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The "A Little Variety" puzzle page in The New York Times Magazine was my #1 inspiration for starting Puzzles for Progress, and possibly for puzzling in general. I AM NOW PUBLISHED IN IT!! This is an absolute dream come true and I still can't believe I get to call myself New York Times-published.

The magazine will feature an Upon Reflection logic puzzle of mine every Sunday for the next 16 weeks, from February 5 to May 21, increasing in difficulty. I invented the concept of Upon Reflection. (Some of you may recognize it — I've posted some here under its old name Mirrored Gallery! It was renamed by Will Shortz himself. Note that all of the NYT Upon Reflections have left-right symmetry, while some of my previous ones feature more complicated symmetries.) If you've ever done Star Battle, it's similar, with the twist that stars must reflect across the center to other stars, or themselves. If not, the puzzles are designed to be accessible to all.

How To Solve

You can solve these upcoming puzzles in print in The New York Times Magazine, which comes with the Sunday newspaper — so you can buy a subscription that includes it, buy individual issues at newsstands, or acquire it in any other way. My puzzles will be on the page before the crossword. Apparently, on the East Coast(?) the Sunday magazine releases a day early for subscribers, so my first puzzle is already out there!

The puzzles also currently appear at the very bottom of as part of the "A Little Variety" PDF for online subscribers. (There is no dedicated online interface.) Even though it says "February 5" for the date, my first puzzle was actually added there yesterday!

However, this online option will only work for February, because the NYT decided to remove the ability to download and print their variety puzzles effective February 26, and even delete the archive on March 1. Presumably, this means that my first three Upon Reflection puzzles will be available as PDFs, but the rest will only be in the physical magazine.


These puzzles have been in the works for over five months now, and I'm still bursting with excitement! I've worked really hard to make these puzzles the best I can make them. I also recruited many people to test, and am so grateful to all y'all who agreed, especially my non-puzzler friends skeptical of their own puzzle ability. I made sure that every puzzle, except a couple in the original pitch, was some tester's first.

It hurts part of my soul to decide who to thank by name and who not to, so I really would like to stress how much I appreciate all my testers, and in fact all of you. Nevertheless, my shoutouts: David "djmathman" Altizio (whose detail-oriented feedback probably improved the puzzles the most); Prasanna Seshadri (who helped show me the ropes of this puzzle slot); Zachary Sifuentes (who also provided invaluable Adobe Illustrator help); my parents (who test my puzzles way more reliably than they need to); and the one and only Will Shortz for his great expertise, supportiveness, and enthusiasm. I'm pretty sure he did some test-solving during his free time...


What else? It's now probably easier to find the foreshadowing in my last set of puzzles, though the previous Mirrored Gallery has something subtle. Maybe I'll fully explain later. Unrelatedly, my middle initial M is in the byline, which I haven't used in awhile — just because why not, there's no shortage of Jacob Cohens who aren't me.

Anyway, I'm really proud and wanted to share this news with you all! Again, an Upon Reflection logic puzzle of mine will air every Sunday for the next 16 weeks in the physical Sunday NYT magazine, and the first three will also appear online.

Thanks to all of you for supporting my puzzling throughout this journey. I plan to continue posting sets of three puzzles every two weeks on Puzzles for Progress.

Cross-posted on Puzzles for Progress


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