Can I offer you a nice puzzle in these trying times?

I come from a family of puzzlers. If you visit my childhood home, nine times out of 10 there will be a half-finished puzzle out on the kitchen table. Our summer vacations are measured by how many puzzles we complete, and how many pieces they are. We have favorite puzzle designers and strong opinions about puzzle piece shapes and textures. And don’t get me started on the agony of gradient puzzles.

While just a few years ago it seemed like none of my peers shared my puzzling obsession, puzzles are now more popular than ever. Forbes reported that “jigsaw puzzles for adults” saw a huge spike in Amazon search traffic last month. Über-trendy startup Piecework Puzzles is sold out of every single one of its Instagram-worthy puzzles as of this writing. Our colleagues at The Goods investigated this phenomenon, chalking it up to a perfect storm of social media and social distancing.

Whether you’re a lifelong puzzle fan in search of some fun new options or a puzzle-curious newbie looking to dip your toe into the hobby, we’re rounding up some of our favorites. For new puzzlers, we’d recommend starting in the 300- to 500-piece range, before venturing into 1,000-piece territory in beyond.

Fewer than 500-piece puzzles

Little Ramen Puzzle

Trendy puzzle company Areaware makes a line of “Little Puzzle Things,” under-100-piece confections designed to be finished in 20 minutes. In addition to the adorable pictured bowl of ramen, there’s a soft pretzel, birthday cake, cheeze puff, and more.

Geode Puzzle

These puzzle pieces, made from sturdy birch wood, are algorithmically generated, meaning each puzzle is unique. Just like a geode.

500- to 999-piece puzzles

The Golden Girls puzzle

Illustrator Chantel de Sousa designs of pop culture collectibles, including this puzzle collage of The Golden Girls. A Friends edition is currently out of stock, but can still be ordered at Amazon, and a versino for The Office is coming this fall.

Bathing With Flowers Puzzle

Jiggy’s puzzles are all works of art, designed by independent artists. They’re meant to be displayed after completion, and each puzzle includes a tube of puzzle glue so you can frame your masterpiece.

Crossword Jigsaw

Fans of both crossword and jigsaw puzzles get a two for one deal: solve the crossword first, then use the finished crossword to complete the jigsaw puzzle.

Hyrule Map puzzle

Piecing together the map of Hyrule is one of the most satisfying parts of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Relive that experience with a puzzle of the Hyrule map — no tower scaling required.

1,000-piece puzzles

The Simpsons puzzle

The Simpsons has been running for over 30 years, so there’s no way a 1,000-piece puzzle could hold every single character. This one comes pretty close, though, with literally hundreds of characters represented.

Hogwarts Express puzzle

There are tons of Harry Potter puzzles out there, but the toy company Aquarius makes some of my favorites, including this 1,000-piece poster of the Hogwarts Express.

Game of Thrones “Beautiful Death” puzzles

During Game of Thrones’ run, HBO commissioned artist Robert Ball to create a series of posters based on the show known as the “Beautiful Death” series. A few of those posters were turned into 1,000-piece puzzles, including the wildfire-inspired version pictured here.

Dungeons & Dragons puzzle

Mondo recently released a new line of pop culture-inspired puzzles for pre-order, and all of them are gorgeous. My favorite, a portrait of the house from Home Alone, is already sold out, but this one featuring iconic Dungeons & Dragons art is still available (and also very cool).

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