Can Anyone Do Puzzles Easily?

When you think about a puzzle, do you envision a complicated jigsaw that takes hours to complete, a Rubik's cube, or maybe a blank Sudoku page? Don’t let the daunting, elite stigma behind these common puzzles fool you because they all have one thing in common: anyone can do them. All you need is a little patience and dedication.

Puzzles are fun, brain-stimulating games, problems, or toys made for and solvable by anyone. Even the most challenging puzzles, like the Rubik’s cube and the New York Times crossword can be easily completed with practice, determination, and the right techniques. 

For those of you who are still unsure if that tricky puzzle is for you, we’ll describe why anyone could solve any puzzle easily, how to solve some of the most “elite” puzzles, and why it benefits you to incorporate more puzzle-solving in your life. 

Table of contents


Who Are Puzzles for and Can Anyone Solve Them Easily?

The great thing about puzzles is that they are perfect for everyone. Puzzles can be used as a pastime, an educational tool, or a test of mental fortitude. 

Many people think puzzles are only for the elite because they are seen as a symbol of intelligence. 

While it can certainly take some brainwork to solve most puzzles, they can be made for any age group and level of difficulty. So, no matter your degree of skill or experience, there's always something fun and challenging in puzzles for everyone.

If you want to know if anyone can solve any puzzle easily, the answer is yes, to some degree. The answer ultimately depends on the kind of puzzle you're doing and how you define the word "easy" regarding puzzle-solving or completion. 

What Type of Puzzle Are You Solving?

Although puzzles are certainly made to be accessible and completable by anyone, the type of puzzle you're solving can play a significant role in how easy or difficult it is. 

When people hear the word "puzzle," most automatically think of jigsaw puzzles when, in reality, there are a vast number of puzzle types to choose from. 

Most puzzles will fall under one of these categories:

  • Cryptic puzzles
  • Logic puzzles
  • Math puzzles
  • Mechanical puzzles
  • Trivia puzzles
  • Word puzzles
  • Pattern guessing puzzles
  • Riddles

When searching for a new puzzle to fill their time, most people will opt for a logic puzzle like Sudoku or a mechanical puzzle like the Rubik's cube. The type of puzzle you pick will vastly affect your strategy and will test different skills, so they can certainly affect how easy the puzzle is for you, depending on if you've practiced and honed these skills before. 

If you’ve never used a cipher to solve a word puzzle before, you aren’t going to want to start with the highest-level cipher puzzle you can get your hands on because, in this case, solving it certainly won’t be easy. 

Ultimately, every puzzle has the potential to be easy for anyone with enough practice, patience, and dedication, but not all puzzles start out that way. This is one reason why people are always coming back for more because there’s always a harder, more challenging puzzle out there ready to test their skills. 

Does "Easy" Mean "Fast" to You?

One of the greatest struggles people have with puzzles is assimilating the term "easy" with how long it takes to complete it. 

The speed at which puzzles are solved varies by the type and difficulty. So, if your definition of "easy" is time-based, then you might not always enjoy your experience. 

While it is certainly an achievement to solve a particularly tricky puzzle in record time, the point of this process isn’t to solve the puzzle quickly, but rather to personally enjoy the puzzle-solving experience itself. 

Therefore, if you want to make your puzzles easier, we recommend being patient and focusing on the process rather than the clock. 

What Puzzles Are Great for Beginners?

A great way to be on the fast track to solving any puzzle easily is to start with some beginner-friendly puzzles first. This is so you can start to experience the process of solving puzzles and build on your skills and techniques for different puzzle types.

So, to help you embark on your puzzle-solving journey, here are some of the best, easiest puzzles for beginners.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are great for beginners because they require little previous puzzle-solving knowledge or general skill sets to complete.  They’re also a highly interactive and hands-on puzzle that forces the user to think spatially about what might be in the puzzle's overall picture. A great skill for beginners to learn when completing these types of puzzles is to stay organized with your pieces as you separate and test them. 

Word Search Puzzles

Word search puzzles are another perfect choice for beginners because they are relatively easy, and there’s different benefits of these puzzles depending on the difficultly and the puzzle solver’s age. In the case of younger puzzle solvers, word searches can be a great educational tool to expand and enhance their vocabulary. 

For adult users, one skill that word search puzzles help you build is quickly identifying and recognizing words and word patterns within a scrambled mess of letters. This can come in handy with harder word searches or other word-based puzzles like anagrams. 

Pyraminx Puzzles

It’s possible you’ve never heard of a Pyraminx puzzle before, but you’ve probably seen its six-sided brother, the Rubik’s cube. That’s right, the Pyraminx puzzle is made in the style of a Rubik’s cube, but instead of a hexagonal shape, it is a tetrahedron puzzle. 

