Puzzle archive

Mystery League Dispatch

Every week or so I publish an short, original puzzle via my email newsletter. The full collection is at dispatch.mysteryleague.com.

NPR Puzzles

Aug 21 2010 Take a country whose name contains a symbol for a chemical element, and change it to a different chemical element to get another country. For example, if Aruba were an independent country, you could take the "AR," which is the chemical symbol for argon, and change it to "C," which is the chemical symbol for carbon, to come up with Cuba. There are two answers to this puzzle, and both must be found.

Oct 9 2011 Name something that is part of a group of twelve. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that is part of a group of nine. What are these things?

Apr 8 2012 Name an article of clothing that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet consecutively in the word. For example, "canopy" contains the consecutive letters N-O-P. This article of clothing is often worn in a country whose name also contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together. What is the clothing article, and what is the country?

Sept 23 2012 Name two parts of the human body. Put them together one after the other. Change the seventh letter in the result to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that's often found in books. What is it?

Apr 14 2013 Take a common English word. Write it in capital letters. Move the first letter to the end and rotate it 90 degrees. You'll get a new word that is pronounced exactly the same as the first word. What words are these?

Nov 2 2014 Write down the following four times: 3:00, 6:00, 12:55 and 4:07. These are the only times on a clock that share a certain property (without repeating oneself). What property is this?

Aug 21 2015 Name a famous military figure of the past 50 years. The first three letters of his first name and the first three letters of his last name are both well-known military abbreviations. Who is it?

Jan 10 2016 This challenge isn't too hard. Name a unit of measurement. Remove two consecutive letters. The letters that remain can be rearranged to name what this measurement measures. What is it?

Apr 17 2016 Take the name of a famous musical. Write it in upper- and lowercase letters, as you usually would. Now turn one of the characters upside-down and move it to another place in the title. The result will be the last name of a well-known stage performer. What is the musical, and who is the performer?

Sept 15 2018 Name a famous person from Chicago — first and last names. The last name ends in an E. Change the E to an I and rearrange the letters in just the last name to get a famous actor — whose first name is the same as the first person's. Who are these people?

Aug 23 2020 Think of a place on earth with a four-word name. Take the third word. Advance three of its letters to the next letter of the alphabet (so A would become B, B would be come C, etc.). You’ll get the fourth word in the name. What place is this?

June 13 2021 Name a famous woman in American history with a three-part name. Change one letter in her first name to a double letter. The resulting first and second parts of her name form the first and last names of a famous athlete. And the last part of the woman’s name is a major rival of that athlete. Who are these people?

Puzzled Pint

I’ve written lots of puzzles for Puzzled Pint, a free monthly puzzle get-together that happens in dozens of cities, across the world.

Full sets

The following are full puzzle sets. Each PDF contains four puzzles and a meta.


In addition to the full set, I often write a bonus puzzle. (All links are PDFs.)

Individual puzzles

Some months feature collections of puzzles made up by different authors. The following are my contributions to those sets. (All links are PDFs.)

November, 2016 — Campaigns

February, 2016 — Shel Silverstein

June, 2015 — TV

February, 2015 — Phobias

December, 2014 — Reason’s Greetings

November, 2014 — Ancient Egypt

October, 2014 — Back to the Future

April, 2014 — Mix Tape

Other original puzzles