7 Challenging Brain Teaser Puzzles for Adults

Tired of board games? Challenge yourself with these mind-boggling brain teaser puzzles instead.
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When’s the last time you sat down to complete a brain teaser? Probably not since your childhood. Now that you’re older, you might think you can breeze through a brain teaser puzzle.

As much as you might want to think you’ve improved at problem-solving, brain teasers will knock you down a peg. The following brain teaser puzzles for adults will provide you with hours of challenge and confusion.

1. Rubik’s Cube

The go-to brain teaser puzzle for decades has always been a Rubik’s Cube. This seemingly simple puzzle challenges you to line up matching colors on each side of the cube. As you frantically twist the rows of colors, you just might come across one of the billion combinations that lead to a solution. Soon, you can add speed solving to your list of unique nerdy hobbies.

Buy a Rubik’s Cube on Amazon

2. Hourglass Hanayama Brain Teaser

This puzzle consists of four flat, hourglass-shaped pieces of cast metal that come together to form the compact object in the above image. You must attempt to separate each piece from the puzzle, and then put them back together.

Hanayama ranks its puzzles’ difficulty level from one to six, with six as the most difficult. The Hourglass Brain Teaser is ranked six, so don’t expect to spend just a few minutes solving it.

Buy Hourglass Hanayama Brain Teaser on Amazon

3. Wine Bottle Lock Brain Teaser

When you get rewarded for solving a puzzle, you’ll have much more motivation to solve it. The Bottle Lock Brain Teaser is a perfect example of this—if you manage to solve the puzzle and free the trapped wine bottle, you get to pour yourself a drink. Not only is this a fun puzzle for yourself, but it also makes a great gift or party activity.

Buy Bottle Lock Brain Teaser on Amazon

4. Sharp Brain Zone Wooden Cube Brain Teaser Puzzle

Who doesn’t love a good game of Tetris? This Wooden Cube Brain Teaser acts like a real-life version of the classic video game. The puzzle comes with a tiny wooden frame, as well as a ton of puzzle pieces. It’s your job to build a cube inside the frame with all of these Tetris-like pieces.

Buy Sharp Brain Zone Wooden Cube Brain Teaser Puzzle on Amazon

5. SiamMandalay Powder Keg Wooden Cylinder Puzzle

The Powder Keg Puzzle from SiamMandalay is the perfect nerdy desk toy to bring with you to work. It may look like some sort of decoration at first glance, but when you pick it up, you’ll realize that the wooden pieces come apart. Just remember, once you figure out how to take the puzzle apart, it won’t be easy to put back together!

Buy SiamMandalay Powder Keg Wooden Cylinder Puzzle on Amazon

6. Quartet Hanayama Brain Teaser Puzzle

Hanayama brings us yet another perplexing brain teaser, with its frustration-inducing Quartet Puzzle. The puzzle has four linked pieces that you must work to separate. There are only two ways to solve this puzzle—its difficulty level is ranked level six, so it’s far from easy.

Buy Quartet Hanayama Brain Teaser Puzzle on Amazon

7. Nutcase Hanayama Brain Teaser Puzzle

This tricky brain teaser looks like something you’d find in your toolshed. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it seems. Hanayama’s Nutcase Puzzle attaches two screws using two nuts.

You’re tasked with separating the two nuts, and then putting them back together. To make things more challenging, try changing the writing on the nuts from “nut case” to “case nut.” This brain teaser will surely drive you nuts in the process.

Buy Nutcase Hanayama Brain Teaser Puzzle on Amazon

Is Your Brain Working Hard Yet?

If you’re feeling rusty, you might want to start with the Rubik’s Cube or Bottle Lock Puzzle Puzzle as a warmup, and then graduate to solving Hanayama’s collection of challenging conundrums. Your brain is bound to get a workout either way.

When you’re ready for a break from brain teasers, you should relax while building LEGO sets instead. These impressive nerdy LEGO kits for adults will let you relive your childhood.

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5 comments
  1. I went thru those wooden & metal puzzles for a couple of years last decade—great fun. Don’t think it was any on your list, but of course there are lots of ’em.
    [paragraph]
    I decided to take on the Rubik’s Cube 5 years ago and got it with the help of YouTube. It takes me 3-4 minutes though, I am totally bewildered by the record holders who can do it under 10 seconds—the world record is currently under 3.5 seconds, crazy!
    [paragraph]
    The Hasbro cube you link to might be small for some, and a bit difficult to turn. I’ve found Cyclone Boys, LanLan and Shengshou cubes to be good. My preference is for stickerless cubes, as the stickers come off after a while.
    [paragraph]
    If you like the Rubik’s, there are a lot of other cube puzzles you can get into—we probably have a couple of dozen here now. If Rubik’s is too difficult to start with, try the Pyramid Cube—it’s a lot easier, easier than the 2x2x2 cube imo.

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