9 Great Puzzles to Celebrate National Puzzle Day

iStock.com/Kuzmichstudio
iStock.com/Kuzmichstudio

January 29 marks National Puzzle Day, and there's no better way to celebrate than to get your hands on a brand new puzzle. Below are just a few of the great options available on Amazon and elsewhere on the web, from one of the biggest jigsaws in the world to a galactic puzzle that can go on forever. Happy puzzling! And for more ideas, check out our gift guide for puzzle fanatics.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers 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. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. 3D Crystal Puzzle, Saturn

A 3D transluscent puzzle in the shape of Saturn
Bepuzzled, Amazon

Bepuzzled's 3D puzzles provide thought-provoking fun in 42 different shapes. We think this translucent Saturn puzzle is out of this world (and many Mental Floss readers seem to agree), but Bepuzzled also offers puzzles in the likeness of birds, animals, fruit, vehicles, and other common objects, in case assembling a noble snowy owl or a bunch of purple grapes is more your speed.

Get it on Amazon for $13 and at these other retailers:

2. 33,600-Piece Wildlife Puzzle

A wildlife-themed jigsaw puzzle
Educa, Amazon

For true puzzle experts, 500- or 1000-piece puzzles are just the warm up. Designed to be one of the world's biggest commercially available puzzles, Educa's wildlife-themed puzzle has a mind-boggling 33,600 pieces and measures almost 19 feet by 5 feet when complete. It's so big that it comes in a suitcase-sized wooden box on wheels for easy transport. (With that many pieces, you may be worried about misplacing one or two, preventing you from fully completing the image, but fear not—Educa has a policy of replacing any individual pieces that go missing from its puzzles.)

Get it on Amazon for $325 or at these other retailers:

3. 1000 Colors Puzzle

Design aficionados will love this CMYK-themed puzzle that features a slightly different color on each piece to create a color gradient. This fan favorite is so popular that it regularly sells out, but it's due back in stock within the next few weeks, and trust us, it's worth the wait.

Get it on UncommonGoods for $48 or from the Colossal shop.

4. Escher's Mirrorkal Brainteaser Puzzle

An M.C. Escher 3D puzzle game
Recent Toys, Amazon

M.C. Escher's mind-bending visuals make for an equally challenging puzzle experience in the Mirrorkal Brainteaser Puzzle. Developed by puzzle designer Ivan Moscovich after he met Escher in 1964, the set contains five different 3D puzzles based on the artist's sketches. "Made beautifully with slanted mirrors, this puzzle is a joy to work with and to display on the coffee table for guests to admire," the product description promises.

Get it on Amazon for $25.

5. Game of Thrones 9-inch 3D Globe Puzzle

A 3D puzzle shaped like a globe
4D Cityscape, Amazon

Bring Westeros and Essos to life with this Game of Thrones-themed puzzle from 4D Cityscape. Its 540 slightly curved pieces come together to form a globe that, with the included display stand, is the perfect addition to any fan's house. It comes in 3-inch, 6-inch, and 9-inch sizes, but as puzzle fanatics ourselves, we obviously recommend getting the biggest version.

Get it for $42 on Amazon.

6. Bob Ross The Joy of Puzzles

A Bob Ross landscape painting featuring a snowy mountain and a lake
Wellspring, Amazon

Piece together some happy little trees with this jigsaw puzzle inspired by one of Bob Ross's famous landscape paintings. The 500-piece puzzle will give you time to chill out without requiring you to break out the paint brushes. Just try to remain as calm as Ross himself if you encounter any happy little accidents along the way.

Get it for $17 on Amazon.

7. Pop Art 500-Piece Puzzle

Showcase your love of art with this 500-piece Pop Art puzzle. At just 18-by-18 inches, it's designed for people who don't have massive table space in their apartment to work—perhaps because their coffee table is already filled with art books.

Get it from W&P Design for $20.

