This is important. I need you to listen…
A wonderful construction that mixes visual elements with crossword clues, Vignere keys, ambigrams, and many other ideas. The puzzle is multi-layered and extremely difficult, but still the solution is clear and well-motivated. Furthermore, @Deusovi's solution to this puzzle should be a worthy nominee for the ...
Note: I'm going to have to bend a few rules with this submission. For example, even though it's technically about a single clue, I'd have to at least mention many other clues for reasons that will be obvious soon.
Regarding potentially common solution to an archived minipuzzle?? (2, 4) — Sp3000
What is a ... Phrase™ ?
This is actually a series of puzzles (some of which fall no longer into Q2 but the initial ones do) and I haven't picked a particular one because part of the quality of these puzzles lie in the fact that the whole series is built in the same way, which provides a fair starting point for searching. All those puzzles deal with some meta-...
You have prepared. You are determined. You approach the door
I was quite surprised that this question wasn't the first one posted here.
Such a well-done puzzle, both in the visual presentation and the design of the puzzles themselves.
Hints contained within the puzzle are not too obvious but give just enough information to interpret the rest of ...
A puzzle in 140 characters by stacksfiller
This puzzle ticks all the boxes that a good multipart/meta puzzle should:
Individually interesting sub-parts - in this puzzle there are many micro-puzzles, which whilst incredibly compact are still intriguing and satisfying in their own right
Partial self-validation - each part resolves to a simple, short English ...
How can this shape perfectly cover a cube? by plasticinsect
Because, of course, how the heck can this shape perfectly cover a cube??!!
It also gets a bonus point with the marvelous answer by Deusovi and the breathtaking animation by Wossname!
A short, brutal riddle by Roland
Currently top voted for a reason, this riddle's ironic approach makes for a unique word puzzle and a delightful revelation. At five lines and with each leading to a relatively simple, common word and final answer, we can share this riddle easily and present it to all ages.
The Rube Wordberg Machine
This puzzle combines a very pleasing visual way of being presented with a good puzzle requiring observation as well as deduction skills and a shot of creativity to find an answer. Everything is well-packed in a litte fun-story.
An overheard gang meeting, a double agent, and a murder by Alconja
A brilliant enigmatic puzzle. First of all, it is really well-written and quite funny. It has a sense of mystery. Hints are well-distributed throughout the story. I particularly loved gangster 2. It's hard for me to describe it without revealing the answer, so go and see it for yourselves.
Others may differ with me, but IMO it does not seem right to compare all puzzles together.
For example, how does one compare a complicated number-theory problem with an interesting word puzzle or even a lateral-thinking one? People are usually biased to certain kinds of puzzles, even if they are unaware of it.
So we will end up finding, not the best ...
A hunt for long forgotten treasure ...but beware the pirate's curse!
This puzzle does it all. It not only gives a wonderful visual aid that's integral to solving the puzzle, but it also provides many, many different elements of puzzles in its cryptic, twisted text. Solving the puzzle was a true team effort, aided by a large amount of people on the forum. ...
Riddled and Dismembered
by Hugh Meyers
This one is a perfect example of what a quality riddle looks like. Here are the key reasons for nominating this puzzle:
The first reason is, of course, the ingenious twist that lends the riddle a sublime superiority. At first sight, it seems no more than a classical rhyming riddle - which is not too hard to solve ...
Who shall come to the tea party?
Trevor Powell took a math/logic puzzle that I might have skipped over on its own and turned it into a masterpiece of puzzle exposition. I encourage everybody to at least read the puzzle (even though the write-up is long). The puzzle itself was perhaps a standard logic puzzle (I don't really know what qualities make a puzzle &...
Find the letters that complete these five patterns by Matt Malone
This is the ultimate misdirection puzzle. The puzzles all make you think that there's an algorithm that you must use to reduce each word to a letter. What I'm especially amazed by is how he managed to generate a palindrome containing "Hocks is either a word, name, ? or ?" Truly diabolical.
Magic Maze Puzzle, by boboquack
I would like to nominate this puzzle (Sep 2019), which gave me one of the best feelings of a job well done when I finally solved it! The puzzle itself is DIFFICULT, and not just something you can glance at while passing - it required real commitment to attempting to solve it (in fact, I had to put aside a couple of hours to do ...
by Dan Russell
Every part of this puzzle was wonderful. The humor in the story, the high-quality presentation, the clues themselves, the trick behind putting the clues together, and the final solution phrase all come together to make a great puzzle.
A Missing Symbol for This Logo by athin
This was a very clever and amazingly creative puzzle by athin. Also, it was one of the first puzzles I saw on joining this site, and was indeed the best first impression it could be.
Chaos and Order by MattClarke
Easily one of the best visual puzzles on the site. Here's why:
There's nothing extraneous in the puzzle, all you see is all you need.
The solution is simple enough to be accessible yet not completely obvious.
When you get the solution, it's easy to confirm that you indeed have the intended solution by doing a bit of research ...
The Sands of Time by Tryth
A very unique visual puzzle that was well outside of the beaten path for PuzzlingSE - it had us all scratching our heads for quite a while, the only gripe I had with it was that I actually had written the answer on the puzzle and simply couldn't figure/notice what it spelled out. But there's honestly not enough of these.
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 ...
Treasure hunt 'round the world! (series)
I am so thankful that this was not a "semi-interactive puzzle"
This series has been very creative with very different questions. It has led the solvers on a journey.
The puzzles are simple and straightforward but require multiple layers of solving.
The brain-curdling eldritch horrors and the third dimension
This is a type of puzzle I've never seen on PSE before. On the face of it, it's remarkably physical: given a 3D printer, one could easily create a model of the cube that forms the puzzle. But once the instruction on the cube's exterior has been found, you realise that the solution ...
REJBÄS - an unfinished flat-pack puzzle
Not nominated yet? Well, I have to then. And this is not only because I whole-heartedly agree with the comment from IAmInPls
This puzzle blew me away by its style and visual design. Simple and yet being an un-mistakably clear reference (nearly) everybody can easily understand this puzzle drew me in ...
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 ...
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).
Miniature Puzzle by stacksfiller
So much content was packed into a tiny image here, and the whole thing was immensely satisfying to solve. If you have time and don't mind opening up your image editor of choice, I'd definitely recommend you try this one out.
Japanese Fusion Alphabet Soup by Alconja
Obviously, it's a huge repository of good quality cryptic clues, which is always nice. Other than that, this puzzle doesn't look very impressive at a first glance, which to me is the most impressive thing about it. This might not make sense, until you realize the many layers of the puzzle required the crossword to be ...
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.