Thursday, December 08, 2005

How to solve a 1000 piece puzzle (for beginners)!

Here are a few useful steps that may come in handy to those who have set themselves the task of putting together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle! All you need is the pieces of the puzzle, the template and about 5-8 years!

  1. Choose the right puzzle in the shop. You can either choose a puzzle with a very plain picture which might be easy to solve or if you like challenges in life, get the most jumbled up and crowded picture you can find!
  2. Open the box, take the pieces out and let your jaw drop at the sight of a 1000 itsy-bitsy pieces of a huge puzzle.
  3. Slap yourself a couple of times (once as a punishment for buying the puzzle in the first place and the second time to bring yourself out of the shock that you suffered from on seeing those tiny puzzle pieces).
  4. Set your mind to the task and try to make a start on the puzzle. You will find that the first puzzle to face is.... "where do I start?"!
  5. Give up on directly trying to fit pieces together. There are so many of them that the probabilty of you finding the exact piece you are searching for is pretty small. Instead, resort to trying to segregate the pieces based on their colour and their probable location in the puzzle. For example, if there is a house in the puzzle, set aside all the pieces that look like they might be from the roof of that house. Or set aside all the corner pieces of the puzzle.
  6. Lose patience with the job at hand and bundle up whatever pieces you have already segregated into separate sheets of paper so that they don't get mixed while you throw everything back into the box (warning: this action maybe accompanied with a mild side effect of frustration. But this step is absolutely essential. Especially the bundling up bit of it)
  7. After packing up all the pieces back into the box, stow it away in some deep dark corner of your cupboard. Leave it there to ferment for a few years
  8. You are very likely is stumble across this box when you clean your cupboard. (time period may vary depending on the individual's schedule of cleaning cupboards. You may stumble onto it the very next day if you are a neat freak or after 7 years if you are like me.)
  9. If you are utterly jobless at that time, then remove the box. Or let the box ferment for a few more years. If you are like me, most probably you will be jobless when you rediscover this long lost puzzle (I clean my cupboard only when I am absolutely jobless, there are no interesting books to read and there is nothing on TV).
  10. Start working on this puzzle again with renewed interest and determination. The chances of your jaw dropping this time are pretty small because you already know whats in store for you and because you already segregated most of the pieces. (jaw dropping maybe observed if step 6 was not follow properly)
  11. Since you are anyway jobless, start picking up the pieces one by one and searching for a similar shape in the original picture. Continue this until you have found where at least 200 pieces belong (and belive me... the don't belong to the dust bin as you might think!) (warning: increased level of blood pressure maybe observed in the individual while performing this step. Antidote to this side effect maybe seen in step12)
  12. By the time you are done with 200 pieces, the original picture will be etched in your mind because of all the searching you had done for those pieces. Plus, you will begin to see the larger picture in your puzzle. In other words, your puzzle is beginning to take shape. (this is normally accompanied by a feeling of happiness and satisfaction which normally bring down the mild increases in blood pressure that might have been observed in step 11)
  13. The rest of the puzzle becomes a piece of cake since you already know the entire picture by heart. At this point, pat yourself on the back if you chose the more complicated puzzle in step 1. They are normally easier to solve than the plain ones (which seem easy initially). On the other hand, if you bought the plain picture, then you may curse yourself because all the pieces look the same and you don't know what goes where and knowing the whole picture by-heart is of no use.
  14. Once you put 999 pieces together, you will most probably realize that the last piece is missing. You may pull your hair out in frustration on not being able to find the last piece of a huge puzzle which you just successfully solved.
  15. This last step is optional and purely depends on the individual who solved the puzzle. You may laminate your marvellous acheivement or scramble up all the pieces again to attempt solving it again or you may just leave it lying around (if you are like me!) You look at the brighter side and decide that losing the last piece was a good thing because that small hole in your accomplishment proves that you just solved a jigsaw puzzle and did not paint the picture or buy it somewhere.

These steps worked out just fine for me! I managed to solve the puzzle that my dad had bought more than 6 years back! After a lot of crying, laughing, going mad etc... I managed to get the whole picture! well... almost! One piece was missing at the end. So the final picture turned out to be a 999 piece puzzle!

Here is a picture of the puzzle I had solved! And boy was I happy that my dad bought a puzzle with a picture like this one! So many figures, houses and other stuff! All these things made it quite easy to solve the puzzle in the end! Its supposed to be a bunch of nursery rhymes characters put together in one picture. By the way... can you spot where the 1000th piece should have been? There is a small empty space somewhere in this puzzle!

So the next time you have trouble with solving huge puzzles, just follow the steps listed here! It may take 5-8 years to complete depending on how often you clean your room and how jobless you are.. but you will finish it in the end! And Voila! A huge job made simple.. thanks to yours truly :D


AnN@ said...

yay! me first :)
sounds like one tough puzzle! i usually start with the four sides of the puzzle then move on to the middle :) i've been watching Lost and lotsa tv. real jobless too...

Clueless said...

