There are puzzle nights in cafes and libraries. Puzzle groups and online puzzle games. Hand-cut wooden puzzles that cost thousands of dollars. And puzzle designs ranging from original, cutting-edge artwork to your own personalized family photos.
Puzzles for adults are in vogue.
“I wasn’t as keen on puzzles at first, but once I started doing them, I saw the beauty of these puzzles,” said AJ Jacobs, a writer working on a book about puzzles. puzzles, including puzzles and crosswords. “Puzzles are a very soothing and joyful way to spend a few hours. They are physical, tactile pieces and you get an endorphin rush when the pieces snap together.
Customers at Scratch Living Coffee in Scottdale are excited about the puzzles available there, says owner Jim Seaman. The shop, which has been open for about a month and a half, offers games and coloring books, as well as simple puzzles for children and 500 to 1,000 piece versions for adults.
“I’m going to ask customers to say, ‘I know I’ll be back tomorrow. Do you mind if I drop this (puzzle)?’ says Seaman. “I say, of course, with a caveat: I can’t guarantee that someone else won’t put a few coins in there first.
“We have lots of open spaces and big tables,” he says. “It’s fun to see people having fun together.”
Along with becoming more enjoyable, puzzles have also become specialized. There are 3D and two-sided puzzles. Stave’s “puzzle” can be solved in several ways, rated on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult). Customers cannot purchase a 5 round puzzle without first achieving a level 4.
Others prefer a simple puzzle that reminds them of childhood, but worthy of social media, of course.
On her way home from work one day, 29-year-old Kaylin Marcotte stopped at a toy store in New York City to buy a puzzle for the evening. “I ended up buying one of the puppies jumping out of a basket,” she said. Seeing a gap in the sophisticated puzzle market, she founded Jiggy Puzzles in 2018.
Jiggy’s puzzles are packaged in an elegant glass container and feature original designs by female artists. They come in two sizes, 450 and 800 pieces, and many sell for around $40. The art ranges from New York scenes to whimsical and heartwarming designs. A puzzle shows women’s breasts of different shapes, some with mastectomy scars.
To launch Jiggy, Marcotte organized a puzzle party at the Soho House in New York. About fifty young professionals arrived dressed for an evening between aperitifs and puzzles.
Shelby Comstock Britten, 29, attended the launch. An adult puzzle night with drinks seemed perfect, she said.
“I’ve always loved puzzles and will get a CVS puzzle sometimes, but that’s a bit of a shame because it’s made for an 8-year-old,” she said. “I can’t Instagram that.”