Wordy Wednesday 9: Double Features

WORDY WEDNESDAY #7
PATHFINDER (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:
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. **
David Millar **
Giovanni Pagano **
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
Jeremy Conner **
Mark Navarrete *
Mark Tilford **
Randy Rogers **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #8
A NEW TYPE OF CROSSWORD (hint)
A number of people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Logic puzzle fans might appreciate what I've done to make this easy version easier than the previous 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!

By the way, the Bonza app has been updated today. Download it for free before the month ends, and then check out my puzzles that appear as unlockable content therein! Support puzzle writers like me!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #9
DOUBLE FEATURES
At the Puzzlania Movie Theater, you have to figure out what movies are playing by filling in the marquees. The titles of 6 movies will read across, and different words will read down. The letters in the shaded cells will anagram to this puzzle's final answer, a 6-letter word.

Wordy Wednesday 8: A New Type of Crossword

WORDY WEDNESDAY #6
CRAZY WORD GAMES (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:
Bryce Herdt **
Christian H.P. *
Eric Prestemon **
Giovanni Pagano **
Jack Bross **
James McGowan **
Jason Boomer **
Jeremy Conner **
Kou O. **
Mark Tilford **
Randy Rogers **

And the winner of the contest is. . . James McGowan! You win!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #7
PATHFINDER (hint)
9 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. This one gives the direction from the first to the second letter of each answer (like a normal Pathfinder). 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 #8
A NEW TYPE OF CROSSWORD

(click here for a PDF version)


Inspired by the smartphone app Bonza, in which my puzzles will be appearing soon (July 23; the app will be free from then until July 31, so please check it out!). Assemble the pieces above to form a crossword with 17 related words (lengths 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8). The answer to this puzzle is the word that could be added.

Wordy Wednesday 7: Pathfinder

WORDY WEDNESDAY #5
PENT 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:
Eric Prestemon **
Giovanni Pagano **
James McGowan *
Jeremy Conner *
Mark Tilford **
Randy Rogers *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #6
CRAZY WORD GAMES (hint)
10 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Remember, it's a contest! 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, not to mention getting a chance to win a signed issue of Will Shortz's Wordplay. Good luck, solvers!


WORDY WEDNESDAY #7
PATHFINDER
(click here for a PDF version)
In this puzzle, each answer starts in the correspondingly numbered square, goes in some direction, and makes one or more right-angled turns as it winds through the grid. When you have finished, every white square will be used in exactly two entries.

Rearrange the letters in the shaded spaces to get a pair of related words that are the final answer.

1 They were Spain's former currency (7)
2 Can ____ (kitchen device) (6)
3 ____ Convention (5)
3 Real Time with ____ (4 5)
4 Secluded valley (4)
5 Part of a calyx (5)
6 Bicycle user, perhaps (7)
7 Need for a certain funeral rite (4)
8 Emulated Michael Phelps (4)
8 ____ the beans (5)
9 Spoonful of sour cream, for example (6)
9 One of her songs was covered by Whitney Houston (5 6)
10 Where Japanese fish might be displayed (3 4)
11 Harmless fib (5 3)
12 The moon, for example (9)
13 Sorrow (9)
14 End of a famous palindrome (6)
15 Made a forced bet (5)
16 Angry speech (4)
17 Major ____ (14-semitone interval) (5)
18 Vivian's "I Love Lucy" role (5)
19 Long-running racing game franchise (5 4)
20 Quarterback Kaepernick (5)
20 Place where a fan might be seen (7)
21 The Treasure State's capital (6)
22 Sleeps briefly (7)
23 Charlie of “Two and a Half Men” (5)
24 Scaly mammal (8)

