Clear All The Jelly.note The first few Jelly levels aren't so bad ... but it's when you have to clear two layered jelly it gets bad.
Consensus on the Wiki seems to be that level 65 is the worst of all. It's based on clearing a huge board of double-layered jelly in 50 moves, with indented squares that make it incredibly awkward to get matches. AND you have locked candies and chocolate blocks to worry about too. It's so stupidly hard that the game developers actually modified it to be easier after finding out that this one level alone reduced player retention rate by forty percent.
Level 147 takes the crown as the hardest jelly level after level 65. The good news is that you don't have to deal with chocolate or licorice in this level. The bad news is that a lot of the double-layered jelly is hidden underneath triple-layered meringue blocks, which means that you have to clear a ton of squares FIVE times in total, AND you have to deal with bombs regularly dropping from the top of the board in often-hard-to-reach places.
Level 350 doesn't look too bad on the surface as only about half of the jellies are covered by meringue blocks and you're given a generous 60 moves to clear them, but as you begin to tackle the bottom half of the board you will very quickly realize that dealing with the bomb dispensers that you will be uncovering as you clear the meringue blocks is a lot easier said than done and that trying to clear the far bottom corners is a nightmare.
The timed levels are pretty brutal too, particularly once chocolate, bombs and licorice start getting in the way.
Level 97 ... those Score levels aren't Breather Level Material ... Not only do you have to worry about 8-turn bombs that drop into the board every other turn, but the minimum required score is so high that even if you defuse all possible bombs you'll be hard-pressed to reach the score benchmark unless you make a truly insane number of special candies and combos — and the board is pretty small to boot, which makes maneuvering candies around in it that much harder. Have fun!
And don't even talk about levels where you have to concentrate on bringing down ingredients AND making sure that the bombs don't go off. Fortunately you have a lot of moves BUT there's chocolate blocks on the bottom.
Level 275 features a pair of 3 turn bombs located at the extremes of the top row, which can only be detonated if you're lucky enough to line up two next to them (or use a special, but it's not a level with a lot of specials). Detonating either of them leads to it being replaced with another 3 turn bomb. It's almost impossible to get one of them, once both are in play, you might as well forget about finishing the level unless you have a hella lot of specials already on the board.
Later levels seem to have a bunch of multi-layered blocks. Good luck.
CHOCOLATE. BLOCKS. Debuting in Minty Meadow, these blocks are like a virus. If you're not quick at getting rid of them, they'll make a lot of the levels in Minty Meadow (and further episodes) a living hell. Pastille Pyramid introduces the Chocolate Block Generator, which generates chocolate blocks ... meaning that you'll NEVER GET RID OF THE FUDGE.
Level 70 is a "Clear All The Jelly" level with portals and chocolate blocks. Did you break a cage? The chocolate blocks take over, covering precious jellies. You have a striped candy ... maybe that'll help you ... until you realize it's a Vertical instead of a Horizontal one. Did you manage to get rid of the chocolate blocks with a Striped/Wrapped Candy Combo (which if placed in a certain position, can get rid of the chocolate blocks and the caged candies in one shot)? Well, the other obstacle you deal with are the cramped spaces where you can't pull anything. Good luck beating this one.
Level 95, the last level of Bubblegum Bridge, can be considered borderline sadistic if you're not careful. It is an Ingredient level, but you have to know how to get certain Striped candies more than anything else. A Striped Candy/Wrapped Candy combo MIGHT do wonders for you depending on the timing, but if it doesn't, you're screwed.
Order Levels based on Wrapped Candies can end VERY painfully if you're not careful. Try getting a Wrapped Candy/Wrapped Candy combo. Hard, isn't it?
Speaking of Order Level, Level 149 (which also involves getting a Wrapped Candy/Wrapped Candy combo, but only one), is probably one that can make you lose lives extremely fast. Why? Fudge blocks candy from coming in, and if you run out of candy, it's game over. You basically have to pray that the Random Candy God gives you a match that lets you clear some of the chocolate on your very first move and keeps on being generous enough to give you tons of vertical striped candies, or you'll be SOL.
