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

What are your nominations for the best puzzles, here on Puzzling.SE, of the second quarter (April / May / June ) 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.
  • $\begingroup$ Well, your puzzles are really good. I would just like to mention that. $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Jul 10, 2018 at 5:35

5 Answers 5


Recognizing a Metapuzzle by Deusovi

I was of two minds on whether to nominate this one or not, but in the end, I decided I couldn't allow this much effort and puzzle density to go unrecognised. Deusovi's Meta3 is enormous in scope and contains a vast array of clever ideas. You could take nearly any single one of the 30+ puzzles, isolate it and post it here to a positive reception. To bring it all together must've required many, many hours of work.

Take, by way of example a single puzzle, No. 24, where you are given list of innocuous (if admittedly somewhat awkward) words, and must realise:

1. The words contain a shared pattern of "circular objects"
2. These words can fit into one of the seemingly random grid pattern images (when treating the circular objects as single cells)
3. That disambiguation is required, and given
4. The disambiguation technique produces two sets of "circles" on the grid, creating the impression of a Masyu puzzle
5. You can solve the Masyu to highlight a new hint in the remaining letters
6. That the hint provides a clear final answer to the puzzle (including a specific form)

And that's just one puzzle, ignoring the other 28, and the four metas, and the meta-meta.

The only downside (and reason why I was contemplating not nominating it), is that the shear scale of the thing makes it quite difficult to actually parse and enjoy.# There are so many twisting trees in the way, that it's hard to see the forest.

# The scattered partial answers don't help, and if anyone feels like taking up the mantle and putting together a definitive and high quality answer that brings everything together in a coherent and readable format, I'll gladly pass on a 250 rep bounty as thanks (ping me here in case I miss it).

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I was also in doubt whether to nominate this, for a similar but slightly different reason: I can't think of any other puzzle that made me feel as inadequate as this one. $\endgroup$
    – ffao
    Jul 26, 2018 at 3:34

A Lazy Breakfast by TwoBitOperation

To contrast my other nomination, this puzzle is the very epitome of compact. In all of four sentences, we are provided with enough information to identify nearly every noun without ambiguity. As icing on the cake, each clue is delivered in perfectly thematic double meaning with minimal filler or forced contrivance.

It also utilises a favourite technique of mine - that of describing a simple scenario, and then posing a question seemingly unrelated and impossible to answer given the information provided. It's an excellent way to grab attention and to draw the solver in.

An expertly crafted little puzzle well worth checking out.


Circuit Diagram by phenomist

I don't even know where to begin to explain this epic, but I've never been 'awed' by the sheer scope and thought put into a puzzle here like I was with this one.

Similar to Recognizing a Metapuzzle by Deusovi each partial puzzle could easily stand on it's own to a positive reaction here. But, to combine all of the different puzzle types, and tie them into the topic of an XKCD comic in a VISUAL sense instead just thematic must have taken an absurd amount of effort and creativity.

I admit that most of the puzzles were a bit over my head, and maybe a little esoteric, but reading the solutions and explanations to all the puzzles as they were solved was extremely interesting and enlightening to me. Such effort needs to be mentioned and appreciated; it's what keeps this site alive.


The Evicted Tenant by Minh Tran

I found this puzzle had a very clever solution and it was enjoyable to watch it being solved. I found the wordplay to be sneaky, yet accurate to the answer. When reading the real answer you could go "ahh, that is how that fit into the answer". I also really enjoyed that it was a story puzzle because it was like a detective mystery.


This party ends in tragedy (I planned it from the start, you see) by Alconja.

  • Damn, this is one fine riddle.infinitezero

  • Thus far, this puzzle has received $89$ upvotes, $0$ downvotes and $14$ favourites.

  • It is included in the top $10$ highest voted puzzles tagged (see here, also).

  • The accepted answer had an incredibly intuitive solve (said by Deepak).

This puzzle was brilliant. 'Twas an amazing riddle with beautiful rhyming and a fun objective. I have favourited it $\color{darkorange}{\bigstar}$ since I had reached my Daily Voting Limit (DVL) and forgot to upvote, so you could say this has $90$ upvotes. The writing was really clever with many puns and red herrings (especially in the names involved and other chosen words).

For me, this was very enjoyable, and I recommend puzzlers (particularly those quite fond of riddles and drawings) to view it and try it themselves. It was difficult for me to solve, as the riddle was huge and I didn't know where to start looking. After about half an hour, I looked at the accepted answer, and realised I definitely did not underestimate this puzzle.

I favourite many puzzles, riddles and such; but this one is by far one of my absolute favourites. Well done, Alconja! 'Twas very amusing :P


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