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A new plan for me and GMPuzzles

Dear fans and subscribers: I’m just back from a fun trip to the World Puzzle Championship in Kirchheim, Germany. It was a successful trip in many respects (the US team was victorious for the first time since 2013, the last year before I took a three-year break off the team, and I was the 7th place individual). And it was good to see many friends in puzzles including regular subscribers and contributors to GMPuzzles.

This WPC followed an incredibly busy three month stretch for me in science (and I’m already right back into it as I write this morning). And without much time on weekends, I have been doing just enough to keep the web-side of this site going but have fallen pretty far behind on book editing and other tasks. This recent stretch has forced me to rethink how I should be spending my time in life, including what are the most critical pieces to make Grandmaster Puzzles into a successful company. So I have a five point update for you. While #1 may be tough to accept, I hope the promise of #2-5 keep you all as fans and subscribers as we move forward on a new plan for our publishing.

1. For at least the next 3 months, and possibly longer, we will not have any more free web weeks of puzzles on the site and we will be pausing subscription rewards in their current forms.

2. We will continue to release new books of puzzles; I will take advantage of some of the extra time from not having to do web posting to catch up on old titles like The Art of Sudoku 2 that are still unfinished, and also launch a new Grandmaster Puzzles Quarterly series that will be released every 3 months.

3. The most important and new change is tied to me rethinking how I focus my time and money with GMPuzzles. I am going to seriously invest my money in GMPuzzles over the next couple years, with an immediate plan within 3 months to hire a Managing Editor and then eventually part-time or full-time help in graphic design, web design, and software engineering to advance the work we can do.

4. This new team — particularly me and the Managing Editor — will define an updated business plan for GMPuzzles. This will likely include making the website much easier for new customers to find and get into our puzzles (an early concept, far from a finished design, to introduce an unfamiliar person to Tapa is here — we will do much better, but even this demo is 1000% better than the experience of landing on gmpuzzles.com/blog today). This business plan will almost certainly also include a digital plan to distribute our puzzles for a new generation of puzzle solvers via an enhanced web or app experience. Our audience is small but all of you are passionate, loyal, and dedicated fans of our puzzles. We need at least 10x if not 100x this audience to be a successful business, and we will try to crack more into the mainstream while not losing any of the quality and originality of our puzzle design that has grabbed your interest.

5. A big milemarker for us will be the 2021 World Puzzle Championship. I have co-organized a bid to host this tournament in Toronto and, if accepted, we will dedicate part of our Grandmaster Puzzles work both before and around the championship to bringing more attention to logic puzzles and competitive puzzling.

Schedule for Next Week

Our most recent variety mix of WPC practice puzzles from Palmer Mebane can be found in this PDF.

This coming week features Spiral Galaxies, a region division style that focuses on symmetry. We have several classic Galaxies and a few variations during the week. We are close to finishing an e-book (part of The Art of Puzzles 2) featuring Spiral Galaxies; be on the watch for this before the new year.

This week, our subscribers are getting early access to the full week of puzzles and images of the puzzle solutions. Master+ subscribers to the site are getting a bonus Spiral Galaxies and a Double Spiral Galaxies both by Thomas Snyder. If you want to become a subscriber and get access to bonus puzzles, solutions, e-books, and other rewards, check out this page.

Update

Our most recent week of Battleships puzzles can be found in this PDF.

This is another “off week” for the site, but we just added a new book to our e-store, Castle Wall by Serkan Yürekli, which offers a fresh take on this interesting loop puzzle genre. If you enjoyed our Castle Wall puzzles from two weeks ago, please check out 58 more challenges in this collection.

Update

We’ve had some different personal matters affecting our two main editors over the last quarter, which has slowed us down some. Our next web week will officially go up 10/7-10/14, one week later than expected. We expect to have each of the next Sudoku, Castle Wall, and Battleships weeks posted on 10/7, 10/14, 10/21. Thanks for your patience.

Site update

You can find our most recent week featuring Star Battle in this PDF.

After three straight weeks of puzzles, we are taking one week off (we will continue this 3:1 schedule for 2018). We’ll be back next week with a variety mix from our puzzlemasters.

Our Grandmaster subscribers are still getting puzzles today, receiving a Giant 20×36 Nurikabe puzzle by Murat Can Tonta and the “Plenty of Pentominous” e-book by Grant Fikes and Murat Can Tonta. We’ll be releasing this book on the website in a few weeks, but the easiest way to get all our puzzles is to sign up for a subscription.

New Subscription Options at GMPuzzles

Dear fans of GMPuzzles,

We’ve completed setting up 2018 subscription options for our supporters. You can find full details on this web page including quarterly and annual payment options at three levels. Payments will be through PayPal (no account needed if doing credit card processing).

The Expert level gives you early access to all of our puzzles as well as printed solutions and some solving videos to help you get better at our various styles.

The Master level includes the Expert rewards and adds in two extra puzzles for every posted week of puzzles and gives you your choice of one e-book published each quarter.

The Grandmaster level is the easiest way to get every single puzzle we publish in a year. It includes every e-book we publish (which you’ll receive before anyone else), two giant puzzle rewards, and everything in the other levels.

If you want to support our website in 2018, please consider becoming a subscriber to GMPuzzles.

Cheers,
Thomas

Schedule for Next Week

Our last week of Sunglasses and Snake Pit puzzles can be found here.

Over the next two weeks, we will be posting some classic sudoku and two puzzle hunt style puzzles that I constructed for some recent live events (side activities at the World Sudoku/Puzzle Championships, and the Arlington Puzzle Festival).