Commission me!

(last updated 12-29-2012)

All of the puzzles on this blog (at least, the ones I made, which make up 98% of them) are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License, so you may use these puzzles for any noncommercial purpose so long as you attribute me, and you don't have any obligation to pay me money. However, I'm always open to receiving money, so whether you wish to donate me some money as a tip for the enjoyment my puzzles have given you, or you wish to use my puzzles in a commercial publication, such as a puzzle magazine, read on!

How to Pay Me
One of the quickest ways to give me money is via PayPal. I have a PayPal account associated with the email address on this blog's sidebar (the one ending in gmail dot com). Note, however, that this PayPal account is set up with the micropayment rate (5% of each payment plus a flat fee of 5 cents, rather than the usual 2.9% plus 30 cents). For payments above $12 or so, it would be courteous to email me so I can give you the address of a different PayPal account so that a smaller portion will be eaten up by fees, or perhaps set up a different means of payment entirely.

Puzzles for Commercial Use
If there are particular puzzles on this blog which you would like to use for commercial purposes (such as publishing them in a puzzle magazine), you can pay for a non-exclusive license to do so. This is faster than commissioning custom puzzles, but my readers may not be as willing to pay to see puzzles they have already seen for free. To be perfectly honest, it's less fun for me, too, because I like creating new puzzles. Nonetheless, this is an option I am willing to offer to anyone who wants it.

You can also commission me to write original custom puzzles for your publication. I am capable of writing a wide variety of logic puzzles of a wide range of difficulty levels, so no matter what your publication's needs are, I can deliver. As with the above option, you will be licensed to use these puzzles for whatever purposes you wish, including commercial purposes. You will be granted the first rights to publish the commissioned puzzles (after all, if I publish them first, who's going to pay you to view them?), but not full copyright (meaning I can publish said puzzles in an anthology of my own at some point). As long as I retain copyright, you should be able to negotiate whatever rights you believe will help you get the most bang for your buck.

This is a personal blog, and it will never have paid advertising. I will not add a link to your site just because you offer to pay me. Every single link on this blog is here because it genuinely interests me, or because it's somehow a form of shameless self-promotion (which arguably counts as genuinely interesting me). However, I'm always eager to promote myself, so if you commission me to write puzzles for you, you will definitely get a lot of good publicity on this blog. Certainly puzzles and publicity are better than publicity alone, right? :)

Prices are negotiable, but you can rely on larger, more complex puzzles costing more than smaller simpler ones. I reserve the right to refuse a license to any publication. As a rule of thumb, I will happily supply puzzles for a publication called This Magazine is Centered Around Puzzles Monthly, but not one called Adherents of This Belief System to Which Grant Subscribes Are Unholy Morons Quarterly. I want to create divisions between grid cells, not people, with my puzzles. :)

Puzzles for Non-Commercial Use
As mentioned above, all of my puzzles on this blog are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License, and you may use them for non-commercial purposes for free.

Tips
Feel free to tip me without asking me for anything in return. I am always open to receiving money! I mean, what logic puzzle author wouldn't want money?

I reserve the right to change these terms without notice.

Monday Mutant 123: Cross the Streams / Tetra Firma (inverted)

Shade in tetrominoes such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. No two congruent tetrominoes may share an edge, even if they are rotated or reflected versions of each other. Numbers to the left of a row or above a column represent the groups of consecutive white cells which are in that row or column. For example, a clue of "3" means the row or column has three consecutive white cells, and a clue of "3 1" means that the row or column has a group of three consecutive white cells followed by a single white cell, separated by at least one black cell. A question mark (?) represents a group of consecutive white cells whose size is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of unknown groups of white cells, including none at all.

Puzzle 584: Tetra Firma 38

Battle of LITS is now 100% funded, and is the first game to be fueled by nestorbooster! You can continue to pre-order it until December 26, and you'll get a discount over the final price, so if you want to get my game as cheaply as possible without the flimsy print-and-play pieces, now is the time. :)

Monday Mutant 122: Cross the Streams / Tetra Firma

Shade in tetrominoes such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. No two congruent tetrominoes may share an edge, even if they are rotated or reflected versions of each other. Numbers to the left of a row or above a column represent the groups of consecutive black cells which are in that row or column. For example, a clue of "3" means the row or column has three consecutive black cells, and a clue of "3 1" means that the row or column has a group of three consecutive black cells followed by a single black cell, separated by at least one white cell. A question mark (?) represents a group of consecutive black cells whose size is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of unknown groups of black cells, including none at all.

Monday Mutant 121: Tetra Firma (double)

In this Tetra Firma puzzle, every region contains two tetrominoes instead of one. The two tetrominoes in one region cannot share an edge. The rules are otherwise unchanged.
Inspired by the LMI test Puzzle Fusion.

