzles and, of course, some fantastic jigsaw puzzles.

Ted Howard's Love Letter Jigsaw Puzzle Took 15 Years To Solve!

A Puzzle Love Story
A Puzzle Love Story

A story of love and dedication.

Finally, more than 15 years later, a husband has reconstructed the love letters he sent to his wife. Mollie Howard shredded the letters that Ted Howard wrote into more than 2,000 pieces after she caught someone else reading them.

In 1993, Mr. Howard began rebuilding the letters. (A real puzzle if ever there was one!) He spent five hours per month for 15 years working this puzzle.

Mr. Howard said, "I still miss Mollie terribly but having the memories helps me through. The letters brought back so many good times."

He is writing a book with the stories contained in the letters so that they will not be forgotten and it will be called, A Week At Stanton. He wrote the letters as he travelled throughout Europe as a farmhand in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Holland in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

"It was love at first sight. No two ways about it. I was at a village feast (fair) and this girl jumped off the carousel and came careering into me. It turned out to be Mollie. That was July 19th, 1948."

They married in 1955 when Mollie was 18 and Ted was 23 and went on to have three children and six grandchildren. Those grandchildren will be lucky to have this romantic story in print -- maybe one of those letters should be made into an actual jigsaw puzzle!

Easy Ways To Increase Your Intelligence

Jigsaw Puzzles boost intelligence

Genes account for 80 percent of your IQ and education follows. Take continuing education courses. Learn one new thing every day! Hobbies such as reading, crossword puzzles logic puzzles and (you guessed it) JIGSAW PUZZLES are all excellent. So whenever you are working that jigsaw puzzle, you are increasing your intelligence!

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. - Arthur C. Clarke
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. - Arthur C. Clarke | Source

Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan Solves The World's Largest Puzzle

Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan Solves The World's Largest Puzzle
Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan Solves The World's Largest Puzzle

Finally, The World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle on Video

Now that you have read about it, here is a chance to have a really good look at it. Not only is it the world's largest puzzle but it is beautiful, too!

That means 24,000 pieces! Child's Play? No Way!

People love this puzzle! Around the world, addicted jigsaw puzzle fans want to solve it. 'Life' is the world's biggest puzzle at 24,000 pieces. When finished, it measures approximately 168.5 inches x 61.8 inches.

Life, The Greatest Puzzle was created especially by Royce B. McClure of New Zealand. Mr. McClure has had over a hundred puzzles published. To create this one, he used his years of experience in designing puzzles. He strived to make sure that the challenge of this puzzle was equivalent to the pleasure it gave.

Mr. McClure's artwork came from paintings that were airbrush works done between 1990 and 2006. This puzzle has variety, activity, color, beauty, drama -- the makings of Life. Much will not be seen until it is assembled and it will surprise puzzlers as they work it through.

If you thought that solving jigsaw puzzles was child's play, think again! At 24,000 pieces, this puzzle was no easy task! However, it was not a match for Filipino Gemberly Tan-Cagalingan. She earned the title of The First Asian who finished the largest jigsaw puzzle in the world.

Ms. Tan-Cagalingan opened the puzzle and found that it was separated into four individual plastic bags. Some people solve each bag and then put the four sections together but she did not want to take that approach. She believed that doing so would be like solving four different, smaller puzzles so she put the contents of the four bags together before she started.

Ms. Tan started doing puzzles when she was 11 and is 26 now. She had done 200 to 300 puzzles (up to 3,000 pieces) prior to tackling this mammoth puzzle. She would love the opportunity, if time allows, to do a bigger puzzle in the future.

Her completion time for Life, The World's Largest Puzzle was 233 hours and 5 minutes.

Buy The World's Largest Puzzle on Amazon

Jigsaw Strategy

"A person's jigsaw strategy closely reflects both their personality and level of skill."

- Dr Hilary Johnson, University of Bath

Jigsaw Puzzle Solving Style Reveals Your Personality

Jigsaw style - are you hoarder, border obsessive or opportunist?

