Frequently Asked Questions

Who wrote the puzzles?

Some contests have been written by the Puzzletome Admin Team - Stretham, Xyphic, Si, SparkPlug and The Hirsute One. There are also Contests written by some of the regular members, and each contest will state explicitly who the author is.

Why did you start this site?

We enjoy solving puzzles and entering contests ourselves, and when we started writing our own puzzles we thought we would share them with a wider audience.

How many puzzles are there?

It depends on the contest. "Revisited" has 5 rounds of progressive difficulty, but there are also shorter contests.

Are the contests all complete or will there be long breaks while more puzzles are loaded?

Yes, everything is complete - all the puzzles are loaded and thoroughly tested before a contest goes live.

Will there be more contests?

Full-length contests are likely to come along at irregular intervals, but we have regular mini-contests created by the Puzzletome founders or by members of our community. We announce these contests in the forum and through the News link above (which will change to indicate you have unread news items).

Why can't I see the Forum for a particular contest?

When you want to start a new contest or section on the site, you need to go to the Content page and click on the appropriate link next to the name of the section you want to start. You will be taken to the first page or puzzle in the section and you will also be able to see the associated Forum.

Are there rules related to posting in the Forum?

Yes. You will find them here.

How should the answers for the puzzles be entered?

Unless there are specific instructions contained in a puzzle, your answers can be entered:

  • in either upper or lower case (e.g. London and New York is treated the same as london and new york)
  • with or without spaces after a comma (e.g. john,mary,peter is treated the same as john, mary, peter)

Do I need to use "a", "an" or "the"?

Most of the puzzles contain the exact answer needed when solved correctly, but if there is no specific instruction we will accept answers both with or without the article (e.g. book is treated the same as the book).

"I know the answer but I don't know how to enter it" is a regular complaint with other contests.

Again, most of the puzzles contain the exact wording of the answer, but if there is any ambiguity we will accept several logical alternatives (e.g. the US President or President of the USA or the President of the United States would all be accepted as answers to a question such as "What position did John F. Kennedy hold in 1962?"). If all else fails, contact one of the admin team who will consider your case for an alternative answer.

Why aren't instructions given so that we know how to solve the puzzles?

Many of the puzzles offer a hint towards either methodology or the answer (or both) in the title, but part of the challenge is to work out what needs to be done. However you may find our reference section "Puzzle Primer" helpful as it contains information on some of the most common techniques used in puzzle solving, together with worked examples and illustrative puzzles. You will find a link to it on the Content page.

I don't see a "hints" section on the site.

That's because there isn't one! Any hints that we think are needed will be posted publicly in the relevant thread in the Forum. No hints at all will be given out in private messages or e-mails.

Do I need specialist knowledge to solve the puzzles?

Not for general contests such as Revisited, Alphabet Set or Treasure Hunt 1. Good general knowledge will obviously help, as will riddling experience - but a search engine such as Google will give you a lot of the information you need for individual puzzles and also help you to source online tools such as anagram finders or cryptogram solvers. Our "Puzzle Primer" section of the site is also a very good reference for common puzzle techniques.

I've got a really good idea for a puzzle!

You can send us any puzzles that you create by using the Submit link, although we obviously cannot guarantee that they will be used. From past experience though, we'll probably give you a playtesting forum and you'll have three mini-contests to your name before you know it!

I'm having difficulty registering/logging in/accessing puzzles/posting messages on the Forum.

Try deleting your cookies, your temporary internet files and your offline content. Control/F5 can also be used to reset your cache. There is also a detailed help section here, also to be found at the top of the Forum that you may like to refer to. For any other problems, either post on the Forum or use the Contact link to ask us for help.

How is the site funded?

We don't want to have adverts on the site, so we are funding it ourselves at the moment, but members can make a voluntary contribution towards the running costs or simply to show appreciation of the work that has gone into it.

Are you offering prizes to the winner(s)?

Not at present, although that may change in the future.