Wordy Wednesday #50 update and a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

WORDY WEDNESDAY #50
PENT WORDS 10 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. **
Edderiofer He *
Giovanni Pagano **
James McGowan **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Tim Harrod **
Sam Levitin **

Wordy Wednesday will resume next month, but first, I have a major announcement. . .

I plan on keeping the Wordy Wednesday series free for the foreseeable future, meaning everybody in the English-speaking world can enjoy a weekly dose of words without paying me a dime. However, if you would like to give me a monthly token of your appreciation, you can get some rewards! Let me explain. . .

While websites such as Kickstarter allow fans to pledge money one time to support one big project, with Patreon, you can pledge ongoing monthly support for someone who creates content on a regular basis. You get to choose how much money to give me every month: $1, $5, $42.01, whatever you think Wordy Wednesday is worth to you. In return, you'll get some nice rewards:

  • For $1 per month, you'll be recognized as a patron on this blog every time you solve a puzzle.
  • For $3 per month, you'll get early access to Wordy Wednesday puzzles.
  • For $5 per month, you'll get one bonus puzzle every month!
  • For $20 per month, you can almost boss me around and suggest words that I should include in future Wordy Wednesday puzzles! (Note: this reward tier is currently limited to two patrons, so hurry while supplies last!)
Your monthly pledge will put a smile on my face, and maybe even encourage me to write extra puzzles! For example, if my patrons pledge a combined $50 per month, I'll post TWO Wordy Wednesday puzzles on the fifth Wednesday of a month which has five Wednesdays! This coming July will be the first such month, FYI.

If you want to support me, or just read more detailed information, CLICK HERE to go to my Patreon page!

I hope to get your support. See you in June for Wordy Wednesday 51!

Wordy Wednesday #49 and #50 update

WORDY WEDNESDAY #49
WORDS WITHOUT FRIENDS (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to the hidden puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here. Here are the grids I received for the Words Without Friends game. Their scores are as follows:
James McGowan 521
Christian H.P. 504 *
Mark Tilford 437 *
Jack Lance 408
Adam Weaver 375 *
Giovanni Pagano [no score] *
Ivan Koswara [no score]
John Bulten [no score] **
Note: Ivan Koswara solved half of the hidden puzzle, but didn't find the instructions on how to extract the final answer. I'm giving him credit for 0-star completion.
Since I got so few solutions, I've decided to forego the random drawing: ALL solvers of the hidden puzzle (Adam Weaver, Christian H.P., Giovanni Pagano, John Bulten, and Mark Tilford) receive a signed copy of the last issue of Will Shortz's Wordplay, and ALL scores of over 350 (James McGowan, Christian H.P., Mark Tilford, Jack Lance, and Adam Weaver) get booby prizes!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #50
PENT WORDS 10 (hint)
10 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

Wordy Wednesday 51 will be posted soon, but at the present moment, I'm setting up. . . something. Expect an official announcement next week! (Those of you who follow me on social media may already know what it is. . . .)

A question about Ripple Effect (AKA Ripple Play)

I don't know if Erich Friedman's Math Magic allows user-submitted problems (otherwise, there might be way more problems than just one per month), but this problem is really nagging at me, having written some Ripple Effect puzzles recently for Grandmaster Puzzles. (Will they be used? Time will tell.)

What's the smallest rectangular Ripple Effect puzzle with a unique solution and no givens such that there's at least one region of size n? Does such a puzzle exist for every n? Here are examples for n=1,2,3,4,5:

Special thanks to Luke Pebody for supplying the solution for n=4, and Bryce Herdt for a solution for n=5 (which was obsoleted by Luke, but nonetheless helpful). What about for n>6?

Puzzle 618: Proof of Quilt 12

I wrote this puzzle last year for Grandmaster Puzzles, but Thomas Snyder doesn't really care for Shakashaka puzzles, so I've decided to finally post it here (just to prove my blog's title hasn't completely decayed). The last time I posted a large puzzle of this type, a reader helpfully provided a URL to play it online, and since I helpfully already had a plaintext version of the puzzle saved, I was able to generate such a URL myself. Play this puzzle on PUZ-PRE here!