There is now a Facebook page for A Cleverly-Titled Logic Puzzle Blog! If you want to promote my efforts to get Battle of LITS published, share this post. Including offline funding, I've raised about half of the money I need already! Help me get all the way there before December 26!

Puzzle 580: The Inner Limits 7

The nestorgames edition of Battle of LITS has raised 8% of the necessary funding to be published! I'm also working on raising money offline; the pledges I've received so far (and plan on collecting within the week) are an additional 9%. Let's hope that the momentum continues. . . . :)
Rules of The Inner Limits
 

Puzzle 579: Straight and Arrow 41

No comment.

Monday Mutant 120: Polyominous / Tetra Firma

In this Polyominous puzzle, the rule that no two polyominoes of the same size may share an edge is specifically waived for tetrominoes, which must follow the rules of Tetra Firma (excluding the rule that every region contains a single tetromino). The number 4 never appears as a given in the grid; instead, the letters L, I, T, and S are given, corresponding to the shape of the tetromino.
I thought I clicked tomorrow's date. . . bah. You get this puzzle early.

In the past, I have plugged my board game Battle of LITS, which uses the LITS rules to create an original two-player game. Battle of LITS is now available on nestorbooster! 500 euros in pre-orders within the next month will allow Battle of LITS to become the next nestorgames publication! Without your pre-orders, though, this dream of mine will not happen. I hope you choose to help me get published with a meager 21 euro investment (which will be refunded if the funding fails). :)

Monday Mutant 119: Polyominous / Tetra Firma

In this Polyominous puzzle, the rule that no two polyominoes of the same size may share an edge is specifically waived for tetrominoes, which must follow the rules of Tetra Firma (excluding the rule that every region contains a single tetromino). The number 4 never appears as a given in the grid; instead, the letters L, I, T, and S are given, corresponding to the shape of the tetromino.
In the past, I have plugged my board game Battle of LITS, which uses the LITS rules to create an original two-player game. Battle of LITS will soon appear on nestorbooster, giving readers the chance to pre-order and fund the creation and sale of a portable version! Stay tuned!

Fillomino-Fillia 2: Bonus puzzles!

It was an honor working with MellowMelon on this, as it was last year. If you'd like to see the solutions to the puzzles on the test, MellowMelon has released Puzzle Pack Vol. IV on his blog; it contains the 18 test puzzles, the preview puzzles, some reject puzzles, some puzzles we made afterwards for the heck of it, hints, and solutions. Altogether, there are 56 puzzles, of which 30 are mine and 26 are his. I made a lot of 7x7's at MellowMelon's request to give new solvers bite-sized puzzles to chew on, so it's not like my quality outshines his quality. Or does it?

I especially hope my readers enjoy puzzle IV.9 from the pack; while I won't be allowed to post big puzzles on my blog for quite some time, IV.9 is a 20x36 classic puzzle that I believe a sufficiently-skilled solver will find very rewarding.

ChipIn for Children's Charities: Bonus puzzle!

I posted this link on my twitch.tv channel while I was doing my Super Mario World race; now I'm posting it on my blog for everyone else to see!

This PDF file contains information about ChipIn for Children's Charities (information which you might already know), plus a bonus Dominnocuous puzzle for your solving pleasure; solve the Dominnocuous, and you'll be eligible to win a small bonus prize! As the PDF also explains, you can also be entered to win this prize by tweeting about the contest and @mentioning me, or by donating as little as 99 cents! Get to work, readers! :)

ChipIn for Children's Charities: SMW race is today!

As mentioned a few weeks ago, dethwing has offered to donate $1 for every minute under 2:30:00 in which I can beat Super Mario World during a 96-exit race which is happening today (up to $30). Since then, another reader has offered to match this donation to each charity, effectively quadrupling dethwing's generosity! That means I have $120 worth of charity donations riding on my ability to control Mario. Of course, it's not too late for someone else to increase the stakes if they would like. . .

As incentive for all of my logic-puzzle-loving readers to watch me play Super Mario World on my twitch.tv channel, during the race, I will give instructions on how you can win a copy of Norinori 1 by Nikoli! Note that the race has been re-scheduled for approximately 8:00 PM Eastern. That's about 6 and a half hours from the time of this post!

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Preview Series: Skyscraper Fillomino

This is a skyscraper Fillomino (AKA Polyominous). The numbers in the grid should be treated as building heights. Numbers on the outside of the grid tell how many buildings are visible when looking from that direction. A building obscures all buildings behind it whose height is equal to or smaller than itself.
Answer Entry: Enter the units digits (last digit) of the number in each circled cell starting with the leftmost column and going right.

