Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Fortnight in Puzzles

  • Some great crosswords in the NYTimes recently; the all-name puzzle from last week, and today's Heaney/Blindauer construction was great. (It was interesting: I figured out what the gimmick was going to be, and then only once did I consciously use that gimmick when solving the puzzle, since I ended up getting most of the "theme" entries the other way in the end.)
  • Although, the most fantastic crossword of the year was Matt Gaffney's most recent contest puzzle. Even though the contest is over, if you haven't done it go there now. (Granted the meta is hard. You will still like it, and if you don't figure it out you will be amazed when you read the writeup.)
  • The Puzzle Boat puzzles are progressing, which I didn't think six months ago I would ever say again. I managed to get through ring three in less than a week. I still don't have ring two done, nor have I even yet figured out the basic conceit of the metapuzzle, let alone solve the thing. I'm temporarily stopped in ring four, as puzzle #1 has gone completely by me, and puzzle #3 involves getting what appears to be some '90s version of WoW (which is therefore presumably a '90s version of D&D) and playing a specially-crafted world/level/whatever. I'm filing that one in "do only if necessary" (along with the Paper Folder puzzle and the one with all the images to sort in ring two).
  • And in a shock, I have the contest in this week's Fill Me In. Please, somebody, do this puzzle, so that I am not the first person to have a contest go completely dead. Please?

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