National Puzzle Day

National Puzzle Day

Jan 21st 2020

I was recently introduced by a friend and former colleague to the Norwegian word "koselig" - a concept that encompasses the notion of comfort together with an experience. As National Puzzle Day is upon us, I have also been thinking about the joys of puzzling, and I have come to the emphatic conclusion that doing a jigsaw while enjoying music, food or the company of friends embodies the definition of koselig.

Imagine opening the box and spreading out all of the pieces, each one unique, but somehow so pleasingly uniform; turning each piece face up, grouping by colors and patterns, referring to the image on the lid as you try to make sense of the chaos. End pieces go down first, forming the outer edges within which all the other pieces will find their place. Finding corners are key! Looks like a match, but alas, no. Keep trying. No matter how difficult, if you just keep trying, you are sure to succeed. And perhaps that is a big part of the jigsaw's appeal.

While there are many types of puzzles, from Sudoku to the Rubik's Cube, jigsaw puzzles are certainly the most popular. Originating as an educational tool to teach geography in the mid-1700s, jigsaws puzzles have not only survived the digital revolution, but have thrived as a foil to today's tech gadgets. Puzzles have an irresistible pull, bring people together, forming a bridge between generations, and across language or cultural barriers. Puzzles improve problem solving skills and challenge critical thinking, too. Did I mention, they are fun? Can you recall the last time you did a puzzle and each time you found two pieces that matched perfectly? I'd call that joy, wouldn't you?

As Winter's blanket has covered the Michigan landscape, I have been thinking about what should accompany my puzzling experience to make it truly koselig. A hot cup of tea and a plate of cookies should do it! Of course, there should always be cookies. 

Find an assortment of art-themed jigsaws for puzzlers of all ages, including two puzzles featuring works of art from the DIA's own collection, Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry and Bruegel's The Wedding Dance, as well as other world-famous works of art. Celebrate National Puzzle Day, this January 29, and enjoy puzzles (and a little koselig) all year long!

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