Competitive Jigsaw Puzzling

In December I started doing competitive jigsaw puzzling. This is a sport where people are all given the same puzzle, and none of them know what it is before the competition starts. At the same time, everyone opens the puzzle and it’s a race to be the first to complete it. Categories include individual 500 piece, individual or pairs 1000 piece, and teams of up to 4 doing 2 1000 piece puzzles. I’ve only been doing 500 piece. My first competition I barely made it before the cutoff time and was at the back of the pack, but I hated the image and really struggled through it. I’ve gotten significantly better in the last few months, and now I’m doing a little over an hour in competitions. I practice a lot on the same puzzles over and over, and on some of them have gotten times below 40 minutes. World competition times are typically in the 34ish minutes, so I have a long ways to go.

It’s a fun hobby, and I like that I can start and be done within two hours. It’s a clearly defined project with a definitive end, and if I don’t like it I can bail, too. Too much of my other life projects are ones where it lasts far longer than I want, and bailing isn’t really an option for me, so this is nice.