8. Pencil Collage 1000-Piece Puzzle

An image of dozens of pencils laid side by side
White Mountain, Amazon

White Mountain Puzzles's 24-by-30-inch pencil collage provides a true challenge in the form of an image of dozens of different pencils in different sizes, colors, and conditions. According to White Mountain, "This incredible collection of advertising pencils was created by artist Maureen Rupprecht, who literally glued hundreds of pencils into a frame. Talk about a challenge!"

Get it on Amazon for $17 or at these other retailers:

9. The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle

The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle provides the ultimate puzzle experience: a puzzle you can never truly finish. Featuring a NASA image of the Milky Way’s galactic center, it has no fixed shape or edges, and the pieces are double-sided so that users can flip them and rearrange them in any configuration. "Topologically, the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle maps to a Klein bottle, an impossible 3D shape where the inside and outside are mathematically indistinguishable,” its creators write. "Just like a Mobius strip has only one surface, the puzzle has no up or down side. You can start the puzzle anywhere on any side, making it extra challenging." There are currently two versions of the puzzle you can work on, in case you get tired of the endless options of the original puzzle and need yet another infinite challenge.

Get it at Nervous System for $120.

Plus: Ravensburger Giant Stow and Go

Hands rolling up a puzzle in a puzzle-stowing sheet
Ravensburger, Amazon

Working on a massive puzzle might take days, and you can't always leave your unfinished work in the same place. Whether you need your table back for non-puzzle uses or want to take your partially finished puzzle on the road with you, the puzzle experts at Ravensburger have your back. The company's Giant Stow and Go system lets you roll up and transport both unfinished and finished jigsaw puzzles safely so that you don't undo any of your hard work.

Get it on Amazon for $21.

Make Taking Out the Trash Your Easiest Chore With This Self-Sealing Trash Can

townew
townew

“What died in here?” is a question most homeowners (and renters) have asked themselves at some point after discovering that their kitchen trash can is no match for the festering odor of raw chicken trimmings, rotting cantaloupe rinds, balsamic vinaigrette runoff, and everything else that they've discarded that week.

The folks at Knectek Labs have invented a trash can that’ll ensure you never have to ask yourself, or anyone else, that question again. The multi-talented gadget, called townew, not only seals in odors, it also seals and changes the trash bag for you. All you have to do is press a button, wait a few seconds for townew to seal the bag, then toss it in the dumpster while townew replaces the bag for you.

Townew is also smart enough to detect when the trash can is overflowing (which is always your roommate’s fault and never yours, of course) and will lift the entire top compartment in order to seal the bag without any spillage.

To open the lid, simply wave your hand over the top of townew; it’ll stay open for several seconds and close automatically. Need it to stay open for longer? Tap the button on the front of the machine and townew will keep its lid open until you tap the button again. When the bin is full and it’s time to take out the trash, hold the button for three seconds, and townew will seal the bag for you.

Townew is manufactured with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, an engineering-grade plastic built to withstand humidity and temperature changes as well as chemical and physical impacts, so it won’t let a mid-summer heat wave stink up your kitchen and it won’t get demolished by your mischievous dog. It’s the same plastic that LEGO uses for many of its bricks—and if you’ve ever stepped on one of those, you know just how durable it is.

Just once a month, you’ll have to do two small tasks: replace townew’s recyclable refill ring, which contains 25 trash bags, and charge its 2000 mAh battery for 10 hours.

A townew trash can in an office
townew

The 15.8-inch-tall trash can comes in teal or white, and its sleek, tech-chic design will blend seamlessly with the decor of any room. Indiegogo’s early bird special includes the trash can and four refill rings for $70—shipping is free, and estimated delivery is scheduled for this September. Check out other buying options here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

7 Useful Products With a Lifetime Guarantee

iStock.com/billnoll
iStock.com/billnoll

It’s worth it to splurge on a new pair of shoes or a set of good knives if you know they'll last forever—or if they don't, that their maker will repair or replace them for free. Here’s a round-up of seven useful everyday items that come with a manufacturer's lifetime guarantee.

