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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 ) 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.

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Alphabet snake, master of camouflage by SlowMagic

Another inspired idea for a puzzle by SlowMagic, whose original text manipulation puzzles continue to amaze me. This time the reader is invited to substitute letters into a given piece of prose so that an ‘alphabet snake’ (the letters A through Z, consecutively) lies on top of the original text and creates an alternative one where every word altered becomes another still-real and context-relevant word.

As an idea it is original, as a puzzle it is demanding, and as an activity it is incredibly satisfying to see the answer shine forth from the screen once you find it.

A quite brilliant puzzle, unique on this site for sure, and something I have never come across anywhere else before now.

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Introducing the 3D Connecting Wall! by Stiv

Stiv can't submit their own puzzles, so I figured someone else had to...

The original narrowly beat out the re-production for me personally, but this is moreso to celebrate the concept of the puzzle than either individual execution of it (though both were certainly well-executed!). Creating a connecting cube out of three adjoining walls was such an unexpected idea, but at the same time felt totally natural.

The 3D version, I think, heightens the best properties of a normal 2D connecting wall: the best walls have a good bit of misdirection, with words that seem to belong to one group but really belong to another. With these, though, there are words that do belong to two different groups, keeping you even more on your toes. Not to mention that you're only given three words for some of the groups! Having to derive the central answer yourself is a great touch, and even more impressively, both puzzles' final answer was themed with the presentation!

I think fljx put it best in their answer to the first puzzle: it really is "the evil genius of connecting walls."

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