There are many popular puzzle types, including crosswords, wordsearches, arrow words, codewords, sudoku and kriss kross.
Our 2021 book Mixed Puzzle Book for adults contains 100 new and fun puzzles across the following types. We've included brief instructions on each puzzle type below in case there are any you are unfamiliar with:
Arrow word puzzles are a type of crossword where the clues appear inside the grid, rather than outside it! This book contains large arrow word puzzles played on 12x16 grids. You must simply answer each of the clues in the direction the arrow points to fill the grid.
Codewords are a perennial puzzling favourite. They are played on a crossword-style grid, however there are no clues at all with this puzzle. Instead, the numbers from 1-26 appear in each of the white squares in the grid, and each number represents one letter of the alphabet, from A-Z. The solver is told a few of these connections, and must work out the rest themselves. As with all the other puzzle types on this page, there are ten codewords in our mixed puzzle book for adults.
There are various tactics that can help you to do this - for a start certain letters are much more popular in English than others, so the number that occurs the most time is usually the E, or possibly the T or A which are other common letters. There are also various other patterns common in English that can help you solve: for instance if you have the letter 'I' two from the end of a word, then it is often the case that the word ends in 'ING' or 'ION'.
The more codewords you solve the more you get a sense for common patterns that occur, for instance the most common double-letters and so forth, which can be very useful when you see the same number occur in consecutive squares in the grid.
The classic quick crossword puzzle: here you must simply answer each of the clues in the corresponding across or down run of the grid in order to fill the puzzle. All the puzzles in this book use British English and grid styles.
All the kriss kross puzzles in this book are themed. To solve a kriss kross puzzle, you must work out where each of the words that appear outside the grid are to be placed inside it in order to fill the grid completely. There is only one way to fill the grid correctly. There may be - particularly at the start of the puzzle - multiple places in the grid where a word can be placed. Therefore you'll need to think carefully about where a word can go by considering the impact it would have on the rest of the grid.
For instance, let's say that there are three six-letter words to be placed in the grid: how do you find out which goes where? Well, you can place each one mentally and check the crosses: if they cross other words on the second and fourth letter of the word, then you can see what the second and fourth letters of each of your six-letter word options are, and then check the crossing words for possible matches. Let's say your second letter is 'X' and the crossing clue that uses this is seven-letters long. If there are no seven-letter words with an 'X' in that position, then you know this cannot be the correct six-letter word, and can discount it.
With a little cross-referencing like this you'll be able to whittle down the options quite quickly and solve the puzzle. There are ten of these fun teasers to solve in our puzzle book for adults.
The classic logic puzzle that uses numbers! In sudoku, the rules are compellingly simple although solving the puzzle may not be. Here you must place the numbers 1-9 once in each row, column and 3x3 box.
There are many articles that outline the strategies that you can use to solve sudoku puzzles: the two most common rules are to consider the options that can be placed in an individual square (which numbers from 1-9 can go in this square?) and the second most common rule is 'where can a number go in this row/column/box region?). For instance, if there is only one square in a row that can contain a 3 then it must be placed there, since we know each row/column/box (called regions) must contain 1-9 exactly once each.
Train tracks is a fun little logic puzzle that might be unfamiliar to you. In this puzzle, you must complete the route of a train track as it moves between station A and station B. There are various given numbers outside the grid that tell you the number of squares in each row and column that the train track visits as it moves between the two stations.
Key to solving this puzzle is to realise that you must form a single, continuous track that does not cross itself and, furthermore, it can either pass straight through a square or turn at right angles in it: those are the only two valid moves. Armed with that knowledge and a little logic, you should be able to work out the path of the track between the two stations and won't need to guess. There are various logical rules that can help you solve these, particularly in areas where the grid is restricted, such as the edges and corners of the grid. We recommend placing a little x or a dot in a square you know the track cannot visit to help you, and cross off a clue at the edge of the grid once you've placed all the train track segments in that row or column so that you know you have it completed.
A word ladder is a puzzle that is said to have been invented by Lewis Carroll. A fun and simple little word puzzle, it can nonetheless be quite tricky to solve.
The aim of the game here is to move from the word at the top of the ladder to the word at the bottom of the ladder. To do this, you must must change just one letter on each rung of the ladder, and cannot change the position of the letter you change within the word. For instance, you could change FOOD to GOOD or to FOLD, but could not change the order of the letters whilst you do so.
Word ladders are an unusual puzzle in that there are often more than one possible solution, whereas most puzzles have a single solution (particularly logic puzzles), there may be multiple routes through. We give one of the answers at the back of the book but it is perfectly possible that you'll find a different route through from the top to the bottom of the ladder.
A word tower or word pyramid is a simple anagram variant puzzle where you must solve crossword clues alongside each row of a tower. On each subsequent row of the tower, the word is an anagram of the word on the row above it with an extra letter added. For instance, if the clue for the first clue is 'Consume food' with answer 'EAT', then you will know that the next answer is an anagram of 'EAT' plus one new letter. Therefore if the clue is 'Dislike intensely' then 'HATE's is a valid answer since it's an anagram of EAT+H.
Word wheels are a great way to test your vocabulary and whilst a simple puzzle, they are enduringly popular. The set-up of this puzzle type is quite simple: you are given a wheel that contains eight letters around the inside, and one additional letter in the middle of the wheel. You must then find as many words as you can (no proper nouns or plural) from the letters in the grid. Every word you find must use a selection of letters from the outside of the wheel and in addition every word must use the central letter. There is also always one word that uses every letter in the grid - can you find it? If you're good at solving the Countdown conundrum then you will probably be good at finding the nine-letter word in a wordwheel puzzle!
The classic wordsearch puzzle is an enduring, perennial favourite. The wordsearch puzzles in this mixed puzzle book for adults are all themed on a range of topics, and you must simply find the words in each of the grids.
As standard with a wordsearch the words may appear horizontally, vertically or diagonally and going either forwards or backwards - hence there are eight possible orientations in which to find the words. A relaxing puzzle they are a great way to destress after a long day with a cup of tea and your biscuit of choice!
If you are interested in buying our Mixed Puzzle Book for adults, then you can do so via Amazon on the web page below:
We hope if you choose to buy you enjoy the book. Please do let us know your thoughts and any ideas for other books or feedback - we always love to hear from our solvers.
If you're based in Europe but outside the UK, then this book is also available on the version of Amazon in your country.