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):
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
- 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
- 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
- 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 Mix.
- Puzzle Express: Less
what I'm looking for, but worth a look. The battleship puzzles have
an excruciatingly bad interface.
Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection: Nice collection of applets
to play lots of puzzle games. Just got tipped to this (thanks, CP!)
so haven't had time to look at it much yet.
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.
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
Today's Crossword from King
- Daily Coded
Crossword: A cross between a cryptogram and a crossword.
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
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
Herald: A daily cryptic. (today's .txt) They do not follow
rules as well, but it's a little easier when they do. (Not
The Globe and Mail (Canada): I don't care for this one much,
but it's probably the closest sub for The Herald.
for Puzzles Cryptic: an online daily whose interface doesn't
The Independent: I get this one on my phone with the Crosswords
app, but I'm way behind doing them.
Reagle's Sunday Crosswords: the most recent four of his puzzles
are available as PDF downloads or for doing online (or as a
- 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
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
- 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
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:
- Free Online Anagram
Sover: Massive word list to get the job done.
- 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
- One Across: A really
cool crossword clue solver and a nice (though small dictionaried,
- OneLook: 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.)