I'm Nathan Curtis, and this is Tortoiseshell Puzzles. I spend much of my spare time writing puzzles, so I put together this site to share them with you.
I have been an avid puzzle fan for several years. I have been going to the MIT Mystery Hunt since 2003, with teams ECComeECGo, Lake Effect Snow, Just for the Halibut, and my current team, Immoral, Illegal, & Fattening. I also got my start constructing puzzles by writing warm-up extravaganzas for many past Hunts, going back to 2007; most of these extravaganzas are not available on this website, but you might be able to find them if you're clever. I got my start writing puzzles for a wider audience with the Boston Area Puzzle Hunt League, as Just for the Halibut put together the second incarnation of BAPHL in September 2010. I have also been a member of the National Puzzlers' League since 2007, under the nom de plume Tortoise. A few of my smaller puzzles have appeared in the Enigma, the NPL's monthly publication, and my first variety cryptic debuted in the January 2011 Enigma.
I used to be a freelance composer, and you can still find much of my music here. I have also spent my summers teaching various math courses at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY), going back to 1998. Most recently, I have been teaching CTY's Cryptology course, which basically means that I spend 3 to 6 weeks each summer showing gifted adolescents how to solve specialized kinds of puzzles. Unsurprisingly, this is a lot of fun.
So, what kinds of puzzles do I write? All sorts of puzzles. I have recently been focusing on various crossword variants, but my various puzzle-writing endeavors have also included logic puzzles, word games, trivia-based puzzles, and a healthy dose of cryptology, to name just a few areas. In the extravaganzas that I write, I try to include as wide a range of puzzle types as possible. But don't just take my word for it -- check out my puzzle posts to see what I've been up to. You can also browse my puzzles by type, to find ones that are up your alley. If you're interested in what I have to say about puzzles, from both the constructor's and the solver's sides, check out my puzzle blog. And if that's not enough, you can learn about ToPuWriMo, my puzzle-writing project for June 2011. Enjoy!