The goal is still the same where you strive to get every side of the puzzle to be a uniform color. However, as the Pyraminx has fewer sides, it is substantially easier and a great introduction to these mechanical puzzles before moving on to the big, bad Rubik’s cube.

We recommend starting with a 2X2 Pyraminx for young beginners, a 4X4 Pyraminx for slightly older puzzlers, and a Pyramorphix for those looking to test their skills before choosing a more advanced puzzle. 


Some of the best puzzles are actually found in video games, and all puzzle games can tip their hats to the one that started it all, Tetris. 

This popular and innovative tile-matching puzzle game was first released in 1984 and invented by software engineer Alexey Pajitnov. 

The premise of this puzzle game is that geometric shapes called "tetrominoes" will fall down the screen. As they do, the player has to rotate and arrange them to form gapless lines before they pile up to the top.

Unlike most puzzles, Tetris puts a fun, interactive spin on things by forcing players to make quick, decisive decisions based on strategy and special awareness. The rules and controls are extremely easy so that anyone could understand the game. It is also easily accessible on most electronic platforms versus other electronic puzzle games. 

Solving "Elitist" Puzzles Easily

There's a common misconception that puzzles are either incredibly simple and only suited for kids or extremely challenging to solve, making them suitable only for the elite trained in puzzle-solving techniques. 

It’s certainly possible for puzzles to be too easy for you, but we promise that no puzzle is beyond your abilities to solve. With some patience, determination, and these strategies, you can complete even the most “elitist” of puzzles. 

Rubik’s Cube

If there’s a single puzzle in the world with the biggest stigma for being a complex and “elite” puzzle the average person can’t solve, it’s the Rubik’s cube. 

For so long, this unassuming colored cube has been a symbol of intelligence where only the smartest individuals could twist its tiles to completion. We’re here to tell you that solving the daunting Rubik’s cube is actually easier than you think when you know how. 

Tips for the Rubik’s Cube

Before starting this puzzle’s strategy guide, it’s important to stay patient and determined throughout this learning process. You might not be breaking the 3.47-second world record straight away, but if you can put in the time to practice frequently and follow these tips, we promise you’ll be speedcubing in no time. 

  1. Change how you see the cube: When people purchase a Rubik’s cube, they usually look at it as six sides that must each be a different color. However, solving this puzzle is actually much easier if you look at the cube as three layers (the top, middle, and bottom horizontal pieces) instead. Solving and moving a layer is much easier and strategically sound than the six individual sides or faces. 
  2. Look at the pieces, not the stickers: Going along with changing how you see the cube, most beginners see 54 colored stickers, when they should really focus on the types of pieces within the cube, mainly the center, edge, and corner pieces. Your six centerpieces never move, so whatever color is centrally located on that side, that entire face must be that color. The corner and edge pieces help you determine moves since those colors will always border each other. 
  3. Make the Daisy and the Cross first: There are several techniques to solving a Rubik’s cube, but most cubers agree that the first things you should solve for are called The Daisy, meaning the yellow center is surrounded by four white edge pieces (the corner are irrelevant), and The Cross, meaning you have a white cross on white’s side after completing the Daisy. These techniques are the easiest way to get started and ultimately solve your first layer. 
  4. Brush up on the most commonly used methods: Although you could potentially solve a Rubik’s cube by shuffling pieces around for hours, this isn’t exactly the easiest or most efficient way, not to mention frustrating. To help, take some time to maybe study some of the best methods, such as the Fridrich Method, the Roux Method, and the ZZ Method.
  5. Start simple and practice: This is probably the most important tip. When you’re first learning to solve Rubik’s cubes, don’t start with the intent to finish every time. Your earlier trials should be focused on perfecting the foundations (like making the Daisy), practicing different techniques, and solving for one layer at a time before shifting your focus to solving the entire cube. 

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

Many consider the New York Times crossword puzzle to be the epitome of this particular puzzle type. You might think you don’t have an advanced enough vocabulary or know a sufficient amount of history, pop culture, or science facts to try your hand at this puzzle, but you’d be wrong. 

While having this knowledge can certainly help you solve it quicker and feel a sense of pride that you knew a particular answer from previous studies and experiences, don’t forget that this is a puzzle. Therefore, you don’t need vast intelligence to solve it. You just need to know the right strategies and practice.

Tips for The New York Times’ Crossword Puzzle

Every crossword puzzle made by The New York Times is different, so we can’t necessarily provide a “how to” for solving them. What we can do is show you some of the best tips and tricks to solving this formidable puzzle without having the knowledge of a Jeopardy contestant. 

