The purpose of this site is to share and discuss programmatic solutions to New Scientist‘s Enigma puzzles.
I’ve been writing programs to solve the puzzles for a few years now, originally in Perl and more recently in Python, as a way to have a weekly programming challenge. Some of my Python programs use useful routines from my enigma.py library.
The purpose of the challenge (for me) is not necessarily to produce the shortest possible program, or the fastest executing, but to produce a nice readable solution that can been seen to be right by looking at it, and executes in a reasonable time (usually less than 10 seconds, but essentially shorter than it would take to write (and debug) a more complicated solution). I usually try to write a program that produces a constructive solution and verifies all the conditions stated in the puzzle. And if the program can be used to solve a class of similar puzzles (or easily modified to do this) then that’s even better.
Enigma puzzles ran in New Scientist magazine from February 1979 up to December 2013, I add puzzles to the site typically every Monday and Friday, alternating the oldest unpublished puzzle with the newest unpublished puzzle.
The easiest way to keep track of puzzles is to subscribe to the RSS feed for the site, but I also post announcements of the puzzles to the Google+ Enigmatic Code community as they are made available on the site, and to the Facebook Enigmatic Code page.
Feel free to join in, either by leaving a comment (with a program if you like), or by rating puzzles or just “liking” them. Any kind of feedback is useful in encouraging me to keep the site going!
- I am not affiliated with New Scientist magazine in any way (other than subscribing to it), nor am I paid for running this site.
- This is an English language site so I’m only able to accept comments in English. Sorry. But you can use whatever programming language you like when posting code.
- Feel free to also post analytic (non-programmed) solutions.
- Comments are moderated and any that stray from civil discussion of Enigma puzzles will be edited or removed. When you first comment on the site (and sometimes at other times) comments are held for moderation so won’t appear immediately on the site, after that they usually will, but occasionally WordPress’s spam-filtering will hold up messages. I try to check the messages held for moderation at least once a day.
- The site is hosted on WordPress which has limited support for preview or editing of comments, so bear that in mind before hitting “Post”. But if you wish to remove or update a comment let me know and I’ll sort it out. (And if you’ve got any suggestions for a better place to host the site, let me know).
- See the Notes page for some tips on posting to the site.
- The text of the original puzzles is copyright New Scientist and/or the original authors of the puzzles. They are reproduced on this site (with links where possible) in order to facilitate discussions of their solutions. Copyright of the comments remains with the original authors of the comments.