A while back, I alluded to some changes in my life. I'm not quite sure what's going to happen; my computer hasn't been moved out yet, and it might end up staying here after all. This might mean more Wordy Wednesdays; I have a puzzle written that I don't think will be suitable for any other outlet (and will probably be Wordy Wednesday 51), and I really don't want to stop on a number like 51 if I can help it!
(click to enlarge)

Wordy Wednesday 50: Pent Words 10

WORDY WEDNESDAY #48
FRAMELINKS 2 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. **
Edderiofer He **
Frances Noga **
Giovanni Pagano **
Izak Bulten *
Jack Lance **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Kou T. *
Lewis Chen **
Mark Tilford **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #49
WORDS WITHOUT FRIENDS
4 people have submitted scores of over 350 points for last week's puzzle. You have one week left to submit your score (or improve your existing one) and be entered to win some Pokémon cards as a booby prize.

Remember where I said that I got out of having to write an actual puzzle? I lied! There's actually a hidden puzzle here! So far, only 1 person has managed to find and solve this hidden puzzle: John Bulten! He will be receiving the actual prize: a signed copy of the final issue of Will Shortz's Wordplay! There will not be an easy version posted of this hidden puzzle; knowing the hidden puzzle exists is your easy version. Send your solutions to the hidden puzzle to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to be eligible to win another prize package!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #49.5
WORDS WITHOUT FRIENDS (OR POINTS)
Whether you enjoyed Words Without Friends or not, I hope you will enjoy this bonus puzzle I crafted. (There's no hidden puzzle here.)

Using the first rack of letters, form an English word and place it reading across (from left to right) or down (from top to bottom) in the grid, with one of the letters covering the shaded cell. On each successive turn, take the next rack of letters, and then play a new word using all of those letters. As in Scrabble, you can play at right angles to a previous word (either incorporating a letter from it or expanding it) or parallel to a previous word, but must adjoin some previous word; adjoining letters must always form words in crossword fashion, and all letters used in a single turn must be part of a single word. When you're finished, all 60 spaces in the grid will be used.

All words in my solution appear in Official Scrabble Players Dictionary Fourth Edition, the newest one I have. Aside from a few two-letter words and a former trademark (which I didn't realize isn't a trademark anymore), all words in my solution should be familiar to the typical English speaker.

WORDY WEDNESDAY #50
PENT WORDS 10
In this puzzle, you must divide the grid into pentominoes (regions containing five cells each), and write a letter in each cell. The rows, reading from left to right, will contain the words hinted at by the ACROSS clues. The letters in the pentominoes, in reading order (left to right starting with the top row), will form the words hinted at by the PENTOMINOES clues; these clues are presented in no particular order. (In the example above, the rows spell PLANT, SHARE, and BITES, and the pentominoes spell the words PLANS, TREES, and HABIT.) Use the ACROSS answers to determine where the pentominoes are.
ACROSS (two answers per row):
1 Gallows ____ / Howard Thurston's area of expertise
2 Printer paper purchase, often / ____ lizard
3 Fairy king in folklore / Use eBay, perhaps
4 Like the god Odin / Not above
5 Student at a military school / New ____, India
6 Drinking implement / Prices
7 Walk with confidence / Dance move
8 Dog voiced by Kevin Bacon / Annie Hall director's surname
9 Controlled, as a horse / Border
10 Time of fasting, for some / Border

PENTOMINOES:
* HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* THE OTHER HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* Beginning
* Move an inch
* A bad way to be buried
* Divine Comedy poet
* Prop for Yo-Yo Ma
* Taxonomic group between class and family
* Make up (for)
* It looks like a duck, but doesn't quack like a duck
* They protect broken bones
* Upright
* Getting older
* It glows in a fire
* Common piece of computer hardware
* Used up
* Flooded
* A Great Lake
* Play for time
* "Carol of the ____"

A Young Mag is Gone

It has come to my attention that Will Shortz's Wordplay, the first puzzle magazine in which I have ever gotten published, is being discontinued due to poor sales. I am ever grateful to Eric Berlin for turning my random conversation with him about my new puzzle type Pent Words into an opportunity to be published, and to Ian Livengood for his helpful correspondence, and I hope that I might get published in another magazine using the knowledge and skills I've gained. In the meanwhile, I have decided to offer a compilation of 14 unpublished Will Shortz's Wordplay submissions:
1 Double Trouble
2 Framelinks puzzles
1 Flower Power
1 Letter Perfect
4 Pathfinders
3 Pent Words
1 Snake Crisscross
1 Something Different
The ZIP file includes all 14 puzzles and their answers, in the formats they were originally submitted (with the exception of the redaction of my mailing address). I release these puzzles under a pay what you want model: if you think they're worth something, send me some money via PayPal at glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com.

