And so we come to the last of my blog posts about the World Puzzle Championships for now. I’ve told you about the set up, I’ve told you about my personal experiences, I’ve even inflicted a couple of my puzzles on you. Now it’s your turn. This time, I’m going to tell you how you can get involved, either competitively against the rest of the world or simply getting a bundle of free puzzles that are far more interesting than the majority of stuff published in the majority of puzzle magazines.
Competitions first of all. There are a number of monthly-ish online competitions out there. How these work is simple. First, you download the instruction booklet and familiarise yourself with the rules for each puzzle. You download the pdf file of the competition and when you’re ready to go, you receive a password to open the file. Then you have a limited time (usually between 30 and 120 minutes) to solve as many puzzles as possible and input the solution keys – not the whole puzzle, but, for example, maybe two rows of a sudoku.
Logicmasters India is a good place to start. You’ll need to register, but that’s free and with a minimum of information. They run a few competitions every month by a variety of puzzle authors, including beginners competitions that focus on a single type of puzzle. It’s probably the most used site, but there are also top quality regular competitions on Logicmasters Germany – unrelated, as far as I’m aware.
There’s also a number of daily puzzle sites. Crocopuzzle is a great daily online competition with a rating system that factors in your own experience on the site. There’s also a league that’s run for the last couple of years. GMPuzzles also publishes a daily puzzle – and if you subscribe for a small fee, you can get loads of bonus puzzles. Both of these sites’ puzzles are of a ridiculously high quality and are highly recommended. They also have a massive back catalogue of (and I’ll say it again) FREE puzzles.
There are many other such sites, usually run by one author. A favourite of mine is Melon’s Puzzles, now defunct (as Palmer writes for GMPuzzles) but there’s also The Griddle, A Cleverly Titled Logic Puzzle Blog… in fact, if you need more than that, I’d follow the links on those blogs.
Fingers crossed, I might have converted a few more to the ways of the puzzle. Oddly, I hope I’ve helped to find someone to kick me off the UK team, as I’ve every confidence that we have some great undiscovered puzzlers. And if that ends up being you, do tell them who sent you…
And on the off chance you found this blog for these puzzle posts, do stick around for the return of my usual fare – reviews coming very soon of my first encounter with Ross Macdonald, the papery version of the film Before I Go To Sleep, the new Brother Athelstan from Paul Doherty (one chapter in, five murders and a miracle so far) and a head-to-head – the new Poirot from Sophie Hannah vs one of the best from Dame Agatha. See you soon!