I’m not saying that I have to make my puzzles absurdly easy lest they be taken as insurmountable, but also that’s what I’m saying.
Actually, I don’t use puzzles super often, because I feel like they tend to break immersion – IE, the player with the 8 int barbarian is as likely to solve it as the player with the 20 int wizard – but when I do, I almost never get to be clever the way I want. The shared fantasy world is *not* something I have with my players. Either we’re in Faerun, but no one else has read the novels from a billion years ago, or we’re in a homebrew setting and my players have Candor’s reaction to start-of-campaign handouts. The ideal puzzle is pulled out of the lore of the dungeon or the world, you know? It exists for the players to feel frustrated for a bit, and then really clever.
That said, I’ll still occasionally slip in a puzzle like the puzzle from this comic – usually in a mad wizard’s lair, with plenty of warning that the aforementioned wizard was obsessed with numbers.