So, what of my future? Where will my puzzles appear next? There's Games World of Puzzles, but I could never figure out whether people take that publication seriously or not; it has somewhat a reputation for errata and reprinting puzzles, and the newest incarnation doesn't seem to offer the "Laundry" and "Eureka" sections where readers report broken puzzles. Oddly enough, despite being a bit of a gamer, I don't want games and puzzles in the same magazine if I can help it; I'd rather get my games from BoardGameGeek and my puzzles from a magazine filled to the brim with wordplay and logic goodness. At least Games finally figured out that you shouldn't have your answers section in the middle of the magazine, especially when the last page of it faces the first page of some article someone might want to read. They have some writers' guidelines, but given how the rest of the site looks, I cannot be guaranteed that it's up to date (does Games World of Puzzles have fake ads anymore?). Plus, many years ago, I submitted a Masyu without even the courtesy of a rejection letter, which is very discouraging, and I don't yet have the hubris to expect a response if I submit something again.

I've always liked the idea of writing a Sit & Solve book for Pent Words, but I'm not sure whether Puzzlewright Press is reachable, given that a colleague with much higher standing than me pitched a Sit & Solve book without getting a response for over a year, and that their Twitter account has been very stale. I might have a better chance of getting a book of my puzzles published via the Kickstarter route that David Millar took for his Paranormal Puzzle Pack.

Until I find another publication venue, here's to hoping that Thomas Snyder gets adjusted soon, so my logic puzzles can once again be enjoyed by the world.

Wordy Wednesday 49: Words Without Friends

WORDY WEDNESDAY #46
TABLETOP MATH (answer)
It's been three weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the puzzle, or here for hints. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bryce Herdt **
Edderiofer He *
Jack Lance **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Lewis Chen **
Mark Tilford **
Ryan Faley *
Walker Anderson **
And the third contest winner is Ryan Faley! Congratulations!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #47
BIG HELTER SKELTER (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green **
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. **
Edderiofer He **
Giovanni Pagano **
Izak & Penni Bulten **
Jack Lance **
James McGowan **
John Bulten *
Lewis Chen **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #48
FRAMELINKS 2 (hint)
14 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #49
WORDS WITHOUT FRIENDS
This game of word solitaire is inspired by Solicross, and allows me to get out of writing an actual puzzle! Yay!

You have 16 turns to score as many points as possible by building words on the grid. Start by taking the first 7 letters from the LETTER LIST. Form an English word using two or more letters, and place it reading across (from left to right) or down (from top to bottom) in the grid, with one of the letters covering the shaded cell. On each successive turn, cross out the letters you used and replace them with the next letters from the LETTER LIST, and then play a new word using some or all of those letters. As in Scrabble, you can play at right angles to a previous word (either incorporating a letter from it or expanding it) or parallel to a previous word, but must adjoin some previous word; adjoining letters must always form words in crossword fashion, and all letters used in a single turn must be part of a single word.

Every turn, you score for the words you made on that turn. The score for a word is the sum of all the numbers it covers (whether those letters were played on that turn or not); multiple words formed in a single turn are added up together (with shared letters counting twice). If you use all 64 letters within 16 turns, give yourself 50 extra points.

All words will be checked against the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary Fourth Edition, the newest one I have. (Take note: this is the bowdlerized edition!) Nine-letter words will be checked against m-w.com; proper names, abbreviations, and the like are forbidden.

All solvers who score at least 350 points will be entered to win a silly booby prize. (We're probably talking Pokémon cards here.) All solvers who score at least the median number of points will be entered into a second booby prize drawing. Send your finished game (with a score of at least 350 points; a picture of the finished grid and a list of words formed each turn should suffice) to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. You may submit multiple times during the next two weeks; only your highest score will be counted. Have fun!


Wordy Wednesday 48: Framelinks 2

WORDY WEDNESDAY #46
TABLETOP MATH (hints)
It's been two weeks, and the number of solvers for this puzzle has increased to 8. The second contest winner, chosen randomly from among these solvers, is: Lewis Chen! Congratulations! As promised, here are some hints for this very difficult puzzle, including a word search with all of the game names in it. Solve within the next week to be entered to win signed copies of the Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 issues of Will Shortz's Wordplay!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #47
BIG HELTER SKELTER (easier)
15 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #48
FRAMELINKS 2
Fill in the empty squares in the diagram with the given letters to form common words. Arrange the letters in the 8 shaded squares to form the final answer word.