  1. Start with the Monday puzzles: If you’re not fully confident in your crossword puzzle skills, we suggest you start with The New York Times Monday puzzles first. They are intentionally the easiest because the puzzles increase in difficulty as the week goes on. The only exception is that the Saturday puzzle is actually the hardest. So, start with Monday. As the puzzles become too easy, progress to Tuesday through Friday, skip to Sunday, and then try your hand at the Saturday puzzle when you’re ready. 
  2.  Solve what you know first: A great strategy for starting crossword puzzles is to scan the prompts and fill in the answers you are fairly confident or absolutely certain you know. The New York Times calls these “gimmes.” This will boost your confidence early on and give you something to work with when you hit the prompts you just don’t know the answer to. 
  3. Expect an investment: Solving this crossword isn’t something you do five minutes before class or a meeting. The best way to limit frustration is to recognize that solving The New York Times Crossword can take hours, if not days, depending on how much time you have to sit with it. Solving this puzzle is about the challenge and the journey, not your speed, so remember that. 
  4. Use the crossings to your advantage: If you’ve answered various prompts but have a blank crossing box, determine the most probable letter that would complete both intersecting prompts to confirm your answers. 
  5. Learn the tricks of crosswords: One of the ways crossword puzzles like to throw off their solvers is incorporating various tricks in their prompts. For instance, clues with a question mark imply the answer is some sort of pun, misdirection, or wordplay. Another example is the capitalization of certain words to demonstrate the answer is a proper noun, like a team name or a company. 

Benefits of Puzzles

In a fast-paced world where people can’t go five minutes without checking their phones, puzzles are a breath of fresh air that requires solvers to take their time, strategize, and critically think about the puzzle in order to complete it. 

Not only are puzzles fun, but they have several other benefits you might not have known but will leave you running for the closest puzzle to solve. You might even start incorporating puzzle-solving into your daily routines. 

Puzzles Increase and Enhance Brain Activity and Development

One of the most significant benefits of solving puzzles is their effect on the human brain. Not only do they require a great deal of focus, but they also help develop creativity skills, improve problem-solving skills, boost memory retention and have the potential to increase brain size over time.

Many consider puzzles to be a form of mental exercise for both the left and right side of the brain as it triggers creativity, emotions and intuitive thinking as well as logical, objective and methodical thinking.

Common puzzles like the jigsaw puzzle regularly test a person’s spatial reasoning and force the solver to pay closer attention to details as they train their eye to look for patterns or concoct helpful strategies. 

Additionally, research has shown that puzzle-solving strengthens neural connections in the brain and increases the generation of new connections. As a result, the solver increases their mental speed and effectively maintains and improves their short-term memory.

If all this isn’t enough, we’d also like to note that researchers from the University of Michigan discovered that spending 25 minutes daily on puzzle-solving and riddles can raise the solver’s IQ by 4 points. So, when you’re getting frustrated by your Sudoku puzzle, remember it’s actually making you smarter. 

Puzzles Can Be Used as Educational and Therapeutic Tools

You might be surprised to learn that puzzles can be dated back as far as Ancient Greece, where mechanical puzzles, math problems, word plays, and riddles were often used for educational purposes,

Today, puzzles are still used as educational tools, particularly for the benefits listed above. Not only that, but they can be exceptionally beneficial to the linguistic and mathematical development of youth puzzle solvers. Word puzzles in particular can help with the development and increase of one’s vocabulary. 

In addition to education, puzzles can also make amazing therapy tools. Solving puzzles can be therapeutic, particularly for people who suffer from anxiety. They keep the solver focused while providing a distraction. Some people even find that puzzles help relax them and increase their self-confidence when they’ve successfully completed or solved them. 

Puzzles Are Great Social Activities

Most people like to think of puzzles as something they do by themselves when in reality, puzzles are a great way to spend time with family and friends. There are certainly some puzzles that would be difficult to do with more than one person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share the experience. 

Next time you decide to start a puzzle, maybe invite your family to work on it with you. You can all strategize as a group as to how you will solve it quickly and efficiently together

Another option is to work collaboratively with someone. You can each have your own copy of the same puzzle, like the New York Times crossword, but work together for hints and tips while still having individual experiences.

Final Thoughts

Puzzles are a great way to break up the monotony of everyday life. They’re not limited only for the elite and most intelligent members of society, as most can be easily solved by anyone with enough patience and perseverance. 

If you’re uncertain about adding puzzles to your list of daily hobbies, remember that there are many mental and social benefits to these fun and stimulating games. Whether you want a distraction, an IQ boost, or just an excuse to spend some quality time with family and friends, puzzles will definitely do the trick. 

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