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12 Puzzles for Adults Who Need to Escape Reality

Because you do run out of shows to binge-watch eventually.

There’s something so meditative about connecting interlocking pieces to form a complex jigsaw puzzle. It’s calming. It’s engaging. It gives your brain a workout and lets you flex your problem-solving skills. And maybe most importantly right now, puzzles help pass the time. Kids, of course, have always loved them, but puzzles for adults are making a comeback. Unlike passively bingeing Netflix (apologies, Tiger King) while guzzling a cocktail, adult puzzles have the added benefit of letting you be entertained and focused and present. Pick a puzzle based on your skill level, your interests (hummingbirds or cooking, perhaps), and how much of your time you want to devote to it. And build on. We’ve rounded up some of the best puzzles for adults, from the beautifully picturesque to the devilishly difficult, including jigsaws, 3D puzzles and logic-based mind-benders.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Masochist's special. This duotone gradient 500-piece jigsaw puzzle for adults is a brilliant way to give your brain a true workout — the painful kind.

These clever puzzles pay tribute to whatever you favor in the kitchen, be it stinky cheese, vegetables, or cherry pie.

Architecture buffs will love this puzzle, which is a two-for-one special: On one side, you build Fallingwater; flip it over and make the Guggenheim Museum.

Brooklyn-based illustrator Julia Heffernan's 450-piece ode to breasts comes with glue so you can keep it forever. Because who doesn't love a boob puzzle.

If you truly want to kill some time, devote an evening (or a week) to doing this 1000-piecer, which depicts an Amsterdam canal. Like all puzzles by heritage puzzle-maker Ravensburger, the pieces are precisely laser-cut so they seamlessly fit together.

If you really want to keep things interesting, consider this entirely black, 1000 micro piece jigsaw puzzle for adults, aptly named black hell. Reviewers promise it's evil and the devil reincarnated.

3D Puzzles

For a real challenge, this 540-piece puzzle is as hard to do as it is satisfying to finish. It comes with a stand so you can display it when you're done.

Instead of jigsaw pieces, this puzzle comprises 130 blocks, which you arrange to create six different masterpieces from Picasso, Dalí, Kandinsky, Matisse, Vasarely, and Herbin.

At only 121 pieces, this puzzle isn't too hard, which makes it a good family project. And when it's done, you have a 3-D replica of one of Germany's most famous dwellings — the Bavarian castle said to have inspired Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty castle. The puzzle's a solid way to fill three hours.

Logic Puzzles


Part stress buster, part fidget toy, part puzzle, this wooden creation can be twisted into whatever shape you want. But the goal here is to return it to snake mode.

This carved-plywood puzzle provides maximal escape from reality, while making your brain work. Puzzlers use intricate pieces to complete a fractal geometric field.

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