This question is part of the best-puzzle award series.

What are your nominations for the best puzzles, here on Puzzling.SE, of the third quarter (Jul / Aug / Sep) 2015?

Suggested guidelines for nomination:

  • Nominate each individual puzzle in a separate answer, so they can be upvoted/downvoted separately.

  • No more than 3 nominations per person.

  • Don't nominate your own puzzles.

  • Before you nominate a puzzle, check to see if someone else has already nominated it. If they have then add to that nomination as a comment (or edit it), instead of nominating the same puzzle again.

  • In your nomination, explain what it is that (in your opinion) makes the nominated puzzle such a good one.

Some lists to help jog your memory (your nomination doesn't have to be from these lists):

Meta-meta issues:

  • Is this kind of thing allowed on SE?

  • What's the point?

    • To highlight and encourage good practice in a way that goes beyond upvotes.

    • To work towards building a 'hall of fame' of some of the best puzzles on the site (perhaps to reside on a future puzzling.SE blog) - think of it as our 'greatest hits album'. :)

    • To prompt members to put forward their own reflections on what makes a high-quality puzzle.

  • $\begingroup$ @Anachor Thanks for the edit. Brain fart on my part. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 23 '15 at 20:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interestingly, September, October, November were the 7th - 9th month in the roman calender. Hence the prefixes sept, oct, nov. $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Sep 23 '15 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ Is someone else has already nominated a puzzle, isn't upvoting better than commenting? (wrt guideine 4) $\endgroup$ – ghosts_in_the_code Sep 28 '15 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ @ghosts I think the assumption is that you will be upvoting anything you deem worthy. Guideline 4 is more about if you have something further to say about a puzzle that's already been nominated. (And I just copied this text from the previous "Best Puzzles" post, so I don't actually know.) $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 28 '15 at 14:21

A short, brutal riddle by Roland

Currently top voted for a reason, this riddle's ironic approach makes for a unique word puzzle and a delightful revelation. At five lines and with each leading to a relatively simple, common word and final answer, we can share this riddle easily and present it to all ages.

  • $\begingroup$ I loved this one. Total classic imo. $\endgroup$ – A E Sep 25 '15 at 20:38

An overheard gang meeting, a double agent, and a murder by Alconja

A brilliant enigmatic puzzle. First of all, it is really well-written and quite funny. It has a sense of mystery. Hints are well-distributed throughout the story. I particularly loved gangster 2. It's hard for me to describe it without revealing the answer, so go and see it for yourselves.

  • $\begingroup$ I missed that puzzle, but its genius :D $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Sep 24 '15 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Spacemonkey So did I (I only joined last month), but nevertheless noninated it, as it was a brilliant puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Sep 24 '15 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, it's high on my list as well. I really enjoyed the humorous tale. $\endgroup$ – dennisdeems Sep 28 '15 at 14:06

Preparing for the end of term performance by Gordon K

This is a very special puzzle that uses music in a novel and quite clever way. The solver is presented with an apparently nonsensical musical score. Somehow the titles of four Christmas tunes are encrypted therein. The score's headers contain devious clues. A real gem!


The Wonderful Wanderfull Puzz by COTO

This puzzle was fun to read, even before I started attempting to solve it. The whimsical rhymes are entertaining, and the puzzle is presented elegantly.

It obviously took considerable effort to create, and shows a lot of attention to detail, delivering a well-presented puzzle.

The actual solution is very clever, and provides an extra level of puzzliciousness in that individual letters from each stanza's solution are combined to provide a "bonus" answer.

Its companion, Another Journey to the Land of Puzz, is equally entertaining.


Winnie the Pooh and the 27 honey pots by gamow

The puzzle reads surprisingly simple. No fussy, vague wording, with some numbers in it which at first appear fairly random. The underlying complexity of the puzzle however (as shown in the answers)

Alongside the nature of the question, part of the nomination is the nature of the answers. Answers suitable for Puzzling rather then Maths. Constructive help in the comments, rather then a competition to 'snag the missing bit'.


Nine gangsters and a gold bar by Glinka

The puzzle is well decorated as a real-life scenario and surprisingly easy for anyone to have a go, but notoriously difficult to solve completely. The uniqueness of the puzzle is it's simplicity which is certified by the fact that it has attracted 20 answers. You don't need anything beyond basic arithmetic to solve it or understand the solutions, but finding the best solution is by no means an easy task. In fact, it has not been fully proved that the best solution is actually the best (although it is almost certain that it is).


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