Which Puzzle Personality Are You?
Do you remember when puzzles weren’t essential items? A time when puzzles hung out in your hallway closet, under an old sleeping bag you never used but couldn’t stand to throw out? Waiting, waiting, for an awkward family reunion or, just maybe, a power outage? Neither do we. We only remember today. And today, puzzles are a wartime necessity. So much so that the national stock is running dry.
Puzzles are great. Sure, we needed a knock on the head to really see it, but now we do. They gather us. They encourage focus but in a very low-stakes fashion. They are great to do while records spin, a fire crackles, or while Parks and Rec plays for the 20th time in the background. They offer feelings of accomplishment. From little sparks when you finally find that one piece missing from the chunk you’ve been working on to the big feeling of pride when the last piece is placed. And if it is winter time or it’s been a rainy spell, is there anything better? No, there isn’t.
We are not the only ones who have a newfound appreciation for puzzles. Prestigious Publications have recommended lists of best puzzles. We have learned that puzzle upstarts like Piecework, Areaware, Jiggy, Journey of Something are the hip freshness, while big brands brands like Ravensburger and Springbok deal the classics. We learned we like puzzles by the New Yorker, that feature national parks, or treasured works of art, and that you can make your own puzzles. But, more than that, doing puzzles, we’ve learned something about ourselves and those around us. So...
Which type of Puzzler are you?
The “Try Anything”er: No chance it fits, but you’ll be damned if you’re not trying it. I mean, the the colors look kind of the same.
The Contemplator: Sits back. Does nothing for hours. Then grabs a single piece. The one everyone’s been looking for. The one that would unlock all the others. Fits it without hesitation or ceremony. Sits back. Does nothing for hours….
The Short Attention Span: Sits down and says things like “ohhh puzzle time!” Three minutes later retreats with with a flimsy excuse and a “ugh, puzzles are just NOT my thing...”
The Conspiracy Theorist: Certain, at the first hint of a dry spell, that the fix is in. A piece is missing. The puzzle is defective. The cover had cats, but those are clearly dog paws. And, god forbid, a piece is found on the floor, their powers only grow.
The Judger: Hovers over the puzzle area, never actually pitching in. Watches others’ attempts with skepticism. Says things like “ha! That was never going to go there.” (At James Brown’s house, these people would go hungry, and they should at your house too.)
The Eroder: sits in front of the puzzle for hours, patiently, systematically chipping away. Never takes a break. Careful, if you leave these types unattended, the puzzle will be done by the time you fixed dinner.
The Box Studier: constantly referencing the picture on the cover and making every move based on colors as they fall on the grid.
Cheerleader: doesn’t place that many pieces themselves, but, my goodness isn’t it wonderful when someone else places one. These puzzlers keep you going over the peaks and through the valleys.
The Master: They do thousand-piece puzzles at lunch. They do three-thousand piece puzzles as warm ups for their puzzle leagues. They know their best times, blindfolded and not. They’ve seen it all, and they don’t have time for jokers that slow them down. And they are not invited. This is best for everyone.
Whatever type of puzzler you are, get those tightly cut pieces of cardboard out on the table and get to work. Know your other puzzlers and which type they are. There’s no such thing as a bad puzzle team except one that can’t accept other puzzler types. You’re at (peaceful) war, damnit! Use each other’s strengths, cover for each other’s weaknesses, and turn this mess of tiny pieces into a big beautiful picture. But not too fast. Let’s not forget why we’re here…
So what kind of puzzler are you? One of these, or something else entirely?
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