Wooden Whimsy Jigsaw Puzzles

Written by Charles Peacock
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When most people think about puzzle pieces, they think of the common interlocking variety with rounded tabs that fit into each other. The most creative puzzle many people have seen is one where the pieces are shaped like states or counties in a particular country or area. In reality, there's a whole other world of puzzle shapes out there waiting to be discovered: they're called "whimsy pieces."

What Are Jigsaw Whimsy Pieces?

As if the phrase "jigsaw puzzle" wasn't fun enough, "whimsies" add, well, a whole new level of whimsicality to this popular indoor pastime. Put simply, whimsies are puzzle pieces that are cut into specific recognizable shapes, like flowers or animals. They got their name because they were originally cut according to the whims of the puzzle craftsman.

Whimsy pieces can make a puzzle a lot more fun, since they spice up the variety and shape of the pieces you're going to be staring at for hours on end. For some reason, it's a lot more satisfying to snap a tiger into place than a nondescript, unrecognizable blob with round handles. Interestingly enough, the reason you never see whimsy pieces in standard cardboard puzzles is that cardboard is usually too flimsy to support their intricate shapes. That's right: cardboard is too flimsy for whimsies.

A neat aspect of whimsy pieces is that sometimes they are designed to match the overall theme of a puzzle. If, for instance, you buy a wooden puzzle with a picture of a sailboat on it, you may find whimsies shaped like fish, islands, or even a captain's wheel. Specialty puzzle makers put a lot of thought into the dozens of whimsy pieces that they include in each puzzle.


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That's a very fun idea. I was

That's a very fun idea. I was never aware that there were such things as "whimsy jigsaw puzles". The first time I'll put my eyes on one of those I'm going to buy it.
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Jim from National Geographic jigsaw puzzles fan blog