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HISTORY OF NATIONAL PUZZLE DAY

As you know, we at Dowdle are having fun with National Puzzle Day and we have decided to make it National Puzzle Weekend.  We reached out to the founder of National Puzzle Day, Jodi Jill, who graciously gave us the story how it all came about. Here is The History of National Puzzle day by its founder, Jodi Jill

HER STORY

"Celebrating the 25th year of National Puzzle Day has me thinking back to the first few years of inception of this idea. My puzzle life includes being a puzzle maker. I have a weekly syndicated newspaper puzzle, free books of puzzles (it's online, help yourself) and a puzzle site full of...wait for it...word puzzles. I make them daily and I love to share the challenge of puzzles with others.  I love puzzles. My joy of puzzles had me yearning to connect with others who liked puzzles. Which is why I decided to put together a puzzle sheet and give it to kids on a special day I called National Puzzle Day

Like with any dream, it started by making a decision to see if I could share my love of puzzles with others. Remember those books of freebies slanted to children called Free Stuff for Kids? Well, I put a puzzle sheet together and sent it in for consideration. It was accepted and published in the book. The first year was pitiful. I got three or four dozen letters from kids. This was the beginning of National Puzzle Day. I was bumming. I took a chance, filled out the book requirements for the next year and was picked again.  This time in the first week of the book release I had so many letters from students and classes requesting puzzles I had to make two car trips to get the postal buckets home. About three weeks later the studio apartment had little room as the boxes of mail were stacked from floor to ceiling. Thousands of requests were piling up and I barely could keep up. The dog was pretty annoyed to be shoving mail around to get his kibble as he always was searching for his bowl between the stacks. This was the humble beginning of this day. 

The biggest change of National Puzzle Day was the step of all moving access online. Today it is well known and people have come to expect the free puzzles. No matter where you live you can celebrate puzzles on January 29 and be part of this celebration with a click of a mouse. You can always go to my site ( https://puzzlestoplay.com/ ) , download a puzzle and enjoy some time to yourself. My dog was grateful for the web too as his bowl was exactly where he saw it last. 

Over the past year puzzles have truly been a mainstay of our culture. Forced to step back from our everyday activities as we try to deal with an international health crisis, families have found joy in puzzles. Keeping our minds sharp and enjoying being together, the puzzles are actively being played at home.  Now more than ever the puzzles are flowing. While we all connect online to keep life going, the need to connect with puzzles to play is on a personal level too. It's amazing how our culture looks to puzzles in a whole new way.

I do think life is the ultimate puzzle. If you find the right pieces, you wake up feeling blessed, ready to embrace the goal of helping others. And if not?  Well, you've got a maze to figure out and that's not so bad either!

I could go on and on about my love of puzzles, but I won't. Instead I will ask you the burning question we all desire to know from our fellow humans: What puzzle should we play today?

Happy National Puzzle Day!"

Thank you, Jodi, puzzle on!


6 comments


  • Roberta Wolsey

    I’ve always loved puzzles of all kinds. Now, with my son employed at Dowdle I’m guaranteed a new puzzle every birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. Life’s great!


  • Linda K

    Oh BTW, when can we look forward to more Pittsburgh themed puzzles??
    Happy Puzzle day & Happy Puzzle Weekend!!! :))


  • Linda K

    Love your puzzles & have quite a few of them! We immensely enjoy looking through the various puzzles at Costco’s & Walmart to see what new scenes you have designed & which ones we will add to our collection.
    Your artistry is phenomenal!!!


  • Alice

    Yes, I’ve done my share of puzzles this past year. That reminds me- I need to get out one a friend loaned me and get started! Thanks!


  • Leigh DeFreitas

    Puzzling has become a daily activity during this global pandemic. I have completed 43 puzzles since the start of the COVID crisis. I have even formed a Puzzle Passers Club of like-minded puzzle pals. We swap and share pics of our finished projects. Thank goodness for puzzles!!


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