Have you ever experienced 'jigsaw rage?' Researchers at the University of Bath studied this issue and discovered that people have different approaches to puzzling and that, when there are two different approaches, there can be trouble.

What sort of trouble you say? Well how about when your brother hides the last piece in order to be the winner? How about when your spouse does not allow you to touch 'her' part of the puzzle. How about when you withhold the extra pieces and refuse to allow your partner to touch them?

University of Bath researchers used jigsaw puzzlers to study how people collaborate. They had individuals work on a 120-piece jigsaw puzzle, either alone or in a group.

They discovered categories of puzzlers including hoarders, border obsessives and opportunists.

Hoarders will shield parts of the finished puzzles or hide the picture on the lid from others.

Border obsessives must complete the border before they move on to the rest of the puzzle. They often dominate groups -- controlling decisions and behaviors.

Opportunists sort piles by criteria. They use different ways to solve the puzzle - from the top to the bottom, from a major part of the picture, etc. Opportunists did better when completing a puzzle alone.

Puzzlers altered their approach when they were asked to work in a group, especially if the person they worked with was of a different personality style.

The strategy you use to solve your puzzle likely is indicative of your personality and level of skill although in a lesser way than the extremes shown during puzzle solving.

What Type of Jigsaw Puzzler Are You?

See results

Life Is Like A Box of Jigsaw...Or Is It?

Musings over the contrast between life and jigsaw puzzles...

Life is like a box of jigsaw...

Eventually it looks like something.

Presidential Dogs Jigsaw Puzzle
Presidential Dogs Jigsaw Puzzle | Source

President George Bush's Favorite Jigsaw Puzzles

Artwork by British painter Howard Robinson

President George Bush is apparently a fan of jigsaw puzzles. His puzzle of choice? Puzzles depicting the artwork of British painter Howard Robinson.

He enjoys Mr. Robinson's puzzles so much that First Lady Laura Bush had Mr. Robinson paint the President's dogs, Miss Beazley and Barney, for his 60th birthday.

Mr. Robinson explained, "never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the President of the United States of America would be sitting in Camp David doing one of my puzzles."

The puzzle shown here is The Presidential Pets 550 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle By White Mountain. It was created from the artwork that Laura Bush commissioned from Howard Robinson for President Bush's 60th birthday and features their Scottish Terriers.

Celebrate German Jigsaw Puzzle Day on September 28th -

The townsfolk in Ravensburg joined together to put together the world's largest jigsaw puzzle with more than one million pieces! 15,000 people participated assembling 1,141,800 pieces in five hours. They would up covering a 6,500 squre foot or 600 square meter piece of town square. 4,000 smaller puzzles were assembled and then joined to create this very large puzzle.

The claim has been submitted to the Guiness Book of World Records but has not been approved yet. (October 2, 2008.)

"Your brain is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets."

Can You Work Jigsaw Puzzles Like Ryan Divine, 5 Time Tri-State Puzzle Champion Does In This Video?

Ryan Divine demonstrates why he is the 5 time Tri-State Jigsaw Puzzle Champion in the music video for our Maldroid's third single "You Can Have It All."

Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Maker shows his Unique Craft on ABC

New England master craftsman makes handcrafted, one-of-a-kind wooden jigsaw puzzles using personal Photos, graphics, and fine art. He is only one of three people who produce jigsaw puzzles by hand in the United States. Each puzzle is 100 percent handmade to order in sizes ranging from 4" x 6" up to 42 inches x 58 inches with as few as three pieces to as many as 5000 plus puzzle pieces.

© 2008 Treasures By Brenda

Do you work jigsaw puzzles?

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    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I love jigsaw puzzles, too! I tried to vote in the poll but couldn't...the link must be out of whack! I was going to choose "two of the above". Just so you know. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love doing jigsaw puzzles. Just thought I'd say hi, on a return visit here. :)

    • ionee251 profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, it reminds of my Snow White & the 7 dwarfs (glow-in-the-dark) jigsaw puzzle. Have to unpack them and start all over again. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, I really enjoy jigsaw puzzles. I usually do the thousand piecers; but lately have demote myself to the 500 piecers as this is about all the time I have to work on them. They are so addictive once you start one...who can wait till it's finished?