1. Le Creuset Cookware

A Le Creuset cookware set
Le Creuset's five-piece cookware set in cherry
Le Creuset, Amazon

We know that $350 seems like a steep price to pay for a 5.5-quart Dutch oven. However, plenty of cooking enthusiasts are willing to shell out top dollar for iconic French cookware manufacturer Le Creuset’s enamel cast-iron pots, casserole dishes, and skillets.

The colorful kitchen tools are attractive and durable, plus they distribute heat evenly. An added bonus? Each item comes with a lifetime limited warranty. "Defective cookware will be replaced free of charge, or replaced by a similar product or one of equivalent value if the product is no longer in production," Le Creuset’s website states.

Of course, you can’t just swap your grandmother’s ancient Le Creuset casserole dish (or the one you bought on eBay) for a new model if it chips or breaks. You have to be the item’s original owner. The warranty also "does not cover damage from abuse, commercial use or other non-consumer use, neglect, abnormal wear or tear, overheating, or any use not in accordance with the cookware instructions provided with the utensil." In other words, it needs to be obvious that the cookware has worn down with consistent use (and that you didn't accidentally scorch it in a kitchen fire).

Get one of the brand's signature Dutch ovens (or a five-piece set) on Amazon, Sur La Table (which regularly runs sales on its pricier cookware) the Le Creuset website, or at these other retailers:

2. Zippo Lighters

A black Zippo matte pocket lighter
Zippo, Amazon

We’re not endorsing smoking, but portable butane lighters can be useful if you’re camping and need a quick and easy fire source. Plus, many people find flicking a lighter’s tiny switch to be less intimidating than lighting a match.

If you do plan on purchasing a lighter for household or outdoor use, make it a Zippo. Founded in 1932, the iconic company’s trademarked slogan is “It works or we fix it free." No matter how old or damaged your pocket lighter, you can ship it to Zippo. They’ll promptly repair or replace it—but keep in mind that this warranty only extends to real Zippos, and not toward counterfeit lighters. (Factories in China reportedly make around 12 million fake Zippos a year.) Wondering if you own the real thing? The Wall Street Journal produced a handy video back in 2011 that teaches you how to distinguish a genuine Zippo from a fake.

Get one of Zippo's genuine Windproof Lighters on Amazon for $10 and up.

3. JanSport Backpacks

A black JanSport backpack
JanSport's SuperBreak backpack
JanSport, Amazon

If the trusty JanSport backpack you purchased in high school is starting to look a little threadbare, you can send it—or for that matter, any one of the brand’s packs, bags, or luggage items—back to its warranty center in Alameda, California. Depending on the damage, JanSport will repair it, replace it, or refund it.

Repairs will take anywhere from four to six weeks, depending on the season, and while you pay the initial shipping charges, JanSport absorbs the bag’s return costs. However, JanSport doesn’t claim responsibility for “direct, incidental or consequential damages." Your pack's wear and tear should stem from good old-fashioned use—not because, say, it got shredded by a luggage carousel.

Get one for yourself from JanSport's website or on Amazon, where the classic SuperBreak model is currently $33. It's also available at Backcountry.com ($36) and Walmart $32 and up).

4. Craftsman Tools

A 193-piece tool set
Craftsman 193-piece mechanic’s tool set
Craftsman, Amazon

While Craftsman also makes work clothing and lawn and garden equipment, the brand is most famous for its hand tools. Most of them are advertised as having an unlimited lifetime warranty, meaning they'll be repaired or replaced free of charge if they're no longer in tip-top shape. (For a full list of which tools qualify, visit Craftsman’s website.)

Stores take Craftsman's warranty pretty seriously. In 2009, Consumer Reports’s website, the Consumerist, wrote that a California man was refused a full warranty when he visited Sears and tried to trade in some of his grandfather’s old Craftsman tools. (At the time, Craftsman was controlled by Sears Holdings, though it has since been acquired by Stanley Black & Decker.) The man was reportedly denied replacements because some of the tools had rusty sockets.