Wordy Wednesday 6: Crazy Word Games

WORDY WEDNESDAY #4
DIAGRAMLESS 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:
Eric Prestemon *
Giovanni Pagano **
Jack Lance **
James McGowan **
Mark Tilford **
Randy Rogers **
Scott Handelman **
Walker Anderson *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #5
PENT WORDS (hint)
3 people have solved last week's puzzle so far. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version that does half of the work for you by dividing the grid into pentominoes. All you have to do is write the letters in! 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 #6
CRAZY WORD GAMES
(click here for a PDF version)
This puzzle is a contest! The winner of this contest will receive a signed copy of Will Shortz's Wordplay, a magazine in which I had the honor of being published, and a volume of Word Games Puzzles (I ordered a 12-volume value pack, and this one happened to be a duplicate of what I already owned). Just like the last contest, the winner will be determined by random draw; solve the puzzle correctly within the next week to get two entries, and within the week after that (when an easier version will be posted) to get one entry.

WORLD CAPITALS
1. ____ artichoke: K3 C5 Q3 R1 P5 O2 L4 O1 M3
2. Birthplace of Pope Francis: R2 R1 N3 R3 B1 X2 V1 J1 W4 M4 X3
3. ____ sprout: O4 N1 V4 T3 H5 F3 K4 G2
4. Mentioned in “Marines' Hymn”: Q4 A2 J1 I4 I5 A1 C3

CHANGE-A-LETTER MOVIES
1. Macaulay Culkin copies himself: R4 X1 T2 R5 M1 D4 B1 L1 D1
2. Audrey Hepburn works at a salon: P2 S2 L5 N5 B4 S1 A1 H3 F2 P4
3. Michael J. Fox sews up a wound: O4 G1 E1 V2 J2 X1 W3 L5 S3 H4 R1 A4 V4 S5 Q2
4. Russell Crowe digs for gold: V1 O4 W2 D2 V4 D5 U2 J5 R1 B5 M3 H2 B2 F5

BY THE NUMBERS
1. Price of a shave and a haircut: U3 Q5 U4 O4 V3 I1 U1
2. Reginald Rose courtroom drama: Q1 Q5 E4 K4 C1 D1 L3 L1 N2 N1 P4 T2 F3 B2
3. Nursery rhyme rodents: K5 A5 F1 S4 J4 R2 B3 C3 I3 W1 M3 U2 C2 M5
4. Everything: X4 K2 A3 Q5 A5 B1 B3 P3 O5 F4 I2 T1 S2 G1 F1 W1 M2

FIVE+FOUR=ONE
1. SMIRK+GOAL: E3 H2 B5 I5 N2 G5 K1 T2 T3
2. ARBOR+TADS: T5 C4 P1 E2 R2 U4 L3 G3 J3
3. DEANS+TONS: U1 H3 I2 N4 O3 E5 B1 R3 A3
4. SNIFF+PROG: X1 H1 T4 G4 I4 Q3 L2 D3 N2

Wordy Wednesday 5: Pent Words

WORDY WEDNESDAY #3
ADDING AND ANAGRAMMING (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:
Giovanni Pagano *
Jack Lance **
James McGowan *
Mark Tilford **
Randy Rogers **
Scott Handelman *
WORDY WEDNESDAY #4
DIAGRAMLESS HELTER SKELTER (hint)
6 people (interestingly, the same 6 listed above) have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version (and by easier, I mean much easier). 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 #5
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  Play a guitar, for example / Out
2  28th President of the United States / "How Great ____ Art"
3  Japanese board game / Gorge
4  Option / Toward shelter
5  Angry / Colorado, for example
6  Vanna White, to Pat Sajak / Lead
7  Kettle output / Cotton ____
8  Wanness / Greek God of war
9  Obscure / Color
10 Beginner / Nearsighted

PENTOMINOES:
* HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* THE OTHER HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* Myrrh, for example
* Pink Floyd hit that is mostly in 7/4 meter
* Holiday greeting adjective
* "Nothing but net" basketball shot
* 200 milligrams
* Jonathan Arthur DeBarge's nickname
* Fuzzy ____
* Valuable thing
* Rebound
* Donald who feuded with O'Donnell
* "____ by Me"
* ____ screwdriver (Doctor Who gadget)
* Speak
* Subject
* Old Testament prophet
* "Magic Man" band
* "Still ____" (Portal ending song)
* Bide for time

