I'm working on my official walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness. The puzzles are a lot more fun when you know what you're doing! Ha ha.
You know the sail puzzle? The one where you identify about twenty different sails, by name? You're supposed to solve that puzzle, based on the clues in the captain's log. It turns out that reading the captain's log isn't necessary. If you already know all about sails, you can solve the puzzle at the very start of the game.
By contrast, there's a numbers puzzle, written in Icelandic. You're supposed to solve the puzzle, by purchasing an Icelandic guidebook and looking up numbers in the "common Icelandic words" section. It doesn't matter if you already know Icelandic numbers, or if you're good at guessing. You can't solve the puzzle without reading the guidebook.
Funny how you can solve one puzzle ahead of time, if you know the answer, but you can't with the other one.
If I try speedrunning the game, the first section will cover everything up to the lighthouse puzzle. Mainly because the lighthouse has that killer 2048 puzzle. Please tell me there's a good strategy for that puzzle, because I always get stuck on it. Senior Mode wants you to make SEVEN white lights, which is almost at the limit of my ability.