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Puzzles skyrocket in popularity as people find new ways to cope during pandemic

Posted at 2:23 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 14:23:21-04

Crammed in the basement of an unassuming storefront near downtown Boston, David Leschinsky’s puzzle store has undergone a complete transformation, essentially overnight.

For more than a decade, Leschinsky has owned Eureka Puzzles in Brookline, Massachusetts. With the state’s stay-at-home order still in effect, the front doors of this store remain closed to the public, which is ironic, considering business has never been better for this puzzle store and others like it across the country.

“Our web traffic has gone through the roof,” the 65-year-old owner said, while surrounded by boxes of jigsaw puzzles.

When quarantine orders started going into effect across the country, Americans suddenly rediscovered their fascination and love with puzzles. During a time of so much uncertainty, the age-old hobby is offering many families a simplistic piece of certainty, a kind of challenge a household can rally around to overcome. Almost like the virus itself.

“It’s a definitive. You know it will go together and you know the pieces will fit,” Leschinsky said. “Life isn’t always cut and dry that way.”

To keep up with demand, Eureka Puzzles has transformed their basement into a well-refined shipping room. Some days, this small business is shipping out 100 puzzles to people across the country. They’ve even hired a delivery driver to drop puzzles off locally.

At Ceaco, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of puzzles and puzzle pieces, demand is up nearly 300 percent.

“It’s humbling to know we have a product that people really want, and people need at a time of crisis,” said Jason Schneider, vice president for the company.

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