Wordy Wednesday 4: Diagramless Helter Skelter

WORDY WEDNESDAY #2
SUMMING AND SCRAMBLING (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. Congratulations to all 5 people on the solvers list:
Giovanni Pagano **
Jack Lance **
Mark Tilford **
Randy Rogers *
Term Ital **
WORDY WEDNESDAY #3
ADDING AND ANAGRAMMING (hint)
3 people have solved last week's puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version that changes some clues. 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. Your solutions are what make Wordy Wednesday truly rewarding. Good luck, solvers!
WORDY WEDNESDAY #4
DIAGRAMLESS HELTER SKELTER
(click here for a PDF version)
My tribute to Brendan Emmett Quigley's Helter Skelter puzzles in Will Shortz's Wordplay. Every answer reads in one of eight directions, starting with one of the letters (besides the first) of the previous answer. Normally, there are numbers in the grid indicating where each answer starts, such as in THIS EXAMPLE, but I was too lazy to put them in.

Rearrange the letters in the shaded spaces to get a pair of related words that are the final answer.
1. Like a vixen
2. Game 5 of Action 52 which, due to a bug, could not be beaten for a $104,000 prize
3. “Duke of ____” (Gene Chandler classic)
4. Secure
5. Used crayons, perhaps
6. This answer isn't horizontal or vertical, but ____
7. ____ of Legends (MMO by Riot Games)
8. A Monopoly board corner: 3 wds.
9. He dreamt about a ladder
10. Cordon ____
11. Microsoft product
12. Espresso/milk mixture
13. Mexican items that may be soft or hard
14. This answer runs from west to east on the ____ edge
15. Revert an action
16. Gets behind the wheel of
17. Muffler
18. Enough to pack a vehicle with
19. Exercise
20. m in y=mx+b
21. John Deacon or Roger Taylor, as Queen's logo indicates
22. “I goofed”
23. Rather Dashing is one

Wordy Wednesday 3: Adding and Anagramming

WORDY WEDNESDAY #1
CROSSWORD OF INTEGERS (answer)
It has been two weeks since Wordy Wednesday debuted on this blog, so now it is time to reveal the winner of the contest. First, here's the answer to the puzzle. If you want to try to solve it yourself, click this link instead to view the original version of the puzzle, or this link for the version with two letters placed at the start. And now, a list of all the people who solved this puzzle:
Andrew Brecher *
Blaine & Felicia **
Brian **
Bryce Herdt **
Fred Coughlin **
Jack Bross **
Jack Lance **
Jeffrey Harris **
Mark Tilford **
Michael Sylvia **
Randy Rogers *
Tawan Sunathvanichkul *
Term Ital *

And the winner, selected via random.org, is: Term Ital! Congratulations! You will receive a signed copy of Will Shortz's Wordplay from me.
Since I still have other copies of this issue on my person, I hope to have another contest in the near future. For now, though, I've decided not to have a contest, so as to increase people's incentive to actually share the puzzle. Please share this week's puzzle and help me develop a reputation as someone who can do things with words!
WORDY WEDNESDAY #2
SUMMING AND SCRAMBLING (hint)
4 people have solved last week's puzzle. I was hoping for more. Haven't solved it yet? Here's a slightly easier version that changes some clues. 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 #3
ADDING AND ANAGRAMMING
(click here for a PDF version)
Use your anagramming abilities to determine which of the words clued below corresponds to which words in the grid above. As a hint, the clue numbers corresponding to those words sum to 65 in each row and each column. Ultimately, identify the title of the game which is being hinted at by the hidden 25-letter message.
1. Verse
2. Extreme
3. Run after
4. Rodent with valuable fur
5. Strata
6. What you might be after a hard workout
7. Loathing
8. Expensive
9. Adam and Jamie's dummy
10. Respond to
11. Whose Line is it Anyway? cast member
12. Common category on Wheel of Fortune
13. Did something asinine
14. Apparatus with beads
15. Hunger ____
16. Some horses
17. Legendary fire-breather
18. Makes coffee, perhaps
19. A Muppet
20. Car radio feature
21. Down alternative
22. Spotless
23. A character on the TV show The Addams Family
24. Like a catcher's hand
25. Start again, as a computer

