I just had my first puzzle published at the Grandmaster Puzzles website. Give it a try.

I've really been impressed by the puzzles published at gmpuzzles.com. They do a great job of showcasing how much more interesting a logic puzzle can be when it's hand-crafted by a puzzle designer, rather than computer generated. I've also enjoyed learning many new kinds of logic puzzles, and decided that I wanted to try my hand at composing some puzzles of my own.

My first published puzzle is a Nanro puzzle, which is a puzzle type I only recently discovered. In a typical Nanro puzzle, the solver is presented with a grid that is segmented into regions of various shapes and sizes, with some of the cells labeled with numbers. The goal is to label additional cells with numbers so that all of the labeled cells form a single connected group, (with no 2x2 square of cells fully labeled). Additionally, within each region there must at least one labeled cell and the number(s) within a region must be equal to the number of labeled cells within that region. (That is, a region may contain one 1 or two 2s or three 3s, etc.) Finally, no two occurrences of the same number can appear adjacent to each other across a region boundary.

OK. So, I'll be the first to admit that the ruleset of Nanro isn't the most elegant. The rules can't be captured as succinctly as those of that other puzzle, ("no repeated numbers in any row, column, or region"). Fortunately, the solving experience is smoother than the description of the rules.

Most puzzles at gmpuzzles.com have some sort of "theme". Often there's an interesting visual presentation. Almost always there's a well-designed "solving path" of logical deductions that can be fun to discover. The idea is that there's something creative that goes into each puzzle that that distinguishes it from something computer-generated. And that creativity usually translates to a more interesting experience for the solver.

For this particular puzzle, the theme I wanted to explore was a "clueless" puzzle. That is, my puzzle contains a grid segmented into regions as typical for Nanro, but it doesn't include any initial numbers in the presentation. So that's something unique I think (as far as I have seen of Nanro at least). I'm not sure how successful I was at exploring the theme in this puzzle. Hopefully it's an interesting puzzle to solve, but I am a bit nervous that I'm bringing down the average quality of puzzles at gmpuzzles.com with this one.

I hadn't seen it prior to composing my puzzle. But before mine was published I found this spectacular Nanro by the inimitable Prasanna Seshadri. It's not entirely clueless, but as close as possible, (just one given number), but it thoroughly explores some of the ideas that my puzzle just touches briefly. Prasanna's puzzle has a really striking presentation that translates to a fun solving path. And it's obviously something that's been generated by hand not computer-generated, (at least given the state of the typical bland computer-generated puzzle today). So that's a great example of what gmpuzzles is all about and the standard I'll be aiming for with future puzzles.

So if you're interested in logic puzzles, take a look at my first puzzle. But even more, look around at the other puzzles at gmpuzzles.com. I doubt you'll be disappointed.