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National Puzzle Day – Jigsaw Puzzles, Crosswords, Sudoku and More!

Do you like jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, word searches or Sudoku? If so, National Puzzle Day is for you! Read on to learn more about puzzles!

Whenever I do puzzles, I feel like a kid again – playful and fun! However, puzzles are not just for kids, there are versions for all age groups. That’s the great thing about puzzles, there’s one for everyone!

National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out my national day’s guide for more fun days to celebrate.

White jigsaw puzzle pieces on a teal background with a text overlay that reads "National Puzzle Day, jigsaw puzzle facts and ways to celebrate the day".

What is National Puzzle Day?

National Puzzle Day is a day in late January, dedicated to celebrating all of the different types of puzzles. 

Putting together a puzzle by assembling the last two pieces in front of the sun.

Whether you prefer Sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles or word games like Scrabble, today is the day to celebrate them!

National Puzzle Day is also the perfect excuse embrace your inner child and work on your favorite puzzle.

Do you have a half finished word search, or a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be assembled? If you do, make sure to spend some time on it today!

History of National Puzzle Day

National Puzzle Day is a relatively new national day. Professional writer, Jodi Jill created the holiday in 2002 to celebrate puzzles. 

Wooden block puzzle on a work desk during National Puzzle Day.

In the year 2019 alone, there were 5 million mentions of the day on social media. Puzzles of all varieties are well loved!

National Puzzle Day falls annually on January 29. Let us know in the comments section how you’re planning to spend this special day.

Jigsaw puzzle facts for this January 29 national day

I adore jigsaw puzzles. Let’s learn some jigsaw puzzle facts to celebrate National Puzzle Day!

Vector image of people putting together a jigsaw puzzle to celebrate National Puzzle Day.

  • John Spilsbury created the first jigsaw puzzle in 1766. He created the puzzle to serve as a fun and education tool for teaching geography.
  • According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the largest jigsaw puzzle contains 551,232 pieces (and measures 48 ft x 76 ft). It took 1,600 students (from the University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam) to assemble the puzzle, depicting a lotus flower.
  • If you thought solving jigsaw puzzles normally was tough, try doing it underwater! On December 2, 2013, Dubai Police completed a 68 square meter puzzle underwater giving them the Guinness World Record for the largest puzzle completed underwater.
  • The largest collection of jigsaw puzzles belongs to Luiza Figueiredo from San Paulo, Brazil. Luiza has 1047 jigsaw puzzles in her collection

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More fun facts about puzzles 

Brush up on your knowledge of puzzles for National Puzzle Day with these fun facts. Some may surprise you!

A crossword puzzle with the word "memory" filled in to illustrate that puzzles improve memory.

  • Arthur Wynne invented the first crossword puzzle, which was published in the New York World, in December of 1913.
  • The modern version of Sudoku, as we know it today, was invented by Howard Garns in 1979. However, the origins of the game date back to a game called “Latin Squares” developed by an 18th century Swiss mathematician.
  • A Scientific American 2019 study of over 19,000 participants asserts that adults (50 and over) who regularly work on word and number puzzles have better brain function.
  • Though not technically an escape room, in 2003, a game called True Dungeon was the first to use elements of modern escape rooms. It combined those elements with components from haunted houses, and role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. The first credited escape room was invented four years later in 2007 by Takao Kato from Kyoto, Japan. 


How to celebrate National Puzzle Day

Would you like to celebrate National Puzzle Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.

A cup of coffee and biscotti sitting on a pink plate near a Sudoku puzzle to celebrate National Puzzle Day.

  • Try a new kind of puzzle. If you’re a Sudoku enthusiast, branch out to brain teasers, escape rooms, crossword puzzles, or math puzzles!
  • Challenge yourself by upping the difficulty of your puzzles. Do you find 750 piece jigsaw puzzles easy to do? Try a 1000 piece puzzle. Or, if you want to really challenge yourself attempt a 2000 piece puzzle!
  • Host a game night. Tell everyone to bring their favorite kind of puzzle so you have a variety of games everyone will love!
  • Treat yourself to buying a new puzzle. I’m a big fan of crossword puzzle books, they’re equal parts challenging and fun!
  • Try making your own puzzle. Making a word search or crossword puzzle would be fun and not too difficult!
  • Solve the word search puzzle for January to see if you can find Puzzle Day in it.
  • Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #NationalPuzzleDay. Here is a tweet to get you started:
Do you love puzzles as much as I do? Then you're in luck, National Puzzle Day is here! Head to Always the Holidays to learn more. 🧩 🧮 🤓 #Puzzles #NationalPuzzleDay Click To Tweet

More national days in January

There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in January.

To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the national days in January.

Scrabble tiles that read "hello January".

Is food your thing? Each day of the month has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the January food holidays here.

If you enjoyed National Puzzle Day, be sure to also check out these national days this month:

  • National Sticker Day – Did reading about puzzles get you feeling nostalgic? Head over to learn about National Sticker Day, another item from childhood!
  • National Handwriting Day – How often do you actually handwrite things, and how often is it easier to type them? Head to the post to see why handwriting is beneficial for your brain! 
  • National Disc Jockey Day – Looking to learn more about disc jockeys, aka DJs? Head to the post for info on these members of the music community.
  • National Irish Coffee Day – Did you know that Irish coffee has been around for more than 75 years? Visit the post to see how to make the original recipe for this tasty drink!

Pin this post on National Puzzle Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for National Puzzle Day? Just pin this image to one of your boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

A rainbow block puzzle with a text overlay that reads "National Puzzle Day jigsaw puzzle facts and ways to celebrate the day".

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

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