Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guinness World's Record Official timed jigsaw

For those of you who can't resist a challenge heres a very special one! Your challenge is to put together this 250 piece puzzle in record time. The timer is also included.
The puzzle itself is a montage of various amazing world record holders showcasing such achievements as the man who completed the most Pogo Stick jumps in a minute and the most tennis balls held in a mouth (this record is currently held by a dog!).

The pack is presented in an official Guinness World Records box and includes an official Guinness World Records stopwatch timer to record your record-breaking attempts with.

We had fun just trying to beat each other. It is certainly a bit of family fun for the holidays!

How to complete your record attempts:
Complete the puzzle on a hard flat surface
Open the bag containing the puzzle pieces and tip them into the box
Shake the box
Start the included digital timer, tip out the pieces and start puzzling!
As soon as the the last piece of the puzzle is placed, stop the timer.

Available now from our website. Have fun!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

more shaped puzzles

We promised to show more shaped puzzles from Sunsout and here they are:

Barnyard strut
A delicate balance

And for the kitten lovers:
Kittens delight
To whom it concern

All are about 1000 pieces and available now from our website

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

EDUCA piece replacement service

Did you know that if you lose a piece of your EDUCA jigsaw you can simply email them and they will send you the replacement piece? What a fantastic service!
Just go to their website, ( and complete the form. They identify the puzzle by the 11 digit code on the box, and this is required to identify the exact puzzle. You then identify the missing pieces by counting the pieces up and across and quoting this.
So, remember to keep the box from EDUCA puzzles just in case a piece disappears!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hear Margaret Drabble reads from The Pattern on the Carpet

I have just been relaxing, sitting doing my latest jigsaw (Lunchtime 1932) as I listen to a podcast of Margaret Drabble, reading an excerpt from her book, The Pattern on the Carpet. I really recommend you do the same the next time you are puzzling. Fascinating listening! here's the link.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The power of jigsaws!

Here's an interesting article about the power of jigsaws and how jigsaw puzzles have helped author, Margaret Drabble with her depression:

The puzzling power of jigsaws
Time-wasters or sanity savers? Cassandra Jardine ponders the power of the jigsaw.

I am bereft. Each time I pass my kitchen table, emptiness assails me. Flowers, salt, pepper – all the usual clutter are there – but no jigsaw. I am happiest when there is a 1,000-piecer half-done, ready for me to tinker with whenever I am passing. I crave the buzz that comes when an incomprehensible set of squiggles finds its home but, once I start, I can't stop. Only backache saves me from staying up all night working on The Rokeby Venus's curves.

Jigsaws are a harmless addiction, unless you share the Puritan view, expressed by Daniel Defoe, that: "The killing of time is the worst of murders." In the privacy of our own homes, thousands of us thrive on our daily fix.Theatre producer Michael Codron has done a jigsaw a day for more than 30 years.

The Pattern in the Carpet by Margaret Drabble: review "I like making order out of chaos," she says. The Queen is another jigsaw junkie: for many years she has been a keen borrower from the British Jigsaw Puzzle Library, some of whose 3,500 wooden puzzles have been returned, it is rumoured, with the odd Corgi bite mark.

Princess Margaret was thought to have been another jigsaw addict but in reality she did not share her sister's enthusiasm, at least in later life. After her death in 2002, it was said that no fewer than 1,700 jigsaws were found in her attic, well-intentioned but unopened gifts.

Jigsaws, though, make excellent presents. They are silent, calming and can be combined with a little light social life. And they are gloriously cheap compared with other amusements, which explains why weekly cardboard puzzles became a national obsession in the US after the crash of 1929. That boom led to a bust all of its own when, in December 1932, a terrible period known as the Jigsaw Famine ensued.

Our current recession may show jigsaw history repeating itself. Jigsaws need a new champion and now they have one in the surprising form of Dame Margaret Drabble whose latest book, The Pattern on the Carpet, is subtitled "A personal history with jigsaws". As she explains, puzzles saved her sanity when her husband, biographer Michael Holroyd, was diagnosed with bowel cancer. While he had operations and treatment, Drabble was homebound.

Too distracted to read, she felt herself "sinking into paranoia and depression" – until she started doing jigsaws. Piecing together framed pictures gave her "an illusion of control" when everything else was uncertain. They also made a "clumsy" woman feel dexterous.

Puzzles may be done slowly but they cannot be done badly, which is one reason why they appeal to small children who start with pegged pieces and graduate to television spin-offs. Unlike adults, who start with the edge, they go straight to the drama: having completed the dinosaur, they often leave the rest. My children have outgrown that phase and now hover while I am doing a puzzle, safe in talking to me because they have only half my concentration. Sometimes they help but mostly they laugh at me because jigsaws aren't clever like crosswords, nor a quick-fix like Sudoku.

In time, they may see the point of them again. Although puzzle-makers are usually men, the vast majority of those who do them are women of a certain age. "They add 10 years to people's lives," says Dave Cooper, who runs the Jigsaw Puzzle Library, some of whose members are in their nineties. "They are so absorbing that you forget your problems."

That need for diversion is not exclusive to any age group and last month Katie Best, a 27-year-old business school lecturer who chairs the Islington Women's Institute, staged a competitive jigsaw night. "I thought I was the only person who liked them," she says, "but, of our committee of 10, six said they were secret puzzlers."

The Islington teams tackled a reproduction Fifties puzzle. Those are perennial favourites, along with (groan) animals and thatched cottages. Maps, the first jigsaws – famously mentioned by Jane Austen in Mansfield Park – continue to be popular.

But jigsaw fashions come and go. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor created a vogue for puzzles containing "whimsies" – specific shapes – in their case, Scottie dogs. Murder Mystery puzzles were the rage a few years ago, as were 3D models. Currently, comedy Wasgijs are big sellers, according to online retailers, who talk of a revival.

Along with Drabble and Codron, I prefer art puzzles because, in return for the investment of time, you gain a unique familiarity with a great painting.

I've now done all those the National Gallery has on sale and must wait until the autumn for new releases. A wooden Wentworth puzzle – one of Codron's favourite – is in the post.

Hence my empty table.

By Cassandra Jardine c/o The Telegraph

WASGIJ Destiny 10 High Street Hassle

Here's advance notice - the latest in the WASGIJ Destiny series - High Street Hassle - is now available. Battle your way through the shoppers on crazy Wasgij High Steet, if you dare! Remember the picture you are looking at above is just a clue as to what is inside. What have the characters seen? Piece together the clues to form the hilarious solution!