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 ) 2023?

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):

Algorithmically selected "best of":

Best by votes/views:

Meta-meta issues:

Q: Is this kind of thing allowed on SE?
A: Yes, Photography SE and Sci-Fi & Fantasy SE do something very similar.

Q: What's the point?
A1: To highlight and encourage good practice in a way that goes beyond upvotes.
A2: 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'.
A3: To prompt members to put forward their own reflections on what makes a high-quality puzzle.


1 Answer 1


Coasting Along the Coast by Jafe

I would have loved to nominate the entirety of Jafe's latest wonderful and creative 'Gladys' series of cryptic crosswords and grid deduction puzzles, as all of them are so carefully and imaginatively crafted that as a set they constitute an incredible gallery of ingenuity and commitment to puzzle creation. However, limiting myself to just one from 2023 Q1, I post my vote for this one.

Having been rather bitten by the grid deduction puzzle bug in recent months (I've been working my way through the back-catalogue at The Art of Puzzles, which I thoroughly recommend, with no conflicts of interest to disclose) I've grown particularly fond of 'one step removed' puzzles, where instead of a straightforward sample from a specific genre, there's an additional twist. This particular contribution of Jafe's sees the solver attempt to crack a puzzle of the Fillomino genre, with the added complication that the numbers usually seen in the grid have been encrypted with different letters, meaning there are additional logical steps to crack before/while solving the puzzle itself. (The additional Star Battle 'quickie' and overall answer extraction are a pleasant bonus!)

The standard set by the quality of Jafe's contributions to this site is one that all puzzlers - new and long-time - would do well to study and learn from. Whenever people ask me for advice on how best to produce a series of puzzles, I shall always point them in Jafe's direction... The crème de la crème.


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