Since the beginning of government advice to stay at home, demand for jigsaw puzzles for adults has been incredibly high, with retailers from Amazon to John Lewis & Partners seeing sellouts across their ranges.
But if you’re bored of the usual 1,000 piece landscapes and have finished all of the floral arrangements in your collection, we’ve found possibly the most difficult puzzle you’ll ever encounter: the clear jigsaw puzzle that’s currently being sold on Etsy.
Yes, that’s a puzzle with no picture, no pattern, basically no rhyme or reason – just transparent pieces that you need to put together with no guide to help. You don’t even know which side is up.
To some, it might sound like a nightmare, but customers who are up for the challenge have been placing orders in their droves, to the point where there’s now a backlog and no new puzzles will be sent out to shoppers until July.
The acrylic puzzle comes in four different sizes: Easy (9 pieces), Okay (25 pieces), Hard (49 pieces), and Crazy (144 pieces), or you have the option to buy all four and save a little on the total bundle. The cheapest one is £14.50 and the biggest version costs £21.33, making it a fairly purse-friendly way to pass the time.
Shoppers who managed to get one before the surge say that it’s brilliantly tricky, with one writing: ‘I only have 2 pieces together so far, but I’m loving this! Such a great idea and so well made.’
‘Great product that is very ingenious in its design. There are some very clever tricks in the design that will definitely surprise and delight anyone who likes puzzles,’ agreed another, while a third wrote: ‘Very fun and tricky. I’m about half done with the 144 piece puzzle. Love it!’
Unfortunately for those of us who are based in the UK, the puzzle shop is based in America, so we’ll have to accound for shipping on top of the current July wait time. But if self-isolation has got you loving your puzzle newfound hobby and you want to put your skills to the ultimate test, we’d suggest you place your order now, before everyone else beats you to a place in the queue.