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Wicker Kittens: A Look Into the World of Competitive Jigsaw Puzzling

a jigsaw puzzle contest

Former Iowa State lawmaker John Wittneben has more than 4,000 assembled puzzles in his home, and he’s not the only one.

Wittneben is one of a small group of niche hobbyists who compete in puzzling competitions around the Midwest. He finds it relaxing, “I’m a land surveyor during the day. Puzzles always fit together, land doesn’t.”

He and his puzzling team are featured in the new documentary, Wicker Kittens, produced by Amy Elliott and Mike Scholtz. According to their research, puzzling was popular in the late 1980’s when Hallmark sponsored a national competition. It’s fallen off a little since then, but there’s still a dedicated group of people who like to compete.  See the trailer here.

Wicker Kittens is just one of many films being shown at this year's Landlocked Film Festival in Iowa City. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa