Best puzzle gifts for senior citizens

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According to the Guinness World Record, the top puzzle solver completed a 250-piece jigsaw puzzle in about 13 minutes by assembling 18 pieces per minute.

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Which puzzle gift for senior citizens is best? 

We’ve all had a present problem that was difficult to work out, especially one for that special jigsaw juggernaut in your life. Dedicated puzzle fans are never truly satisfied by just finding the solution to a problem. They need to explore more challenging setups that eventually lead to the puzzle’s ultimate resolution. This is a fantastic way for anyone or even the whole family to test their mental sharpness and logical thinking skills while having a bit of fun in the process.

The critical thinking involved in solving cryptic crosswords, clever brain teasers and creative jigsaws, is also a great way for senior citizens to improve their memory, focus, attention to detail and visual-spatial reasoning; it even aids seniors in warding off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Read on below, to find the perfect gift that will have any puzzle lover loving you to pieces.

Do you need a few more gift recommendations for the important people in your life? Check out these gift guides:

Different types of puzzles to consider

Mechanical

Considered to be the most popular type of puzzle, these usually include jigsaws and Rubik’s Cubes. Many puzzle lovers think jigsaws are the perfect type you can get thanks to how easy they are to solve by trial and error — plus the number of variations you can buy. Rubik’s Cube, however, can be solved by the use of mathematical or logical methods, rather than guessing.

Cryptic

This is another widespread puzzle you will find, especially in escape rooms or puzzle hunts. This variety can also be called a “designer” puzzle, since it is meant to be solved by one person at a time, since solving it requires the person to have an epiphany about the extraction technique. Overall, the ultimate answer of such a puzzle is usually well-defined beforehand, such as a specific word, phrase or clue, despite the mechanics of how to extract the solution being entirely vague. This means it will be up to the solver to make several guesses about the puzzle’s meaning.

Logic

These are usually characterized by the use of a grid that has to be solved by following a set of distinct rules. These types of puzzles will have a unique solution that any player can discover if the pattern is noticeable. These are known to be easier to solve than most, thanks to the grid being partially filled out before a player even begins to play. Nonogram logic puzzles reveal a picture after being solved, while Sudoku involves a series of number combinations that reveal themselves as the player progresses, similar to Calcudoku. However, a Masyu logic puzzle doesn’t use numbers or letters.

Math

Although in general math problems can be considered a puzzle to solve on their own, an actual math puzzle doesn’t include algorithmic solutions in a traditional sense and is meant to be more competitive and recreational in nature. Most competitors will solve these types of puzzles by learning different tricks and strategies that help them figure out the easiest solution. Slight variations of each memorized technique will benefit different kinds of math puzzles. Other types will paint a narrative instead and leave the application of mathematics up to the player to figure out.

Trivia

Unlike regular trivia, trivia puzzles will have custom designs similar to cryptic ones. They can include a word or number element that helps solve them. However, in most cases, players will need to have prior knowledge of different topics in order to make headway in each game. Other puzzle variations sometimes include a trivia puzzle within its own setup, which has to be solved first before the entire puzzle can be solved. Experts recommend reading up on a variety of topics before attempting to play this specific type of puzzle game.

Word

Boggle and crosswords are the most popular kinds of word puzzles. Most will require knowledge of the native language the puzzle is designed with, recognition of patterns and letter permutations. Crosswords can be more difficult to solve, due to them usually having multiple answers that can be interpreted differently. Those based on word definitions are easier to complete. Some word puzzles will be considered logic-based since prior knowledge of a language isn’t required and once a list of words is given, a player can solve the puzzle by placing each word in a grid respectively.

Riddles

A riddle can easily be classified as a type of brain teaser, rather than a true puzzle. However, just because there isn’t a definitive logical solution, the process involved in solving one can still classify it as a puzzle. Most puzzlers usually find them fun to ponder in a low-stakes situation, but don’t enjoy solving them in tenser environments that require quick reasoning and deduction, like puzzle hunts and escape rooms.

The best puzzle gifts for seniors

Best jigsaw puzzle

The Mystic Maze 1000-pc Jigsaw Puzzle

The Mystic Maze 1000-pc Jigsaw Puzzle

This is one of the most popular jigsaw puzzles to ever be designed and funded by its own creators and fans in collaboration with each other. It is created by using a variety of ideas and concepts from optical illusions, game design and magic. Different puzzles will come in unique image designs that players can choose from based on their artwork preference. Each original illustration is full of over 50 Easter eggs and tiny details that you can discover as you solve each puzzle. Pieces are printed on high-quality Dutch puzzle cardboard so each one will snap together and stay put.

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Best 3D puzzle

ROKR 3D Wooden Puzzles DIY Model Building Kit

ROKR 3D Wooden Puzzles DIY Model Building Kit

Designed in the shape of an old school film projector from the early 21st century, this particular three-dimensional model takes a shorter amount of time to complete than other ones and can be assembled into an actual working vitascope that doesn’t require a battery to operate. A 28mm and fifty-eight frame clip of Charlie Chaplin starring in “Modern Times” is included in its packaging. ROKR also offers other educational toys for kids and adults that you can choose from, such as the brand’s control tower, secret garden, starry night and marble run models.

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Best logic puzzle

Rubik’s Cube 3x3 Puzzle Game

Rubik’s Cube 3×3 Puzzle Game

This classic puzzle edition has been uber-popular with children and adults for years — you probably can even remember them from your childhood. It is suitable for everyone regardless of age, thanks to its simple twisting, turning and rotating functions. Most cubes will have many combinations a user can try, but one solution involves a set of twists and turns that move each square to its respective position. A 7-step solution guide is also included for anyone that may need a bit of help in determining each step-by-step move.

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Best word puzzle

USA TODAY Crossword Volume 2

USA TODAY Crossword Volume 2

Each game has an average of 60-word clues and centers on topics that range from Science, Fashion, Government, Psychology and many more. Great for playing while traveling between places, relaxing outdoors in the park or at home or wherever else you enjoy passing time. Some answers require players to be knowledgeable on an esoteric topic that isn’t commonly known about, while others are a lot easier to complete even if there are slight spelling errors or different word choices.

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Best cryptic puzzle

Cryptograms Puzzle Book For Adults

Cryptograms Puzzle Book For Adults

Perfect gift option for those that love decoding a combination of humorous quotes and cryptogram messages. Each 500 large puzzle print is easier to read compared to other books, due to its use of large fonts that prevent eye strain. Different puzzles contain a variety of thoughtful, motivational, hilarious, life and inspirational quotes that players can solve easily without pressure or stress. The negative effects of age-related memory and intuition loss can be greatly reduced when solving each problem and will help sharpen anyone’s mind.

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Best coloring puzzle

KAZOKU 3D Coloring Animal Puzzle Set

KAZOKU 3D Coloring Animal Puzzle Set

Available in a four-pack or six-pack, each individual animal puzzle set will include a total of four unique designs and 12 coloring markers. You can assemble and color different models that range from a butterfly, horse, elephant, goose, Eiffel tower, windmill and more. A great puzzle activity for anyone fond of arts and crafts and relaxation therapy. Although each set is targeted towards a younger audience, they’re still challenging and creative enough for anyone to try out and can be less frustrating for adults to assemble each one together.

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Best multiplayer puzzle

Hasbro Boggle Classic Game

Hasbro Boggle Classic Game

In case your puzzle lover doesn’t want to just solve puzzles by themselves, you can shop around for puzzle sets that can be played by more than one person at a time, whether it be against each other or as a team. The classic wordsmith game, Boggle, is a fantastic choice for those who want to play a word search game head-to-head or even solo if they want to hone their puzzle-solving skills. It includes 16 letter cubes, a Boggle grid base and lid, a sand timer and a set of instructions.

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Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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