June 4, 2023

Unraveling the Mystery of Why It’s Called a Puzzle

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Fast forward to the mid-18th century — puzzles were mainly used as recreation or education tools for children. In other words, they were designed to challenge and entertain kids while teaching them different topics such as geography and history. Nowadays, puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional jigsaw puzzles to simple shape puzzles or even mazes.

The Origin of the Word “Puzzle”

Have you ever wondered why a jigsaw is called a puzzle? It turns out that the word “puzzle” has been around since 1599 when it appeared in The Two Angry Women of Abington, a play by Henry Porter. Mr. Porter used the word to describe a state of bewilderment, which makes perfect sense! After all, putting together pieces of a jigsaw without knowing the end result can definitely leave us in a state of puzzlement.

Types of Puzzle Games

So, why do we call them puzzles? Well, for starters, there are many different types of puzzle games. There’s the classic match-three puzzle, action puzzles where you have to knock out shapes or pieces of a certain color, word games like scrabble word finder and anagrams, trivia games, solitaire or mahjong games as well as coloring games, and hidden objects added. All these fit into the definition of a puzzle—they require you to use your brain to solve a problem by gathering information or working out a logical course of action.

But did you know that the original meaning of the word puzzle is actually “a toy that is made up of several pieces that are put together”? This definition might make more sense after playing some popular jigsaw puzzles. Or maybe it makes you think of those 3D model sets that challenge you to fit all the pieces together until something clicks.

Either way, it’s clear that we humans love things that give us a chance to exercise our brains and show off our problem-solving skills. So no matter which type of puzzle game you choose to play—whether it’s an action-packed match-three or a quiet jigsaw—you can be sure that it will not only be challenging but also quite rewarding.

Creative Uses of Puzzles Today

Have you ever stopped to think about why it’s called a puzzle? It turns out, it has quite an interesting backstory.

What started as a brain teaser for children, puzzles have now evolved into creative uses that are far beyond just a pastime. Not only do puzzles help improve spatial skills, logical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, but they’ve also become a form of art with the introduction of 3D puzzles and jigsaw puzzles.

Today, there are many creative uses for puzzles:

  • Art pieces – Many artists have begun to incorporate 3D puzzles into their artwork. By putting together pieces of laser-cut wood or metal, pieces come together to create intricate works of art.
  • Therapy – Puzzles may be used in therapy to help encourage problem-solving and collaboration, as well as improve motor skills.
  • Home décor – Instead of just hanging artwork on the wall or collecting knick-knacks and trinkets, many people are now displaying jigsaws on their walls as decorative pieces that also spark conversation.
  • Education – Puzzles can be great educational tools for children to understand abstract concepts like geography, anatomy, or math with physical representations of data or information (e.g., globe puzzles).

No matter how complex or simple they are, Puzzle Games are still enjoyable activities that can spark our curiosity and get us out of our comfort zone — just like they did for those brave women centuries ago!