Notes from Puzzle Palace

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I have said before that I enjoy puzzles of all types. Today's blog post is confirmation of that. Since I started taking this blogging thing seriously I've posted mainly on mechanical puzzles but I've also shown a few other types of puzzles that have tickled my fancy. Quite a while back I became interested in meta-puzzles. The first I did was "The Runes". This was an amazing journey into a different type of puzzling for me. I'm sure I enjoyed it so much because we worked on it as a team.

When we finished this meta puzzle, we went in search of another. Puzzle Boat by the makers of Panda Magazine was the next one we tried. Sadly though, we stumbled across some inconsiderate fool who posted all the answers. So much for that.

When finished, some of the fellow Runers started up "Puzzle Brains" and I've attempted every puzzle they have put forth...although almost none successfully. That hasn't stopped me from renewing my annual subscription yet again.  I enjoy the banter on the forum, and look forward to each episode. Too bad Mr. Postey doesn't like delivering it the first time around.  I'm pretty sure he's figured out what the magazine is all about and he's just taking the issues for himself.

Panda Magazine is always good for a few weeks worth of on and off puzzling and not too expensive if you buy them six issues at a time. My plan is to go back and finish them when I eventually retire. (Yeah right!)

March of last year I purchased the Black Letter Game and enjoyed the start of it. It was a novel idea to send an artifact through snail mail that needed to be deciphered before the answer was submitted. My only complaint? The mailing time was...well, slower than a snail! I was working on this with a group of friends from back home and by the time I got my artifacts they had usually come very close to finishing the puzzles; if not already done with them.

A couple of years ago I enjoyed reading a Scholastic series entitled "The 39 Clues" with bug. This series of 10 books was at just the right puzzling level for a child. I quite liked the webpage that went along with it, but was not at all pleased with the cards they wanted us to buy to be able to play the games. It sure added up quickly, and when Scholastic announced a new segment to the game of a further 10 books, I was happy to not tell bug. This was a classic example of milking people. Something I really hate and because of that, I don't feel at all sad about not buying the next 5 books or the next 200 cards in the series.

Recently Kick Starter has had a new venture pop up.  The Maze of Games.  With my love of puzzles, I had no qualms about pledging on this one.  Reading about it, it seems that it might be something along the lines of one of those "choose your own adventure" books I read as a kid.  If I'm wrong, it still looks like it will be one good puzzle.  Besides that, they have some amazing puzzle designers working together on this project.  Go take a look and support it today.  It will make a nice early Christmas Present for you, and won't cost as much as a Karakuri box!  In the mean time, they have a couple of puzzles up on the site right now for you to play through.  Fun stuff that!

Put down that box or that twisty puzzle or that aluminium thing you've been playing with this week and go pick up a pencil.  Try on something new!  You probably won't regret it, and you might even like it.

Just a heads up Sue, I've another one for us to try!


  1. Hmm! Tempted by panda magazine and the maze of games.
    I'm truly terrible at cryptic crosswords - does this mean they aren't for me?

    Kevin xxx

  2. That's why I never seem to finish Puzzle Brains. There is almost always a cryptic in there that I just can't do. But I always enjoy the rest of the magazine.

  3. Hello, and well met!

    Allow me the pleasure of an introduction: I am Brent Price, owner of The Voynich Times website...The Self-Proclaimed Leader in Mystery Puzzle Game News! I am also a writer/reviewer at

    The Voynich website focuses on mystery puzzle games, and I'm looking to write an article on the Black Letter Game. I was wondering if you still have your copy I could purchase from you, or at least have you take pictures/scans for me to go through?

    We, at The Voynich Times, thank you for your time! or Facebook @TheVoynichTimes to contact. Feel free to delete this post after reading, I couldn't find another way to contact you.

    -Brent Price

  4. I doubt very much that I still have a copy of that. I was living in Hong Kong at the time and have since moved to the USA. We are currently at sea for 6 months, so I can't even look for you. If you are on Facebook, join the Mechanical Puzzle Community and ask there. You may have a few that can help.