Puzzles are a lockdown habit that may stick after coronavirus

Australian Jigsaw Puzzle Association founder D’Arne Healy said the community has grown during the pandemic as people have also embraced puzzles at home, and the “traveling puzzle” has become a pass. – popular time.

Traveling puzzles were promoted and shared via social media. Participants received a puzzle in the mail, completed it, took a photo of the finished product, took it apart, put it back in the box and sent it to the next player with a brief message of encouragement noted in the accompanying journal.

“We sent a jigsaw on vacation because no one else could go on vacation, we gave it its own little travel passport,” she said. “It was a nice way to bring the community together without actually being together.”

This started a trend of traveling puzzles in the community with puzzlers posting to the association’s Facebook group to donate a puzzle when completed, sending it to whoever answered first.

A traveling puzzle circulating is in memory of the brother of a member of the association.

“He is terminally ill and can no longer do puzzles, which he loved to do. I think that may have been his last riddle. They wrote a spiel inside the puzzle box and it is passed on in his memory,” she said.

Now, as the community emerges from shutdowns, Ms Healy said 2022 is going to be “crazy” for puzzle events for those who want to match their newly honed skills to others.

State puzzle competitions will resume in New South Wales, Victoria, WA and South Australia with a national event to be held in Victoria.

National champions will win a trip to Spain to compete in the 2023 World Puzzle Championships.

“We have individual divisions, and depending on which, they will either have a pairs division or a team of four. In a lot of pair splits, you’ll see fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren pairing up,” Ms Healy said.

Liz Ho is hard at work on her latest puzzle.Credit:New

“It’s the most diverse group of people you’ll see in one room at a time, every age group you can think of, every corner of the community is represented. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Retailers also benefited from an increase in demand. Funbox Puzzles owner Daniel Gocin said his most popular puzzle is the one called Time capsule 2020.

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“It’s a picture of all the things we’ve been through in 2020. We’ve ordered and ordered a ton and sold thousands.”

Games World owner Geoff Macauley has seen a huge increase in sales of puzzles in locked states.

“I guess you could say the landscape is probably the highest that seems to be selected,” he said. “People select one, two or three puzzles, it’s not just about coming out in one.”

Chiropractor Liz Baker started sharing her conundrums when Melbourne went into lockdown last year, and they suddenly found themselves in short supply.

“Patients had difficulty finding new puzzles, and money was an issue, so a very informal lending library started,” Ms Baker said.

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“For many of us, puzzles are like candy for little children. It’s the ultimate desirable thing, to grab and consume, and once completed, it’s as if it never existed. .

Ms. Ho is unsure if she would ever take her interest from the show to a competitive environment.

For now, she just likes to put on some music, sit in front of a puzzle and let her mind wander.

“I have a puzzle from New York, I put Lady Gaga and Beastie Boys in, and it’s just perfect, you know, in a time when you can’t travel, I felt like having taken a short trip to New York with this puzzle.

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