Guinness World Records: Prize-Winning Puzzles

Guinness World Records on phone

by Helen Bridal |
Published on

Guinness is good for you… especially if you’re a world record breaker! Guinness World Records, originally conceived over a 1951 debate about which was the fastest game bird in Europe*, has evolved into the globally recognised authority on record-breaking.

Hugh Beaver, the managing director of the Guinness Brewery and one party in the bird discussion, realised there was no book to settle such a dispute. Inspired by this, he envisioned a comprehensive compilation of superlatives that could serve as a reference guide. In 1954, the first edition of The Guinness Book of Records was published and quickly became a bestseller.

Plenty of puzzling feats have appeared in its pages over the subsequent years, including the brain-boggling achievements below. Are you up to the challenge?

Most pieces in a jigsaw puzzle

UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS HO CHI MINH CITY jigsaw world record
©Guinness World Records

Do you find a 500-piece jigsaw a bit of a challenge to complete? Good job you weren’t in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on 24 September 2011. That’s where 1,600 students spent 17 hours completing a jigsaw of lotus flower consisting of 551,232 pieces, with an overall measurement of 14.85 x 20.20m. If you’re after a jigsaw that’s more tabletop-friendly than stadium-sized, check out the beautiful range made by Prints in Pieces or the Agatha Christie-themed creation below.

For fans of the Queen of Crime

The World of Agatha Christie Jigsaw Puzzle
Price: $14.16

Piece together this illustration of Agatha Christie’s life and novels.

Largest wordsearch

Largest wordsearch Ashish Dutt Sharma from Rajasthan in India
©Ashish Dutt Sharma

If you’re a fan of wordsearch magazines, you might be inspired by the efforts of Ashish Dutt Sharma from Rajasthan in India. In October 2015, he claimed the world record for the largest wordsearch after working on it over the previous decade. Comprising 10,500 words and a total of 129,600 letters, the puzzle contained technical words and the names of important scientists and inventors, to help teach these terms to his engineering students in English.

For the eagle-eyed

Ultimate Wordsearches: 100 Wordsearches with a Twist
Price: $6.99

Every wordsearch in this book has two lists, so it’s double the fun.

Highest score in a Scrabble tournament

Toh Weibin of Singapore highest score in scrabble
©World English Scrabble Player's Association

The highest score ever recorded in a Scrabble tournament is 850, achieved by Toh Weibin of Singapore. This took place at the Northern Ireland Scrabble Championship in Belfast on 21 January 2012, with Weibin scoring a mind-boggling 275 in one move after playing the word BEAUXITE (a variant spelling of ‘bauxite’, a clay-like substance from which aluminium is obtained). If you’re a Scrabble fan and want to mix things up, then check out our guide to 10 different ways to play the classic board game.

For those with their head in the game

Scrabble
Price: $11.99
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The classic letter tile word game.

Most rotating puzzle cubes solved on a skateboard

There are so many world records involving rotating puzzle cubes that Ernő Rubik must wonder what bizarre feat will be attempted next. We’re pretty impressed with the record held by London-based George Scholey, who solved 500 Rubik’s cubes while travelling on his skateboard on 13 October 2022. Apparently he was only aiming to complete 300, but was so quick, he just carried on!

For patient puzzlers

Rubik's Cube
Price: £10.00

The puzzle toy which has been been entertaining since 1980.

Largest hedge maze

Jiangsu Dafeng Dream Labyrinth

The largest permanent hedge maze in the world in located in China, covering a whopping 35,596.74 m² and with a total pathway of almost 9.5km. The whole thing comprises sections such as an elk maze, a heart-shaped maze, two circle mazes and a children’s park maze, plus features such as observatory tower, bridges and seats. Closer to home, you can get lost in the world’s oldest hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, which is included in our pick of the best mazes to visit.

For explorers

Visit the former home of Henry VIII and, more importantly, the maze in its grounds.

Most people doing crosswords at the same time

Most people doing crosswords at the same time certificate
©Guinness World Records

Now here’s one we think could be beaten… In 2017 in Germany, a live TV show captured the record-breaking achievement of 609 people solving crosswords at the same time. So here’s a challenge for you: get all your mates together (and maybe spread the word on social media too), hire a sports hall, ensure everyone has a copy of Crosswords Collection with them, and give it a go!

For lovers of general knowledge and trivia

Crosswords Collection Magazine
Price: £39.99 (annually)

www.greatmagazines.co.uk

Crosswords Collection is released monthly and goes straight to your door if you have a subscription.

Ready to break your own puzzles record? Don’t forget to report back!

*The red-breasted merganser is the most likely answer, in case you were wondering.

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