About the League

The National Puzzlers’ League (the NPL), founded in 1883, is the world’s oldest puzzlers organization. The native puzzle type of the NPL is the flat, a versified puzzle involving wordplay, but League members enjoy many other types of puzzles.

If you enjoy wordplay such as palindromes, cryptograms, crossword puzzles, cryptic crosswords, anagrams, or discovering the word SCHOOLED has the letters in the words SHOE and COLD perfectly interlaced ... you’ll probably find it in our monthly publication, The ENIGMA.

Puzzles

For an introduction to both flats and the other kinds of puzzles that are published in The ENIGMA, take a look at our online minisample.

 
Regular PDF

Booklet Format PDF

The minisample is also an excellent way to introduce the NPL to your puzzling friends.

We also have a showcase of representative flats, or verse puzzles, and a list of some of the best anagrams that have been published in The ENIGMA.

Solving Puzzles

English-language flats are unique to the NPL (though there are some similar puzzles in other languages), and we have a complete online Guide to The ENIGMA, the “bible” of the NPL, to help you solve them. In it, you’ll find detailed descriptions of almost all the puzzle types found in The ENIGMA, helpful articles about solving and composing, and a brief history of the NPL.

We also offer introductions to solving cryptic crosswords and cryptograms.

Solving Tools and Word Lists

The NPL maintains several online tools, some of which are available to the public, including a Word Finder.

Our collection of word lists are available to everyone. You will also find helpful information on to use regular expressions with word lists to find bases for puzzles.

Conventions

The National Puzzlers’ League hosts an annual convention in July of each year. The convention is in a different city each year, with cities selected two years in advance. Visit the convention site for the latest information. If you’re new to the NPL, a convention can be a great “crash course” to the League.

Membership

The NPL has about 700 members throughout the US, with a few overseas. Membership includes many of the top names in the puzzling world. Members of the NPL use noms (short for noms de plume) instead of names. You can read about some of our members on our members nom pages.

Existing members: Click here to renew your membership or get information on how to mail in a check.

New members: If you are interested in joining the NPL, here’s how to join.

We maintain a list of related organizations that may be of interest to puzzlers.

Our Books

The NPL has produced a number of puzzle books:

National Puzzlers’ League Cryptic Crosswords, edited by Joshua Kosman (Trazom) and Henri Picciotto (Hot), Random House Puzzles & Games, 2005, ISBN 0812936604. This book is out of print but available for download (PDF format).
 
Hard-to-Solve Cryptograms by National Puzzlers League, by the League, Sterling, 2001, ISBN 080695809X. This book is currently unavailable.
 
Sit & Solve Cryptograms #2, from the National Puzzlers’ League includes cryptograms written by NPL members taken from the pages of The Enigma. These cryptograms are on the hard side. Sterling Publishing, 2004 ISBN 1402713096

About the Site Banner

The current web site banner is by Manx, from the nomtag art for the Milwaukee 2018 convention. Email the webmaster if you are interested in providing banner art for use in the future, either for a specific time, or on a rotating basis.

Contact Information

To contact the league, use the standard email addresses webmaster@, postmaster@, or treasurer@ followed by our domain name.

Code of Conduct

The NPL is committed to preserving a welcoming and respectful environment for anyone who wishes to participate. We do not tolerate harassment of League members or convention-goers in any form. If you feel that any individual is speaking or acting inappropriately, either toward you or to someone else, please contact a member of the Board to mediate or intercede, as necessary.

Read the full Code of Conduct here.