AAAA B DD EEEEEE GGG HHH IIIIIIII LL M NNNN OOOO PP RRRRRRR SSSS TTTTTTTT WW YYY

Grant's Review Corner: Volume 12

In this episode of Grant's Review Corner, I review the entire freemium model of gaming. Okay, so this is more of a rant than a review, but my feelings have been fermenting in my mind for quite a while, and in the wake of Nintendo offering not one, but two freemium Pokémon games (a move which is making a boycott seem severely tempting right about now), I feel the need to pitch in my two cents on this genre (as opposed to my 99 cents).

The freemium business model sounds good on the surface: you get to play a game for free, and only pay money if you want to. It's akin to the shareware model in that way, where you play a demo of a game, and then you can pay for the full game. Everett Kaser Software has run on the shareware model since the 1990's, and as I've let on before, I derive enjoyment from his games, somehow. What's good in theory, though, isn't always good in practice, and the freemium model is no exception. I hold the freemium business model in about as much esteem as Richard Dawkins holds religion, or David Morgan-Mar holds Monopoly.

Wordy Wednesday 47: Big Helter Skelter

WORDY WEDNESDAY #45
PENT WORDS 9 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green *
Bryce Herdt **
Edderiofer He **
Gavriel Hirsch *
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
M. Sean Molley **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **
Walker Anderson *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #46
TABLETOP MATH
A shockingly low 5 people have solved last week's puzzle. As mentioned before, this puzzle is a contest; the first contest winner, chosen randomly from the first week's solvers, is: Adam Weaver! As promised, there will not be an easy version of the puzzle this week. However, note that I only promised not to post any hints after one week; I said nothing about two weeks. Yes, this puzzle contest will run for a third week! I didn't exactly plan on this, but I want to see more people solve this puzzle. Enter to win signed copies of the Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 issues of Will Shortz's Wordplay!

IZAK BULTEN HAS A BLOG NOW!
My blog's youngest reader would like to direct you towards his new blog, where he may also be the youngest word search constructor on the Internet. Maybe he should submit that record to RecordSetter. . . . :)

WORDY WEDNESDAY #47
BIG HELTER SKELTER
My tribute to Brendan Emmett Quigley's Helter Skelter puzzles in Will Shortz's Wordplay. Every answer starts at the indicated number, and then moves in the direction of the next number (but may or may not stop there). The direction of the last answer is to be determined by the solver. Rearrange the letters in the shaded spaces to get the final answer word.
[Editorial note: I recently learned that BEQ had a Marching Bands Kickstarter that I didn't notice because I don't follow his blog all that much. (I guess a super-difficult themeless crossword puzzle every week isn't my thing.) I'd consider backing a Helter Skelter Kickstarter, especially if the puzzles were bigger than 8x8 (or a single puzzle that's the world's largest Helter Skelter). I want to see what BEQ could do with longer entries! I mean, sure, there are lots of unches, but there are also lots of over-checked letters and interesting overlaps.]

1. Former Disney CEO Michael
2. ____ of passage
3. Language of Bangkok
4. Character who sings, “What's going on?”: hyph.
5. Spar on a ship
6. Sulu portrayer
7. Lends a hand
8. Drill ____
9. Exit
10. The Hills Have ____ (Wes Craven film)
11. “Nobody doesn't like” this dessert brand: 2 wds.
12. Islamic ruler
13. Give a new moniker to
14. Stat: abbr.
15. Billy Joel song which opens, “You have to learn to pace yourself”
16. Snake
17. Ripped
18. California ____ (claymation singers in 80's ads)
19. See clue 20
20. Word 19 and Roy, for example
21. The Road to Wigan Pier author George
22. Erroneous
23. Game played with a strum bar and fret buttons: 2 wds.
24. Three-line verse of Japanese origin
25. Sword of Japanese origin
26. Consumed
27. Notorious 50's quiz show: 2 wds.
28. Family surname in Beethoven
29. Hardships
30. Sullies
31. Quarterback ____
32. Happen consequently
33. Will Shortz, to Will Shortz's Wordplay
34. Set up, as a new computer program
35. Life and ____
36. First song sung in Beauty and the Beast
37. Fantastic score for Nicklaus
38. Real ____
39. El primer mes del año
40. Extend a magazine subscription
41. Dihydrogen monoxide, to a German
42. Impatient
43. ____ toast
44. ____ Wednesday (if you think the answer is WORDY, you overestimate the author's vanity)
45. There are none of these on a bald head
46. Jamaican music genre
47. Tab, for example
48. Tropical tuber
49. Breaking Bad substance

