Welcome to Tortoiseshell Studio!

Greetings! This is Nathan Curtis, the "Tortoise" of Tortoiseshell Studio. I write a wide range of puzzles, specializing in variety grid puzzles and puzzle hunts, and you can find a sampling of those puzzles here, as well as periodic musings on puzzles from both a solver's and a constructor's perspective. Some of my puzzles have appeared in Will Shortz's WordPlay, and I have written and edited puzzle hunts for the Boston Area Puzzle Hunt League and the National Museum of Mathematics. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me. Enjoy the puzzles!

Verwald's Treasures live


Verwald's Treasures is a puzzle hunt by Nathan Curtis, intended to be the sequel to What's That Spell. Verwald's Treasures will contain over 30 puzzles, multiple metapuzzles, and a metametapuzzle, as well as artifacts that are used to solve the metapuzzles. Verwald's Treasures will be produced as a live hunt in the Boston area in July and August of 2018, and then it will be available to solve at home beginning in November 2018.

Price: $120.00
Choose the dates that you would like to participate in Verwald's Treasures live
Your preferred difficulty level for Verwald's Treasures. Archmage is more difficult, and Apprentice puzzles may come with instructions or more starting information.

What's That Spell Solve-at-Home, print and solve


What's That Spell is a puzzle hunt constructed by Nathan Curtis. It includes 12 puzzles and 3 metapuzzles. You also get a collection of 13 bonus puzzles and one bonus puzzle hunt, from a variety of guest constructors. In this version of What's That Spell?, the puzzles will be available for download, including digital versions of the artifacts that were used to solve the metapuzzles.

Price: $20.00

What's That Spell

What's That Spell is the first puzzle hunt fully produced by Tortoiseshell Studio. What's That Spell was funded by a Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2016, presented as a live hunt in the Boston area in September 2016, and first went out to at-home solvers in the spring of 2017.

What's That Spell bonus hunt available

When I was running the Kickstarter campaign for What's That Spell, one of the stretch goals was a bonus puzzle hunt by Denis and Marc Moskowitz. The constructors agreed to make the hunt freely available, so I would like to direct your attention to The Wanderer and the Wu Xing. This hunt is five puzzles plus a metapuzzle. I plan to make solutions available soon, but for now, enjoy the puzzles!

Announcement: Nathan is on Patreon!

Become my patron on Patreon

Attention puzzlers! I am pleased to announce the launch of my Patreon campaign! What's that, you ask? Well, Patreon is a platform designed to support online patronage of creators. I will be posting packs of 2-3 puzzles each week, and you can choose to pledge $1 or more per pack. Pledging at higher levels gives you access to additional features, like monthly bonus puzzles and the ability to suggest seeds and themes for me to use in my puzzles.

Something's Coming

After a too-long hiatus, I'm ready to bring back my puzzle website, now under the name Tortoiseshell Studio! I've been gradually adding a selection of puzzles from the old website, and new puzzles will come with an announcement on Monday, May 18. Mark your calendars!

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