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Six fun ways to make a jigsaw puzzle more challenging

Looking for a new way to have fun with jigsaw puzzles? We get it. Whether we’re doing an old favourite or something new and exciting (like the five new jigsaws we just announced!), sometimes doing a puzzle the old-fashioned way feels boring. So here are six of our favourite challenges. How many have you tried?

CHALLENGE ONE: No looking!

The Pixels puzzle from Cloudberries

Try completing a puzzle without looking at the box! While true puzzle nerds believe using visuals when working through a jigsaw is as good as cheating, most of us here at Cloudberries keep the box close by and reference it often, so you have our permission.

But if you’re looking to supercharge your puzzle game, removing the box from view adds a nice new challenge. For 500-piece puzzles, this increases the difficulty only slightly. But trying the ‘no looking’ challenge can be especially difficult with large and/or very detailed images. Our upcoming release PIXELS features a grid of bold and vibrant colours fading to white with ever-so-subtle colour changes; test your colour vision and let the subtle differences guide you!

CHALLENGE TWO: Do it upside down

Looking for a new challenge? Try doing your puzzle upside down.

Sometimes all you need to spark new life into a puzzle that’s been sitting on your shelf too long is to change perspective! Try completing an old favourite while looking at it upside down and you’ll pay more attention to the fine details of the image. You may find new things to appreciate as you work your way through the jigsaw!

This challenge works best for landscape puzzles or puzzles featuring people or interior scenes, as your mind will have to work a little harder to understand familiar shapes from a different angle. If you’re into brainteasers our BOTANY puzzle combines detailed landscape and interior scenes filled with vivid colours and lots of flower power. It’s sure to test you twice as much when you do it upside down!


Most of us puzzle-lovers enjoy them as a leisurely, relaxing pastime, but going against the clock can be a fun new way of challenging yourself!

You can try giving yourself only 15 minutes to find all the edges, 30 minutes to put them together and make the framework, or 1 hour per feature. If you’re up for a longer puzzling challenge, give yourself just a few hours to complete the whole thing! There are tons of options to customise this challenge for your schedule and skill level.

CHALLENGE FOUR: Don’t start with the edges!

The most common way to start a puzzle is to find all the edge pieces and construct a frame – as nearly every puzzle dweeb will attest, this is the easiest and most effective way to map out the image and get you going. But you can also try starting in other ways to make it more challenging!

Try starting a puzzle from one corner and moving outward. With some jigsaws, like our FLOWERS puzzle, this approach can make it feel like the image is blossoming from your fingers!

You could also go section by section, constructing each feature separately and then arranging them as a whole. This is a great way to share the puzzle with others! Our colourful CANVAS puzzle, for example, features several individual geometric illustrations inspired by vintage colour theory, perfect for working through a puzzle section by section.

CHALLENGE FIVE: Go head to head

Mountain puzzle from Cloudberries
Pic: @karenpuzzles

Doing puzzles with a friend or family member is a wonderful way to share something special together, but as many puzzle nerds would rather complete their puzzles themselves, why not make it friendly* competition? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Race to the middle: Choose a puzzle with a friend and each start on opposite sides. Compete to see who finishes their section first! The colour-blocked sections of our MOUNTAIN puzzle is perfect for this challenge!

Timed race: You can also dare a friend to a timed challenge! See who’s faster at completing a puzzle in an allotted time. You can do this head-to-head with the same puzzle or choose a different puzzle of the same piece-count based on your personal style or certain strategy!

*Level of friendliness up to you

CHALLENGE SIX: Try pieces a set number of times

When you have the time to sit down and really study a puzzle, this strategy will really challenge your focus! Make a rule that you can only try pieces a set number of times **or** make a rule that you can only try a certain number of pieces in one spot.

This seemingly simple challenge will require you to take note of all the little details and be very, very organised. Especially for large, detailed images like our CELESTIAL puzzle, you’ll notice more of those fine details that still puts stars in our eyes!

Let us know when you try these challenges out and how they went for you! We love to see your progress pics and finished works of art! Share your pictures with us on Instagram @cloudberriesofficial for a chance to be featured.

Puzzles we think you’ll love:

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