I'll put some of my puzzle stuff up here sometime, but for now,
you can go visit some of my favorite puzzle sites. I try to keep
this a "best in class" sort of list instead of putting every site
I've found in.
- Variety Sites (see table below):
Conceptis: You'll need to sign up and have Java and Flash
working (and pop-ups allowed for them?), but these are good. New puzzles every Friday morning
(GMT). The recent overhaul allows saving and has more puzzles you can play online. At the
front page, there's
other stuff too (including the T-shirt contest).
- Indigo Puzzles:
Free sign up. The online tools have nice hints, but they could be
easier to use.
- Otto Janko's Puzzles: They're
in Austria, so it's in German
(Google English translation), but there's a lot of nice stuff here.
- Logic Games
Online: Free nurikabe
but they're all small and easy. It's a nice warm-up in the morning,
but nothing compared to monsters they have at Nikoli.
- Nikoli (nee puzzle.jp):
I'm a subscriber, but even if you aren't there are some sample problems, and
fun contests there to keep you for a
while. You might also check their corporate site, especially for
instructions on their puzzles. I find their interfaces (other than sudoku) to be overall the best, though their "Check" feature is universally inadequate.
- Puzzle Mix: He's got a few that
are hard to find online, but his interfaces need some work. I've only
recently signed up, so I'll know better after I try it more. He also has sites
dedicated to specific puzzle types, but you have to sign up, and then he
has very few free puzzles. You're probably better off suscribing to
- Puzzle Express: Less
what I'm looking for, but worth a look. The battleship puzzles have
an excruciatingly bad interface.
Loop: Daily Slitherlinks with an OK interface.
Fujiwara's Number Lines: Slitherlink puzzles with an OK
interface. Not as good as Nikoli's by half, but better than many
I've tried. He only has a small set of them, but the hard ones are
- Puzzle Loop: more
Slitherlink. I can't stand the look of the puzzles- I find them
very hard to read- and the hot regions are way too small,
making them hard to click on. Go try Nikoli's to see what I mean.
The reason it's good is because it'll make as many puzzles as you
- Bridges: Don't
like the interface as much as Indigo's (and I'm not crazy about his
either), but this, like Puzzle Loop will let you make as many
puzzles as you want.
- Griddlers: Need to sign
up, but then you can do several nonogram variants until your
fingers fall off.
- Hitori Conquest:
Hot spots are too small, but it's OK.
Kakuro: Their user interface is kind of crappy (they'll sell
you one that's allegedly better), but they're decent puzzles and the
list of possibilities can be useful to beginners. (The assistant at
Indigo is much better, though!)
- Light Up: Akari, though the
interface is clunky next to Nikoli's, that's not the worst part. The puzzles
are crap (like next item). but at least you can generate as many as you want.
- Nurikabe: Same caveats
as Puzzle Loop (well except there aren't any at Indigo). The puzzles
are tedious because the numbers are so small.
- Cryptogram tool So you can do it on the screen.
"But what about sudoku, ab, or are you too cool for that?" No,
just too cool to play online. I can't recommend Sudoku Susser
enough. I do all those there. It can fetch some from the web, or
you can import them from graphics(!) or text from web sites.
And RTFM. Seriously. Sudoku Susser has made me an inhuman
sudoku-solving machine, and it's because I read the fine
I don't like doing crosswords online. Really don't. A lot.
And many of the puzzles you can get aren't very good. (Automation has
allowed the talentless to get farther than they should.) Here are some
that are good and printable. Some have .puz versions that work in Across Lite,
which will let you print them (or do them on the screen). Or you can
do them online if you're one of those people:
- Eugene Sheffer's Daily Crossword (or online): Today's Crossword from King Features Syndicate.
- Daily Coded Crossword: A cross between a cryptogram and a crossword.
- The Guardian: Extensive site, though their online puzzles are annoying to use on an iPhone- and they removed their puzzles from the iPhone Crossword app, so that's a relevant strike against them.
- The Financial Times: An easier (usually) daily cryptic puzzle.
- The Private Eye: fortnightly (sort of rude) cryptic.
The Sydney Morning Herald: A daily cryptic. (today's .puz) I think this is the most consistent and best free daily I've found online, but I'd love to find better.
The Herald: A daily cryptic. (today's .txt) They do not follow the rules as well, but it's a little easier when they do. (Not free anymore)
- The Globe and Mail (Canada): I don't care for this one much, but it's probably the closest sub for The Herald.
- Merl Reagle's
Sunday Crosswords: the most recent four of his puzzles are available
as PDF downloads or for doing online (or as a .txt).
- Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest: A crossword with a puzzle in it is posted Friday. Send him
the answer by Tuesday and you could win one of his books. (Fun anyway, of course.)
- Brendan Emmett Quigley: New puzzles Monday and Thursday. Occasional contests.
The Puzzler: The Atlantic posts a variety cryptic every month. I hear they don't print them in the actual magazine anymore, so no sense buying it. The archive goes way back (May 1997 at least), so this can keep you busy for a while.
- The Wall Street Journal: They do a Sunday-style puzzle on Friday and a variety puzzle (sometimes cryptic) on Saturday. If you don't let the "variety" part throw you, these are the easiest cryptics around, I think.
Hamel: He's got a pretty good list of puzzles all over- I'm hoping
to cherrypick the best out for this list.
Stumped, huh? Here are some great ways to get help:
- Diary of a Crossword
Fiend: Commentary on "the good crosswords". Well, the American ones,
see below for cryptics.
- Fifteensquared (aka 225):
Commentary on cryptic solving.
National Puzzlers' League: Many tools including a regex dictionary
search. (If you know what that is, you know whether you want it.)
- One Across: A really cool
crossword clue solver and a nice (though small dictionaried, apparently)
Globbing dictionary search. Extensive dictionary- too much so, it
comes up with non-words, misspellings, and foreign junk. Make sure
to "Customize" it to make sure it's doing what you want.
- Scrabble Word Finder:
Good for augmented anagrams that are in that game's dictionary. (Or for
that game, of course.)