Lesson of the day: “This is how these puzzles are made”

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Featured Article: “Here’s how these hot puzzles are made

The coronavirus has sent puzzle companies racing as demand rises above levels seen at Christmas.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how puzzles are made and why the companies that create them see the sudden increase in interest in their products as a “double-edged sword.”

How do you spend your time at home these days? What new hobbies have you discovered? What familiar hobbies have you found yourself pursuing now that you have more time?

Have you worked on or completed a puzzle in the past few weeks? If so, where did you find the puzzle?

Read the article, then answer the following questions:

1. What are the three steps in the manufacturing process that make creating puzzles time-consuming? How do you think social distancing measures at the factory can also slow down the process of making enough puzzles to meet current demand?

2. Thomas Kaeppeler, president of Ravensburger, a German puzzle maker, in North America, reportedly said the company strives for “an immersive image” when choosing what to use on its puzzles. What is an immersive image? Give some examples of images that might fit the criteria.

3. Why are so many people working on puzzles these days? What are some of the benefits of this hobby? How likely are people who have discovered or rediscovered a love of puzzles to become lifelong puzzle solvers? Why do you say that?

4. An employee of a puzzle company described the sudden surge in demand as a “double-edged sword”. What does he mean by that? What are the potential advantages and disadvantages for puzzle companies in the near and slightly more distant future of more people wanting to buy their products?

5. Suppose a person cannot find a puzzle but wants to have a similar experience. What other activities do you think come close to replicating what it is like to work on a puzzle? How are they similar? How are they different?

Take a look at the offers in the related article “16 aesthetic puzzles and games to play at home”. Which of the puzzles presented in the article do you like the most? Why? What about card games? And the other games?

Which puzzles or games seem designed for more than one person to participate in? How could they help people housed together feel more connected? What offers might be attractive for people living alone during this time? Why do you say that?