YouTube is a miraculous place. COLOSSAL amounts of content, media, and diverse voices are waiting to be explored …. if you know which channels to follow. For anyone who has experienced the thrill of falling down an internet rabbit hole of videos, we’ve decided to showcase a few of our favorite YouTubers whose channels focus on Kubiya’s favorite subject: solving puzzles! Who would have guessed?
First up is Chris Ramsay, a German-born Canadian vlogger/YouTuber known for his illusion tutorials, reaction videos to bad magic, and of course, puzzle-solving videos. We know him best for the videos where he solves diverse, tricky puzzles from the solver’s POV. Ramsay has a no-nonsense, get-right-to-it kind of attitude, while keeping a friendly and likeable demeanor. This is a smart recipe for a YouTuber because the viewer knows exactly what they are signing up for when they subscribe. Besides some brief intros and outros, he doesn’t include extra fluff in his videos that distract from the task at hand: solving the puzzle in front of him.
One recent video involves a puzzle constructed of Legos; different levers and gears attached to the Legos have to be manipulated in the right way for the Lego structure (a head with a top hat) to release an SD card out of its mouth! This is a great example of the diverse materials that puzzles can be made of, and the ways that media, like pictures and video, can be combined with the puzzle solving experience. The Lego puzzle came with a deliciously sinister, Sci-Fi themed video intro, and ends by unlocking a goodbye video message that hints towards the next puzzle in the set. The actor in the puzzle video looks like the creature from the Predator movies, like it’s an at-home escape room! Ramsay himself has a calm and curious demeanor as he talks the viewer through the process. It’s refreshing that he doesn’t make many cuts or edits; the viewer hears his mistakes and successes, giving a unique insider’s view into exactly what’s going on in his brain as he solves. When he solves the puzzle at last, he explains exactly how he got there and gives an honest, fair critique of the experience.
Some useful puzzle solving tips that we picked up from this channel:
- If pieces are meant to move, they will; you almost always do not need any brute force.
- Many puzzles have red herrings, look out! We watched him solve a puzzle box that had a moving UFO-shaped ornament which had nothing to do with the final solution. Very tricky, and loads of fun watching him struggle with it!
- “When in doubt, spin it out” – a goofier tip, but a good one nonetheless, and a healthier reminder that well-made puzzles sometimes require more than just your standard push and pull motions to get inside.
- “If you’re open to looking at things, looking at the design of things and questioning things that you see, your creativity will take on a life of its own. If you wait for something to hit you in the face, it’s just not going to happen….If your mind is actively trying to piece things together while you’re watching a movie or reading a book or listening to music or whatever it may be, you’ll make those random connections.”
What makes us happiest about Ramsay’s videos, though, are the ways he is building bridges within the puzzle solving community. Puzzle makers get to highlight their creative projects through his channel, while he builds his online presence by showcasing the latest puzzles to his audience (who get to watch a cool video)! It’s a nice sense of harmony when all parties involved get to learn and help each other along the way, so thanks Chris!
The next YouTuber who we are proud to showcase is Mr. Puzzle. He is another Youtuber/Vlogger of German descent who mainly focuses on POV videos of himself solving puzzles. He has a very calming, intellectual, straight forward approach to his puzzles. The videos rarely show his face which keeps an interesting level of mystery and anonymity, different from Mr. Ramsay of course who does show his face in some videos. Mr. Puzzle is incredibly detailed with his difficulty ratings; he sometimes even critiques and then adapts the assigned difficulty rating of a puzzle after he has completed it and has more insight. Something else to be appreciated is that he often places spoiler breaks in the videos to give viewers a chance to stop the video if they’re intrigued and want to try for themselves before seeing the solution. He also structures many videos in a way where he shows an extended solution beforehand, and then a quick solution at the end. The first chunk is for fans who are interested in his thought process as he solves, and who want to learn strategies and see everything come together more slowly. The second part of the video is for viewers who are coming here directly for the solution and want him to get right to the point. He doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t judge, but instead caters to all types of brains.
While watching him solve a metal cube puzzle made up of moving metal pieces inside a hollow cube structure, he offers the viewer a “glitch” solution as well where you can simply shake the cube in such a way that it falls apart without any actual steps involved. He really is so detailed and precise, you can tell he’s solved these puzzles many, many times and is able to explain the process in a repeatable way. Scientists at the top of their fields always say that repetition is key while detailing out a complicated solution, and we believe Mr. Puzzle really takes that to heart.
Some useful puzzle solving tips that we picked up from this channel:
- Try not to reverse a step of the puzzle right away if you discover it for the first time.
- Use both sight and sound while solving – moving parts inside can sometimes give you a clue on which type of motion to use.
- You might not fully understand why you solve a puzzle the first time it opens or comes apart. Take a look inside or pause for a moment before you put it back together, to make sure it wasn’t an accident and you can repeat your success!
These are just two of our favorite puzzlers from the YouTube Universe, but there are so many more! We hope you are inspired to check out some of these puzzlers, you’ll find an extremely supportive online community that builds each other up in mutually beneficial ways. Curiosity and creativity are common links that all of these artists/puzzlers share, whether they are designing, making, or solving. Feel free to reach out and let us know who your favorite YouTube puzzlers are, the internet has many undiscovered treasures! If you’re reading this far, shoot us an email with the phrase “Strawberry Lemon” and we’ll send you back an exclusive offer on merchandise.
Next time, stay tuned for some insight on the approaches we use here at Kubiya for solving some of our most difficult puzzles!