Hey John, sounds like you're enjoying the game.
No really, glad you've stuck with it long enough to get as far as you already have. To be perfectly honest when Rob first introduced me to the game I wasn't much better than you describe (though after working on it for a year I can now knock out a triple gold on End Credits without breaking a sweat, /brag
If you hadn't seen, Lotharstar posted some good solving strategies in this very forum earlier this month. I've got a few others that people could probably benefit from as well, if I get a chance maybe I'll write some up tomorrow, maybe turn them into a page on the official site. We've tossed around the idea of getting some kind of hints in the game itself as well.