A TILLICOULTRY man is hoping to appeal to the brain-teaser fans in the county after creating his very own pen and paper puzzle.

Nick Rice unveiled his crafty invention Begriddled, which asks the player to join numbers or characters to reveal hidden messages.

The former IT professional came up with the idea for the idea a year ago and his initial crowdfunding campaign netted almost double its goal.

He now hopes that, with a little more backing, he will be able to ensure he can get his project out to the general public.

Begriddled is a riddle in a grid and comes in a regular or logic version.

Nick was originally working on an idea to do paint-your-own mugs, one thing led to another and soon he was experimenting with ways to connect grids to form shapes.

Indeed, the very first completed puzzle was not on paper but came in the shape of a Valentine's Day mug for Nick's wife, handed out early to see if it worked in some else's hands.

It did, revealing a heart-shape, but Nick still found it difficult to position all the bits without hours of trial and error to get rid of unwanted lines and connections.

A key idea was that it would be impossible to tell at the start what shape will come out of it in the end and Nick reckons he achieved just that.

Having refined it all, he is already producing two books, which are planned to be out for Christmas.

Nick, 61, said: "Each stage [of development] was quite exciting because I didn't know whether it would work and I was experimenting."

The regular Begriddled puzzle features a grid of numbers, letters or other characters, accompanied by the key: A circular sequence which shows what joins to what.

Dots always remain dots and identical pairs are joined with vertical or horizontal lines.

Pairs of numbers, letters or other characters that are together in the circular sequence are joined by lines in all directions.

The logic puzzle kicks it up a notch as those looking to complete it are not told the whole circular sequence and a bit of work is required to eliminate the impossible joins.

And courtesy of Nick, is a special Wee County version of a regular Begriddled puzzle for Advertiser readers to try in this week's edition.

To back the project, visit kickstarter.com/projects/nickrice/puzzlebooks