Wordy Wednesday 2: Summing and Scrambling

WORDY WEDNESDAY #1
CROSSWORD OF INTEGERS (hint)
I've already received 9 answers to the first installment. There is still time to solve the puzzle and be entered in the drawing to win a signed copy of Will Shortz's Wordplay, so get cracking. This image shows you two of the letters in the puzzle, leaving a mere 24! possibilities for the rest rather than 26!. (You still have to figure out how to extract the final answer from the solved grid.) If you want to try to solve the puzzle without the hint, then don't click the "This image" link!

This week's puzzle isn't a contest, but solvers are nonetheless highly encouraged to send their solutions to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com so that they can appear on a list of solvers to be published two weeks from now.

WORDY WEDNESDAY #2
SUMMING AND SCRAMBLING
Use your anagramming abilities to determine which of the words clued below corresponds to which words in the grid above. As a hint, the clue numbers corresponding to those words sum to 65 in each row and each column. Ultimately, identify the title of the game which is being hinted at by the hidden 25-letter message.
1. Petty officer
2. Clive Staples ____
3. Food Network's Brown
4. Apple ____
5. Some racers
6. Days of our ____
7. Indian, for one
8. Sheath of sorts
9. Disturb
10. Assigns to a table
11. Verse writer's feet
12. Extravagant talk
13. Sheepish?
14. Some crime films
15. African antelope
16. Ship that refuels other ships
17. Be buoyant
18. Small body of land
19. Big books
20. Sell at gigantic profit
21. Editor's symbol
22. Colorless gas
23. Classic Concentration feature
24. Use a car
25. Odor

Wordy Wednesday 1: Crossword of Integers

Today marks the start of a new series on this blog, Wordy Wednesday, in which I will attempt to broaden my horizons and post puzzles that involve words! Yeah, I know it's A Cleverly-Titled Logic Puzzle Blog, but I had these puzzles sitting around and no better idea for how to use them. Plus, it will feel good to have regular content on here again. How long can I keep this series up? Can I reach the 10-puzzle mark and outdo Project YL?

To commemorate the start of this new series, this puzzle shall also be a contest! I was fortunate enough to have one of my Pent Words puzzles published in the second issue (June 2014) of the newest Penny Press magazine, Will Shortz's Wordplay, and will give away a signed copy of this issue to a random solver of this Wordy Wednesday puzzle. This issue includes a number of excellent puzzles by top constructors, including some Consecutive Sudoku and Shikaku puzzles by Thomas Snyder, two Helter Skelter puzzles by Brendan Emmett Quigley, a Some Assembly Required by Patrick Berry, cryptic crosswords by Trip Payne and Fraser Simpson, and much more. It's quite a thrill to think my byline is in the same publication as these other people's. If you're a fan of English-language word puzzles, then by all means buy a copy of Will Shortz's Wordplay, or perhaps try to win the signed copy I'm giving away here. (Or both!)

How to enter:
Entering is simple. Just solve the puzzle below to obtain a one-word answer, and send it to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Entrants who solve the puzzle within 168 hours (one week) will receive two entries in the prize drawing. After 168 hours, a hint will be posted; any solutions received within the next 168 hours after the hint will receive one entry in the prize drawing.