Highlight to see the answer: 64816117

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Preview Series: Walls Fillomino

This is a walls Fillomino (AKA Polyominous). A pair of cells with a thick border between them must contain different numbers.
Answer Entry: Enter the units digits (last digit) of the number in each circled cell starting with the leftmost column and going right.
Highlight to see the answer: 15321848

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Preview Series: Sum Fillomino

This is a sum Fillomino (AKA Polyominous). The grid contains some cages. The number at the top left of each cage gives the sum of all numbers that appear inside of it. Numbers may be repeated in cages.
Answer Entry: Enter the units digits (last digit) of the number in each circled cell starting with the leftmost column and going right.
Highlight to see the answer: 33751242

This variant will be featured on a "Best of Fillomino-Fillia 1" page, alongside a Cipher Fillomino.

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Preview Series: Classic Fillomino

This is a classic Fillomino (AKA Polyominous), operating by the classic rules.
Answer Entry: Enter the units digits (last digit) of the number in each circled cell starting with the leftmost column and going right.
Highlight to see the answer: 43446462

Fillomino-Fillia 2!

Remember Fillomino-Fillia? Palmer Mebane and I are proud to present Fillomino-Fillia 2! I was hoping that Norzman, the guy who designed the shirt I'm giving away for ChipIn for Children's Charities, might have time to create some new artwork for this sequel to keep things feeling fresh, but it was not meant to be. Don't let the old artwork fool you, though; the puzzles will be entirely fresh! The answer entry mechanism will be different, too: now you have to enter merely 8 digits instead of 20. Other fresh things will be present, too.

Just like last year, we'll be posting preview puzzles on our blogs to help you be prepared for the excitement to come. Keep an eye on this blog and on Palmer Mebane's blog this week!

ChipIn for Children's Charities: I'm speedrunning Super Mario World!

I've recently made an exciting deal with dethwing, a member of The Grey Labyrinth and of BoardGameGeek who also dabbles in speedrunning: I will participate in a 96-exit race of Super Mario World on SpeedRunsLive! This huge race is apparently part of a marathon, and will take place at approximately 10:05 PM (Eastern time) on November 3 according to this schedule. I hardly expect to win, or even to be in the top 50%, but dethwing has given me huge incentive to practice: he pledges to donate $1 to ChipIn for Children's Charities for every minute faster than 2 hours 30 minutes my final time is (up to $30 if I can break 2 hours)! The current world record is a staggeringly fast 1:25:43; I am assured that once I've mastered the art of not dying, the 2:30:00 mark will be a piece of cake. As such, I will try to practice the game a lot over the course of the next few weeks. Who knows, I might even try to give something away while I'm racing. . .

If you want to watch your favorite logic puzzle author absolutely fail at video games, I'll be streaming some practice sessions, and ultimately my live performance during the race, on http://www.twitch.tv/mathgrant. If you have a twitch.tv account, I won't be offended if you decide to follow me. I'll likely also post about the race on Twitter, too. Oh, and if you're feeling generous, maybe you can pledge even more incentive for me to practice. That would be nice. My ultimate goal is to raise money with this fund-raiser; playing Super Mario World is merely a means to that end. :)

Puzzle 577: Proof of Quilt 9

I'm posting a 10x18 puzzle at 10:18 on 10-18! Aren't I delightful?

Monday Mutant 118: Cross the Streams / Tetra Firma

Shade in tetrominoes such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. No two congruent tetrominoes may share an edge, even if they are rotated or reflected versions of each other. Numbers to the left of a row or above a column represent the groups of consecutive black cells which are in that row or column. For example, a clue of "3" means the row or column has three consecutive black cells, and a clue of "3 1" means that the row or column has a group of three consecutive black cells followed by a single black cell, separated by at least one white cell. A question mark (?) represents a group of consecutive black cells whose size is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of unknown groups of black cells, including none at all.
Monday Mutants return again!

Puzzle 576: Proof of Quilt 8

Norzman has finished designing the front of the T-shirt I'll be giving away for ChipIn for Children's Charities! I will soon order myself a copy of the shirt; if you'd like a chance to win your own shirt, just solve all three of the contest puzzles! You don't even have to donate! What could be a better excuse to solve puzzles than a free shirt?

Puzzle 574: Ripple Play 7

MellowMelon's posts about the current World Puzzle Championship suggest that there are a lot of 21-themed puzzles this year. As such, I have scheduled this puzzle to go up at 21:21. Hahaha, I am so clever.

