Wait...what? Is this really a thing? You betcha--especially in Minnesota (see here). National championships in the USA were held as early as the 1980s (see here and here). Some of the reasons we created the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association (see here) were to bring back Nationals (see here) and qualify/sponsor people to go to the World Championships (see here).
Why would anyone time themselves with a jigsaw puzzle?In short, because it's "hecka onnings"...or in other words, surprisingly fun! Typically considered a relaxing activity, assembling a jigsaw puzzle quickly can also be an exciting challenge and unique skill.
What's in it for me? Improved mental health (see here), community (see here), the opportunity to connect with other nearby puzzlers (see here), All Star and Pairs rankings (see here and here), and maybe prizes.
What if it's my first time here? Make sure you complete the NOTIFY ME section at the top of this page, and you'll stay up-to-date on all of our offerings. You'll also get a discount on your first contest. Also, be sure to join our Speed Puzzling Facebook group (see here), check out our announcements (see here), and look for the "For those wondering..." post.
Who runs this stuff? In short, Jonathan Cluff. I found out about speed puzzling in late 2019 after hearing about the first-ever World Championship (see here). In January 2020, I created the Speed Puzzling Facebook group (see here). I teamed up with a local science museum in West Texas to host my first in-person contest the next month. Then COVID hit, and I started hosting events online (see here). I helped create the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association (see here). After hosting 82 contests, I finally got to join as a contestant at the USA Jigsaw Nationals (see here). Now I'm closing in on hosting my 100th contest (see here), and I've competed for the 2nd and 3rd times (1st place out of 50 teams, Inner Piece, see here, and 3rd place out of 310 teams, Jiggy Pudding, see here). I can't wait for my next one!
What are you trying to accomplish?In 2023, I hope to: 1) Host 5 or more in-person events around the USA--at least one per region, 2) Expand the reach of speed puzzling to include children and youth--starting with schools, and 3) Collaborating with the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association, qualify and sponsor 15-20 winners from our State & Regional Championships to participate in the 2024 USA Jigsaw Nationals.
How did you team up with Karen Puzzles? Through a mutual friend--and because I'm extremely lucky! Case in point: when I went to compete with my Inner Piece team, I was given a raffle ticket, but I didn't look at it until after we won the contest. It was literally a one-in-a-million ticket; the 6 digits were the month/day/year of my birth.
What if I'm a teacher/librarian/school administrator? You should introduce speed puzzling to your students! We can help you set it up and provide the prizes! Contact me for details at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com with the subject School Contest.
What if I'm in the military/law enforcement/first responder? We appreciate your dedicated service! Please contact me at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com with the subject Service, and I'll send you a coupon code for 20% off our contests.
What if I'm an artist? If we think your original artwork is suitable for speed puzzling, we would love to use it for one of our contest puzzles. To see what we look for, refer to the Image bullet in the top paragraph here. Please contact me at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com with the subject Puzzle Artist.
What are others saying about these contests? See our testimonials here.
What if I'm busy on Saturdays? All of our Zoom competitions (see here) are available for offline participation (see here).
What if I don't live in the USA? We ship internationally every month! We have subscribers in Canada and Dubai, and we've also shipped to the UK, Italy, Sweden, and Australia. Send your shipping address to us at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com, and we'll provide a shipping quote!
How can I find a speed puzzling contest to attend? We host 4 per month (see here)--Solo events with 300 & 500 pieces, and Solo/Pair/Quad events with 500 & 1000 pieces. Also, we've created an interactive contest map, found here. It includes contests in and outside the USA!
Can you sponsor my existing speed puzzling contest? Yes! Contact me for details at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com with the subject Contest Sponsor Request.
Can I host a contest? Yes, please! We can help you set it up! Contact me for details at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com with the subject Contest Host.
Can you bring a contest to me? Possibly--we may already be planning one (see here). Contact me for logistics/details at SpeedPuzzling@gmail.com with the subject Contest Request.
What's a Groupie? A Groupie is someone who has subscribed to an annual membership. They automatically receive 1-4 puzzles per month and compete in the corresponding speed puzzling contest. See here for more info.
What kinds of puzzles are used for speed puzzling? First of all, I test every puzzle before selecting it as a contest puzzle. I'm ensuring it has high quality, has a good fit and minimal glare, and can be assembled in a reasonable amount of time (so it can be finished within the contest's time limits). Secondly, I use a wide variety of puzzles--from 31 different brands (and counting), mixing in gradients, collages, art pieces, beautiful scenes, original commissioned works, etc. Most of our contest puzzles are cardboard, but we host 2 events per year using wooden puzzles. I have posted pictures (ranked by speed) of all of our previous Solo puzzles here, Pair puzzles here, and Quad puzzles here.
Where can I find previous contest results? If you click on the puzzle pictures mentioned above, you'll be redirected to that puzzle's results. Or you can scroll through them in reverse chronological order here.
How do I know if I'm fast? Your best bet is to select a 300-piece puzzle we've already used in a speed puzzling contest (see here). Time yourself completing it, and compare your results (see here). Depending on the image, our fastest Solo puzzlers can complete a 300-piece puzzle in under 30 minutes, a 500-piece puzzle in under an hour, and a 1000-piece puzzle in under 2.5 hours.
How should I prepare for a contest? The best thing you can do is practice! Be sure to check out our Tips and Strategies page here. And see here for instructions on camera setup.