WORDY WEDNESDAY #1
CROSSWORD OF INTEGERS

In the crossword puzzle above, every letter is represented by an integer from 1 through 26. You must decipher the code to reveal the words (all of which are verified by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition). Once you're done, keep an eye out for a hidden clue leading to the puzzle's final answer, a nine-letter word (which is neither of the two nine-letter words in the completed crossword).

Puzzle 617: Totally Awesum 25

I was recently commissioned to write some logic puzzles, mostly Kakuro, for someone's project (not related to Kakuro Conquest, by the way). What is this project, and why do I have this puzzle left over from it? I hope my client gives me the go-ahead to say a little more than that. . . :)

Unrelated news: something big is coming to this blog on May 28. Stay tuned!

Puzzle 616: Seek and Spell 11

Can you determine who the dedicatee of this puzzle is?

Edit: Lon in Austin got it. The dedicatee is crossword constructor Brendan Emmett Quigley, whose three initials are contained in every word in this puzzle. He's not good at spelling my last name, but his puzzle skills are, from what I've sampled, top-notch.

Puzzle 615: Totally Awesum 24

I was recently commissioned to write some logic puzzles, mostly Kakuro, for someone's project (not related to Kakuro Conquest, by the way). What is this project, and why do I have this puzzle left over from it? Stay tuned. . . .
Rules of Totally Awesum

A new approach to Bible Atlas Goose Thigh?

As a math lover and an amateur magician (owing in part to Martin Gardner's excellent writings), I can't help but ask a question about a classic mathematical card trick. This question could be answered easily with the aid of a computer, I imagine.

The trick is known under numerous names, including Mutus Nomen Dedit Cocus. The gist is that a spectator secretly selects one of ten pairs of cards, and the magician deals them, seemingly randomly, into four rows of five cards apiece, and asks the spectator which row or rows contain the cards. In actuality, the magician is dealing the cards in such a way that each pair of cards corresponds to a different pair of rows. Using a mnemonic such as MUTUS NOMEN DEDIT COCUS or BIBLE ATLAS GOOSE THIGH, the cards can be readily identified. For example, using BIBLE ATLAS GOOSE THIGH as our mnemonic, if the cards are in the first and second rows, they correspond to the pair of L's shared by BIBLE and ATLAS, meaning the fourth card in the first row and the third card in the second row are the answer.

There is also a trick called Rubik's Cards or Order from Chaos where cards in seemingly random order are put in order via an unusual series of moves which at first glance appear to be mixing them up even further. The question is whether instead of dealing the cards out in a seemingly random order, one can appear to thoroughly mix up the cards before dealing them out. Of course, remembering a five-word mnemonic and a series of shuffles might be harder than just memorizing the words and dealing the cards accordingly, but it might make the trick more of a fooler. As an added bonus, there are certain arrangements (such as AABCD BEEFG CFHHI DGIJJ) that would be unsuited for the "deal them randomly" presentation of the trick, because the pattern of the dealing would be obvious, but by appearing to mix the cards up, such arrangements can be employed.

The cards start in the order AABBCCDDEEFFGGHHIIJJ, and our goal is to get them in an order that is equivalent to one of the numerous mnemonics, such as MUTUS NOMEN DEDIT COCUS or BIBLE ATLAS GOOSE THIGH, via a simple-to-remember series of controlled shuffles. If a computer is given a database of several such shuffles, it can work out the simplest way to use them to get from our starting point to our ending point. It is worth noting first that there are not actually 20! permutations of the 20 cards, since we're dealing with 10 pairs of cards. Naively, one might divide 20! by 2^10=1024 to calculate the number of permutations. However, it is even fewer than that; we only care about which cards are paired with which other cards. AABBCDDC is the same as CCAADBBD. Therefore, there are a mere 19*17*15*13*11*9*7*5*3*1=1,382,205,825 permutations in the search space. A Rubik's Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 positions, and God's Algorithm has been calculated for that, so I doubt that this particular problem will be much harder computationally.