Candy Crush Wiki calls the five penultimate levels of Cupcake Circus "Hell's Cluster" because of the hard back-to-back levels.
Level 180 is an Ingredient Drop level but don't be too scared by the cluster of bombs on the bottom, they have the same exact number of moves as the moves you're given, so the worst that'll happen with that is that a +3 Moves Gift will probably be worthless. Getting rid of the Meringue Blocks can be hard and unless if you use a lot Striped Candies, you're toast.
Level 181. Sure, you get both ingredients on the screen at the beginning, and you get fifty moves, but those ingredients are on two separate columns away from the main board, each propped up by four blocks of four-layer meringue. The main board itself starts out covered single-layer meringue. This is the first level in which colorbombs are almost useless; a colorbomb/striped combo might make a dent in the meringue, but oftentimes most of the stripes go in the wrong direction so it usually won't, and you don't get enough moves to kill the meringue with striped candies alone. Your only hope is to get a ton of striped/wrapped combos. You're not allowed to waste any moves here if you want any hope of beating this level; unfortunately, the layout often forces you to waste several moves, and by the time you start getting what you really need to beat it, you're almost out of moves.
Level 182 is a Timed Level, but it is very tricky because of the hazards such as Fudge, Licorice, Bombs, and a tough Meringue Block. Your main priority is to get rid of the Bombs on the top, as a really bad and unlucky group of starting candy will guarantee defeat. It is considered the easiest of the "Hell's Cluster" because of the fact that if you're lucky enough, the level isn't as sadistic.
The previous version of Level 183 can be the biggest nightmare in your life. Why? It's a "Clear the Jelly" Level ... and the Jellies are somewhat simple to clear if you have really good positioned Wrapped Candies/Striped Candies and Striped Candies/Colorbombs, but the hardest part comes from the "Sugar Crush" portion. The Jellyfish don't really do anything to help you, and you have to get to 100,000 points by the end of the level. Good luck trying to reach to that score.
The difficulty of getting to 100,000 points in the Sugar Crush actually varies based on whether you're playing the mobile or Facebook version of the game. If you're playing the iPhone/iPad version, you're guaranteed to get 1,020 points for each Jelly Fish you get (3 per move left), which means that you're guaranteed to pass the level if you have at least 32 moves left. If you're playing the Facebook version where the Jelly Fish have been nerfed so that they only give points if they happen to eat a candy of the same color as them, you have no such guarantee and the level veers right into this trope. Thankfully, this level averts this trope now because the points have been reduced to 50,000.
Level 184 is mainly hard because it's a "Clear all the Jelly" level ... but the Jellies that have to be cleared are situated RIGHT NEXT TO FUDGE GENERATORS. Yeah ... unless if you're lucky with a Colorbomb/Striped Candy Combo, you're gonna be here for a while.
Level 208 only requires two orders: combos respectively of Wrapped Candy and Striped Candy with a Colorbomb. And the upper middle sixth of the playing area is largely unused, making it very hard to get the necessary five in a row of any color to make a Colorbomb. It seems to be almost designed to induce a Rage Quit.
Level 241 is a Luck-Based Mission. The level from an initial viewpoint doesn't look hard, but the columns of Mystery Candies block tons and tons of licorice, which as you might already know, makes Striped Candies pathetically weak. If you happen to cover the Licorice with something like Chocolate, Marmalade, or a Meringue block, you still have to deal with a bunch of layered meringue blocks and jelly.
Level 275 is also a Luck-Based Mission. This one features both chocolate generators and bomb dispensers and is one of the very few levels in which you're practically forced to NOT clear all the chocolate at the first opportunity. Why? Two of these chocolate blocks are located right under the bomb dispensers and if you clear them, they drop 3-turn bombs that are nigh impossible to remove and virtually guarantee that you will get a Game Over in 3 turns' time, which means that you need to let the chocolate in these corners spread and potentially cover up jellies. And even if you do everything you can to avoid clearing these chocolate blocks and do everything else right on this level, you can STILL get screwed over if the Random Candy God decides to create a cascade match right next to them!
