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I love puzzles! I actually prefer they be player-solved... why even have them if it's just to soak some dice rolls?
As for dumped charisma and low social skills - here's a fun thing I tried out a few times at a gameday I used to run:
Normally, the way a social encounter is run is that the player lets loose his spiel, interacts with the NPCs, and then the GM calls for a roll - a roll which, often, hardly reflects the RP which occurred. So... I decided to reverse this.
I ran games in which RP would *start* with a die roll, and THEN the players had to craft their characters' commentary in-line with the roll. Obviously, this was a lot of fun when the diplomacy-penalty crowd blew a roll, and then proceeded to flub their intentions, insult their hosts, and so on. With the right group (which I, fortunately, had), it's a lot of laughs. Basically, you're using the roll as a "trigger" to initiate free-form RP, the results of which are constrained by the die roll but rendered plausible by the actual RP vocalization.
Worth a try, and gives the Charisma-dump crowd the chance to enjoy the inevitable hilarity their choices merit.