Wordy Wednesday 46: Tabletop Math

WORDY WEDNESDAY #44
BONZA 4 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bryce Herdt *
Edderiofer He *
Gavriel Hirsch *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide *
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin *
Tim Harrod **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #45
PENT WORDS 5 (hint)
A number of people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

REDHEAD64'S OBSCURE PUZZLE BLOG!
As my hiatus from Wordy Wednesday draws near, it is becoming increasingly important to notify my readers that there are other sources of puzzles on the Internet, so they won't suffer as much withdrawal. Ryan Faley's latest puzzle is part of a Tetris-themed month, and includes a prize giveaway, as well, so head on over if you're up on your video games (or are willing to use search engines). :)

WORDY WEDNESDAY #46
TABLETOP MATH
(no PDF this week)
This week's puzzle is a contest! The winners of this contest will each receive signed copies of the Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 issues of Will Shortz's Wordplay, in which I had the honor of being published. Unlike previous Wordy Wednesday offerings, there will not be a hint or an easy version of this puzzle next week; all solvers within the next two weeks will get two stars by their name on the solvers list. There will be two winners; one will be randomly selected from the first week's solvers, and the second one will be randomly selected from all the other solvers from the first two weeks combined. Thus, solving during the first week will give you two chances to win, and solving during the second week will give you one chance to win.

On International Table Top Day (April 11, 2015), customers at the local game store divide into groups and talk in code. . . or at least, that's my interpretation of what's going on. Why couldn't it be something I'd understand, like International Math Day? (Answer is a board game, but not one of the 40 games depicted in the collage below. Click here for the full collage, since Blogger thinks it's prudent to shrink my 4458x2542 pixel PNG's which I worked so hard on making.)

Changing life circumstances.

While I shan't go into the specifics of what's happening in my life, there will be a lot of changes around here. My Internet access will become much more limited; I'll be able to access e-mail from my phone (so keep sending me your puzzle solutions), but I will try to use whatever time I get on my computer and on the Internet more professionally (meaning getting logic puzzles ready for submission to Grandmaster Puzzles; with limited computer access, it's far easier to write a ton of logic puzzles on paper than to write word puzzles without access to Nutrimatic, OneLook, and QXW). Thus, this blog will be a lot less active. I plan on cutting off the Wordy Wednesday series at installment 50 (which will obviously be a Pent Words and be posted on May 6). I will try to give some awesome things away in the meanwhile, so stay tuned as I give this series the send-off I believe it deserves.

Some of you may be watchers of my weekly Can't Stop tournament streams on Twitch. These will come to a complete halt for the time being. I hope that some of my regular watchers and co-commentators (such as Pepster) might be able to keep the tradition up so all the Can't Stop fans can get their weekly dose of commentary. Open Broadcaster Software is completely free and very usable, so I recommend downloading that. This was easily one of the highlights of my week, and I'll miss it. (The upside of this is that I'll have more time for the biweekly game nights at PrimeTime; maybe some interaction with 3-D people will do my soul some good.)

I give my gratitude to Joseph "/dev/joe" DeVincentis for his amazing test-solving contributions, as well as to Craig "Gabby" Kasper for being an amazing brother in Christ and not merely a genius with puzzles. But most of all, I thank my mother for believing in me all of these years; I have often felt that, as someone with Asperger's, I would be best off humanely euthanized (and certain entities on the Internet haven't helped), but my mother clearly thinks differently, and perhaps none of my puzzles would exist without her.

Wordy Wednesday 45: Pent Words 9

WORDY WEDNESDAY #43
BONZA 3 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bryce Herdt *
Christian H.P. *
Giovanni Pagano *
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
Jack Lance **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide *
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin *
Tim Harrod **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #44
BONZA 4 (hint)
7 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. (This easier version is even easier than last week's easier version, because these are hard, apparently!) Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #45
PENT WORDS 9

