It's my least favorite week of the year: the week immediately following the National Puzzlers' League convention. I had a fantastic time with my second family. Highlights included playing terrific homemade games (both totally original and adapted from game shows), solving clever paper puzzles alone and in pairs (I still have quite a few left), meeting some new friends, and finishing second in the Saturday night extravaganza, this year deftly constructed by Francis Heaney, Rick Rubinstein, and Eric Berlin, whose Con write-up I recommend if you want a more in-depth account. That last victory (well, near-victory) earned me my only trip to this year's prize table, but I snagged one of those neat clipboards with the clear pocket in the back. There was a very slick-looking quick-reference for NPL puzzle types in there, and I've added a code sheet, an important tool for any puzzle hunter.
I pick the puzzling right back up this weekend, as I'm off to the Berkeley Mystery Hunt. This year, the League of Extraordinary Puzzlemen will be a bit more well-manned as we add a few girlfriends and colleagues. We're optimistic we can eclipse last year's not-quite finish.
In the world of online puzzles, I urge you to back this Kickstarter from Dave Millar, AKA The Griddle. He's looking to publish a real, physical book of his fun logical challenges. I've eagerly signed up to receive both the book and a custom puzzle just for me; an offer that's a steal at $13. Let's make this happen!
I also want to give a shout to Tortoiseshell Puzzles, variety crosswords from Nathan Curtis. Nathan, who is known in the NPL as (surprise!) Tortoise, was one of my teammates in last year's extravaganza triumph. Check out his work!