9 Unique Puzzles That Belong in Your Collection

Babalu/Ravensburger/Moruska/Amazon
Babalu/Ravensburger/Moruska/Amazon

Feeling bored? Join the club. Quarantines are the ideal environment for cabin fever and stir-craziness, and while there’s no shame in binge-watching The Office to pass the time, the mental challenge of a well-crafted puzzle can do a person good. Any one of the puzzles we’ve listed here will keep you plenty busy for the foreseeable future. So stretch out those fingers—it’s assembling time!

1. Practically Impossible Clear Jigsaw Puzzle; $27

ExpressItBest/Amazon

If you’ve mastered the art and science of assembling blank puzzles, here’s the next logical step. At 10 inches long by 8 inches wide, this puzzle contains 150 transparent pieces, so you'll be sure to give that keen eye of yours a real workout. Hint sheets are included for those who might desire a bit of assistance, and should you lose a piece, the team at ExpressItBest will send a replacement your way.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Geode Puzzle; $65

UncommonGoods

This birch plywood puzzle recreates the natural beauty of a geode without the lofty price tag that can go along with the real thing. At 160-180 pieces, the puzzle makes for a gorgeous decoration when finished, and there are a few color variations to choose from.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

3. Mickey Through the Years 40,320-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle; $385

Ravensburger/Amazon

Disney’s white-gloved mascot celebrated his 90th birthday in 2018, and Ravensburger paid tribute with huge jigsaw: We’re talking over 40,000 pieces divided between 10 separate puzzles that can be merged together into a 6-by-22-foot behemoth. Mickey’s entire history—from his Steamboat Willie origins to his time-traveling escapades—is chronicled on this spread. Clear your schedule; according to Newsweek, the whole thing will take you an estimated 600 hours to complete.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Black and white lines puzzle; $26

Bgraamiens/Amazon

Mathematicians tell us the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. (Or at least, that’s the case on flat surfaces.) But imagine trying to sort out literally dozens of thin, black lines—most of which are indeed straight—intersecting each other with wild abandon against a white background. Such is the challenge offered by Bgraamiens’s 1000-piece puzzle called “The Lines.” Abstract art, concrete fun.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Gradient Color Rainbow Large Round Jigsaw Puzzle; $19

Moruska/Amazon

It’s the oldest trick in the book. When a puzzle’s got you stumped, just find the corner pieces and work your way forward. Easy peasy, right? Maybe, but that tried-and-true strategy won’t help you here. Moruska has crafted a circular puzzle awash with a rainbow of colors—all arranged on a wheeling gradient. Should make for a vibrant evening.

Buy it: Amazon

6. 3D Hogwarts Puzzle; $49

Wrebbit 3D/Amazon

At 850 pieces, you can recreate Hogwarts's Great Hall for display in your own home with this 3D puzzle. The entire structure measures 19.75 inches across and 18.5 inches high, and the pieces are all backed by a quarter inch of foam to ensure stability. In addition to the Great Hall, you can find Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express, and more.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Starry Night Jigsaw Puzzle; $19

Moruska/Amazon

Arguably Vincent van Gogh’s greatest work, The Starry Night has become fertile ground for pop culture send-ups. Do a Google search and you’ll find variations on the post-impressionist masterpiece populated by the Lion King's Mufasa, Batman, and the Power Puff Girls, among many, many others. Now the magic and majesty of this 1889 painting comes to life in puzzle form. To help you put everything together, the manufacturers have included a high-definition poster of the work for reference.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Wooden Fractal Puzzle; $60

Uncommon Goods

Hear the words “puzzle piece” and a distinctive shape will probably appear in your mind. We’ve gotten used to seeing jigsaws made up of vaguely squarish bits with semicircular divots and protrusions. But what if we said there’s an alternative? Uncommon Goods now offers a set of uniquely satisfying plywood puzzles whose pieces were informed by fractal geometry.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

9. Crossword Puzzle Jigsaw; $20

Babalu/Amazon

With this double whammy, you get to solve a crossword puzzle first, then you can put together a 550-piece jigsaw puzzle that corresponds with those answers. More than just a time killer, this puzzle combo will really give your brain a test.

Buy it: Amazon

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Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Harry Potter LEGO Sets to Get Fans This Holiday Season

Harry Potter/LEGO/Target
Harry Potter/LEGO/Target

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The magic of Harry Potter continues to amaze children all over the globe, especially when the cherished series is combined with the LEGO brand. And if you have a builder on your list who's obsessed with the series, we've compiled a list of 10 great sets you can pick up for the holidays.

1. Diagon Alley; $400

Harry Potter/LEGO

This set includes more than 5000 pieces to use to build storefronts, props, and the interiors of Diagon Alley. From Flourish and Blotts to Fred and George Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, you’ll be able to go shopping here every day.

Buy it: LEGO

2. Attack on the Burrows; $100

Harry Potter/LEGO/Target

Many fans will remember when the Death Eaters attacked the Weasley home in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). This set helps fans build their topsy-turvy house just before Bellatrix arrives to destroy it all.

Buy it: Target

3. Hogwarts Astronomy Tower; $100

Harry Potter/LEGO

The Hogwarts Astronomy Tower is a truly iconic location. Just below the top of the tower, fans can build the Ravenclaw dormitories and common room. Below is Professor Slughorn’s potions office, where he keeps many secrets.

Buy it: LEGO

4. Quidditch Match; $40

Harry Potter/LEGO

Throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts, not only has he managed to save the school every year, but he also carved out plenty of time to play Quidditch. This set lets fans build the pitch, complete with viewing stands for each house; three goal posts; and all the tools needed to play the game, like a Quaffle, a Bludger, and, of course, a Golden Snitch.

Buy it: LEGO

5. LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar; $40

Harry Potter/LEGO

As we start to inch closer to Christmas day, many like to celebrate with Advent calendars. This Advent calendar made by LEGO features elements from the Potter films, including minifigures and props.

Buy it: LEGO

6. Hogwarts Castle; $400

Harry Potter/LEGO

For the ultimate LEGO Harry Potter experience, building the Hogwarts Castle is a must. With over 6000 pieces, fans can build each area the castle has to offer, from the Great Hall to the Chamber of Secrets deep below.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hogwarts Express; $64

Harry Potter/LEGO

So many great memories have happened at Platform 9¾, and now, fans can make the journey themselves with this 801-piece set, complete with platform, train, and a wall to go through. There might even be an enemy aboard, but you’ll have to find them.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Hagrid's Hut: Buckbeak's Rescue; $60

Harry Potter/LEGO

Hagrid is the honorary fourth member of the gang, and by proxy so is Buckbeak, his Hippogriff. The pivotal moment when Hermione and Harry go back in time to save Buckbeak has now been transformed into a set for fans to build.

Buy it: LEGO

9. Hogwarts Clock Tower; $90

Harry Potter/LEGO

This 922-piece set shows fans everything that goes on inside the clock tower, from the Prefects' bathroom to Dumbledore’s office to the Hospital Wing. Reenact the Yule Ball with all the icy decorations and minifigures of Madame Maxime, Fleur Delacour, and Viktor Krum.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Beauxbatons' Carriage: Arrival at Hogwarts; $50

Harry Potter/LEGO

If you are going to build the Hogwarts Express, it seems fitting to also build another iconic mode of transportation: the Beauxbatons' carriage. In the Goblet of Fire, the all-girls French wizarding school decided to arrive at Hogwarts in style with this flying carriage. The carriage even has some secret compartments that will make the journey even more fun.

Buy it: LEGO

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