Difficult  Jigsaw Puzzles
14 Tips on Buying Puzzles

There are such things as the most difficult jigsaw puzzles or some are known as Impossibles.

So far I have completed one as shown below but I have about 4 or 5 in my hobby collection to complete. 

Besides being 'labelled' as most difficult there are also certain images that will actually be more difficult than the labelled ones.

And do not forget the cut of the pieces.

How to avoid buying difficult jigsaw puzzles

How to avoid choosing difficult jigsaw puzzles images. Here are 14 Tips

Here are some traits to be aware of to avoid difficult images;

  1. dark shades
  2. repetitive images
  3. very few colour blends
  4. one solid colour in large sections with grid-like cut pieces
  5. solid colour borders and/or with lines
  6. pieces that 'butt' up to the next one (no tips)
  7. really extreme cuts that are repetitive and/or very tiny pieces
  8. letters of various fonts against dark colours
  9. photomosaics (tiny images form large image)
  10. image is different from picture on the box
  11. brush strokes on painted images and/or blurred brush strokes
  12. grainy-look to puzzle pieces
  13. lenticular (3D) image changes when it is moved
  14. foil or sheen on images

The following images presented are what I consider to be challenging types and certainly not to be attempted by someone who is new to starting a jigsaw puzzle hobby unless they really like a challenge.

How to avoid buying difficult jigsaw puzzlesSelegiochi Metamorphose M.C. Escher, 3000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle - Size 8.5" x 159" Extremely challenging image with a lot of the difficult qualities mentioned above.

How to avoid buying difficult jigsaw puzzles

By Bepuzzled Co.
755 Pieces Larry Blanck – Strange puzzle alert. This was my first “Impossibles” which turned out to be quite the opposite. Really wasn’t difficult at all even with it being borderless and having extra pieces.

How to avoid buying difficult jigsaw puzzles

Cassia Lancaster Springbok, 1972 Florentine Mosaic - 500+ pieces - Whoo hoo lovely little puzzle - was such a challenge: acted and took as long as most 1000 piece puzzles. Took almost 11 hours. Great quality and challenge. Exact same Pattern repeats x 4 -so busy, so distracting, sooooo much fun!

Ravensburger - Krypt, 654 Pieces. Solid silver in color, very unique cuts and pattern.

I was nervous to work this one because it appears so complex. I started with the circle and worked my way out to the end of the circle area. 

Then I worked from the outside towards the inside circle.

This was one of the uniquest cuts I have ever achieved and I have kept it together on the wall.

Buffalo Games 1991 Artist: by Ditz, Title: World's Most Difficult Cats Edition             "Double Cat Spread" Size: 15 x 15"  Pieces: 529 Double Sided

By far one of THE most challenging puzzles I have ever done...turns out I am not even fond of the image and I love cats. This one took so long I just wanted to get it behind me.

Springbok 3D Sensations Jigsaw Puzzle Merry Olde Santa 1994 500 pieces Size: 18" by 23.5" - Hallmark Cards, Inc. & Digi-Rule, Inc.

This was assembled many years ago and we still look 'into' it to see the beauty of the Santa images inside this Stereogram.

It was extremely tricky to complete but luckily only 500 pieces.


We have collected a massive list of jigsaw puzzles in numerous categories on our Amazon Store link. It's a quick way to browse most current puzzles and/or specific seasons, accessories and themes. Makes for a terrific one-stop jigsaw puzzle gift giving shopping centre. CLICK HERE

Here are more samples of difficult puzzles...