\\After packing up all the pieces back into the box, stow it away in some deep dark corner of your cupboard. Leave it there to ferment for a few years

You are very likely is stumble across this box when you clean your cupboard. (time period may vary depending on the individual's schedule of cleaning cupboards. You may stumble onto it the very next day if you are a neat freak or after 7 years if you are like me.)

Hahahahahahahaha!!!! this was freaking hilarious!!! I am of course, the type who'd find a puzzle 7 years after buying it...cheers to all us late room-cleaners!!! :D

and i once tried to solve a 3000 piece puzzle of the globe. i dont know what possessed my uncle to buy a puzzle of the globe of all things...the bloody thing looks the same any way u look at it!!!

well...7 years havent passed since i last saw that i think i'll let it ferment some more...not in any mood to see a giant puzzle right now!!!

and about that missing piece in ur puzzle?? see..thats the good thing about a 1000 piece puzzle; one missing piece doesnt make much of a difference! couldnt find the missing it'll take a lot of careful scanning before i can find it!! :)

H2O said...

LOL LOL LOL LOL...Even in my case, I will take 7 yrs to clean my cupboard and find the puzzle all over again!!! If I ever make the mistake of buying a 1000 piece puzzle that is...

Macho Girl said...

Congrats on being the first! :) I also tried the tactic of solving the four sides first. Then I ended up depressing myself. It is only after u solve the 4 sides that u realize how big the puzzle really is!!
And abt ur joblessness... WAY TO GO DUDETTE! Vacation is d perfect time 2 b jobless! :D

Hey there late room cleaner! Join the club!!! A 1000 piece puzzle was bad enuf! I can't imagine solving 3000 pieces!! maybe in this case u shud treble the fermenting go and look at the puzzle after 21 years! ;)
And abt the missing piece... u may not be able to find it because i stuck the puzzle on a piece of white chart after i completed it to hold it together. Didn't wanna get it scrambled. So the white chart must be hiding the position. But here is a clue for clueless...


If u ever make the mistake of buying a 1000 piece puzzle, call me!! I think i have started liking these puzzles! Once u get the hang of them, its not so bad actually!

Anonymous said...

i should have read this article 2 months ago!!!!!! i just finished a frustrating 1500 pieces puzzle and it was my first one!!!!!

HebaM said...

just bought 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and wanted to get some instrucctions before i start and i have reached ur page
now am more excited to do and epecting my self to finish it maybe after 5 years :D

Anonymous said...

I found the missing piece it's at the top

Anonymous said...

I just finished a 1000 pieces puzzle. It took me less than 12 hours. Just try to locate all small groups and put them together. After you join the groups and finish with the remaining pieces.

Valentina in the UK said...

I know you wrote this in 2005 and it's now New years eve for 2015 so almost a decade on I found your post so funny thank you!! I've just ordered a 1000 jigsaw and imagine it will probably go the same way as yours but looking forward to it!!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Love your instructions. I have just finished my first 1,000 piece jigsaw and your first reactions were SO what I felt. I came to really enjoy it and have bought 3 more.

Samrat Thukral said...

Hahaha...loved the way it has been put....utterly useless in real life to help solve the 1000 piece puzzle i bought of Sistine chapel.....but i loved the humor.....especially Point 3....well done...

Julie Carveth said...

Loved this help article. My thots exactly when I opened the box. May return it and start 100 piece puzzle for beginners

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James Toilet said...

i also finished a 1500 piece puzzle for the very first time last year it was tough for me.

Nima Nourani said...

Best "Puzzle Solve" Evarrrr! <3

Vicki Falaguerra said...

I was once terribly dismayed to find two missing pieces after spending many hours completing a 1000 piece puzzle. Fortunately, the puzzle came with a picture inside the box, so I made copies on my printer, enlarging until I got the size just right, then made cutouts and attached to cardboard to fashion my own pieces.

The color was a tiny bit off, but after gluing and framing the puzzle, it's almost impossible to find those pieces, unless you know where to look!

Inge said...

Hi macho girl, I loved your article... soooo funny :) I am not jobless and have 2 kids, I wish I am jobless so that I can complete my 1000 puzzle soon, it's so addictive :) tks again

Shrikant Marathe said...

Your article has been good and I am using these techniques for a no. of years. II have been working on one of the 1000 pieces puzzle for the last 3 weeks. Almost 900 pieces are in the right place. Last 100 pieces are causing tremendous problem. So I wound it up and will take up again next week. I have been assembling these jigsaw puzzles from 1977 and it is a great fun. This is the first time I got stuck. Hope I finish it next week.

I have been using the segregation technique and trying to assign it to a grid of say 40x25 for a 1000 piece puzzle, segregating by no. of knobs and holes, small and large pieces peculiar shapes, etc. which has worked well till today. This is the first time I got stuck and hope to resolve by next couple of weeks. Once it was a great surprise and satisfaction for me when I saw the original of the puzzle I had assembled, 18th century painting at Louvre in Paris
Shrikant Marathe, India