Who am I?
My name is Palmer Mebane, although I go by MellowMelon online. I am a 22 year old math major from the USA that recently graduated from Harvey Mudd college. I spend most of my life on math problems or logic puzzles. In particular, I am rarely doing anything social. There probably aren’t many people as introverted and reclusive as I am, which is alright by me.
While this blog showcases almost all of my published constructions, I am also known for competitively solving these kinds of puzzles. I was first place individually at both the US Puzzle Championship and World Puzzle Championship in 2011. I also regularly compete in the monthly puzzle tests at Logic Masters India, which are about as good as it gets quality-wise.
For even more puzzle-related biographical tidbits, you may refer to an interview I did for akil oyunlari in July of 2011, which has a lot about how I got started with seriously doing puzzles and many of my thoughts about solving and constructing them. (As a note of context, this interview was done before winning the USPC or WPC that year.)
Some places you can find me online are
- Logic Masters India, which has about two top quality timed contests each month, one on general puzzles and one on sudoku.
- nikoli.com, which releases at least 4 high quality puzzles every day playable online. It is not free but worth the small price.
- Art of Problem Solving forums, which unlike the above entries is a math website. Also my employer in the very near future.
What is this blog?
I construct a lot of puzzles for fun in my spare time. This is the site where I publish them. Please enjoy; they are made for your entertainment as well.
Currently this blog is updated each Wednesday with a puzzle of any type or difficulty. In addition to this, about every a couple of months a high-quality themed pack of puzzles is released as a PDF. See here for the original announcement and here for an archive of released packs.
(For the puzzles between 101 and 250, this blog published every day and also had a day-of-week based system for puzzle difficulties. They mostly match the description above, with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday matching the difficulty of the previous day for the most part. For many of the puzzles between 250 and 381, a similar system with 3 or 4 puzzles a week was used.)
Feel free to post comments about anything related to the puzzles. I do not mind spoilers, although I will probably snip out full solutions. On that note, if you don’t want a puzzle spoiled, don’t peek at the comments!
You are also welcome to email me about the blog or its puzzles at palmermebane -at- gmail -dot- com.
Help! Your puzzles are too hard!
I’ve found that this is a common response from people new to these kinds of puzzles. It is true that most of the puzzles on this blog range from nontrivial to murderous, with few at an introductory level. I am attempting to rectify this problem, and I have indexed my easiest puzzles here. I will be making an effort to keep this list growing.
For a larger base of material to warm up on, mathgrant is another puzzle constructor/blogger whose (non-mutant) material tends to be much more accessible than mine, and he also has a list of his easiest constructions. I highly recommend his work.