I guess at the end of the day what I'm trying to say is that I don't regard the player of my games as an antagonist (as some designers do) ie someone that I am pitting my wits against. Rather you are someone I'm trying to share things that I like and find interesting.
Peter, I have been thinking about what you said and feeling a bit ashamed of myself.
I did assume that puzzle design was largely a competition between the puzzle designer and the player. I have admired puzzle designers for stumping me, if the solution turned out to be perfectly logical. I have railed at puzzle designers that stumped me in a way that I thought was unfair.
I have felt a kind of mind-meld with puzzle designers whose puzzles were exactly my cup of tea, that were intricate but allowed me to see the solution right away.
I never thought of puzzle design as a form of communication. You are right, it is, but I didn't consider the implications correctly. I guess I've been thinking too much about puzzle challenges as a type of competition rather than as a form of entertainment.