Puzzle #1 (in the magazine): pretty much all it takes is some tedious work.
Puzzle #2 A fine riddle. At first blush, all I had was a giant puzzled expression on my face and a question mark hovering over my head. Then you tease it apart, and with luck it leaps out and bites you.
Puzzle #3 caused a disturbance in the force. There are a few desperate comments on Ken's puzzle blog. I suffered a lot. I got real close to the answer, just lacking one step, and then spent a lot of wasted time on other things. Then I read Ken's hint, and wasted more time. A day later, I read a comment that said that Ken's hint was helpful, and then I solved it in the next five minutes.
Puzzle #4 looks pretty mysterious. But the second thing I thought of turned out to be the right track.