Show Mobile Navigation
Humans |

10 of the World’s Toughest Puzzles Solved in Record Time

by Richard Anders
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Puzzles have always fascinated people, offering a mix of fun and challenge. From the Rubik’s Cube to intricate jigsaw puzzles, these brain-teasers have become more than just hobbies—they’re competitive sports. Watching people solve these puzzles in record time is thrilling and showcases human ingenuity.

In the world of competitive puzzling, some individuals have achieved incredible feats. These champions have developed techniques through countless hours of practice. But their stories are about more than just quick thinking; they’re about dedication and a passion for puzzles.

This list highlights ten amazing puzzle solvers who have conquered their respective challenges with incredible speed. From Max Park’s lightning-fast Rubik’s Cube solves to Shiyao Wang’s Sudoku mastery, these puzzlers have achieved things most of us can only dream of. Their accomplishments are not only impressive but also inspiring, showing that with focus and effort, we can overcome even the toughest challenges.

Related: 10 Ridiculously Offensive Table-Top Games

10 Max Park and the Rubik’s Cube

Fastest Rubik’s cube 3×3 WR (3.13) sec WORLD RECORD

Max Park has made headlines in the speedcubing world. On June 11, 2023, he set a new world record by solving the Rubik’s Cube in just 3.13 seconds at the Pride in Long Beach 2023 event. This achievement is one of many in his journey that began with using the Rubik’s Cube as a therapeutic tool to help with his autism.

Max’s record-breaking solve was captured on video, highlighting his quick and precise movements. Known for his consistent performance, he has participated in many competitions, breaking multiple records along the way. His progress is the result of countless hours of practice and a deep passion for the puzzle.

Max’s story resonates with many people. He shows how a simple hobby can become a remarkable skill. His achievements have made him a respected figure in the speedcubing community, inspiring others to follow their interests with dedication and effort.[1]

9 Shiyao Wang–Sudoku Prodigy

WSC & WPC 2018 – Sudoku world record

Shiyao Wang has made a significant mark in the Sudoku community with her impressive speed and accuracy. At the 2018 Sudoku World Championship, 14-year-old Shiyao set a new world record by solving an extreme Sudoku puzzle in just 54.44 seconds. This remarkable achievement highlighted her exceptional skills and dedication to mastering the game, securing her reputation as one of the top Sudoku solvers globally.

Shiyao’s methodical approach and ability to remain calm under pressure have been key to her success. Her record-breaking performance in 2021 is a testament to her deep understanding of Sudoku puzzles and relentless pursuit of excellence. Shiyao continues to inspire and influence aspiring Sudoku enthusiasts, sharing her techniques and strategies to help others improve their skills.[2]

8 Dan Feyer–American Crossword Champion

Crossword puzzle champ shares tips on solving puzzles

Dan Feyer, one of the fastest crossword solvers in the United States, has earned his reputation through consistent high-speed puzzle-solving. He began his competitive journey with a victory in the B Division of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in 2009, following a win in the C Division in 2008. Dan’s exceptional ability to quickly and accurately complete puzzles stems from his extensive practice, solving an average of 20-25 crosswords daily.

Dan’s approach to speed-solving includes leveraging the letters already filled in the grid to steer his brain toward the right words. He rarely uses external help, preferring to return to challenging puzzles later for a fresh perspective. Dan’s impressive records and methodical techniques continue to inspire and influence crossword enthusiasts worldwide.[3]

7 Alejandro Clemente León–World Jigsaw Puzzle Champion

He won the World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship. Here’s how he did it.

Alejandro Clemente León is a renowned speed puzzler known for his incredible speed and precision. At the 2023 World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship, Alejandro set a remarkable record by completing a 500-piece puzzle in just 32 minutes and 41 seconds. His journey into speed puzzling began in 2019 when he participated in a pairs puzzle contest with his father, quickly rising through the ranks to become a top competitor.

Alejandro’s approach to puzzling is systematic and strategic. He begins by sorting pieces by color and shape, assembling the puzzle with a focus on efficiency and accuracy. His success results from dedicated practice and a passion for the art of puzzling. Beyond his individual achievements, Alejandro’s love for puzzles extends to sharing his skills and inspiring others within the puzzle community, making him a respected figure in the world of jigsaw puzzles.[4]

6 Lim Kai Yi–Record-Breaking Puzzle Prodigy

Fastest time to build Mr. Potato Head – 5.43 seconds by Lim Kai Yi 🇲🇾

Lim Kai Yi, a prodigious talent from Butterworth, Malaysia, has shattered over 60 world records, showcasing his versatility and skill in various feats. One of his most notable achievements includes the fastest time to build a 15-cup pyramid, accomplished in just 2.40 seconds. His journey began in his youth when he developed a keen interest in solving puzzles and breaking records.

Lim’s success comes from his unique approach and relentless practice. He emphasizes creativity and finding unconventional methods to achieve his goals rather than following mainstream techniques. His record-breaking performances, including assembling a Mr. Potato Head in 5.43 seconds, highlight his exceptional abilities and dedication to his craft.

