Steven Stadnicki's Stuff

Stef's Birthday Puzzles

A quintet of Doctor Who-themed puzzles that I crafted for my sister's birthday a couple of years ago. As is traditional in puzzle hunt events, each of these puzzles solves to a word or short phrase; in turn, each of those phrases will clue to another word, but you don't need those words to consider these puzzles solved.


One of the best puzzles I think I've crafted; I've been considering trying to get this syndicated as a paper puzzle, and I've been working off and on towards a good automatic generator for instances.

Another puzzle I'm particularly proud of - it took me two weeks to build the (relatively simple) font for this one. The clues were hand-crafted for the particular group I knew was likely to be on hand, but most SF nerds should be able to get enough of them to figure out the rest of the puzzle.

This went through a couple of iterations; I imagine there's still a better version than this of this puzzle out there, but this one worked out decently in the end.

A nice little intro puzzle; figuring out what's going on here is about all there is to the puzzle. I'm pretty happy with the dialog in this one.

The weakest of this bunch of puzzles, I think; it requires a little domain-specific knowledge (chess rules), though fortunately not too much, and the leap from puzzle to encoding is arguably the weakest. It's still pretty decent, though, and some of the placements are surprisingly tricky.
After all of these were solved, I presented a small meta puzzle (that is, a puzzle that uses the solutions of all of the other puzzles as part of its data). In this case, the meta was quite simple: "There's an honest serving-man missing".