How we design our unique puzzle cuts - meet the man you love to hate!

Created by steve62044 Sep 11, 2020

What many of you will know already and relish is the fact that our puzzles have intriguing puzzle cuts, all hand designed by ourselves, making our puzzles truly unique, extra challenging and rewarding. Coupled with the fact they are made of wood, there are no other jigsaw puzzles like them.

Our puzzle cuts are what many of customers come back time and time again to experience, and they know that a 250 piece puzzle is similar in challenge to a 1000 or 1500 piece cardboard puzzle.

So we thought you’d be interested in how these individual puzzle cuts are created, from first idea to the puzzle you love to complete arriving at your home ready to be enjoyed. Our puzzle cut design department is headed up by Steve, he’s been with Wentworth for 15 years so hopefully he knows what he’s doing! So I asked him how he goes about creating those all-important puzzle cuts.

While experience is the key here he says, he’ll let you into a few secrets, but he keeps most of the process very close to his chest.

  1. The first stage is to thoroughly review and analyse the image on the puzzle. Finding elements within the puzzle that would make fabulous whimsy pieces. Then develop that theme to ensure there is a good variety of whimsy shaped pieces. You always have to ensure the whimsy shapes are recognisable and have highlights and marks that help make them perfect. Ensuring there are no elements which are too thin and could easily break off is essential.

  2. Once there’s a good selection of whimsies, we place those whimsies into the correct puzzle size and create the unusual and irregular shaped pieces around them. The pieces around the whimsy pieces are just as important. As you’ll rarely find 2 pieces the same shape in a Wentworth Puzzle, it is critical to establish not only the challenge to the user, but also that the puzzle interlocks and has integrity as a unit during completion and when complete.

  3. Then we mustn't forget the dissected corners, straight pieces in the centre and pieces that don’t have straight edges used for the border.

  4. The puzzle cuts then go off to be tested and samples made to ensure they fit together well and the toggles work and hold the puzzle together. We also make sure that the whimsy pieces that have been designed are recognisable and amend if needed.

  5. Then the puzzle boards are printed and the jigsaw pattern cut by laser and sent out to a series of testers around the country who complete the puzzle and come back to us with their comments for improvements. We do this to ensure that all puzzles designed are challenging and enjoyable to create.

Our extra difficult puzzles are slightly different though. Their intrigue and challenge comes from repetitive shaped pieces, similar colours and uneven edges. We design pieces which are tessellated shapes, or combination of shapes, that are recognizable and match the theme of the image. Such as crowns in our new Festival of Nutcrackers wooden jigsaw puzzles or 2 piece tulip shapes in our Trail by Tulips. These themed repetitive pieces then need other pieces around to ensure they all lock together. These connecting pieces also need to be repetitive to ensure the puzzler is challenged as much s possible. Getting the pieces to interlock together on an extra difficult puzzle is the tricky part for us too.