Puzzle 570: Spirits of Serpentine 7

Would you like to win something in ChipIn for Children's Charities without donating any money or solving any puzzles? You can spread the word using the hashtag #ChipInForChildrensCharities on Twitter! Two random Twitter users who use this hashtag within the next 96 hours will each win a Places, Please book (I still have more where the ones in the kick-off event came from, and would rather give them away for the sake of publicizing these charities than solve them). (EDIT: You should probably mention @mathgrant as well, to increase the chances that I'll see the tweet; it doesn't appear that searching Twitter for the hashtag pulls up everything, as not all tweets are indexed.)

Contest 6: ChipIn for Children's Charities

For the first time in this blog's history, you can solve puzzles and donate to charity at the same time! Whether you are a long-time reader or new to this blog, I hope you will enjoy solving these puzzles and supporting these causes. :)

How to enter:
This contest is a fund-raiser for three charities, listed below. Each charity has a ChipIn allowing you to donate to that charity; you may donate any amount you wish to each one. Every $5 donated to a charity earns you entries in that charity's prize raffle. (If you would like to donate money without entering the raffles, please leave a note accompanying your donation or e-mail me at glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com.) Each charity also has a logic puzzle attached to it; send an e-mail to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com (preferably from the same e-mail address you used to donate) containing the answer to a charity's puzzle to earn one free raffle entry in that charity's drawing, plus a bonus entry for every $20 donated. (For example: a $20 donation is worth 4 raffle entries; a $20 donation plus a correct puzzle solution is worth 6 raffle entries.) There is also a grand prize drawing, which you may enter by donating $5 to every charity or by solving all of the puzzles (one raffle entry for doing one of these tasks, or three raffle entries for doing both).

How to win:
After the ChipIns expire on November 16, the winners will be determined by chance! So donate, solve the puzzles, and if you're lucky, random.org will favor you. Of course, the real winners in this contest aren't the recipients of the prizes, but the beneficiaries of the charities. :)

Prizes:
For the sake of brevity, more details about the prizes will be given below.

Terms:
By entering this contest, you agree to provide me with a mailing address in the event that you win. In return, my partners and I agree not to do anything malicious with this information. Short and sweet.

Now that you're done reading all that, here are the three contest puzzles. Good luck! :)

Charity 1: Sanctuary Home for Children
Not all of the citizens of India are logic masters like Deb Mohanty; unfortunately, India also has orphans and widows. Sanctuary Home for Children aims to serve destitute orphans and widows in Tenali, India. My best friend and regular gaming partner Ray Pettit is one of the board members on the Abilene side of the operation, making this cause near and dear to my heart.

To donate to this charity and get an entry for this charity's prize drawing for every $5 donated, CLICK HERE (or use the widget on the left side of the blog). To earn a free entry, plus a bonus entry for every $20 donated, solve this Proof of Quilt puzzle:
What is the total number of black triangles (each occupying half a cell) in the three indicated columns? E-mail me this combined total (a single number).

Prize: One lucky winner will receive a copy of Shakashaka 1 by Nikoli. Another lucky winner will receive ThinkFun's Daily Puzzle, a cute puzzle which doubles as a desk calendar, created by Wei-Hwa Huang and Oskar van Deventer.

Charity 2: Child's Play Charity
Child's Play aims to put video games in a number of children's hospitals around the world. Many video game fans, and even some companies in the video game industry, have contributed money to improve these children's lives, while some crazy people have raised awareness and donations by playing video games for extended periods of time (for some reason, watching people play Mario games and give things away affects my generosity and that of other Mario fans).

To donate to this charity and get an entry for this charity's prize drawing for every $5 donated, CLICK HERE (or use the widget on the left side of the blog). To earn a free entry, plus a bonus entry for every $20 donated, solve this Crowd Nine puzzle (that's Sudoku for those of you new to my blog):
What are the digits in the indicated row? E-mail me this series of nine digits.

Prize: One lucky winner will receive a copy of Fresh Sudoku 2 by Nikoli. Another lucky winner will receive ThinkFun's Daily Puzzle, a cute puzzle which doubles as a desk calendar, created by Wei-Hwa Huang and Oskar van Deventer.

Charity 3: The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund
Tom Vasel, a highly-respected board game reviewer, named the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund after his son who passed away at a tragically young age. The generosity of others in the board game community during this hardship inspired Tom to pay it forward to other board gamers in need.

To donate to this charity and get an entry for this charity's prize drawing for every $5 donated, CLICK HERE (or use the widget on the left side of the blog). To earn a free entry, plus a bonus entry for every $20 donated, solve this Tetra Firma puzzle:
Which of the lettered cells are NOT shaded in (that is, the cells are white)? E-mail me this set of letters.

Prize: One lucky winner will receive a copy of LITS 1 by Nikoli. Another lucky winner will receive ThinkFun's Daily Puzzle, a cute puzzle which doubles as a desk calendar, created by Wei-Hwa Huang and Oskar van Deventer.

GOOD PRIZE:

To enter this drawing, solve all three puzzles. (Donations play no role in winning the good prize.) One lucky winner will receive a very commemorative shirt featuring artwork by an artist who goes by Norzman!

GRAND PRIZE:

To enter this drawing, donate $5 to each of the three charities above, or solve all three puzzles. Doing one of these tasks will earn you one entry, while doing both will earn you three entries. One lucky winner will receive this grand prize package:

* Any single book from Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle Books series!
* The shirt from the good prize mentioned above!
* A keyring and a necklace, both featuring carvings of elephants! These came from trips to Tenali, India (where the Sanctuary Home orphanage is based).
* Used copies of Brain Age and Brain Age 2 for the Nintendo DS! Brand new copies are beyond my prize budget, but used copies that aren't currently being used are well within my budget. These games have Sudoku puzzles which were previously published in Nikoli books, as well as minigames that purport to help keep your brain young.
* A wooden copy of my board game Battle of LITS, made wooden by Lyris Laser Studios! This game is based on the Japanese logic puzzle LITS (known here as Tetra Firma – see above), and has been described as "cool" and "existent" (well, at least one of the two adjectives, anyway).
* A copy of Heptalion by Spanish board game designer Néstor Romeral Andrés! In response to a puzzle posed by the designer, I created a board with the same properties as the default board, but a different shape; this board will be included with the game.

GIANT PUZZLES!

As added incentive for donating, I will post large puzzles if all of the charities hit certain levels! (This is not a combined total; every single one of the three charities must hit the threshold before the deadline for it to count.)

At the $100 mark, puzzle 601 will be upgraded to the giant (31x45) size! (Puzzle 600 will be giant no matter what.)
At the $210 mark, puzzle 602 will be giant, too!
At the $330 mark, puzzle 603 will be giant!
At the $460 mark, puzzle 604 will be giant!
At the $600 mark, puzzle 605 will be giant!
At the $750 mark, puzzle 606 will be giant!
At the $1000 mark, puzzle 600 will be upgraded to a super-giant (64x50)!
At the $1250 mark, puzzle 601 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $1500 mark, puzzle 602 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $1750 mark, puzzle 603 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $2000 mark, puzzle 604 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $2250 mark, puzzle 605 will be upgraded to a super-giant! 
And last but not least, at the $2500 mark, puzzle 606 will be upgraded to a super-giant!

Get to solving! Get to donating!

Puzzle 569: Solomon's Keep 5

So far, ChipIn for Children's Charities has raised $150 (including $15 of my own money from the kick-off event). I hope to see the momentum pick up this coming Monday, when the contest proper begins. Can we raise $2,500 for each charity?

ChipIn for Children's Charities kick-off event!

You may see something new on the left side of this blog. If you aren't reading this post months after the fact, there should be three ChipIns allowing you to donate for the three charities involved in ChipIn for Children's Charities. The contest proper will begin on Monday, September 24, but donating early will not deprive you of raffle entries later. In fact, to encourage early donations, I shall make this offer:

If any charity hits $42 before Monday, I will immediately raffle off a completely unsolved (and in good, albeit not brand-spanking new, condition) Places, Please book to anyone who donated at least $1 to that charity. Note that if you donate $42 to a charity with no donations yet, you've basically just bought yourself a book for way more than it's worth. But it's for charity, right?

EDIT: I shall add even more incentive: if all three charities hit $42 before Monday, I'll add $5 of my own money to each one. (Note that I'm not eligible for the raffles, obviously.)

Another new thing on the left side of my blog: Twitter! I'm using Twitter in the hopes of promoting this fund-raiser, and may do other things, too. (Also, I did it to boost my InterestingBlogs.org ranking; I was at #9 before, but now I'm #8. Oh yeah, you can definitely tell that I'm in the whole puzzle-writing thing for the art and not for vainglory.)

EDIT: All three charities have hit the $42 mark! All right! Thanks, donors! I have donated $5 of my own money to each one, as promised. :)

Contest 6 PREVIEW: ChipIn for Children's Charities

What follows is a preview of what may ultimately prove to be the most important "contest" in this blog's history.

Previously, readers of my blog have only been asked to solve some puzzles, or possibly out-guess their fellow readers, in order to have a chance at winning a prize. In ChipIn for Children's Charities, however, I shall task my readers with doing something that is perhaps more challenging than anything I have ever posted on this blog. Readers, in case the name of the contest didn't already blatantly give this away, I am asking you to donate money to these three charities that I have chosen to partner with:
  • Sanctuary Home for Children: We all know that India has some pretty smart individuals, like Deb Mohanty and the other users of Logic Masters India, but did you know that India also has orphans and widows? Sanctuary Home for Children aims to serve orphans and widows in Tenali, India. My best friend and regular gaming partner Ray Pettit is one of the board members on the Abilene side of the operation, so this charity hits really close to home for me, despite having never been to India myself. I gave them $26 as part of an earlier contest, but feel that ChipIn for Children's Charities has the potential to impact them even more greatly than a few rolls of a twenty-sided die.
  • Child's Play Charity: Child's Play aims to put video games in a number of children's hospitals around the world to give children a pleasant distraction from the otherwise dreary reality that they are sick and in a hospital. This past June, I promoted Mario Marathon, a completely fan-run annual marathon where a team plays Mario games over an extended period of time while raising money for Child's Play, using prizes and other incentives (the amount donated determines how many levels are played) to make the marathon more exciting; I hope that ChipIn for Children's Charities gives me the opportunity to help them even more.
  • The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund: Noted board game reviewer Tom Vasel was inspired by the collective generosity of others in the board game community who rallied around him when he was grieving the loss of his young son Jack, and started the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund to help give other board gamers financial assistance after their own personal hardships. Tom seems like a nice enough guy, and as someone who's had a board game published himself, he played a role in encouraging me to pursue my idea Battle of LITS, so I am pleased to be able to support his charitable mission with ChipIn for Children's Charities. (It's not really a children's charity, but it's named after a child, so I'm not changing this contest's name. Nyeh.)
Let's begin by discussing how the donations will be handled: ChipIn is a free service that allows someone to collect money from a bunch of people. A common use for ChipIn is for charity fund-raisers, as it allows you to see who has donated (in case you want to raffle off a prize to the donors, for example) without actually touching the money. Each charity will have its own ChipIn. Thus, you can donate whatever amount you wish, and choose how to divide it between the charities; all of the money can go to a single charity, or you may split it between two or three charities by contributing to each charity's corresponding ChipIn. Your money will go directly to the charities; I will not have any opportunity to misappropriate the funds in any sort of fashion.

As added incentive for donating, I will give you large puzzles if all of the charities hit certain levels! (This is not a combined total; every single one of the three charities must hit the threshold before the deadline for it to count.)

At the $100 mark, puzzle 601 will be upgraded to the giant (31x45) size! (Puzzle 600 will be giant no matter what.)
At the $210 mark, puzzle 602 will be giant, too!
At the $330 mark, puzzle 603 will be giant!
At the $460 mark, puzzle 604 will be giant!
At the $600 mark, puzzle 605 will be giant!
At the $750 mark, puzzle 606 will be giant! (That's seven giant puzzles to entertain yourselves with after my current drought is over!)
At the $1000 mark, puzzle 600 will be upgraded to a super-giant (64x50)!
At the $1250 mark, puzzle 601 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $1500 mark, puzzle 602 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $1750 mark, puzzle 603 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $2000 mark, puzzle 604 will be upgraded to a super-giant!
At the $2250 mark, puzzle 605 will be upgraded to a super-giant! 
And last but not least, at the $2500 mark, puzzle 606 will be upgraded to a super-giant! (Not to mention that the charities will be pretty happy, too!)

Oh, and what would a contest be without prizes? There will be four prize drawings: one for each individual charity, and one grand prize drawing. For every $5 you donate to a charity, you will receive one entry in that charity's prize drawing. Each charity will also be associated with a puzzle; if you solve the puzzle correctly, you will receive a free entry, plus an additional entry for every $20 donated. (For example, a $15 donation gets 3 entries, a $15 donation with a correct solution gets 4 entries, and a $20 donation with a correct solution gets 6 entries.) For the grand prize drawing, you may get up to three entries: one for solving all three puzzles, one for donating at least $5 to each charity, and one for solving all three puzzles and donating at least $5 to each charity. Once the deadline has expired, I will use random.org to determine the winners.

But what will the prizes be? Ah, that's where you come in, dearest readers. I am soliciting donations of prizes to make this contest as exciting as possible while minimizing the cost on my part. Just tell me what kind of prize you want to give away (maybe a puzzle book, a gift certificate, a shirt. . . anything you think will be appropriate!), and I'll have the winner e-mail you an address so you can send it. I haven't entirely decided what prizes I want to give away myself, or what date the contest will begin, but once I've figured more out, I'll be sure to keep you updated!

Summary: How can I help?
Donate money! If you can't wait until I have the actual ChipIns set up before donating, donated directly via the charities' websites! However, if you wait, the money will go towards incentives such as how many big puzzles I make (see above).

Donate prizes! Help me give away many great things! I will have the winner e-mail you at the end of the contest, so you don't even have to send me anything!

Spread the word! Twitter users should incorporate the hashtag #ChipInForChildrensCharities for maximum impact!

Puzzle 568: Fencing Match 50

Another week without a Monday Mutant? I'm sorry. I promise that I'll have something completely awesome next Monday to compensate for the recent lack of mutant content.

Letting Individuals Think Separately: Update 2

Let's go over the 9 questions and see which ones I've fulfilled and which ones I still need to do. As a reminder, the results are here.

1. Readers voted for the winner of the contest to receive a book from Nikoli (and not from Turkey). It was shipped on June 25, and Robert Vollmert has since received it in his native land of Germany. Awesome.
2. Readers voted for a booby prize to be given to a random participant (as opposed to the second place finisher). As revealed in update 1, this booby prize has been received.
3. Readers voted for puzzle 575 to be a 10x10 Dominnocuous, and for no puzzles larger than 289 cells to be posted until puzzle 600. I haven't gotten to 575 yet, but I promise I will!
4. Readers voted for queen-themed Process of Illumination puzzles. I delivered a queen-themed puzzle which also solved under normal rules. This puzzle was deemed a tiny bit ugly, so I worked on making another queen-themed puzzle, this time making it solvable with modified rules regarding how the clue numbers work. This puzzle is much prettier, so I'm satisfied that my work here is done.
5 and 6. Readers voted for me to wear a shirt and a hat advertising my blog (sparing me from My Little Pony and Angry Birds). I have both articles of clothing, but no pics yet to prove that I've worn them in public. (Then again, do I really need them? The main purpose of the pics is to prove that I've embarrassed myself, but there's nothing embarrassing about my blog!)
7. Readers voted for me to donate $2d20 and not $20 to Sanctuary Home for Children. Here is a video of the results. Bah, I didn't do a good job at capturing the value of the second roll, so you have to trust me that it was 16. (And now you have to watch, because you know there was an 80% chance that your gamble paid off and resulted in more than $20 being donated. How exciting.)
8 and 9. These questions were just for points, and have no real meaning.

So, mostly, I need to make more puzzles until I hit 600 and I can make puzzles of any size I want to. And maybe show you what I look like in my shirt. :)

Puzzle 567: Straight and Arrow 40

chaotic_iak (who inspired me to write a puzzle at 4:00 AM when I should have been going back to sleep) told me that my previous puzzle "has many givens", and I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not, so I made with puzzle with 4 fewer givens!

Puzzle 566: Straight and Arrow 39

I apologize for not having a Monday Mutant prepared this week. Have this instead.

Puzzle 564: Pearls of Wisdom 52

Fans of the classic game Chip's Challenge, rejoice! The author of that game, Chuck Sommerville, is creating a PC port of the game's spiritual sequel Chuck's Challenge! Do you have a Steam account? Please join me in giving Chuck's Challenge 3D a thumbs-up vote to increase the game's chances of being made available on Steam! I supported the game on Kickstarter, and I would like it to achieve success! :)

Monday Mutant 117: The Inner Limits (multiplicative)

In this The Inner Limits puzzle, a number indicates the product of two quantities: the number of cells in an uninterrupted horizontal line from that cell (up to the nearest edges of the loop, and including the cell itself), and the number of cells in an uninterrupted vertical line from that cell (up to the nearest edges of the loop, and including the cell itself). The rules are otherwise unchanged.
Thomas Snyder posted a beautiful puzzle in preparation for the recent United States Puzzle Competition. It is my hope that I have made a puzzle at least as excellent as his.
 

Monday Mutant 116: Seek and Spell / Crowd Nine

In this Seek and Spell puzzle, every row, every column, and every outlined box consisting of nine cells each must contain every letter in FLINCH MAG exactly once (as in a Crowd Nine puzzle, but with letters). The rules are otherwise unchanged.
This puzzle honors Minfang Lin from China, the winner of my recent BoardGameGeek contest giving away cards from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, plus a custom puzzle for the winner. Even though Minfang Lin chose not to accept the cards, the other half of the prize remains.

Puzzle 561: Tetra Firma 36

Barry Figgins has officially announced the wooden version of my board game Battle of LITS in a Kickstarter update. A $25 pledge will get you 8 double-sided quadrants which can be assembled into the 4 boards from the print-and-play edition, or into a variety of other arrangements for players seeking extra replay value. Support Barry's mission to make board games deluxe and wooden!

Monday Mutant 115: Streaming Content / Tetra Firma

Shade in tetrominoes in simultaneous accordance with the rules of Streaming Content and the rules of Tetra Firma. (As the grid isn't partitioned into regions, the rule of Tetra Firma that every region contains one tetromino is waived.)

Monday Mutant 114: Room and Reason (wacky)

In this Room and Reason puzzle, not all of the rooms are rectangular. The white cells may not pass over two or more boundaries between consecutive rooms in an uninterrupted horizontal or vertical line (even if this entails exiting a room and then entering it again -- this is more specific than the usual rule which states that the white cells may not exceed two consecutive rooms in an uninterrupted horizontal or vertical line). The rules are otherwise unchanged.
Barry Figgins apparently makes board game accessories and the like out of wood. He is using Kickstarter to raise the money to upgrade his equipment. Thanks in part to some money given to me by a guy named Jay, I've been able to muster a $150 pledge, meaning that Barry will make me a wooden version of my board game Battle of LITS, one whose pieces don't get blown around underneath a ceiling fan! Thanks, Jay! And thanks in advance to Barry!

Monday Mutant 113: Blackbarrier Jam (multiplicative)

In this Blackbarrier Jam puzzle, a number indicates the product of two quantities: the number of white cells in an uninterrupted horizontal line from that cell (up to the perimeter or black cells, and including the cell itself), and the number of white cells in an uninterrupted vertical line from that cell (up to the perimeter or black cells, and including the cell itself). The rules are otherwise unchanged.
I'm being commissioned to write puzzles for an iPhone/Windows Phone app; here's a preview of the type of puzzling you can expect to see.

Puzzle 559: Solomon's Keep 4

I'm giving away some World of Warcraft Trading Card Game cards on BoardGameGeek, and all you have to do to enter the prize drawing is solve some exclusive puzzles or give me a GeekGold tip. Don't have a BoardGameGeek account? E-mail me your solutions, and you'll still have two-thirds the chances of winning. These puzzles are exclusive to BGG, so check them out even if you don't want the cards!

Puzzle 558: Blackbarrier Jam 19

It seems I have a terrible habit of letting my blog go unnoticed (particularly as regards Monday Mutants) whenever I'm being commissioned to write a bunch of puzzles. I will try to fix this.

In unrelated news, my blog is ranked #12 on InterestingBlogs.org's rankings, right ahead of some blog that hasn't been updated since 2010 and right behind a blog about cats. Come on, guys. You're doing a disservice to other great puzzlers like Tom Collyer, Palmer Mebane, and Thomas Snyder when the random Texan, and not any of the actual world puzzle champions, is the guy who's almost as good as cats. If you enjoy their blogs, please click the boost button on their respective directory listings, and do not, under any circumstances, click the boost button on mine.

Puzzle 557: Blackbarrier Jam 18

David Millar of The Griddle is currently seeking funding for a Kickstarter project! The goal is to raise $2000 in pledges to publish a book of paranormal-themed logic puzzles, including Area 51 (a hybrid of Masyu, Corral/Bag, and the Sheep and Wolves variation of Slitherlink) and Haunted Mirror Mazes (a puzzle about locating ghosts, zombies, and vampires based on the knowledge of each one's visibility with and without mirrors). There are rewards for backing at various levels, such as a free PDF copy of the final book, or (if you're feeling really generous) a personal visit from Mr. Millar himself! Do not be afraid to join me in backing this project. :)

A shout-out to Virmir, as well, for creating my blog's new banner!

Puzzle 556: Fencing Match 48

Mario Marathon 5 is on! Some random people are playing main series Mario games (from classics like Super Mario Bros. to the recent hits Super Mario Galaxy 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii). and raising money for the charity Child's Play! You should totally watch and/or donate. (Speaking of donating, I'll donate $1 for every person who e-mails me [glmathgrant@gmail.com] a correct solution to this puzzle within the next 24 hours, up to a maximum of $10. Get to work.)
(Edit: I feel slightly more charitable. Each solution after the first 10 solutions is worth 50 cents, up to a maximum of $25. Get to work!)
(Edit 2: David Millar of The Griddle is going to match my donation! Now you have even more incentive to get to work!)
(Edit 3: I'm extending the deadline by 24 hours. That's my last grace, though. For the duration of this exciting offer, a countdown timer on the left side of this blog will tell you how much time remains. Get to work before it hits zero!)
(Edit 4: The timer has expired. $21 was raised! A list of solvers will be included in a comment on this post.)

Letting Individuals Think Separately: Update 1

Spheniscine tells me that he has received his prize from Letting Individuals Think Separately. What was it?

My 25th birthday cake!

A bit overdue, but here's the picture!
I think I'll stick with smaller puzzles as much as I can in the future; smaller cells are slightly less readable on a cake.

Monday Mutant 112: Cross the Streams

Shade in some cells black such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. Numbers to the left of a row or above a column represent the groups of consecutive black cells which are in that row or column. For example, a clue of "3" means the row or column has three consecutive black cells, and a clue of "3 1" means that the row or column has a group of three consecutive black cells followed by a single black cell, separated by at least one white cell. A question mark (?) represents a group of consecutive black cells whose size is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of unknown groups of black cells, including none at all.

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