Jigsaw Zone: The Best Place to Find and Play Online Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles: A Fun and Beneficial Hobby for Everyone
Puzzles are one of the most popular and enduring forms of entertainment. Whether you prefer jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, or any other kind of puzzle, you probably enjoy the challenge of finding the solution and the satisfaction of completing it. But did you know that puzzles are also good for your brain and well-being? In this article, we will explore the history, types, and benefits of puzzles, as well as some tips on how to solve them like an expert. We will also share some resources and recommendations on where to find and enjoy puzzles.
What are puzzles and why do we love them?
A puzzle is a game, problem, or toy that tests a person's ingenuity or knowledge. In a puzzle, the solver is expected to put pieces together (or take them apart) in a logical way, in order to arrive at the correct or fun solution of the puzzle. There are different genres of puzzles, such as crossword puzzles, word-search puzzles, number puzzles, relational puzzles, and logic puzzles.
The academic study of puzzles is called enigmatology. Puzzles are often created to be a form of entertainment but they can also arise from serious mathematical or logical problems. In such cases, their solution may be a significant contribution to mathematical research.
The history of puzzles
But puzzles in varying shapes and forms, while not always called puzzles, have shown up throughout history. Among the earliest documented references to puzzles is one in the Rhind papyrus, compiled by a scribe called Ahmes about 1650 bce. (Its name is derived from the Scottish antiquarian Alexander Henry Rhind, who purchased it in 1858.) The papyrus contains 84 mathematical problems, divided into arithmetic, geometry, and miscellaneous, and it was at its heart a mathematics textbook written in a manner encouraging readers to develop the necessary techniques themselves.
According to legend, the ancient city of Thebes in Greece was the home of a sphinx, a creature with the head of a woman and the body of a lion who killed people wishing to enter Thebes. But, to give her victims a chance, she would first pose them a riddle. If they failed to answer it, they were killed. Nobody solved the riddle until Oedipus came along and answered What goes in the morning upon four feet, in the afternoon upon two feet, and in the evening on three feet? with the correct response: humankind.
The first commercial jigsaw puzzles were developed around 1760 by British cartographer and engraver John Spilsbury. He fastened a European map onto hardwood and used a marquetry saw to cut along the national borders of the countries. The puzzles originated as educational devices to teach geography (dissected maps) in 18th-century England. Dissected pictures followed, covering such subjects as history, alphabets, botany, and zoology. The use of popular pictures began in the 1860s and 70s, in both Great Britain and the United States.
In modern times, jigsaw puzzles were invented by John Spilsbury in 1767, crossword puzzles by Arthur Wynne in 1913, Sudoku puzzles by Howard Garns in 1979, and Rubik's Cube by Erno Rubik in 1974. Puzzles have become a popular form of entertainment and education, with millions of people around the world enjoying them every day.
The types of puzzles
There are many different types of puzzles, each with its own rules, goals, and challenges. Some of the most common types are:
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restore the original image in the shortest possible time
selected picture is divided into many small fragments
number of fragments depends on the chosen difficulty
higher the difficulty, the more fragments you need to collect
goal of the game is to return the fragments to their places
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Jigsaw puzzles: These are puzzles that require the assembly of often oddly shaped interlocking and tessellating pieces. Each piece usually has a small part of a picture on it; when complete, a jigsaw puzzle produces a complete picture.
Crossword puzzles: These are word puzzles that usually take the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white- and black-shaded squares. The game's goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues, which lead to the answers.
Sudoku puzzles: These are logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzles. The objective is to fill a 99 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 33 subgrids that compose the grid contain all of the digits from 1 to 9.
Rubik's Cube: This is a 3-D combination puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. The classic Rubik's Cube has six faces covered by nine stickers each, among six solid colours: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. A pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be returned to have only one colour.
Logic puzzles: These are puzzles that require the use of deductive reasoning to solve. They often involve some form of grid or table that contains clues or hints about the solution. Some examples of logic puzzles are Einstein's riddle, Knights and Knaves, and Sudoku.
The benefits of puzzles for your brain and well-being
Puzzles are not only fun but also beneficial for your brain and well-being. Some of the benefits are:
They improve your memory: Solving puzzles helps you enhance your short-term memory, as you have to remember shapes, colours, patterns, and positions. This can also improve your long-term memory, as you can recall previous solutions or strategies.
They boost your cognitive skills: Puzzles challenge your brain to process information, analyze patterns, make connections, and apply logic. This can improve your mental speed, attention span, concentration, and problem-solving skills.
They reduce stress: Puzzles can help you relax and unwind from the daily pressures and worries. They can also induce a state of flow, which is a state of optimal focus and enjoyment that makes you lose track of time and self-consciousness.
They enhance your mood: Puzzles can make you feel happy and accomplished, as you experience a sense of achievement and satisfaction when you complete them. They can also release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, motivation, and reward.
They prevent cognitive decline: Puzzles can help you prevent or delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, as they stimulate your brain cells and keep them active. They can also increase your brain's neuroplasticity, which is the ability to adapt and form new connections.
How to solve puzzles like an expert: 6 tips
If you want to improve your puzzle-solving skills and have more fun with puzzles, here are some tips that can help you:
Choose a puzzle that suits your skill level and interest
The first step is to pick a puzzle that matches your skill level and interest. If you choose a puzzle that is too easy or too hard for you, you may get bored or frustrated. If you choose a puzzle that is not appealing to you, you may lose motivation. Therefore, it is important to find a puz