He sent an angry letter to Sears, and one of the corporation’s vice presidents, David Figler, replied by issuing a statement to the Consumerist: "Craftsman tools have a heritage of performance and trust,” Figler wrote. “I want to assure you and your readers we stand behind the warranty—complete satisfaction—period.” He assured the website that he had communicated with Sears's sale associates to rectify the error.

Check out Craftsman's products at Amazon, Lowes, or Sears. You can get a 230-piece Craftsman mechanic's tool set on sale for $99 at Sears right now.

5. HARDENCO Jeans

A pair of denim jeans
HARDENCO's 010 Jean

Founded in 2010, HARDENCO (also known as Hartford Denim Co.) is a small, old-school clothing manufacturer in Connecticut that produces raw denim jeans. Made by hand on antique sewing machines, they're designed to last forever. However, since all jeans rip and fray, the company's clothing also comes with a lifetime of free repairs. (On their website, the company. explains that it gets the chance to “improve our work and get to know our customers a little better" by mending your pants gratis.) And if you own a pair of worn jeans that weren't made by HARDENCO, they'll still fix them up for you for a charge.

The company's classic jeans are $285.

6. Eagle Creek Bags

An Eagle Creek cargo backpack
Eagle Creek's 60-liter Cargo Hauler

All products sold by the California-based outfitter Eagle Creek—which happens to be one of our favorite eco-friendly brands—comes with what it calls a "no matter what" warranty. "Eagle Creek is synonymous with quality," the company's warranty page assures customers. "Every buckle, zipper, and fabric choice is meticulously selected and then analyzed after rigorous lab testing. After it’s built, we take it to the road to make sure it can handle real-world travel abuse. And it does." If anything does go wrong with your bag, you can send it back to Eagle Creek, which will repair or replace it for you. (However, the guarantee doesn't apply to accidents that fall outside the scope of "normal use" of your duffel bag or pack: " For instance, Eagle Creek wheels can withstand cobblestone streets, but are not built to be run-over by a train," the company warns.)

If you're not sure where to start with Eagle Creek, our favorite product is the Cargo Hauler duffel bag, a water-resistant duffel with removable backpack straps, an inner divider to keep your stuff organized, and lockable zippers. When it's not in use, it can be folded up to fit in its own front pocket, making it easy to throw in a larger suitcase if you're planning on returning with more stuff than you're taking. (It also makes it a cinch to store once you get home.) It comes in 40-liter, 60-liter, 90-liter, and wheeled 110-liter options.

Eagle Creek also makes a ton of other travel essentials, from packing cubes to airplane pillows to laptop bags. You can check out all its offerings here.

7. L.L. Bean Boots

If you own a pair of L.L. Bean boots, chances are they’ve outlasted every other pair of footwear in your closet. The durable rubber-and-leather shoes are hand-stitched in the company’s Brunswick, Maine factory. They’re designed to survive every single camping trip, rainy day, or hiking excursion—but if they don’t, L.L. Bean will let you trade them in for a new pair, no questions asked, for up to a year. In fact, this policy extends to every single store purchase.

"We stand behind all our products and are confident that they will perform as designed," the company writes on its website.

Up until early 2018, L.L. Bean's famously generous return policy—which didn't even require a receipt—was good for the entire lifetime of the company's products. Apparently, enough unscrupulous customers abused the program (buying items from garage sales and then returning them for full credit, for instance) that it cost the company as much as $250 million in one five-year period. As a result, the no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee now only applies to products purchased before 2018.

However, when it comes to product defects, L.L. Bean is still true to its original policy. If you bring a product in that has a defect or has broken down due to poor craftsmanship, the company will still consider it for a return regardless of the purchase date.

Shop the company's beloved boots for men, women, and children here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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