Do you love to solve a tricky crossword, or get your brain working each day with a number puzzle? A survey found that millions of people enjoy cracking puzzles every week. Read on to discover some online options that could be perfect for you.

According to Aviva, 63% of UK adults do puzzles at least once a week. In fact, the average person spends 169 hours a year putting together jigsaws, completing word searches, or solving brainteasers. While people spend on average 30 to 60 minutes solving puzzles at a time, the findings suggest 35% are stubborn enough to keep going until it’s solved.

If you’re among those that frequently challenge yourself with a puzzle, there are mental benefits. Previous research suggests puzzles could improve your memory, boost creativity, and help you relax.

Here are seven online options that are perfect for puzzlers.

1. The WordSearch

The WordSearch has a huge collection of online word searches you can access for free, and new ones are being added all the time. Word searches are perfect if you want a quick challenge to focus on.

You can search through themed categories, from blockbuster films to bones in the body, to find one that catches your eye. You can even use the word search builder to easily create a puzzle just for you. All you need to do is add between 10 and 30 words and the generator will do the rest. You can then play online and share it with friends.

2. Jigsaw Explorer

If you love to complete jigsaws, why not give an online puzzle a try? There are lots of free websites you can try to find designs you like. This site offers a huge variety to choose from, you can even upload your own photo.

Each week, the mystery puzzle could give you a bit of a challenge, you’ll see just a portion of the image and need to complete the jigsaw to uncover the rest. You can also share puzzles with family and friends to collectively work on them.


Try your hand at a number puzzle with Sudoku. They’ve become hugely popular online, so you have plenty of options, including this free site that has hundreds to choose from.

The puzzle is made of 3×3 squares that you must fill with numbers from 1 to 9. You can’t have repeated numbers in the square or each horizontal or vertical line. Once you get to grips with the basic game, there are more complex versions, such as those with additional squares marked on the grid that can’t contain repeated numbers either.

4. The Guardian crossword

Put your trivia knowledge and clue-solving skills to the test with a daily crossword. Do you know the answer to what seven-letter word is used to describe a “strip of computer icons clicked to perform different functions”?*

There are plenty of options to choose from online, including those published by the Guardian, which is free and split into a range of difficulties, from quick options that are perfect for getting your brain working to the fiendishly difficult genius level.

5. Wordle

Wordle became a huge hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the creator reportedly sold it for $3 million (£2.4 million) to the New York Times after thousands of people from around the world played it every day.

Wordle is simple to play but it can be deceptively tricky to complete. Each day, there is a new five-letter word, and you have six guesses to get it right. With each try, it’ll tell you if you have a letter in the correct spot, or if a letter is in the word but in the wrong place. How many guesses do you need to complete today’s challenge?

There have been multiple spin-off games of Wordle that use longer words or where you solve multiple words at the same time – try Quordle to see if you can guess four words at once.

6. Framed

Are you a film buff? Then put your knowledge to the test with Framed.

Each day, you’ll need to try and guess the name of a film from a series of frames. You have six guesses and each time you guess wrong you’re shown a new image. They often start as very obscure and become more specific as you guess. There’s a preset list of movies that you can use wisely to help you narrow down your guess.

7. Daily Dingbats

If you used to watch the game show Catchphrase, yelling out the answers and despairing at the contestants, Dingbats could be perfect for you. They’re visual word puzzles that you need to solve to find a well-known phrase or saying.

Again, there are lots of places you can find dingbats online. If you want a daily challenge, Daily Dingbats posts a new puzzle every day on Twitter for you to try and solve.

*Answer: toolbar

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