Lim continues to inspire the puzzle-solving community with his ambition to break 1,000 records in his lifetime, motivating others to think outside the box and pursue their dreams with determination.[5]

5 Aidan Grainger–Megaminx European Record Holder

30.91 European Record Megaminx average!

Aidan Grainger, a talented 16-year-old from the UK, has made headlines by becoming the European record holder for solving the Megaminx—a 1-sided cube. At the age of 16, Aidan achieved this remarkable feat by completing the puzzle in an impressive average of 30.91 seconds over five solves during a 2024 competition. His journey into speedcubing began in his early teens, quickly advancing from local competitions to setting records on the international stage.

Aidan’s method involves a strategic approach and rapid execution, honed through countless hours of dedicated practice. His ability to stay focused and maintain a high level of precision under competitive pressure has set him apart in the speedcubing community. This record not only highlights his skill but also his commitment to mastering one of the most challenging puzzles.

Beyond setting records, Aidan is an active member of the speedcubing community, often sharing his techniques and insights with fellow enthusiasts. His achievements have inspired many young cubers to push their limits and aim for excellence in the world of competitive puzzling.[5]

4 Simon Kellum–Pyraminx Speedcubing Star

Millimeter from Failure–.73s World Record Pyraminx Single (Simon Kellum)

Simon Kellum has established himself as a prominent competitor in the world of speedcubing, particularly excelling in Pyraminx events. The Pyraminx, also known as the triangle Rubik’s Cube, is a tetrahedron-shaped 3-layered twisty puzzle with four triangular faces divided into nine identical smaller triangles. Since his debut in 2016, Simon has participated in numerous World Cube Association (WCA) competitions, consistently delivering impressive performances. His dedication and skill have earned him top rankings in several Pyraminx events, showcasing his ability to solve the puzzle with remarkable speed and precision.

Simon’s success is attributed to his extensive practice and deep understanding of advanced cubing techniques. His participation in multiple competitions highlights his commitment to the sport, where he frequently competes and achieves notable results. Simon’s approach to speedcubing involves a combination of rapid execution and strategic planning, making him a formidable contender in the Pyraminx category.

Beyond his competitive achievements, Simon is an active member of the speedcubing community, sharing his knowledge and inspiring others to pursue their passion for cubing. His journey continues to motivate aspiring cubers to strive for excellence in the world of competitive puzzling.[7]

3 Carter Kucala–Skewb Speedster

1.52 World Record Skewb Average – Carter Kucala

Carter Kucala is a celebrated figure in the speedcubing world, particularly renowned for his exceptional skill in solving the Skewb—a 6-sided cube that turns at a slant. Carter set the world record for the fastest average time to solve a Skewb puzzle, achieving an impressive average of 1.52 seconds across five solves in June 2024. In 2023, he also set the unbelievable single Skewb solve of 0.75 seconds in March 2024. His journey into speedcubing began at a young age, and his rapid progression in mastering the Skewb has set him apart as one of the top competitors globally.

Carter’s success is a result of his dedication and strategic approach to solving the Skewb. He meticulously practices advanced algorithms and techniques, which enable him to solve the puzzle with remarkable speed and accuracy. His calm demeanor under the intense pressure of competitions has earned him multiple top rankings in official World Cube Association (WCA) events.

Beyond his competitive achievements, Carter actively shares his expertise with the speedcubing community. He offers tutorials and mentoring to help others improve their skills, inspiring many young cubers to pursue excellence in the sport. His record-breaking performances and contributions continue to influence and motivate aspiring speedcubers around the world.[8]

2 Ryan Pilat–Square-1 Solver Extraordinaire

Square-1 World Record Single: 3.41 Seconds

Ryan Pilat is a prominent figure in the speedcubing community, renowned for his expertise in solving the Square-1 puzzle—essentially a shape-shifting Rubik’s cube. Ryan has consistently demonstrated his exceptional skill, setting a world record with a single solve time of just 3.41 seconds at the Wichita Family ArtVenture 2024. His journey into speedcubing began in 2016, and he has since become one of the top competitors in the Square-1 category.

Ryan’s approach to solving the Square-1 involves a deep understanding of the puzzle’s mechanics and the use of advanced algorithms. His dedication and strategic thinking have led to numerous top rankings in official World Cube Association (WCA) events. Beyond his competitive achievements, Ryan is an active member of the speedcubing community, sharing his knowledge and techniques to inspire and mentor aspiring cubers worldwide.[9]

1 Niklas Aasen Eliasson–Rubik’s Clock Conqueror

Clock 2.29 Official WR Single! (Former)

Niklas Aasen Eliasson is a prominent figure in the speedcubing community, particularly known for his expertise in solving the Rubik’s Clock—a two-sided puzzle, each side having nine clocks. Niklas has set a remarkable world record for the fastest time to solve the Rubik’s Clock, achieving an astonishing time of 2.25 seconds at the Vännäs & Friends 2024 event in Vännäsby, Sweden, on June 15, 2024. His journey into speedcubing began in 2021, rapidly progressing to become one of the top competitors in this unique category.

Niklas’s approach to solving the Rubik’s Clock is characterized by his meticulous practice and strategic planning. He utilizes advanced techniques and maintains a high level of accuracy under competitive pressure. His dedication to mastering the puzzle has led to numerous top rankings in official World Cube Association (WCA) events, cementing his status as a leading solver.

Beyond his competitive achievements, Niklas actively engages with the speedcubing community by sharing his knowledge through tutorials and mentoring. His contributions have inspired many aspiring cubers to pursue excellence in solving the Rubik’s Clock, making him a respected and influential figure in the puzzle-solving world. [10] [10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen