Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition



Anyone may submit his or her own mechanical puzzle design, independent of Puzzle Party affiliation. (The puzzle does not need to be part of an Exchange, nor does being part of an Exchange qualify or disqualify an entry. Participation in the Puzle Design Contest does not entitle the designer to a Puzzle Party invitation.) 

To be eligible, a puzzle must be a new design or an inventive application of a known principle, and must be first manufactured or otherwise made public no earlier than June 2016 (two years prior to the Puzzle Party). All types of mechanical puzzles are eligible for the competition.


Entries must be received no later than June 15, 2018, approximately 1 month prior to the Puzzle Party. You must provide two copies of the puzzle, a complete written description, and a one-page solution (see the competition rules for details). There is a separate entry fee for each submission, with a maximum of three puzzle designs per designer.

Judging & Awards

There are two judging categories. The "Puzzlers' Award" will be selected by the Puzzle Party attendees, who will be able to review the puzzles during the Puzzle Party. Additionally, there will be one or more Jury Prizes, as determined by a select group of judges. If more than 50 designs are submitted, the Jury may perform a first round of judging prior to the Puzzle Party, reducing the number of published entries to no less than 50. (Based on recent trends, the jury will endeavor to bring the number of published entries close to around 60.)

All judges will be asked to consider the following criteria, balanced by their personal preferences: innovation, physical design, and the fun of solving the puzzle.

Prizes will be awarded to the winners at the Puzzle Party. The winning puzzles will also be shown in the Puzzle Party Souvenir Booklet and on the competition web site. 

See the Judging and Awards page for more information.

Organizing Committee

The Organizing Committee is chaired by Nick Baxter. The committee members are Oskar van Deventer, Gary Foshee, Marcel Gillen, Brian Pletcher, and Naoaki Takashima. The committee is responsible for all aspects of the competition, including the selection of the judges for the juried prizes.

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