In this puzzle, you must divide the grid into pentominoes (regions containing five cells each), and write a letter in each cell. The rows, reading from left to right, will contain the words hinted at by the ACROSS clues. The letters in the pentominoes, in reading order (left to right starting with the top row), will form the words hinted at by the PENTOMINOES clues; these clues are presented in no particular order. (In the example above, the rows spell PLANT, SHARE, and BITES, and the pentominoes spell the words PLANS, TREES, and HABIT.) Use the ACROSS answers to determine where the pentominoes are.
ACROSS (two answers per row):
1 The Happy Prince and Other Tales author / Word in the title of a Bee Gees hit
2 Notable Jeopardy! contestant / Divided
3 Game associated with the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki" / Jekyll's sociopathic alternate personality
4 ____ pack (Ghostbusters gadget) / Surrounded by
5 "No Dogs ____!" (song from Snoopy, Come Home) / ____ Lanka
6 Leave the workforce, perhaps / Covered with greenery
7 Leonidas, for one / Coming-out party honoree
8 Tribute / You put your tires on these
9 Baby who's only a few weeks old / Word following "Bronze" or "New"
10 Sleeveless garment / Biblical figure with a riddle

PENTOMINOES:
* HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* THE OTHER HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* Papal crown
* Buddy of The Beverly Hillbillies
* Below
* Distributed cards
* ____ 2 (cult classic horror flick set in Nilbog)
* Put a stop to
* Bulbous vegetable
* Relocates
* "Smoke on the ____" (Deep Purple song)
* Droops, as a dying flower
* Small flies that bite
* "When ____ Eyes Are Smiling"
* ____ Booth (2002 movie)
* The Mets and the Nets, for two
* Trims the ends off of, as an apple
* Hoaxes
* Greek letter shaped like a triangle
* Adult insect

Wordy Wednesday 44: Bonza 4

WORDY WEDNESDAY #42
DIVIDED INTO 64 SQUARES 3 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green *
Brian Michalowski **
Bryce Herdt *
Cheryl Chan **
Christian H.P. **
Edderiofer He **
Gavriel Hirsch *
Giovanni Pagano **
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Lewis Chen **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **
Walker Anderson **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #43
BONZA 3 (hint)
8 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

RYAN FALEY'S OBSCURE PUZZLE BLOG!
I don't want to get in the habit of distracting you with random irrelevant links, but Ryan Faley's most recent puzzle is an impressive crossword construction titled "Block Letters". I hereby order you to check it out and solve it. Go. Now.

I'M A WORLD RECORD HOLDER!
I don't want to get in the habit of distracting you with random irrelevant links, but I have recently placed membership on the RecordSetter website where people submit their own world records (despite the paradoxical reasoning which renders the website completely pointless). I took it upon myself to break the world record for the fastest Othello game, and I now officially hold that record! Expect me to make and break more board game-related records soon. Special thanks to Jeffrey Kight for being a fun presence at the biweekly board game gatherings at PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center (yay, something exciting in Abilene!) and giving me the Othello game for use in this record attempt, and to Erich Friedman for encouraging us mathematically-minded folks to optimize board games. My next goal is to beat the checkers world record of 46.50 seconds; care to beat me to it?

WORDY WEDNESDAY #44
BONZA 4
(click here for a PDF version)
Inspired by the smartphone app Bonza, which includes my puzzles. Assemble the pieces above to form a crossword with 17 words. Send in the missing 12-letter word as your final answer.

Wordy Wednesday 43: Bonza 3

WORDY WEDNESDAY #41
SECTION SIX 4 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green **
Brian Michalowski **
Bryce Herdt **
Cheryl Chan *
Christian H.P. *
Edderiofer He **
Gavriel Hirsch **
Giovanni Pagano **
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Lewis Chen **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **
Walker Anderson **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #42
DIVIDED INTO 64 SQUARES 3 (hint)
16 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

RYAN FALEY'S OBSCURE PUZZLE BLOG!
The last time I promoted my fan Ryan Faley's site, he only had one puzzle. Now he has 15, and he's still going strong, with some well-crafted and highly pop-culture-y puzzles for those of you who might be getting bored of my creations. Some of you might remember my puzzle Charadagrams; Ryan Faley has managed to find 13 other Charadagram bases (including yet another two-words-into-one 12-letter answer for his final answer). He's also posted another Pent Words, because I created that, and I have to make myself feel important when other people use my ideas. Give Ryan's blog a visit, and maybe say hello to him! :)

WORDY WEDNESDAY #43
BONZA 3
Inspired by the smartphone app Bonza, which includes my puzzles. Assemble the pieces above to form a crossword with 10 related entries (lengths 2 7, 3 6, 3 8, 4 4, 4 5, 4 8, 5 3, 5 5, 5 5 3, 6 5). Send in the missing 11th entry as your final answer. (I'll accept either of two possible answers.)

