Archive for the ‘Other Puzzles’ Category:

Word Search by Serkan Yürekli

See more discussion of the puzzles from the United States’ 2021 Puzzle Grand Prix on this post. Note there are some construction details and potential spoilers on that post so view it after you solve.

Word Search by Serkan Yürekli


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab mode to shift between line drawing and letter entry modes)

Author/Opus: This is the 354th puzzle from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Standard Word Search rules: Locate the bold words in the given list in the grid, running in one of eight possible directions horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Some letters in the middle of the grid are missing and must be discovered while solving.

Difficulty: 2 stars (estimate based off competition points; timing standards not available from our usual testers)

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other Word Search puzzles and this link for other Word puzzles.

30th Birthday Surprise by Prasanna Seshadri

From Prasanna: “This puzzle is meant to be a culmination of 10 years of authoring puzzles. I want to especially thank GMPuzzles for accommodating these special puzzles every year even if it may not have fit the regular schedules. I also see this puzzle as a “reset” of sorts, and I’ll get back to simple ideas to celebrate my next few birthdays, and then see where that takes me. These last 10 years have been a fantastic experience and I’d like to take this moment to thank the puzzle community as a whole for being a huge part of my journey.”

Birthday Surprise Puzzle by Prasanna Seshadri

(view directly for a larger image)


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; note that the default puzzle info is too long — even for an url shortener — so copy and paste all the text in this file into the “Load” option in the upper-right of the penpa-edit interface to access.)

Theme: The Journey

Author/Opus: This is the 201st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Please see first two pages of the PDF for a detailed description of the rules and more background on the theme of the puzzle.

Difficulty: 5 stars?

Solution: PDF

Swivelling Serpents [Birthday Surprise] by Prasanna Seshadri

(Note: This bonus puzzle is being posted today to mark the occasion of Prasanna’s birthday.)

Swivelling Serpents by Prasanna Seshadri


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between a shading mode, a line-drawing mode with diagonal and straight options, and an edge marking mode to add x’s as needed.)

Theme: One Away from Thirty

Author/Opus: This is the 180th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Locate two snakes in the grid. Each snake must start from one of the gray circles, but has an unknown ending point. Black circles represent an interior cell of one of the snakes, and all black circles must be part of a snake. Each snake’s path is allowed to move vertically, horizontally, or diagonally between cells. An interior snake cell can only be adjacent to two other snake cells (including diagonally adjacent cells) and an end of the snake can only be adjacent to one other snake cell (including diagonally adjacent cells). The two different snakes must not share any adjacent cells.

There are some numbers outside the grid. These numbers indicate the number of vertical or horizontal edges (not corners) that snakes cross in that direction.

There are some letters inside the grid. For each distinct letter, exactly one of its instances is visited by one of the two snakes.

Also see this example:

Swivelling Serpents Example

Solution: PDF

A/B Testing

Dear friends,

This weekend is the MIT Mystery Hunt and Grandmaster Puzzles is very happy to be a sponsor of this puzzle event in 2020.

If you are new to this site, there are lots of different fun genres of logic puzzles to explore and you can follow some of the links to the left to find these genres including our easiest puzzles to get started. The Intro to GMPuzzles and Logic Puzzles 101 books are some great titles to try as well.

As part of the pre-Hunt activities for the team I compete with, I created the attached puzzle set in the style of a Mystery Hunt puzzle. Like most puzzlehunt puzzles, it is missing some of the instructions you may want to have but I think you may still be able to figure it out. It has a final answer which is a word/phrase. We will post some hints and/or the answer in the coming weeks.

Puzzle PDF for A/B Testing

Teaser image 1 = Framed!:

A/B Testing by Thomas Snyder

Teaser image 2 = Easy as 1, 2, 3:

A/B Testing by Thomas Snyder

Solution: Puzzle solution packet; or full solution including steps to final message.

O’utcast by Serkan Yürekli

O'utcast by Serkan Yürekli

(view directly for a larger image)


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab key to alternate between loop drawing and letter entry modes)

Theme: Clue Symmetry and Logic

Author/Opus: This is the 277th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Place each of the given words into the grid, reading across or down; all words should interconnect, and all words formed in the grid must be from the list. Each given letter must be used by at least one word. Additionally, draw a Masyu loop: a single closed loop passing through each of the “O”s and otherwise using only unused squares. When passing through an “O”, the loop must go straight through and must make a 90 degree turn in at least one of the adjacent squares.

See also this example:

Example by Serkan Yürekli

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of the horizontal loop segments from left to right in the marked rows, starting at the top. If the loop only has vertical segments in the marked row, enter 0. Separate each row’s entry with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 7:00, Master = 10:45, Expert = 21:30

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other Masyu variations and this link for classic Masyu. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Masyu to get started on. More Masyu puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles.

Quintessence by John Bulten

(Note: this puzzle is like a Sunday Surprise with very high difficulty.)

Quintessence by John Bulten

(view directly for a larger image)


Theme: 14 Nisan, 2018 (Pasch 5778)

Author/Opus: This is the 45th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: See PDF link above for complete rules as well as a solvable example by Thomas Snyder.

Answer String: The solution string is 3 words in ABC order, in all capital letters and separated by commas. (There are a total of 28 letters in this string.)

Time Standards (highlight to view): No time standard (GM time > 2hr).

Solution: Answers for this week in this PDF.

Editor’s Note: The giant grid here is one of the hardest puzzles we have ever presented. If I knew in advance John wanted to make a puzzle like this, I would have said no because of the combination of so many kinds of rules, new puzzle styles, and my expectation it would take hours to solve (and it certainly does!). But there is something inspirational about the elements brought together here by John, many unexpected Ahas that will cure the headaches you’ll also get in the middle. While the giant puzzle was originally created to stand on its own, John added the four medium difficulty puzzles we posted earlier this week to introduce the four subgenres. Be sure to solve these as you prepare for this large test at the end of the week. -TS

Author’s Note: Thanks to Thomas and Grant for encouraging me to construct new puzzle types. Thanks to patron Randy Rogers for requesting 4-grid combination puzzles, which sparked this idea. Thanks to Prasanna for his giant 11/29/15, 3/2/16, and 3/2/17 puzzles, which directly inspired this puzzle. Thanks to Serkan for inventing Light and Shadow, because whenever I tried experimenting with shading puzzles I found myself trying to reinvent Light and Shadow. Thanks to Izak for inventing Surf, which has more potential than either of us realize. Thanks to God for this day. -JB

Schedule for Next Week

You can find all the slices of Pi from our most recent week of puzzles in this PDF.

This week we are featuring Pentominous, which is the style of our most recent puzzle e-book “Plenty o’ Pentominous” by Grant Fikes and Murat Can Tonta. If you enjoy this week of puzzles, please get this collection of 52 original puzzles including several 15×15 grids and one giant puzzle.

This week contains a few extras, including two extra puzzles on Friday and Saturday. There is also one easter egg hidden somewhere in this week’s puzzles which, if you find it, will tell you what word to enter here.

Master+ subscribers to the site are getting a bonus Pentominous by Thomas Snyder and a Cave (Pentominous) variation by Serkan Yürekli as well as images of the puzzle solutions. If you want to become a subscriber and get access to bonus puzzles, solutions, e-books, and other rewards, check out this page.