Duluth Jigsaw Puzzle Contest

DULUTH, Minn. —┬áHundreds of jigsaw puzzlers filled the great hall of the Duluth Depot this weekend.

Each person was there to complete the goal finishing a 500 piece puzzle in the least amount of time with their team.

The puzzle aficionados gathered from all across Minnesota, neighboring states, and some from even further.

“The best thing about jigsaw puzzling that’s really come out in the last few years is the community aspect of it, people get together to puzzle, they trade puzzles, there’s puzzle libraries, jigsaw puzzling has really taken off in the last couple of years,” said Stacey DeRoche, Event Coordinator.

The event had different rounds for different group’s sizes. Ranging from two to four people.

The 1st place team for the third person team competed their puzzle in an astonishing 16 minutes.

The 1st place for the four person group finished in just over 20 minutes.

“I love the fact that it has kind of taken off again, after, with the pandemic and all of that, people really go into puzzling and it’s super great, I’ve met people who do it all the time and I have met people who have done it for the first time and it’s always exciting meeting a new puzzler and talking with old friends,” said Misty Havens, Competitor.

Competitive puzzling has seen a rise in popularity, and the Minnesota Jigsaw Puzzle Association hopes to continue their contest as this first year was a hit.

“I think for me, some of its nostalgia, I’ve been doing puzzles for a really long time and I remember doing puzzles with my grandma growing up and always had them around the house and we live in Minnesota and North Dakota, there’s not a lot to do in the winter aside from puzzling,” said Havens.

For the Woodside Warblers, a team comprised of four siblings, this was their first ever puzzle competition.

Despite this they took home a top five finish out of dozens of other groups.

“We always do a competition between each other and we have never actually done a puzzling competition, so we wanted to do it. I didn’t know where we would place going into this, so top 5 is pretty sweet,” said Mock, Woodside Warblers, Competitors.

This particular puzzle came with a twist, as the picture on the box didn’t show all the details, making the task even more difficult.

Each puzzler has their strengths, some teams have designated people to focus on different aspects of the puzzle.

“For like a team puzzle, we all know what we do best, I’m better at interior and writing, and they will do the borders, she’ll do the big colors and that’s how we kind of divide it up, and we each know what we are good at,” said Mock.

The event also a head table dedicated to puzzle swapping, and an area for a single person to time themselves on their skills.


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