Here are the controlled shuffles employed in Rubik's Cards:
  • The n Frustration Count: The top n cards are reversed and put below the rest of the deck. A 2 Frustration Count (2FC) on ABCDEFGHIJKLM yields CDEFGHIJKLMBA.
  • The n,m Block Count: Cards are dealt to the table in blocks of n and m, reversing the order of the blocks, but not the cards within the blocks. A 3,2 Block Count (3,2BC) on ABCDEFGHIJKLM yields KLMIJFGHDEABC.
  • The Reverse Faro Shuffle: Cards are alternately injogged and outjogged so the cards in even-numbered positions stick out, and then are put either below (for a Reverse Out Shuffle) or on top of (for a Reverse In Shuffle) the cards in odd-numbered positions. A Reverse In Shuffle (RIS) on ABCDEFGHIJKLM yields BDFHJLACEGIKM.
  • The Australian Shuffle: The cards are alternately dealt "down" to the table and "under" the rest of the pack. ABCDEFGHIJKLM becomes JFBLHDMKIGECA.
In Rubik's Cards, the cards start in the order LKBFAEMJIDCGH, and become ordered as follows:

2FC: LKBFAEMJIDCGH -> BFAEMJIDCGHKL
3FC: BFAEMJIDCGHKL -> EMJIDCGHKLAFB
4FC: EMJIDCGHKLAFB -> DCGHKLAFBIJME
3,2BC: DCGHKLAFBIJME -> JMEBILAFHKDCG
RIS:  JMEBILAFHKDCG -> MBLFKCJEIAHDG
AS: MBLFKCJEIAHDG -> ABCDEFGHIJKLM

The cards don't appear to be in any particular order until the final step. Of course, the person who created this trick probably just took some random-looking, but easily remembered, moves and reversed them to get the starting configuration. In this problem, we're given a starting configuration and an ending configuration, and wish to find the shortest route. It's trivial to prove that any configuration can be reached via 1FC's and 2FC's (although such a solution is potentially extremely long, not to mention that 1FC's seem inelegant to me), but by adding more controlled shuffles to the database and taking advantage of the fact that we have a choice of many ending positions (the words BIBLE ATLAS GOOSE THIGH can be placed in 24 different orders, they can be dealt from a deck of BAGTITOHBLOILASGESEH or from a deck of BIBLEATLASGOOSETHIGH), surely a reasonably memorable solution can be found. We only have under 1.4 billion positions to navigate, after all!

(Addendum: A proposed generalization of the Australian shuffle is the n Australian Shuffle, where there are n unders after each down. Thus, the AS becomes the 1AS, a 0AS reverses the order of the deck, and a 3AS turns ABCDEF into BDFCEA.)

Grant's Review Corner: Volume 11

From the same guy who brought you Dinner With Moriarty, the murder mystery where the murderer kills himself approximately 17.7% of the time, we get this computer game from 2011. Is the author of this game any better at writing stories since 1997? Juubi and I will find out together!

The incredible thing is that this guy's company Everett Kaser Software sells a CD with 32 games on it! At least he has the sense to sell it for a mere $99.95, as opposed to Action 52's price tag of $199. If the other 30 games are the same quality as these two games, then. . . well, you can immediately surmise whether to buy it or not.

ERRATUM: Dansk is actually Danish, not Dutch. I got the first letter right, at least.

Grant's Review Corner: Volume 10

For the tenth edition of Grant's Review Corner, this one's a video instead of a bunch of text! This review tackles a game that's haunted me since the early 2000's; I've felt it necessary to finally get my opinions on this game out of the way for all to see.


Perhaps I'll review more of this company's games in the future, but for now, I think my opinion on this one summarizes my opinion on virtually all of the games.

Puzzle 614: Process of Illumination 41

I'm trying to train my mother in the fine art of solving Process of Illumination puzzles; thus far, she's having some trouble with it, but desires more training to get stronger. I have a huge pool to pull from. . . .

