If you’re working on a puzzle by yourself, you can make your own rules (or have no rules at all).
However, if you’re working as a pair or in a jigsaw puzzle group, there are some major no-nos to keep in mind if you want to avoid p!$$ing off your partner(s).
6 Puzzling Etiquette Don’ts
Here are six ways to avoid bad puzzle etiquette when working with others on a jigsaw.
1. Don’t dictate the “right way” to do a puzzle
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the puzzle business, it’s that everyone approaches a puzzle differently. When you work on a jigsaw in a group setting, it’s important to establish some ground rules that everyone agrees to.
For example, some puzzlers consider using the reference poster as cheating, while others believe it’s a necessary tool to complete the puzzle. Let everyone in the group have a say on the rules and establish some boundaries so that it’s an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
2. Don’t disrespect the agreed-upon puzzle code
After the rules are established, stick to them. Don’t be that person that continuously disregards the boundaries placed and blatantly breaks the rules. The code was set for everyone involved to have the opportunity to work together on the puzzle and have fun doing so. If you consistently disrespect the ground rules, you might not be invited back.
3. Don’t invade others’ space
In group settings, splitting up various sections of the puzzle is a common element of puzzling together. If you’re stuck on your section or become bored with it, don’t invade another person’s territory unless invited to do so.
If you’ve completed your portion of the puzzle, great job! Reward yourself with a snack.
4. Don’t provide unsolicited assistance
If you offer to assist your team and they decline your help, respect that. They may be taking their time to complete their section and enjoying the challenge of tackling the jigsaw, and it would be rude to barge in and help complete their part. Use this opportunity to take a break and re-up on refreshments.
5. Don’t rush the process
Finishing your section of the puzzle may make you feel like you need to encourage the rest of your group to speed up the completion of theirs. Every puzzler works at their own pace, so don’t be the person rushing everyone else along.
6. Don’t become competitive
While there is such a thing as competitive puzzling, don’t make the task of completing a puzzle in a group setting a competitive endeavor unless it’s part of the agreed-upon rules. Some of us have a competitive nature, while others are happy to take their time and enjoy the puzzle-solving process.
If your group does want to add a bit of challenge, though, adding a competitive element can be a fun way to spice up completing the puzzle. Just make sure everyone agrees to it before imposing it as a rule.
Have fun! Follow the established rules laid out amongst your group so that everyone involved enjoys working together on the puzzle. Everyone will have a better experience and prevent discord in the group.
We can’t guarantee there won't be any frustration, though, especially if you’re working on a really hard puzzle.
Need help working on a difficult jigsaw? Check out these puzzling tips for when you feel stuck.