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love jigsaw puzzles. I always start with the border first.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love to do puzzles whenever I find some time! Thanks for the wow factor here!

    • CruiseReady profile image


      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      OOh my! Can't even imagine tackling 24,000 piece puzzle. I think the 1000 and 1500 piece ones are more my style. But, I do like the one of Barney and Miss Beazley. That's an attractive puzzle.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Whew, jigsaw country indeed! I've always enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and like to start them from the middle and work out to the edges......kidding, I'm an edger just like most folks.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've enjoyed working jigsaw puzzles all my life. A few years ago we got out our collection of jigsaw puzzles again and began one of our favorites. From that moment on, hubby & I had a jigsaw puzzle going continuously for an entire year! Once we finished all the jigsaw puzzles we owned, we donated them to a church thrift store and bought (for about $1-$2 each) several more. We worked the puzzles together and separately. Seems that neither of us could walk past the 'puzzle table' without stopping to place just 'one more piece' (which usually led to 30-60 minutes of puzzle time! :-) It was such fun.I'm adding this terrific page full of 'puzzle stories' to my 'Board games & jigsaw puzzles' lens!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      7 years ago

      I do love jigsaw puzzles though it seems I don't have time to do them any more. I like to start on the border for sure but I will stop and do another part if I see something that looks interesting to work on. I just saw a beautiful button jigsaw puzzle that is now on my wish list!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I've always loved doing jigsaws. Once I've started one, I find it quite compulsive and will spend hours on it if necessary. I'd never heard of the biggest jigsaw before and was quite shocked to see how much it cost on Amazon.

    • candyw lm profile image

      candyw lm 

      9 years ago

      Wow did not know that you could find out your personality playing puzzles.. very interesting... cool lens

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      9 years ago from Royalton

      I love putting jigsaw puzzles together and I definitely believe that the edges must be put together first.

    • Trioman profile image


      9 years ago

      Well designed lens on a very interesting topic...everyone would secretly want to complete a jigsaw puzzle!

    • RolandTumble profile image


      9 years ago

      I love jigsaw puzzles--the harder, the better. There's one series out there that doesn't have borders (even the actual edges are cut as if there's another row), and have three extra pieces packed in each box. Fiendish.the hardest puzzle I ever worked, though, was 1000 pieces of a photo of a pile of popcorn....

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      I love putting puzzles together. It was something we always did in the winter when I was growing up. Unfortunately, I don't have the time anymore.Great lensLizzy

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Very nice lens, some interesting stories there. It's a strange world that we live in. 5***** for a great lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I LOVE puzzles! I actually finished one about 2 weeks ago, and have another one waiting!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      10 years ago

      I LOVE this lens. I am going to feature it on my Because doing jigsaw puzzles is one of the ways to "Keep Your Brain Young and Beautiful"! It helps with dementia and Alzheimer's. 5*

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love jigsaw puzzles and loved your lens. Very interesting with some wonderful links and videos. I really enjoyed. Thanks. 5* fav

    • sanukmak profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens Brenda. As I run a puzzle manufacturer, a subject close to my heart. Check out my lenses on Jigsaw Puzzles when you have time.Wedding Anniversary Photo Collage PuzzlesGifts for GrandparentsPhoto Jigsaw Puzzles – 5 quality factors to look for

    • Lou165 profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Great lens, I enjoyed reading it although I haven't done a puzzle in years.....must get some out!

    • religions7 profile image


      10 years ago

      COngrats - you got reviewed :) - your first external editorial link (I think)

    • thisnthat2 lm profile image

      thisnthat2 lm 

      10 years ago

      This is a really nice lens. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories! Very interesting.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      10 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      We do one or two puzzles each year. Love them in the winter when there are fewer activities to enjoy outdoors.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens, interesting way of thinking.Good luck!Raissa


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