How Many Types of Puzzles are there?

Puzzles are a fun and interesting way to keep you busy for hours, and there are different types of puzzles that you can indulge in to keep your brain running at full speed.

Puzzles are a wonderful activity that you can enjoy solo or with your family. Whether you are enjoying a 100-piece, 1000-piece puzzle, or a 3D puzzle, all of them power up your brain and accelerate your mental skills. There are numerous kinds of puzzles that you can enjoy to your heart’s content.

A puzzle provides people with a challenge, and their problem solving skills kick into action. No matter how old you are, your mind will instantly analyze the puzzle and find out ways to solve it. Puzzles are used to exercise both sides of the brain also beneficial for the cognitive and mental development of children.

Studies show that puzzles improve your cognition and visual-spatial reasoning, along with focus and short-term memory. Whether you are a toddler or grown up, you can benefit greatly from puzzle solving. Let’s have a look at the different types of puzzles that you can find out there.


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Logic Puzzles

Logic puzzles usually have a grid that is completed by following a set of pre-defined rules. These puzzles have only one unique solution, and sometimes the grid is partially completed to give you hints as to how you can complete it. Logic is involved in every step of these types of puzzles and once you start to complete the grid, it will become much easier for you to solve the rest of the puzzle.

Logic puzzles were first produced by Lewis Carroll, who was the author of the original Alice in Wonderland. These puzzles come into various shapes and sizes, and some of the common ones are listed below.

Sudoku

Sudoku is one of the most popular logic puzzles in the world. It features a 9 x 9 grid with 9 large squares, as well as 9 rows and columns. You have to fill each small square with the numbers 1 to 9, but you can’t repeat any number in the same row or column. There is no guessing involved in Sudoku, and you have to use logic and reasoning to solve the logical puzzle. Once you have completed the entire grid, you win! You can also find Sudoku in many newspapers and magazines, and you can also play it online. Sudoku does wonders to sharpen your mind.

Brain Teasers

Brain teasers are also a type of logic puzzles that require you to think hard and solve them. Sometimes, you are required to think out of the box to solve brain teasers. They don’t require the use of a pen, paper, or any other item to be solved. Brain teasers are classified into riddles truth tellers, liars, syllogisms, and much more.

There are thousands of brain teasers out there, and you can even create your own! When you are sitting with your friends, you can share brain teasers with each other have a lot of fun. Here is an example of a brain teaser: “In a year, there are 12 months. Seven months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?” All the months have 28 days, in case you are wondering.

Nonograms

A nonogram is also a logical puzzle that features grids with numbered rows and columns. You might have heard of it as Paint by Numbers or Picross. Developed by Non Ishida and Tetsuya Nishio, the puzzle requires you to fill in the grids based on the numbers given on the rows and columns. When you complete the entire puzzle correctly, you can see a clear picture formed on the sheet.

Usually, nonograms contain black and white grids, but you can also find colored sheets and can fill them up with color pencils. In colored nonograms, numbered clues are also colored to tell you which color you should use for each grid. They are available in different sizes, and their complexity also increases as you choose larger ones. 

You actually use mathematical concepts to solve these puzzles, and they sharpen your cognitive skills greatly. When you have a properly designed nonogram puzzle, you don’t have to guess anything.

Battleship Solitaire

If you have ever played the popular board game Battleship, you will get the hang of Battleship Solitaire pretty quickly. It is often featured in international puzzle championships, as well as puzzle magazines. It was invented by Jaime Poniachik in 1982 and was featured in the first World Puzzle Championship in 1992.

Battleship features a 10 x 10 grid of squares that hold different sized ships. Each row and column has a number that indicates how many squares are occupied by the ship. There are four different types of ships: battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. Each occupies a different number of squares. The ships are placed in a way that they don’t touch each other.

The purpose of the game is to find out where the ships are located. There may be some clues in the form of filled squares, which helps you find out where each type of ship is located. There are also variations of Battleship Solitaire that come with larger grids.

Chess Puzzles

Chess puzzles are unique types of logical puzzles that are similar to chess, but don’t involve the entire game. If you have complete knowledge of the rules of chess and how each piece can be used, you can use the same principles on the chess puzzle to solve it quickly. Chess puzzles have been around since the Middle Ages, and they have become popular once again.

The goal of a chess puzzle is to devise the best move, or a series of ideal moves to solve the puzzle. The puzzle may feature situations and positions from the actually chess board, or may include unique chess positions that have been designed by the puzzle makers. 

An example of a chess puzzle is finding out the last move that was played, or locating a missing chess piece. You may even be required to lead the opponent to victory by checkmating your own king! These types of puzzles can be very complex and require complete knowledge of chess.

Cryptograms

If you like puzzles, then you must have heard of cryptograms, which feature an encoded phrase that you have to decode to find out the actual word. In simpler words, it features text hidden by code. It involves a cipher that you can use to help you with decoding. Each letter on the cipher is replaced with a different letter or number. 

Although they were used to protect secrets and share messages among spies, cryptograms started being used as a logical puzzle in the 19th century. There are certain rules and logical concepts that you can apply to solve cryptograms. For instance, most people start with one-letter words, such as “I” or “A”. Once you start adding letters, you will be able to recognize some words and fill them in without using the cipher.

A good cryptogram can easily keep you busy for hours, but the satisfaction of solving it is better than anything else.

Mechanical Puzzles

Mechanical puzzles are considered to be the oldest types of puzzles, and they originated from Greece. These puzzles are in a 3D form and have a structure that you can change or modify by twisting or turning. Although they mostly involve trial and error, some mechanical puzzles can also have a logic element in them.

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular mechanical puzzles that you would love.