Lost in a Jigsaw II - The Diagonal Maze Puzzle - Survival of the Fittest1. Lost in a Jigsaw II - The Diagonal Maze Puzzle - Survival of the Fittest
Coca-Cola 500 Piece 3D Lenticular Jigsaw Puzzle2. Coca-Cola 500 Piece 3D Lenticular Jigsaw Puzzle
Paul Lamond The World's Most Difficult Puzzle Sweet Shop4. Paul Lamond The World's Most Difficult Puzzle Sweet Shop

About: Mastering the Art of Choosing the Right Jigsaw Puzzle

Tips to Avoid Buying Overwhelmingly Difficult Images

Jigsaw puzzles offer a delightful challenge, but there are times when the level of difficulty can be overwhelming. Whether you're a seasoned puzzler or a novice looking for an enjoyable experience, it's important to choose the right puzzle image that matches your skill level and personal preferences. In this article, we'll explore the world of difficult jigsaw puzzles and provide you with a list of tips to help you avoid buying images that might leave you feeling frustrated.

1. Know Your Skill Level

Understanding your own puzzle-solving skills is key when selecting a jigsaw puzzle. Be honest with yourself about your experience and comfort level. If you're a beginner, it's best to start with puzzles that have a lower piece count and simpler imagery. As you gain confidence and experience, you can gradually challenge yourself with more complex puzzles.

2. Consider the Piece Count

The number of puzzle pieces directly affects the difficulty level. Larger piece counts, such as 1,000 pieces or more, can be more time-consuming and mentally demanding. If you prefer a less challenging experience, opt for puzzles with smaller piece counts, such as 500 pieces or even fewer.

3. Analyze the Imagery

Before purchasing a puzzle, carefully examine the image. Complex and intricate designs, such as landscapes with numerous details or abstract patterns, tend to be more challenging. If you're looking for a less daunting puzzle, choose images with clearly defined sections, distinct colors, or simpler motifs.

4. Read Product Descriptions and Reviews

Take the time to read product descriptions and reviews. Puzzle manufacturers often provide information about the level of difficulty, which can help you make an informed decision. Additionally, reading reviews from other puzzlers can give you insights into the puzzle's complexity and whether it aligns with your preferences.

5. Look for Beginner-Friendly Collections

Many puzzle companies offer collections specifically designed for beginners. These collections often feature puzzles with larger pieces, simpler imagery, or even hints and guidance to assist you along the way. Exploring these beginner-friendly options can be a great way to ease into the world of jigsaw puzzles.

6. Seek Variety in Piece Shapes

Some puzzles feature unique piece shapes that can add an extra layer of difficulty. If you're looking for a more accessible experience, consider puzzles with standard grid-shaped pieces. However, if you enjoy a challenge, look for puzzles with irregular or whimsical piece shapes, as they can make the assembly process more complex and engaging.

7. Check for Puzzle-Specific Features

Certain puzzle manufacturers offer features to indicate the level of difficulty. For example, some puzzles may have a "difficulty rating" on the packaging or specify whether they are suitable for beginners, intermediate puzzlers, or advanced enthusiasts. These indicators can be valuable in making an informed decision.

8. Consider Collaborations with Artists

Many jigsaw puzzle companies collaborate with renowned artists, resulting in a wide range of puzzle images with varying levels of difficulty. Some artists may have a distinctive style that makes their puzzles more challenging, while others may focus on creating accessible and enjoyable designs. Research the artist's work and style to ensure it aligns with your preferences and skill level.

9. Seek Recommendations from Fellow Puzzlers

Engaging with the puzzle community, whether through online forums, social media groups, or local puzzle clubs, can provide valuable insights and recommendations. Experienced puzzlers can share their thoughts on specific puzzle images and brands, helping you make informed choices.

10. Trust Your Instincts

Ultimately, trust your instincts and choose puzzles that genuinely spark joy and interest for you. While it's important to consider the difficulty level, it's equally crucial to select images that you find visually appealing and personally satisfying. Enjoying the process of assembling a puzzle is just as important as the challenge itself.

By following these tips, you'll be better equipped to choose jigsaw puzzles that match your skill level and provide an enjoyable experience. Remember, puzzles should be a source of relaxation and fun, so don't be afraid to explore different options and challenge yourself while staying within your comfort zone. Happy puzzling!

(ChatGPT, personal communication, June 20, 2023)