Busy puzzles. With many puzzlers, they either evoke terror and are avoided at all costs or they are a challenge accepted with gusto. I fall into the latter category. One of the first 1000 piece puzzles I ever did was the extended cast of the TV show “The Simpsons”. It was almost completely yellow. I realized very quickly it was very difficult to sort and it taught me to look at small details to work out where pieces needed to be placed. I loved every second of it and to this day still remains one of my favourite puzzles.
Avocado Park by Gibsons
I noticed the 1000 piece “Avocado Park” by Gibsons on the Puzzle Warehouse website earlier in the year and immediately added it to my wishlist. It was sent to me as a part of my Ambassador Box way back in February and even though I love a busy puzzle, it has taken me this long to work up the courage to do it.
As you would expect, there’s A LOT of green to deal with. Most busy puzzles however have a few very obvious details to work off of and a lot of minor details. Sorting isn’t always straight forward with this type of puzzle. I decided to keep it reasonably simple to begin with. Edges, very obvious major details (in this puzzle, the cars. path, ice cream truck etc), minor details (balloon, soccer ball etc), avocado faces then green (so much green).
Personally I find doing the edges first on a busy puzzle the way to go. It gives you more options to find spots in the image to work on. I’m an edges first puzzler almost every single time anyway, so that was my first step with this puzzle.
Taking care of the most obvious details first, as with building the edges, gives you even more variety within the puzzle to work out which sections feed off of those images. For example, between the ice cream truck and the playground along the top edge, there is an avocado holding a single red balloon. The balloon was easy enough to find and put together. By putting it in its approximate location, it gave me yet another detail to work off of. I used this strategy as often as I could whilst building this puzzle.
Filling in the obvious colours in a sea of green was easy enough…the problem is, once the obvious colours are placed, the sea of green is all that remains.
All is not as it appears though! There are so many minor details that give hints on piece position. I admittedly relied heavily on the mini poster included with this puzzle to find them. Flowers, hats, dogs, glasses and the different shades of faces helped to fill in the gaps. It actually sounds a lot easier than it is. At times I felt like I was trying to find a needle in a haystack but I also enjoyed the challenge more than I can say.
Towards the end of this puzzle, I did another re-sort of the remaining pieces down to shades of green and piece shape. The puzzle actually flowed quite well from this point. Piece shapes were very obvious once 80-90% of the puzzle was complete. I personally found this particular design to be well above average in challenge level. I thoroughly enjoyed it though and while I won’t do it again any time soon, I’d definitely try it again in the future.
Busy Puzzles at Puzzle Warehouse
Puzzle Warehouse have a great selection of busy puzzles of varying difficulty. If you are interested in a particular design but remain unsure about the difficulty, many have helpful reviews which will tell you how challenging a customer found it.
Here are a few of my favourite busy puzzles at Puzzle Warehouse:
This is “Ribbons and Bows” by Colorcraft. Reviews on this puzzle state this is a medium to hard level of puzzle. Sorting by colour and then by shade and pattern within each colour would be my strategy for this one.
This is “Hershey’s Swirl” by Masterpieces. This design has a decent amount of different colours that stand out from the mostly orange parts in the image. If you can place those parts in the puzzle first, you’ll have a good foundation for the remainder of the puzzle. The text, particularly through the middle of the image will likely provide a decent challenge.
This is “Pins Disney” by Ceaco. As you can see it’s super busy. If you are a big Disney fan and know your characters, you may find this to be challenging but not too frustrating, especially if you are able to recall smaller details of your favourite characters.
If none of these appeal to you, you’ll find a lot of busy style puzzles by searching the term “Collage” on the Puzzle Warehouse website.
Until next time,