This is a preview of a new puzzle I am working on based on intricate wooden puzzle boxes. If you’ve ever spent hours working on a simple wooden box that your grandpa left lying on a table, after saying “there’s a treat inside”… then you know what it’s like to drive yourself nuts only to discover that it was a tiny, simple panel on the back left corner that was the key to opening the whole thing.

So without any explanation (for now), here are the prototypes for some letter-based puzzles I am presenting at an upcoming L.A. Puzzle Party.

For now, I know it’s a bit of a tease… when I have the completed puzzles — and after the Puzzle Party has happened — I will post them here.


Below is a puzzle I presented at the January 2018 L.A. Puzzle Party. Looking back I would say it is Difficulty Level: HARD.

Situquations sample

Some say the worst thing about sitcoms is that they are too formulaic. Let’s test that! Take a moment to print out the two PDFs linked below.

You will see that I have written out a bunch of EQUATIONS that represent either the Title or Plot (or else the major plot point of famous Episode) of two dozen of the most famous sitcoms. Just like in math, these equations feature several variables. Wherever you see a LETTER in an equation, it refers to the name of a major character in the show (either their first or last name, whichever is more recognizable). Likewise wherever you see a box  in an equation it refers to one of the ICONS you see on the page (ie. the icon will go in the box). Both LETTERS and ICONS are constant and wherever you see them they have the same numerical value. Note: the character name MAY BE DIFFERENT from show to show, but it will have the same value no matter which equation it is in.

Here is an example:

In the example above, “E” refers both to “Earl” (in the first equation) and to “Enough” (in the second) but in both cases it has a value of 8. Solving for E, you will find that the “Hello” icon is likewise 8! Where possible, I have given artistic hints for the tougher equations. Once you have all the ICON and LETTER values, move on to page 2 for the hilarous conclusion to this week’s laugh-filled episode.

Instructions for Page 2 are included in the printout.

Once you have the final answer, contact me to see if you have it right!

Situquations Page 1

Situquations Page 2

Bigramical Rhymbles

Blank puzzle grid

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, here’s a puzzle which I presented a couple years back at the local National Puzzlers League gathering. It involves a fair amount of arcane Scrabble knowledge in that you need to know all the Scrabble-legal two-letter words. It requires a decent amount of Dr. Seuss familiarity (including some rarer titles). And it relies heavily on Cryptic Crossword clues tropes.

If all of those sound at least familiar, you should try it.

If combining those three elements sounds intriguing, you will love it.

If they actually sound fun to do at the same time, you are probably me.

Below are two PDF documents that you must print out in order to play.