Puzzle 613: Dominnocuous 8

My mother got a much-needed laugh out of my latest Grant's Review Corner, in which I recount our shared experience with a crossword edited by Timothy Parker for a "for Dummies" book. Also, with my gentle guidance, she solved her first Dominnocuous, which was also my blog's first Dominnocuous! Moms rock sometimes. :)

Grant's Review Corner: Volume 9

First, an update on the previous edition of Grant's Review Corner: the puzzles I was paid to write for Kakuro Conquest have not appeared yet in almost two years. However, I have signs of life from the other end, and have decided not to post the puzzles here, and instead to wait for them to appear on Kakuro Conquest for my readers to enjoy there. (Maybe I'll post them on here if said readers want to print them out.)

My mother, a breast cancer survivor, has experienced a phenomenon called "chemo brain" where one suddenly loses a great portion of one's mental faculties after chemotherapy. While she has been intending to get her brain active again using books like this one, it seems that her hectic schedule makes this impossible without my active involvement in encouraging her and finding puzzles she can actually do. I can't really gripe about finding this excuse to spend quality time with her; I enjoy watching light bulbs go off in people's heads from time to time, and some of the simpler puzzle types in this book have provided such experiences. Maybe I'll get a finger on how to write puzzles that she can enjoy and other people can enjoy, too (which will become easier if somehow I can train her to solve harder puzzles, such as easy Sudoku puzzles). However, my mother recently got herself a different book which, after working one puzzle together, I've felt the need to vent about. Hey, blog content!

Puzzle 612: Totally Awesum 23

A while back, I was commissioned to write puzzles for Kakuro Conquest, thanks to my impressive haggling skills and talking the other person up from "hey, promote this site". I even promoted them in a volume of Grant's Review Corner, praising their solving interface for its simplicity. As much as I would love to see my puzzles playable in said interface, so far this hasn't happened. In a couple of weeks, if Kakuro Conquest shows no sign of life (including replying to the message I sent via their contact form), I will release the puzzles on this blog so they don't go to waste (and so this blog has something happening on it). The puzzle below is not one of those puzzles, but I do believe it's representative of the quality you can expect.

Edit: I have now reached out to Perfomant Design via Kakuro Conquest's contact form, the e-mail address on their site, and their Twitter account, in the best good faith effort which I can muster to give them a chance to stop me from using these puzzles without their permission. I also reached out to Kareem Ahmed, who contacted me on behalf on Performant in 2011 back when he worked closely with them, and paid me to write the puzzles in the first place. If I am getting myself into hot water, I have at the very least done everything I can think of to test the temperature safely.

Grant's Review Corner: Volume 8

First, an update on the previous edition of Grant's Review Corner: the puzzles I was paid to write for Kakuro Conquest have not appeared yet in almost two years. If I don't get any signs of life from the site's operators soon, expect these puzzles to be released slowly on this blog. Some of these puzzles I've written are, in my not-so-humble opinion, very good illustrations of what an artisan can do with handmade Kakuro puzzles, and absolutely need to be seen.

As longtime fans already know, updates on this blog have been more sparse due to the fact that I'd rather focus my efforts on writing puzzles for Grandmaster Puzzles and getting paid for it. However, I got an e-mail recently from someone who wants me to review their upcoming smartphone app in exchange for promoting my blog. I have to admit that this is sorely tempting, given that not only have I broadened the focus of this blog's posts to allow for said blog not to be completely dead, but if I rearrange the sidebar, I could promote Grandmaster Puzzles very heavily and direct incoming traffic there (or better yet, make arrangements with the app's publisher to promote Grandmaster Puzzles directly). Ultimately, I feel that I must entertain these kinds of offers very sparingly, as I do not want to become a forum for people to bribe me into publicizing them (they can do that on JayIsGames or something), but somehow, I don't feel like I can dismiss this one right off the bat.

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