How Long Does a 1000-piece Puzzle Take? (2023)

On a Christmas get-together, my Aunt, let’s call her Aunt Rose, brought with her a 1,000-piece puzzle. Aunt Rose said that she got the puzzle so the kids had something else to do besides staring at their gadgets. All of the children were excited so much so that right after dinner, they all dashed to the living room and immediately started on the large puzzle.

After three days, the kids were somehow able to finish it. I guess there’s always strength in numbers, but this got me thinking: how long does a 1,000-piece puzzle take?


  • 1 How long does a 1000-piece puzzle take?
    • 1.1 How long would it take an average person to complete a 1,000-piece puzzle?
    • 1.2 What’s the fastest time for solving a 1,000-piece puzzle?
    • 1.3 What influences the time needed to solve a 1,000-piece puzzle?
    • 1.4 How do you solve a 1,000-piece puzzle?
    • 1.5 What do you do with a finished 1,000-piece puzzle?

How long does a 1000-piece puzzle take?

For the most part, a puzzle with a thousand pieces will take anywhere between 5 to 30 hours to complete. The exact time will depend on the design, among other factors involved like experience, image complexity, number of different colors and patterns, piece size, and piece shape.

Meanwhile, the record for a 1,000-piece puzzle was made by a team of two, Joellen Beifuss and Pam Kerstetter, who finished the puzzle in 1:01:29 hours at the 1986 US National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships.

How long would it take an average person to complete a 1,000-piece puzzle?

The jigsaw puzzle-solving community is vast, with millions of people worldwide putting together puzzle pieces on the floor, on a table, or on any surface they deem workable. However, people who fancy doing 1,000-piece puzzles on their own aren’t that common. Most 1,000-piece puzzles are solved in groups of two, if not larger.

By researching and asking around, I learned that an average person will take more or less 7 hours to piece together a puzzle with 1,000 individual parts.

What’s the fastest time for solving a 1,000-piece puzzle?

Let’s start with the 500-piece record before moving on to the 1000-piece record. Joellen Beifuss holds the record for solving a 500-piece puzzle in the quickest time. At the US National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships 1984, held in Ohio, USA, she completed a 500-piece puzzle within 54 minutes and 10 seconds.

Onto the next category is the record for the fastest 1,000-piece puzzle-solving time. The feat was achieved by a team of two hailing from the USA, Joellen Beifuss and Pam Kerstetter, who finished the puzzle within one hour, a minute, and 29 seconds, at the US National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships 1986 in Ohio, USA.

Just in case you wanted to know how much more complicated a 1,000 piece puzzle is compared to a 500 piece puzzle, it’s not twice as hard. Instead, according to mathematicians, the difficulty actually quadruples. From a layman’s explanation, the thing that makes the difference larger is the exponential increase in the comparisons you have to do when solving puzzles.

What influences the time needed to solve a 1,000-piece puzzle?

The difficulty of a puzzle set is what dictates the amount of time you’d take to complete it. If so, what causes the difficulty to differ between the many 1,000-piece puzzles you can find?

Firstly, it’s the coloring of the image on the puzzle. For example, let’s take a 1,000-piece picture that can be easily divided by colors, such as blue sky, green meadow, brown huts, and grey mountains; you basically have four 250-piece jigsaws in one. This would be considerably easier to solve because of the color context compared to a puzzle depicting only the entirety of a blue sky.

The medium used for the image on the puzzle can also increase its difficulty and amount of time needed to complete it. For example, a photograph of a particular street in Italy would be easier to piece together than a painting of the same subject. This is because the photograph will have much clearer edges and borders between colors, making it somehow more predictable.

Last but not least are the kind of pieces making up your giant puzzle. In terms of size, larger pieces would be easier to put together because you’re given more clues and information regarding which other pieces they’re connected to.

While for the shape of the pieces, the most straightforward jigsaw puzzles are usually the grid cut ones with matching corners both ways. The strip cut and random cut are the medium and most difficult to do, respectively.

How do you solve a 1,000-piece puzzle?

Talking about the time needed to solve a 1,000 piece puzzle was interesting, but how exactly do you solve one? As for the first step you always take when solving puzzles, you need to make sure that all the pieces are turned design-face up. This will drastically reduce the time you take looking for the right parts and lessen the stress of finishing the puzzle.

Next, if the puzzle has prominent color or pattern features, you should sort the puzzle pieces into groups based on the available distinctions. Sorting the pieces into groups based on a common trait will make the puzzle easier to solve.

Then, you can now start putting the puzzle together. Start by piecing the edge pieces together first since this helps you envision the overall structure of the puzzle. Proceed to complete the large and bold objects, shapes, and color sections. These are often easier to start from compared to the more minor details of the puzzle.

Finally, finish the rest and don’t forget to take breaks in between. Refreshing your mind will definitely help in seeing connections you might have missed.

What do you do with a finished 1,000-piece puzzle?

Maybe you’ve finished your puzzle, recorded how much time it took you, and got satisfied (or not) with the results — what now? Well, there are a few routes to take from there. First off, you can take a picture of the puzzle you finished after hours of hard work. With a photo, it’ll last virtually forever, and you’ll always be able to look back at the feat in the future.

Otherwise, you can break it down and put it back in its box for the future. Maybe you want to give it to someone else, you want to bring it to some sort of gathering like a sleepover, or you’re planning to hold a puzzle party sometime in the future.

“But what if I don’t want to break down something I’ve painstakingly worked on for hours?” Don’t worry. You’re not the only one with that sentiment. As such, if you’re interested, there are many guides out there that teach you how to frame your piece of art so you can hang it on a wall.

Finishing a puzzle isn’t always about speed. In fact, a lot of people who got into puzzles also went through the same sentiment; wanting to know what the record times are.

However, when you go through a puzzle with just that goal in mind, you miss the beauty that lies within the process. Appreciating the tiny details, admiring the puzzle as it slowly comes together, and the relaxation that it was supposed to give people. But if you’re really set on being the fastest above all, then, by all means, go for it and race the clock!

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