The Jelly Fish on the bottom can make the level worse because they'll randomly clear any Jelly ... which is sometimes right next to the bombs.
Level 315 is an ingredient level that forces you to move the two ingredients on the side across multiple columns to the middle before you can bring them down, which requires extremely specific and tricky-to-set-up matches to accomplish. This task is made even more painful by how the board is laced with licorice and rainbow candies that will randomly swap colors and force you to wait to swap the ingredient and candy. There's a Coconut Wheel on the bottom of the board, but it's near-useless (it really only helps you with the middle ingredient) and serves to taunt you more than anything else.
And if you thought this level was bad, just wait until you get to level 409. Not only do you have to get the two ingredients across multiple columns, but there are portals in these columns that make trying to line up the ingredients in matches a major headache. Oh, and did I mention that all of the ingredient exit columns are blocked by two giant cakes that will take you at least four striped candy combos to clear each? And that these cakes are situated at the very edge of the board, which makes trying to clear their leftmost/rightmost slices doubly hard?
Level 349's objective doesn't seem too bad ... just get two Colorbombs (In a board with all colors of the candy), but it pits you against FOUR annoying hazards: Licorice, Bombs, Fudge Generators, and Rainbow Candies, with the Fudge being the initial hazard. The Fudge Generators are at the very top of the board, making chances of the board locking you in very high. Clear the fudge in the middle row? Prepare for a licorice-filled board, as the Licorice Dispensers will guarantee that. The candies on the side are covered in marmalade and end up being Rainbow Candies, which can be a headache to clear, especially if they were ready pieces for that Colorbomb, but what makes it worse are that they are directly below Bomb Dispensers, which automatically bring 10-turn bombs that are very difficult to clear. You're in for a world of hurt.
Level 325 isn't a cakewalk. You have to bring down a total of ten Ingredients in 50 moves. What does the level involve? More than half of the board is covered in fudge (backed up by Fudge Generators) and the middle column will ALWAYS drop licorice ... meaning you can never have candy coming from there. You also have a limited starting space, which is blocked by Meringue Covered Rainbow Candy ... and to slap you in the face, the fudge here is likely to lock you out. Striped Candies will prove themselves worthless because of the Licorice and Wrapped Candies will prove themselves worthless because of the abundance of Ingredients in the level (you might end up with a Wrapped Candy on top of an Ingredient).
Level 342 is a Luck-Based Mission that can get very aggravating because of the sheer amount of luck needed with the Jelly Fish. Most of the Jellies are covered by Meringue Blocks, and you have a limited number of moves to clear the Jellies. The Jelly Fish provided can clear these Jellies without completely breaking these Meringue Blocks, but the game will usually force you to use them to clear jellies that AREN'T covered by the Meringue Blocks. This level can take forever ...
Level 410 plays like a laundry list of all the blockers and obstacles that seem specifically tailored to make your life as miserable as possible. A giant board completely covered in two-layer jelly, including indented squares that are ridiculously hard to clear? Check. Bombs located in places where removing them in time requires you to have absurdly good luck? Check. A generator that constantly produces chocolate capable of spreading from one end of the universe to the other, just in case you DO manage to clear out the bombs? Check. A dispenser that dumps out tons of licorice to sabotage your striped candy combos, just in case the bombs and chocolate weren't difficult enough for you? Motherfrakkin' check. (A later update made this level slightly easier by making the bombs somewhat easier to get rid of, but you still have to deal with the chocolate and the licorice and the hard-to-clear indented jelly squares...)
Even early on, levels are painful to even the most avid and skilled gemswap players.
Level 33. Dear GOD, Level 33. You cannot get donuts, stripe candies are hard to get, and it's jelly.