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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. Lotus sequential discovery puzzle by Wil Strijbos

    Lotus sequential discovery puzzle

    Stock Update 25th November 2019. Unfortunately, all Lotus puzzles have been sold. I have no information about when I may get some more from Wil but it will probably not be until 2020.

    To find the Lotus Flower you need to remove the aluminium circular disc and rod. Even when you do that there's more to the puzzle. The puzzle is a very, very difficult design by Wil Strijbos.

    Note: These puzzles are rarely available so purchase quantity is restricted to a maximum of 2 per customer.

    Learn More
    $216.36

    Out of stock

  2. Wil Strijbos Aluminium Cross puzzle

    First Cross - Wil Strijbos Aluminium Cross take apart puzzle

    Stock Update 23rd September 2018. Unfortunately I have no information from Wil when we can get more of these puzzles. I don't think it will be this year.
    The puzzle is to separate the two halves of the cross. A unique and intriguing as when he first created it over 30 years ago by Wil Strijbos.

    Learn More
    $107.27

    Out of stock

  3. Diagra wooden cube puzzle

    Diagra wood cube puzzle

    Diagra - "The puzzle that keeps you up all night" The goal is to make a cube, and the other nine shapes, from the 8 pieces of the puzzle. Learn More
    $27.27
  4. Keep I on the Burr 6 piece burr

    Keep I on the Burr 6 piece burr

    The shape of the final solution is in the name 'Keep I in the Burr' and you do really have to keep an eye on those pieces. Learn More
    $52.73
  5. Lock 250 puzzle lock

    Lock 250 puzzle lock by Jean Claude Constantin

    250 moves to open... that means another 250 moves to close again. And that's only if you get them all correct!

    Learn More
    $59.09
  6. Cube AC wood cube puzzle by Vinco

    Cube AC wood cube puzzle

    There are twelve very odd shaped pieces to make this wooden cube. The cube will pack exactly inside the wooden box. An incredibly difficult puzzle to get together. Learn More
    $20.91
  7. The First Box sequential discovery puzzle

    The First Box sequential discovery puzzle (1 silver edge at top)

    The puzzle is to remove the gold anodised metal rod inside. Made in Wil's signature blue anodised aluminium this puzzle takes the Lotus to a whole new level.

    Learn More
    $368.18
  8. IcoSoku Sudoku brainteaser in package

    IcoSoKu Sudoku challenge brainteaser

    IcoSoKu is a brilliant Brainteaser with literally thousands of challenges. Place the number buttons randomly, then match the dots to the numbers. Learn More
    $20.55
  9. 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
  10. Double Image interlocked burr

    Double Image interlocked burr

    This is NOT an impossible object. With the correct sequence of 24 moves this interlocking burr can be disassembled. Two sets of 4 piece burrs interlocked together that make it appear as though you're seeing double! Photo: Its very difficult to photograph a totally clear acrylic puzzle so I added a darker background so you can really see how gorgeous this puzzle is! Learn More
    $25.00

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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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