Wordy Wednesday 42: Divided Into 64 Squares 3

WORDY WEDNESDAY #40
PENT WORDS 8 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green **
Bryce Herdt **
Cheryl Chan **
Christian H.P. **
Edderiofer He **
Gavriel Hirsch **
Giovanni Pagano **
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan *
John Bulten *
Lewis Chen **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **
Walker Anderson *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #41
SECTION SIX 4 (hint)
17 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #42
DIVIDED INTO 64 SQUARES 3
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: THIS CHESS PIECE IS NOT SHAPED LIKE A HORSE'S HEAD, AND IT IS THEREFORE NOT A KNIGHT.

__ __ __ __    __ __ __    __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __ __ __ __   __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __   

__ __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __    __ __    __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ __    __ __    __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __.

What the third little pig's house was made from: e3 h4 c5 d8 c6 b4
Deceitful and untruthful: c2 f5 f2 b6 h7 g8 b5 b7 a4
Larcenous character in old McDonald's commercials: f6 b8 c3 e6 h3 d3 e1 h8 a3 e7
State to Minnesota's immediate south: b1 c7 f8 b2
One competing on Wizard Wars, say: a8 f3 h5 g1 d5 c4 d1 a1
A toddler's age might be measured in these: a2 e8 h6 e5 e4 d2
Convent: c1 g4 f7 h2 g2 c8 a7
Ball-____ hammer: g5 d4 g7 f1
In the near future: f4 d6 g6 h1
Like the feet of an otter or a duck: a5 e2 d7 a6 b3 g3

Wordy Wednesday 41: Section Six 4

WORDY WEDNESDAY #39
DIVIDED INTO 64 SQUARES 2 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green *
Bryce Herdt **
Cheryl Chan *
Christian H.P. **
Gavriel Hirsch *
Giovanni Pagano **
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley *
Sam Levitin **
Walker Anderson *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #40
PENT WORDS 8 (hint)
14 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #41
SECTION SIX 4
This puzzle's grid has six rings and six sections. Each ring contains a series of words placed end to end, reading either clockwise or counterclockwise; all the words in a given ring will read in the same direction. Ring 1 (the outer ring) contains six answers that read clockwise; the starting spaces are numbered in the grid. Clues for the answers in the remaining rings are given in order, but their starting points and direction are for you to determine. The sections (separated by the heavy lines radiating from the center) will help you place the inner rings: in a given section, each ring segment contains all but one of the letters in the next segment outward. In other words, a section's outermost segment contains six letters; the next segment inward contains five of those six letters in some order; and so on, until only one of the original six letters remains.

Arrange the letters in the six starred spaces to form the final answer.
Ring 1
1 Rubber item on a car wheel, to a Brit
2 Country bordering Argentina and Chile
3 Clip wool from
4 Responsibility
5 Chessman restricted to squares of one color
6 Wrote, as a book

Ring 2
* Ground, for example
* You might use these to listen to your iPod
* More massive
* Pirate's treasure
* Card numbered XIII in a tarot deck



Ring 3
* Their home games are in Turner Field
* Large cut of steak: 2 wds.
* They might be accompanied by tails: 2 wds.
* Worshiper of Krishna, perhaps

Ring 4
* Harshness
* Allen of furniture
* Bush

Ring 5
* A Canadian rock band. . .
* . . . and their song about a feud between
   maples and oaks: 2 wds.

Ring 6
* They show you to your seat

Wordy Wednesday 40: Pent Words 8

WORDY WEDNESDAY #38
CHESS WORDS (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Brian Michalowski **
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. *
Edderiofer He *
Giovanni Pagano *
Izak Bulten **
Jack Bross **
Jack Lance **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Lewis Chen **
M. Sean Molley **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin
Tim Harrod **
Walker Anderson *
Note: Sam Levitin apparently solved this puzzle the day it was posted, but sent it to the wrong person, forwarding it to me 43 minutes after this post went up. I've decided to award Sam with 0-star completion of the puzzle as a result, recognizing that he probably solved the puzzle before the solution went up, but I can't prove it with 100% certainty,

