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

What are your nominations for the best puzzles, here on Puzzling.SE, of the first quarter (January/ February / March ) 2018?

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.


5 Answers 5


A mysterious benefactor by Keelhaul

A highly-compact but complex puzzle, with several successive steps tightly packed together. As I peeled back the layers, I was seriously impressed by how Keelhaul managed to fit them all in. It took two days, and the help of several other Puzzling.SE users, for me to fully unravel it. Definitely one of my favourite puzzles I've answered here.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I love how the joke comment called it $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 23:44

Unintelligible Batch of Wingdinglish by "LatchArcheryLeader"

I liked this puzzle for several reasons -- the first being the completely unexpected theme from the original unassuming appearance, compounded by the unusual decision to post the puzzle under an entirely new account (which made the puzzle not generate any rep and not be in their history).

Once you got past the original layer, there were obvious ins in the form of scripts resembling English, allowing the solver to figure out what the connection between all of the scripts is. Furthermore, the clues hint at yet another script in an amusingly indirect way, with an extra, more direct, clue to confirm it (which Deusovi did not need, being Deusovi).

To top it off, the answer is so incredibly thematic it makes you wonder how could it be anything else in the first place, and it had been hinted at by the title all along!

As if all that wasn't enough, the OP's profile is a follow-up mini-puzzle that leads to this puzzle poster's main account, in the unlikely event you still had any doubts as to who they were.


90% of people will fail this puzzle! by ffao

I love this puzzle because of the way it subverted expectations.

Right from the intentionally amateurish and click-bait title, to the (again) intentionally amateurish image (red text, underlined heading), it misled people into thinking it was just an average puzzle sourced from elsewhere.

It also appeared to perform a puzzling faux pas by linking an image with what it claimed were the answers.

Then, the fun started with there being an obvious answer, which was (obviously) incorrect. And further attempts just ended up teasing us (see phenomist's answer that lists the other incorrect options from the cleverly crafted question).

It took Deusovi to pick up on the language hints and the language tag to finally crack the puzzle.

The only slight disappointment to me was that this puzzle received a few downvotes, which I presume occurred at the very beginning because people were misled by its (too effective) attempts to come across as amateurish.


Station to Station by Sp3000

A very tightly constructed cryptic crossword with a twist.

The clues are polished and fair, but the lack of position and enumeration information ups the difficulty level on the initial puzzle. As you work through it though, the slight rule breaking brings your attention neatly to the necessary elements of the second part, which is cleanly embedded within the first. This, along with their grid positioning, is enough to nudge you towards revealing the final solution without the need for additional, extraneous clues — the sign of a truly good multipart puzzle.


My prefix is food, my suffix is rude by Riley

The one and original Riley riddle!
This riddle is awesome and very creative. Its format is so simple but can be easy or hard to solve. The clues are cool wordplays and the answers are always unique.

This riddle inspired so many people that now we have a Riley riddle almost every day.

It is also very fun to solve it.


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