History of the Puzzler

I have been posting puzzlers on and off to the Fraser Valley Birding forum since mid 2013.  My first puzzler happened quite by accident as a result of a botched photograph that I almost deleted.  A closer inspection showed that I had, quite surprisingly, captured a piece of the target bird and my thoughts turned to the question of whether there was enough information in the picture for an avian sleuth to make a definitive identification.  Somewhere during this process my brain wandered through the land of “Where’s Waldo” puzzles and I came up with the brilliant idea that I could post the picture as a puzzle for other members of the forum to solve.

Well, here I am, reposting these puzzlers to my Nature Blog.  I have decided to post them in the same order that they were posted to the Fraser Valley Birding forum in basically their original form.  I don’t keep track of points so this is all on the honour system.  I am changing the way that I present clues and the answers which will be provided when the puzzler is published.

Clues and Answers


Puzzler Clue/Answer Decoder: find a coded letter in the table and replace it with the letter above or below it in the same column. For instance “Hello” becomes “Uryyb”. Numbers, punctuation and symbols don’t change.

Stealing an idea from the Geocaching community, I will use a ROT13 cipher to conceal clues and answers.  It’s not as intimidating as it sounds.  Consider the graphic with the English alphabet organized in two rows of 13 letters.  To encode a letter simply find it in one of the two rows and replace it with the letter directly above or below it in the other row.  All other characters and punctuation are kept unchanged.  Using ROT13, for instance, “Cool bird!” becomes “Pbby oveq!”.  You can decode a clue pretty quickly using the table.  Of course, you can also copy the encoded text and just go to http://rot13.com/.

Most of these puzzles come from my own birding related activities.  In most cases I learned something that I hadn’t known before.  Hopefully you will enjoy trying to solve them as much as I enjoyed designing them.

Published Puzzlers

(chronological – most recent first).

Bird Puzzler #7: A Hawk by Any Other Name…

Bird Puzzler #6: Postponed until August.

Bird Puzzler #5: Camouflage 101

Bird Puzzler #4: Family Affair

Bird Puzzler #3: Hide and Seek

Bird Puzzler #2: Sounds Like a (Rubber) Duck?

Bird Puzzler #1: From Garbage to Treasure

1 thought on “Puzzlers

  1. Pingback: Puzzler #7 – A Hawk by Any Other Name… | Kevin's Nature Blog

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