WORDY WEDNESDAY #39
DIVIDED INTO 64 SQUARES 2 (hint)
10 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #40
PENT WORDS 8
In this puzzle, you must divide the grid into pentominoes (regions containing five cells each), and write a letter in each cell. The rows, reading from left to right, will contain the words hinted at by the ACROSS clues. The letters in the pentominoes, in reading order (left to right starting with the top row), will form the words hinted at by the PENTOMINOES clues; these clues are presented in no particular order. (In the example above, the rows spell PLANT, SHARE, and BITES, and the pentominoes spell the words PLANS, TREES, and HABIT.) Use the ACROSS answers to determine where the pentominoes are.
ACROSS (two answers per row):
1 Card game in which 2's and Jokers are wild / Corn on the ____
2 Big name in aircraft / Give a score from one to five stars, say
3 Coyote ____ (2000 film) / King's ____ (large amount of money)
4 2002 role for Sarah Michelle Gellar / Captain of the Pequod
5 Patch of grass on a golf course / Structure built out of snow, perhaps
6 Org. founded by George Williams in 1844 / Stuff in a sewing machine
7 Actress Hunt / Completely wreck
8 Bookie's numbers / Bothering
9 Sucks the life out of / Stupid, clumsy person
10 Stringed instrument of ancient Greece / He lets you know when you're safe

PENTOMINOES:
* HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* THE OTHER HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* ____ change (small amount of money)
* Actor Sean of The Goonies
* Number of corners on a cube
* Typographical symbol
* Hearts ____ (90's CBS sitcom)
* GSN game show where contestants guessed five-letter words
* Item in a squirrel's stash
* John who's the second half of a musical duo
* Long, narrow boat
* Used crosshairs
* John of tractor fame
* ____ hold 'em (poker variant with four-card hands)
* Outspoken
* It may be imperfect
* Fulfill, as a wish
* You might donate it to a bank
* Lasso
* ____ Motel (A&E drama series)

Wordy Wednesday 39: Divided Into 64 Squares 2

WORDY WEDNESDAY #37
ANAGRAMMING AND ADDING 2 (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bo Green *
Brian Michalowski **
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. **
Giovanni Pagano **
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Lewis Chen **
M. Sean Molley **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Randy Rogers **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **
Walker Anderson **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #38
CHESS WORDS (hint)
14 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #39
DIVIDED INTO 64 SQUARES 2
__ __    __ __ __    __ __    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __    __ __    __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __    __ __
__ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __    __ __    __ __ __    __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __?

Clumsy: g6 c7 g2 b5 b6 c6 h3
Sex symbol: e4 d4 g3 e1 g7 b7 d3 d1 c1
They're unlocked by cops: e5 a1 c3 f6 d7 h5 a6 f5 e7
Japanese grill: e8 f1 f2 f3 e3 a8 c8
Musée du ____ (French tourist attraction): a7 a3 h1 e6 g5 h4
Having no variation in pitch: h2 g4 b3 b8 a2 f8 c2 h7
Arboreal vantage point: h8 b4 d8 b1 a5 d5 g8
____ Grit (1969 Western): a4 f4 f7 c5
Oppressive rule: c4 d6 h6 b2 g1 d2 e2

Wordy Wednesday 38: Chess Words

WORDY WEDNESDAY #36
CHARADAGRAMS (answer)
It's been two weeks, so time to unveil the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Adam Weaver **
Bryce Herdt **
Cheryl Chan **
Christian H.P. **
Giovanni Pagano *
Izak Bulten *
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
John Bulten **
Lewis Chen **
M. Sean Molley **
Mark Tilford **
Peter Abide **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tim Harrod **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #37
ANAGRAMMING AND ADDING 2 (hint)
17 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #38
CHESS WORDS
Eight 8-letter words are scrambled on the chessboard. Each chess piece starts on the first letter of one of the words, and can be moved across the board via standard chess moves to spell the rest of the word. Every square is used exactly once. The chess pieces move as follows:
King: one space in any of the eight directions
Rook: any number of spaces in a horizontal or vertical direction
Bishop: any number of spaces in a diagonal direction
Queen: any number of spaces in any of the eight directions
Knight: two spaces in a horizontal or vertical direction and then one space in a perpendicular direction
Arrange the letters in the 8 starred blanks to form the final answer word.
         Queen: K  __ __ __ __ __ __ __          King: M  __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                d1             **                      e1                **  
Queen's Bishop: U  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ King's Bishop: B  __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                c1             **                      f1                **  
Queen's Knight: Q  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ King's Knight: T  __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                b1             **                      g1             **     
  Queen's Rook: S  __ __ __ __ __ __ __   King's Rook: R  __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                a1                **                   h1       **           

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