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Twenty-six themeless Marching Bands puzzles, one delivered every other week by your favorite constructor with the initials B, E, and Q.
Twenty-six themeless Marching Bands puzzles, one delivered every other week by your favorite constructor with the initials B, E, and Q.
281 backers pledged $6,783 to help bring this project to life.

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$6,783

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What's in it for me?

Direct-to-solvers puzzles are where it's at right now and I am launching a subscrption of 26 Marching Bands puzzles, to be sent out one every other Monday, starting May 4th, 2015. These are high-quality puzzles recognized by aficionados as one of the best varieties out there. Print out a PDF, or solve on-screen with a jpz file.

What's a Marching Bands puzzle anyway?

It's a 13x themeless crossword puzzle where the answers fit in the grid in two different ways. In each "Row," two answers appear back-to-back and it's up to you figure out where one begins and one ends.  Answers also run in another series of back-to-back words in concentric circles clockwise throughout the grid as "Bands." So, that means there are some Band answers that are going forward, and others that are going down, backwards, and/or up. Crazy, right? Totally crazy, and fun.

Marching Bands were originally created by one of my puzzle heroes, Mike Shenk, for Games Magazine in the '80s.  Here's an artist's rendering of the two of us.

Do you have a puzzle I can try?

You bet! Right click on the image below and open in a new tab and print out the sample.  

 (Solution for the puzzle is here.)

Why are you the one to make these puzzles?

I've written Marching Bands puzzles for The New York Times, Word Play magazine, and The American Values Club.  Last year Sterling published my Sit & Solve® Marching Bands book.  And hey, I'm the sixth-most published crossword constructor for the New York Times under Will Shortz's editorship. I'm a three-time Orca award winner for excellence in puzzles including the 2014 Margaret Farrar Constructor of the Year Award. Plus I'm the only puzzle maker to have his work discussed on "Jeopardy!," "Sunday Night Football," and "The Colbert Report."

Oh, and I know a thing or two (or three) about bands, seeing as I've been in many numerous bands since forever.  Witness the rock, people:

You convinced me. Now what?

Just $10 gets you 26 puzzles sent to you every other Monday.  But wait, there's more.  If you bump it up to $15, I'll super-size your offer and you'll get 30 puzzles: the 26 Marching Bands and four larger bonus ones (15x) sent quarterly. Plus I'm giving away some books, and for the bigger sponsors, I'll even do an hour one-on-one over Skype teaching you the finer things about puzzles. There's even some slots for custom crosswords that I can make for your friends or loved ones. In short, there's something for everyone.

Are you doing a stretch goal?

Totally.  Reaching $7,000 will grant everyone, and I mean everyone, who backed the project free access to BEQ’s “B sides”. Get your chops ready with these fabulous five Marching Bands puzzles sent out the week of April 20th. PDFs and jpz files, and introducing the brand spanking new MBV files: Marching Bands in Virtual Reality!  For Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard only. Let's do this.

Okay, the MBV file format is an April Fools gag, but the stretch goal is for real. We can build on this!

Risks and challenges

There are none. I have already confirmed that puzzle editor to the stars Francis Heaney will be polishing up the puzzles (as well as making them look pretty). I mean, I guess there's the challenge of making all of them, but the first month's in the can already. And besides, have you seen how many puzzles I write anyway? I think I can handle this.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    JUST SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles starting on Monday May 4, 2015.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    SUPER-SIZE ME: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles, and you'll get the quarterly bonus 15x Marching Bands, too. The fun starts on Monday May 4, 2015.

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    139 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    INDIE ME: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles, the quarterly bonus 15x puzzles, and a year's subscription to the The American Values Club crossword. Puzzles begin May 4th, 2015.

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    14 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    BOOK IT: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles, the quarterly bonus 15x puzzles, and you'll get a signed copy of my Sit & Solve® Marching Bands, too. The subscription begins Monday May 4, 2015.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    INDIE ME ONE MORE TIME: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles, the quarterly bonus 15x puzzles, and a two year's subscription to the The American Values Club crossword. Puzzles begin May 4th, 2015.

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    LET'S TALK: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles, the quarterly bonus 15x puzzles, a signed copy of my Sit & Solve® Marching Bands, and we'll have an hour-long Skype conversation about puzzles. I can teach you how to make puzzles or I can critique your work. First Marching Band drops May 4th, 2015. Skype conversation, TBD.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    CUSTOMIZE ME: You'll get all 26 Marching Bands puzzles, the quarterly bonus 15x puzzles, a signed copy of my Sit & Solve® Marching Bands, and I'll make you a custom puzzle (crossword or otherwise) to give as a gift to the person of your choosing. Puzzles begin May 4th, 2015. Custom puzzle, TBD.

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Funding period

- (17 days)