The $10,000 Puzzler Hunt

Join The Puzzler Hunt and compete to win $10,000. To win, you’ll have to be the first to solve a series of mind-bending (but fun!) puzzles that will be posted starting May 3, 2022. But you can’t join the hunt unless you find the secret passphrase first. The good news is, you can discover the passphrase now, and get over that first hurdle. The passphrase is hidden in the free introduction to The Puzzler.


Now Available in Paperback!

The New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically goes on a rollicking journey to understand the enduring power of puzzles: why we love them, what they do to our brains, and how they can improve our world.

What makes puzzles—jigsaws, mazes, riddles, sudokus—so satisfying? Be it the formation of new cerebral pathways, their close link to insight and humor, or their community-building properties, they’re among the fundamental elements that make us human. Convinced that puzzles have made him a better person, A. J. Jacobs—four-time New York Times bestselling author, master of immersion journalism, and nightly crossworder—set out to determine their myriad benefits. And maybe, in the process, solve the puzzle of our very existence. Well, almost.

Praise for The Puzzler

“Riveting…Fascinating…[with] infectious charm…A rallying cry for ‘word nerds’ everywhere, this is a delight.”
– Publishers Weekly

“A fun, interactive exploration of the history and hidden world of puzzles. A must-read for puzzle enthusiasts of all skill levels.”
– Library Journal

A.J. is a journalist, lecturer, human guinea pig and author of four New York Times bestsellers.
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In each episode of the podcast, Twice Removed, A.J. and team dive deep into a guest’s family tree.
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Inspired and inspiring.

-Time Out New York

"We love the lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs"

-Entertainment Weekly

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Articles & Essays

Mission: Find Our Lifesavers

(not the candy or the floating thing. The people who rescued me and my sister) As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of thanking. Perhaps even overthanking (it was the topic of my last book). Well, I’m working on a new Gratitude Project that I’m really excited about, and it’s one that...
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Lessons From a Lifelong Germaphobe in the Age of the Coronavirus

For two decades, I lived the way the world is now—filled with Purell and anxiety. Here’s what I’ve learned....
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Introducing Twice Removed – The Podcast that Sets Out to Prove We’re One Big Family

Take a look around and find the person closest to you. Maybe that woman in the scarf in line ordering a latte. Or the little boy on a scooter, waiting to cross the street. What if we told you,  that you and that person are related. And what if I told you, we can prove...
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Are You My Cousin?

My family tree sprawls far and wide. It’s not even a tree, really. More like an Amazonian forest. At last count, it was up to nearly 75 million family members. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re on some far-flung branch of my tree, and if you aren’t, you probably will be soon. It’s not...
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You’re Probably Related To Ryan Gosling

Author A.J. Jacobs is attempting to throw the world’s biggest family reunion, because creepy or not, we’re all likely linked genetically....
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Obama has 44 cousins in the Senate. Now can’t we all just get along?

Forget the president’s Tea Party cousin or Washington animosity. My research shows that we’re all part of one big family. A dysfunctional one, but still – come on, cousins!...
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How to Focus

The 4 best secrets to unitasking....
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Recent obituaries...
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Will a Motivation App Motivate You

My column for Upwave about pestering yourself to good health....
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Congress Behaving Badly

I talk to NPR’s Scott Simon about the history of congressional tantrums....
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Why We Love Women

An essay about why I love my wife. And it’s not just because of her symmetrical face....
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The Puzzler

One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life
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Thanks A Thousand

A Gratitude Journey
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It's All Relative cover

It's All Relative

Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree
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The Year of Living Biblically

One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
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The Know-It-All

One Man's Humble Quest to become the Smartest Person in the World
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My Life as an Experiment

One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself
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Drop Dead Healthy

One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
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