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Very Difficult Puzzles

 

You want a really hard puzzle? You want a puzzle to really stump the person who can do them all? This is it... a list of all our most challenging puzzles here.

Mr Puzzle sells some of the hardest puzzles in the world. Some of those the really hard puzzles are made here in our own workshop and are not available anywhere else in the world.

We consider a hard puzzle to be a puzzle that will take some hours to do and memorise. We don't consider a puzzle mastered until you can show someone that you can do it without them getting bored half way through the performance. We do not consider the use of the solution as 'doing' the puzzle. These very difficult puzzles may be a challenge but being difficult to us doesn't have to mean just more pieces...

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  1. Chinese Ring puzzle

    Chinese Ring puzzle medium - 9 linked rings

    Perhaps China's most famous puzzle ever, certainly equally as well known as the Tangram puzzle. The Chinese Ring puzzle was invented by the Chinese general Hung Ming in the 2nd century AD and people are still having as much problem doing it in the 21st century! Learn More
    $7.73
  2. Tricky Dick very hard wood and rope puzzle

    Tricky Dick very hard wood and rope puzzle

    This is the hardest rope puzzle around. The object is to remove the ring.

    Learn More
    $11.36
  3. Wooden honeycomb puzzle

    10 piece wooden Honeycomb 3d brainteaser

    The puzzle is to build the symmetrical honeycomb shape from the 10 pieces each made from hexagonal cylinder pieces of different lengths joined together. Learn More
    $11.36
  4. Indent interlocking packing puzzle in a cube

    Indent interlocking packing puzzle in a box

    A very high level 3D interlocking packing puzzle. Taking them out will be difficult but getting them back inside the box is another level of difficulty altogether. Lining up the dimple in the top of the blocks to form a full circle will help you know you’ve reassembled the puzzle correctly. Learn More
    $12.73
  5. Hanayama Trinity puzzle

    Hanayama Trinity - a very hard interlocked puzzle

    A very elusive design has been created by interlocking three pieces that do not have any order to their shape. This is a hard one! Learn More
    $17.27
  6. Hanayama Cast Chain take apart puzzle

    Hanayama Cast Chain take apart puzzle

    Can you separate the three links of the chain and then get it back together again? Learn More
    $17.27
  7. Hourglass by Hanayama - the lastest 2018 release

    Hourglass cast puzzle by Hanayama

    There are four very precisely machined pieces interlocked to make the hourglass shape. If you can get them apart you'll see they are not all the same. And then the challenge will be to get them back together again. A very hard puzzle just released in Japan in 2018.

    Learn More
    $17.27
  8. Enigma Hanayama Cast disentanglement puzzle

    Enigma Hanayama Cast disentanglement puzzle

    The three pieces of this puzzle just slide apart, you don't need to force them. Can you work out the twisting movement required to achieve this and to then get them back together again?

    Learn More
    $17.27
  9. Hanayama puzzle - Square

    Hanayama Square take apart puzzle

    The puzzle is to separate the four pieces from each other then put them back together again. Even when you think you've almost got it there's another secret to unlock... and then there's the problem of putting it back together.

    Learn More
    $17.27
  10. Martian Diamond

    Martian Diamond very difficult triangle puzzle for IPP

    Martian Diamond very difficult puzzle created for some of the best puzzlers around the world to try at IPP39 in Kanazawa Japan.

    Learn More
    $18.18

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It's always difficult to give advice about what's a hard puzzled and what's not. Everyone, every puzzler, is different!  Some puzzlers really like Rubik's cube type twisty puzzles, they might even be into speedcubing! and yet they can't separate two pieces of a Hanayama puzzle that we might have given a rating of 5/10. They just don't have any interest in doing it, or in that type of puzzle.

But we've been brave and tried to put some sort of relative rating on most puzzles.  Our difficulty rating system is explained here.

Brian says by way of explanation "I remember many years ago the first time I did a basic 6 piece burr from a disassembled state and it took me a little under a couple of hours to solve, understand and be able to do at will. This has become my benchmark and I call it 7/10. Fluking it and not being able to repeat does not count.  I grade puzzles up and down from that."  Maybe not the most scientific way of arranging puzzles by difficult but we've not found any other system that is more accurate yet.

We've brought together puzzles from our Difficulty Ratings of 8 to 10 (out of 10). The page is intended as a general guide only and puzzles are not listed in order of difficulty, they are mostly grouped together by type and maker, but you can filter by difficulty rating.

If the puzzler always seems to be able to solve any puzzle at will within minutes then you may want to give them puzzles that are very difficult. Yes. You want to give the person a challenge. But remember you don't want to discourage them right away by buying a puzzle they'll never have a chance of doing. So if you're buying your first puzzle, or a first puzzle for someone else, perhaps this is not the page to start.

And don't discard the easiest puzzles either. You can get just as much of that "Ah-Ha!" feeling from doing them too!

Here at Mr Puzzle we've made many of the hardest puzzles ourselves.  Brian is well known for his amazing Limited Edition puzzles, particularly his sequential discovery puzzles and the current offering of the SMS Box is no exception. He thinks it's definitely the hardest puzzle he's ever made and so do many of the puzzlers who bought it.

But also represented on the Very Difficult Puzzles category are puzzle makers from other puzzle categories. There are very high level burrs by Bill Cutler, Junichi Yananose and Frans de Vreugd.  

Traditional puzzles get a mention on the very difficult puzzle page too. What could be harder than working out all the moves to remove the looped handle from the rings? We've been playing with it since the second century and not many of us have mastered it yet.

And a puzzle definitely does not have to be cost a lot to be difficult. Mr Puzzle's own Tricky Dick is a good example of a puzzle for under $20 that is diabolically hard for the price. There's even a $12.50 wooden honeycomb puzzle on there that's crazy difficult!

Don't forget though. Even if you can never do the puzzle it doesn't mean it's faulty. Just that you can't do it. And most of our puzzles come with solutions so that if all else fails you can take a peak and get a hint, or go all out and solve it with the solution. There are a few notable exceptions where some puzzle makers like Wil Strijbos are philosophically opposed to providing a solution with his puzzles. And he certainly does make brilliant if challenging puzzles. But, of course, that's his prerogative. Where no solution is provided with a puzzle we will always tell you that on the webpage.

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