What makes a puzzle great? I believe the best jigsaw puzzles have three vital qualities.
A good puzzle has lots of color. Color makes a puzzle fun to look at and easier to solve. Solving a puzzle often requires searching for pieces of a specific hue. I like a puzzle that forces me to invent ad hoc color names because the colors shown don’t fit neatly under conventional labels. Don’t give me plain-old red, blue, and green. Force me to search for sneaker sole, mouse ear, and salsa verde. Much more fun.
A good puzzle has oodles of details to reward close scrutiny. Ideally, each individual puzzle piece should include fragments of intriguing characters, shapes, or textures that deserve a closer look. Let’s shun puzzles with broad expanses of boring blue sky. We want the richness of finials, fur, and furbelows.
A good puzzle is puzzling. It has ambiguities and false clues. For example, the same detail might appear twice or the same color may appear in multiple places. There should be room in a puzzle for mystery. But because no one enjoys the feeling of being completely stymied, there must be subtle clues to help you find the right home for all the pieces.
I designed the BAD NEIGHBORHOOD puzzle to give you abundant colors, beguiling details, and mild mystery. I hope you enjoy the challenge and delight in exploring this strange neighborhood.
Favorite perk ($24)
One BAD NEIGHBORHOOD jigsaw puzzle with color cheat sheet. More than 750 pieces to create a finished puzzle 18×24 inches (45×60 cm). Free shipping in the USA.