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 (July/August/September) 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.


2 Answers 2


Poor Farmer Ned by Amoz

I'd like to nominate this puzzle for its sheer elegance and simplicity.

This riddle captivates with its beautifully crafted story, keeping the reader engaged and curious throughout. What sets it apart is its accessibility - you don't need advanced math or coding skills to crack it. Instead, it's a puzzle that anyone can enjoy, making it universally appealing.

The "aha" moment when the solution clicks with just a pencil and paper is truly satisfying. Additionally, GentlePurpleRain's answer adds value with clear visual explanations, enhancing the overall experience.

Moreover, the community's involvement in suggesting possible continuations of the story in the comments below the answer adds an extra layer of enjoyment.

In essence, this puzzle exemplifies the notion that simplicity can indeed be profound, earning it a well-deserved spot among the best puzzles of the quarter.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I wonder why those names were chosen for the neighbors. I hope there isn't a secret hidden acronym or something... $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Commented Mar 5 at 15:34

A colorful dodecahedron by Herbert Kociemba

A very visually appealing problem that is a very natural question when one looks at the set of 12 patterned pentagons. Users were immediately struck by the aesthetic appeal. It's not automatically clear that the problem admits a solution (the analogous question with six squares is not solvable due to parity constraints).

Ostensibly similar problems such as the Eternity puzzle have required brute force computational approaches, but here there is an elegant symmetrical solution that is discoverable by hand. The checkmark solution also deserves praise for beautiful use of graphics to illustrate the solution.

The full enumeration of solutions provides some meat for those who enjoy deploying computational power.

Our community can sometimes be hard to please, but were united in praise and support (including offers of bounties) for such a visually effective challenge.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .