National Puzzle Day

Author JL Huffman
2 min readJan 29, 2024
Jigsaw Puzzle

Doing a jigsaw puzzle engages both sides of the brain, which improves cognitive function, problem-solving, number skills, and memory.

Spilsbury’s European Geography Puzzle

Puzzles have existed for centuries, beginning with labyrinth drawing puzzles in Ancient Egypt. In 1767, mapmaker John Spilsbury created the first jigsaw puzzle as a tool to teach geography.

Jig of the Week

There was a full-blown puzzle mania in the US in 1908. Later, during the Great Depression, puzzles reached peak popularity, with 10 million sold per week. People made puzzles to sell; libraries and drugstores would rent puzzles by the day. Another entertaining idea was the “Jig of the Week” sold on Wednesdays at newsstands: friends would challenge each other over who could solve the week’s puzzle first.

Jigsaw Puzzle as a COVID-19 Distraction

A second jigsaw puzzle boom occurred in 2020 during the COVID-19 epidemic as a solo pastime during long periods of solitude.

Jigsaw Puzzle as a Group Activity

Do you enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles? Do you assemble the pieces alone or as a group project?

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[Kudos to our Niece Linda for providing the inspiration for this week’s blog topic.]

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Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.