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Puzzle news, tips, and tools.
Puzzle news, tips, and tools.

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Someone recently asked elsewhere on the internet "how might I prepare and publish a new class of pencil-and-paper logic puzzles?"

While I've never been through the process myself, I've watched a few other attempts, and have some general thoughts on how one might get started.

First thing I would do is get it in front of the logic puzzle community and gather some feedback so that you can refine the puzzle concept before attempting to go whole hog.

There are a few outlets I can think of for that, including offering to contribute an example of your puzzle to the monthly competition at http://logicmastersindia.com/ or perhaps to http://wpc.puzzles.com/.

Once you're sure you've got something debugged and of mass appeal, you should consider contributing to Games Magazine (http://www.gamesmagazine-online.com) or Penny Press/Dell (http://www.pennydellpuzzles.com) (both sites have contact info pages).

Finally, if you care about protecting your puzzle type so that you, and you alone, can make millions of dollars with it someday, you'll discover that this is remarkably hard to do. I'm not an attorney, and you should consult one to truly understand the nuance of intellectual property law here, but here's what I understand. Others can probably do better here than I can.

It's virtually impossible to protect the rules of your puzzle type. Individual puzzles, and especially collections of them, can be protected by copyright law.

If you distribute your puzzle under a trademarked name (a la KenKen), it's possible to force others to choose a different name for the same thing--using this approach, it's possible to build pretty serious brand cachet for your specific publishing empire, but this is very difficult to do. I think Will Shortz has helped a lot with getting the word out about name brand KenKen--without a similarly serious megaphone, it will probably be hard to build a big enough moat around your puzzle type's brand name to prevent the proliferation of unbranded (or alternatively branded) competitors if the world decides that your puzzle type is the next big thing.

Hopefully that helps out a little. I've CC'd some folks who I think know more about this sort of thing, and maybe they can pile on with some even better pointers than my rough start above.

Happy puzzling! (and good luck with your idea)
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"If it quacks and it waddles, it's ostensibly a duck."

#FracturedAphorism
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"He was at an unfortunate position in spacetime."

#FracturedAphorism

[Hey, everybody, pile on with more!]
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The Master Theorem's weekly seal was simple, clean, and fairly fun this week. Maybe a little short. But at least that beats "guess the crypto key for this cipher I found on wikipedia the other week".

http://www.themastertheorem.com/theorems/legos
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