Monday, September 3, 2018

Suite Sixteen announcement + New One contest results

I'm very pleased to announce that Suite Sixteen, a set of 16 themeless puzzles designed to showcase 16-letter entries, is available now! It costs $10 Canadian (a steal for you Americans); head on over here for more details, for a free sample puzzle, and for a link to purchase the suite.

Speaking of Suite Sixteen, it was also the prize for last week's contest puzzle, New One. The contest asked you to identify a burger chain that would have made a good fifth theme entry. So what were the four theme entries in the grid? The most prominent Across answers were SWEATER WEATHER, WAIT WHAT, FEEL FREE, and THOUGHT THROUGH, all of which consist of two words where all but one of the letters are the same, and in the same order. (For example, both words in SWEATER WEATHER consist of the string WEATER plus one more letter.)

The burger chain that fits the pattern is SHAKE SHACK, as 76 solvers correctly sussed out. (A few solvers thought of Steak 'n Shake at first, but that doesn't quite fit the pattern.) The randomly chosen winner, who received a copy of Suite Sixteen, was Ed Brody. Congratulations!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Puzzle #90: New One (contest puzzle)

I return to bring you another contest puzzle (pdf, puz, pdf solution)! The meta answer is a burger chain which would make a good fifth theme answer. Send in your answers to wnediger@umich.edu by Sunday, September 2 at noon Eastern; a randomly chosen correct answer will win a copy of an upcoming suite of themeless puzzles.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Puzzle #89: Guest puzzle by Allegra Kuney

This week's puzzle (pdf, puz, pdf solution) is a fun guest puzzle by Allegra Kuney, who you might remember from this collaboration with Chris Adams, or from her contribution to the 2017 Indie 500. Enjoy the puzzle!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Cntst Pzzl results

Last week's vowelless contest puzzle asked you to identify an author.


The first thing to notice is that six of the entries have enumerations that don't match the actual answer. For example, 1-Across is clued as [Wrote illegibly (5 5)]. The answer is SCRWLD, representing SCRAWLED, so it should be enumerated (8). But the second thing to notice is that, with the given enumerations, each of those entries could also represent the name of an author - in this case, OSCAR WILDE. The authors are as follows:

Oscar Wilde (SCRWLD, scrawled)
Jane Austen (JNSTN, Jan Steen)
Anita Loos (NTLS, entails)
Dante (DNT, donate)
Euripides (RPDS, rapids)
Celeste Ng (CLSTNG, closeting)

The first letters of their last names (or the single names they're commonly known by, in the case of Dante and Euripides), spell out WALDEN, the title of a book by Henry David Thoreau. And Thoreau's last name has the same consonants as author (THR).

26 solvers submitted correct answers, and the randomly chosen winner is Ken Crowell, who receives a copy of Peter Broda's vowelless collection Made Without AEIOU. Congrats, Ken! If you didn't win, you should get yourself a copy of Made Without AEIOU anyway. At a price of "pay what you want," it's a bargain.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Puzzle #88: Cntst Pzzl

For the first time ever, we've got a contest puzzle (pdf, puz, pdf solution) this week (and it's a vowelless, as you might guess from the title). Once you've solved the puzzle, there's a meta; the meta answer is an author. (The PDF solution file includes a list of the full answers for the curious, though of course it doesn't include the meta answer.)

The theme was inspired by Peter Broda's recent collection of vowelless puzzles, Made Without AEIOU. Peter has graciously offered to donate a copy of the collection for the winner. Send your answer to the email address in the right sidebar by Sunday at noon for a chance to win - a randomly chosen correct entry will win. (If you win and you've already bought a copy of Made Without AEIOU, we'll find another prize for you.) Good luck!


Monday, June 25, 2018

Puzzle #87: A Notable Difference

Puzzles two weeks in a row even though I said I'd be switching to an occasional schedule? Yeah, yeah, but current events moved me to post this one (pdf, puz, pdf solution). Content warning: If you're not in the mood to think about particularly upsetting current events right now, you may want to skip this one.