Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was once challenged to try and piece together a jigsaw puzzle without looking at the picture for reference. This is the real Queen's Gambit. It is the latest in a series of challenges that has taken the world of puzzling by storm. And the best part about it? You're not confined to any particular puzzle, meaning you can do any puzzle you like, at any difficulty level. Fortunately at Rest In Pieces, we have a plethora of jigsaw puzzles to suit your tastes and expertise levels - whether you want something easy or challenging, or whether you consider yourself a junior or senior jigsaw puzzler.
Often in the olden days, many wooden jigsaw puzzles did not come with a reference picture. More experienced and traditional puzzlers still try to avoid looking at the picture to this day, as though it is some form of cheating. Indeed, doing so makes the experience a little more difficult, but some even think it's more fun this way. It's certainly more of a mental workout!
A small survey conducted in 2014 found approximately 53% of puzzlers look at the picture that comes with the box when completing a puzzle, with 30% saying they do only when stuck, and 17% who avoid it completely.
Should you choose to take up the real Queen's Gambit puzzling challenge, we have a list of tips and puzzle strategies to help you complete your puzzles on "hard mode":
1. Choose a face or artwork you know well. Frida Kahlo, perhaps? Some people might say that this is cheating a bit but it's a helpful thing to do if this is your first time trying out this challenge!
2. Start small if you're a beginner. Practice this challenge first with a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle before moving on to 1000+ pieces.
3. Start by sorting out all the edge pieces first. This will give you an idea of the puzzle size, and may even provide you with a general idea of what the puzzle is about (eg. portrait, abstract, landscape, etc).
4. Sort by colour. Often pieces that are in the same vicinity or near each other on a puzzle are similar shades.
5. Put the box in a difficult to reach place to avoid the temptation of looking at the picture whilst completing the puzzle. Lock it up if you have to!
So will you heed this call to arms, dear puzzler? Your Queen commands it.