Valentine’s Day is a little more than a week away, but there’s still plenty of time to whip up a puzzly treat for the special someone in your life!
And naturally we’ve got a few suggestions…
Jigsaw puzzles are the perfect metaphor for relationships, as they require separate pieces working together to complete the picture.
There are necklaces and other pieces of jigsaw-themed jewelry, as well as do-it-yourself jigsaw patterns you can utilize. You could depict anything from a favorite photo to a specific Valentine’s message in the completed image.
Now, you can always start with something simple, like a subscription to a puzzle service like The Crosswords Club, The American Values Club Crossword, or The Inkubator. New puzzles every week or every month are a great gift. (Especially the Valentine’s Deluxe Sets for the Penny Dell Crosswords app! *wink*)
If they’re more into mechanical puzzles, our friends at Tavern Puzzles offer several brain teasers that incorporate a heart shape.
But if you’re looking for something more personalized, why not make a crossword for them yourself?
(Yes, you can also commission a top puzzler to do one for you, but you’d usually want to get the ball rolling on something like that well before Valentine’s Day.)
Now, to be fair, crosswords can be tough and time-intensive to make, so if that feels a little daunting, why not try a Framework puzzle or a crisscross instead? They incorporate the same crossing style, but don’t require you to use every letter.
It allows you to maintain a terrific word list all about you and your significant other without all the effort of filling in every square crossword-style.
Or you could write the object of your affection a coded love letter! All throughout history, people have employed different tricks and techniques to keep their private messages away from prying eyes, and you could do the same!
Whether it’s a simple letter-shifting cipher or something more complex, make sure your message is worth reading. =)
[Image courtesy of ibookbinding.com.]
Plus you could learn a bit of letterlocking to add some flair — and a sense of puzzly secrecy and personalization — to your message. It involves a mix of precise folds, interlocking pieces of paper, and sealing wax in order to create a distinctive design or pattern.
Even if you don’t go the encryption route, the unique presentation of a letter-locked message makes a simple card or a heartfelt note feel more precious.
[Image courtesy of YouTube.]
Have you considered a puzzle bouquet? You could grab some newspaper crosswords and origami them into flower shapes for a fun puzzle-fueled spin on a holiday classic.
Or you could gather flower-themed puzzles and spell out messages in the grids.
Rows Garden immediately comes to mind, as do Daisy and Flower Power, which you can find in Penny Press magazines!
Or you could hide jigsaw pieces around the house that, when put together, spell out a Valentine’s message or a picture of the two of you.
Put your own spin on the idea. A little bit of effort can go a long way, plus it doesn’t cost anything.
With a little more effort, you could whip up a scavenger hunt! You could leave clues around leading to a gift, or a romantic dinner, or some other grand finale. Maybe offer a rose with each clue. (You can do this without leaving the house, like a reverse escape room!)
Show off how much you know about him or her. You could make each clue (or destination, safety allowing) about your relationship or about your partner, allowing you to show off how well you know them… where you first met, favorite meals, favorite movie…
If you don’t want to leave things around where anyone could nab them, keep a few small tokens on you, giving one for each destination reached or clue solved. Heck, you could enlist a friend to text clues to your special someone once they’ve reached a particular destination!
Or for something less formal, you could make a game of your romantic wanderings and play Valentine’s Day Bingo.
[I found this blank template on Makoodle.com.]
Maybe go for a walk or take a drive with your loved one, and see if they can get bingo by observing different things. A couple holding hands as they walk, a Valentine’s Day proposal, outrageously priced flowers…
You could even channel-surf and see if you can get bingo from all the Valentine’s Day programming.
The possibilities are endless when you put your mind to it.
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