Now that the 2022 XYZZY nominations are here, it might be worth brainstorming some of the ‘best individual puzzle’ or ‘best individual pc’ nominations.
I’m going to spitball some off the top of my head, but I’ll put them in spoilers in case you’d rather think of your own first.
Best Individual Puzzle
The four crystals puzzle in Trouble in Sector 471.
Inputting the janitor bot code in A Long Way to the Nearest Star
Untangling dog lead in Custard and Mustard
The escape room in Little Match Girl 2: Annus Evertens
Best Individual PC
The ghost from the good ghost
Rosalinda from the Bones of Rosalinda
Custard from Custard and Mustard
El Virulé from El Virulé.
Best Individual NPC
Solis, the AI from A Long Way to the Nearest Star
The younger Bell Park from The Grown-up Detective Agency.
Cain in According to Cain.
The Duchess in The Spectators
Ru’ul in Trigaea
I know I’m missing a lot, but these come to mind. I’m sure Fairest and Bones of Rosalinda has standout puzzles, but time has muted my memory of them.
I’ve already voted, but maybe this thread will make me revisit my nomination list.
These are my choices now:
-The Haughty Cat from Custard & Mustard.
-SOLIS from A Long Way to the Nearest Star.
-Obtaining the fat in According to Cain.
-The chilli-puzzle in The Bones of Rosalinda.
(I agree that untangling the dog lead in C&M is a fantastic puzzle. It’s also mechanically the same puzzle (in reverse, to be precise) as trapping the dragon in The Wizard Sniffer. @ChristopherMerriner invented it for himself, so that means at least two great minds thought alike in designing such a simple, elegant, satisfying, bewildering at first puzzle. The dragon puzzle won Best Individual Puzzle in 2017.)
-Horse Girl from The Legend of Horse Girl (I love @bitterkarella 's protagonists!)
-Lady Thalia from The Rose of Rocroi.
Horse Girl got a lot of votes from me too. I nominated Getting The Bezoar from Horse Girl as my favorite puzzle of the year. It also had so many wonderful NPCs I couldn’t pick a favorite, so I voted for the Hangin’ Judge himself as a symbolic vote for all of them.