Rubik’s Cubes

Created by Emo Rubik, the Rubik’s cube is one of the most popular mechanical puzzles in the world, and it is considered to be the highest-selling puzzle or toy in the world. The classic Rubik’s cube is has nine small colored squares on each of its six faces. Generally, the white colored face is opposite the yellow side, blue is on the opposite side from green, and orange is opposite red.

The Rubik’s cube has a pivoting mechanism that allows you to turn each face independently, which mixes up the colors. You can successfully complete the puzzle by turning each face until each face has the same colors on it.

Nowadays, you can find several variations of the Rubik’s Cube, which includes different shapes, sizes, and colors. In 2003, the World Cube Association was formed to hold international competitions and monitor world records. There are people who can solve the Rubik’s Cube within seconds, the fastest being Yusheng Du, who completed it in just 3 minutes 47 seconds!

Jigsaw Puzzles

Here comes a type of puzzle that you would definitely know about. Jigsaw puzzles feature small tiles that are assembled together into a regular or irregular shape, and form a complete image, which can be of anything that you like, such as scenery, buildings, animals, cartoon characters, cars, and much more. The puzzle comes with the image which will be shown when you put the pieces together.

Jigsaw puzzles have been around since the 18th century, and were first created and marketed by John Spilsbury. You can find a thousand different types of jigsaw puzzles, which are available for children of all ages. They can have 5 pieces, 50 pieces, or even 1,000 pieces! You can even find jigsaw puzzles with 5,000 or 10,000 pieces, and they come together to create a 3D model of a building or landmark. There is an endless barrage of jigsaw puzzles that you can find out there.

Assembly Puzzles

Another type of fun mechanical puzzles include assembly puzzles, which features certain components or pieces that you have to put together to create a shape, pattern, or structure. By this definition, jigsaw puzzles are also a type of assembly puzzles, but there is much more to assembly puzzles than meets the eye.

When you unpack the assembly puzzle, you are given different pieces, as well as an image of the original structure and instructions that you can use to put together the puzzle. The complexity of these puzzles ranges from the number of pieces they have, as well as how advanced the structure is.

Disassembly Puzzles

Disassembly puzzles are the converse of assembly puzzles, and they require you to take apart a structure into its individual pieces. You might think that these puzzles are incredibly easy, but they are among the most difficult ones to solve. These puzzles also involve the use of trial and error for solving.

In a disassembly puzzle, you are not given any image or instructions. Rather, you start by looking for links or connections in the structure, which can allow you to take out the pieces. These types of puzzles are very popular among friends or for social gatherings, and they can be incredibly complex to solve. 

Another type of disassembly puzzle is interlocking puzzle, where one or two pieces of the structure are responsible for holding the entire set of pieces, and your task is to disassemble and put them back together.

Word Puzzles

Moving on, word puzzles are also highly popular and you might have come across some of them at least once in your life. Not only do they put your vocabulary to the test, but they also allow you to think logically, and they also include a mathematical element in them. If you like reading newspapers and magazines, you often find different types of word puzzles in them.

Let’s have a look at some of the best types of word puzzles that you can find.

Anagrams

Anagrams are known as word puzzles where you are given certain words, and you have to rearrange each one to create a different word. You can only use the letters provided in the original word, and you can’t repeat any letter to form a new word. For instance, if you are given the word “Silent”, you can rearrange it to form the word “Listen”.

Similar to anagrams, there are also word scrambles, in which the letters of a word are ‘scrambled’. Your task is to rearrange the scrambled letters to form the correct word.

Crossword Puzzles

Here comes everyone’s favorite crossword puzzle! You already know what these are, but there are three different types of crossword puzzles: cryptic puzzles, fill-in puzzles, and hints. In fill-in crossword puzzles, you are given a list of words and a grid. You have to fit the provided words into the grid to complete the puzzle. 

When it comes to cryptic crosswords, you are given a list of puzzles, such as riddles or puns. You have to answer the puzzle, and fit those answers into the grid accordingly. Basically, this is a puzzle within a puzzle. Next, hints crossword puzzles have a set of hints that you can use to find out the words that you need to fit in the grid.

Word Search

Another popular type of word puzzle is the word search, which you must have attempted at least once in your life. It features a grid filled with letters, and it has words that are hidden horizontally, vertically, and even diagonally. In some word search puzzles, you can even find words in reverse! Sometimes, you are also given the list of words that you have to find.

Scrabble

Scrabble is not just a board game, but a type of word puzzle as well. It features a board with a grid on it, as well as lettered tiles that you can place on the board to form words. Some grids also have score multipliers, such as double word, triple word, double letter, and many others. Each tile has its corresponding score, which adds up to a player’s score.

Other Types of Puzzles

We have discussed most of the popular types of puzzles already, but there are also some types of puzzles that don’t fit into the aforementioned categories. Let’s have a look at these puzzles.

Math Puzzles

Math puzzles put your mathematical knowledge to the test, and you have to use math functions to solve the puzzles. Even if you are not good at math, solving these puzzles will enhance your math skills.

Trivia Puzzles

Trivia puzzles are based on your knowledge of various topics, and they are also similar to crossword puzzles. They also feature elements taken from cryptic puzzles, which also add to the fun.

Photographic Puzzles

Photographic puzzles are popularly known as “Spot the Difference” puzzles, and they feature two similar photos arranged parallel to each other. It is fun to inspect both pictures and spot the minute differences that you won’t be able to notice at first glance.

And that’s all we have on the different types of puzzles that you can find. There are an endless number of puzzles that you can enjoy, and each one is designed to shake up your intellect and cognitive abilities. Solving puzzles is not only a pastime, but also a great habit that you can also pass on to your children, as it can help develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and mental capabilities.


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