Let's put all the pieces together.
November 30, 2009 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find the best jigsaw puzzle for my puzzle-loving grandmom?

My 85-year-old grandmother is wild about jigsaw puzzles. They are her gaming addiction. Every year for the past several years I've bought her one for Christmas, and recently have been challenging her by getting increasingly difficult ones. I've had random luck getting puzzles at the mall or even thrift stores, but nothing so far this year has looked good. I've searched online and been bombarded with crappy illustrations and generally disappointing results. Help me find the perfect puzzle!
Here are some specs:

- Must be 1000+ pieces, preferably 1500+.
- No Thomas Kinkade or puppy/kitten illustrated puzzles. Classy, interesting photos and artwork only. (I know, so elitist!)
- I want to stay away from the 3D/gimmicky puzzles, no matter how cool. She's a fan of the classic, flat, jigsaw puzzle and I don't want to blow her mind too much.

Your jigsaw puzzle ideas are appreciated!
posted by wundermint to Shopping (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
What about making her a custom puzzle? You could choose any photo you want, and they go up to 1,000 pieces. I did this last Xmas for some family members and it was a big hit.
posted by ORthey at 6:34 PM on November 30, 2009

Best answer: This catalog appears to have the sort of things you're looking for, although I'll be interested to see what others suggest.
posted by DrGail at 6:38 PM on November 30, 2009

You should probably go to an honest-to-god boardgame shop. Your profile says you are in Asheville? Googling leads me to the Sword and Grail, but they may be more of a specialty gaming than puzzle shop. In the midwest we have a chain called Games by James (I'm not sure of its geographic spread) which has a pretty good selection.
posted by Think_Long at 6:40 PM on November 30, 2009

I've always wanted a plain white puzzle. Don't know if that's gimmicky or not. Has she got puzzle mats? The kind you can roll up and put away?
posted by Leon at 6:43 PM on November 30, 2009

Best answer: The brand name you want is Ravensburger. Good quality German puzzles in sizes up to 5000 pieces. They have a few cutesy pictures, but there are lots of great landscapes. See here:
http://www.ravensburger.com/usa/products/ravensburger_adult_puzzles/index.html. They don't appear to sell online, but I'm sure you can find somebody who does. Use the SKU numbers they list next to their products to search.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:43 PM on November 30, 2009

I second making a custom puzzle for her. There are lots of places you can get your own photo made into a puzzle -- most online and brick-and-mortar photography shops offer something like this. To make it a bit more challenging and fun, you could give her only part of the "solution" (that is, the actual picture she looks at while doing the puzzle). You could even put a secret message in there. (ex: Make the actual puzzle a photo of you on your first Christmas with "Love ya Granmma! -wundermint" across the bottom. On the box, put a large black rectangle over the words across the bottom. Tell her there's a secret message for her that she needs to solve. I'm sure any grandmother would love a personalized gift like that ;)
posted by Kippersoft at 7:40 PM on November 30, 2009

Response by poster: These are helpful suggestions. And I wasn't aware of the whole custom puzzle thing, might have to give that a go.

Think_Long, that was some good sleuthing. I remember them selling boardgames but I'm imagining that when it comes to puzzles, a Michael Whelan dragon illustration would be more their style.

I just remembered seeing a couple puzzles by Pomegranate in a gift store and thought I'd link there in case it was useful to anyone else. I'm liking those and the fine art puzzles that DrGail linked to.

And yes she's got the whole roll-up mat for saving puzzles that Leon mentioned.
posted by wundermint at 8:16 PM on November 30, 2009

For a bit of fun and a challenging jigsaw I love Wasjig. I am not sure if you can get them in the US though. There are a lot of details both in the provided picture and in the image you solve. They have different series (Mystery, Destiny and regular) and they also usually do a new one for Christmas.
posted by tweemy at 7:38 AM on April 17, 2010

« Older "Making a point" gesture - a cross cultural double...   |   Kicking butt and taking names - is my kid's coach... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.