Wow, we're busy!
We thought we were busy during the Kickstarter campaign, but now we're busier than ever.
Work on the Year of Puzzles is under way and the plans are looking great. We've lined up additional constructors, including Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame. We're not revealing the theme of the hunt yet, but we will tell you there will be no aliens, time travel, or doomsday devices. Well, not unless we absolutely need them. In the meantime, forget everything you know about years of puzzles! (If you have trouble forgetting, we'll help you later.)
We're also making steady progress on all of your rewards. Breaking through 499 backers meant that everyone at the Thinker level or higher is getting two mailed puzzles instead of one, so that meant twice as much planning. It's always fun to get an opportunity to create another fun puzzle. You know we like surprises around here, but we'll let it slip that one will be sort-of monumental and the other will be clearly interesting.
The T-shirt puzzles, for everyone at the Expert level or higher, are also coming along. Lots of art to be created. When we send out the survey, you'll be asked to pick what answer you want for the puzzle on your shirt. The parameters might change slightly, but you can start thinking of a 7-letter answer. It can be a word or phrase, but no spaces. Think of it like a vanity license plate, with answers like SENATOR, MUSICAL, ANAGRAM, METSFAN or GOJHWKS. Like a license plate, you can substitute a number for a letter, as in SOX4EVR, 2THEMAX, or even GOES211. Please be family friendly.
Finally, there's the physical puzzle for the Grandmaster level. We're working with a production company that Roy has worked with before, and the puzzles will likely be made out of Maple or Cherry.
With all this going on, it's sometimes easy to forget that we have normal business too. We've got a bunch of new puzzle ebooks coming out shortly with crossword variants. Easy Crosswords with Riddles by Harvey Estes has crossword puzzles with embedded riddles. Figure them out and fill in the answers at the bottom. Alan Olschwang's Crosswords & Variety Puzzles for Serious Solvers contains a delightful mix of traditional crosswords and variants including Neverending puzzles, where the words weave back and forth and end where they start, and Clapboards, which contain words which overlap in both directions. Wrapping things up, we have two books of Logic Crosswords by Roy Leban, and a special item that we'll tell you about soon.
Finally, Will Shortz's American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is coming up March 8th-10th, and both Roy and Parker will be attending and competing. If you'll be there, stop by and say hello, and we'll give you a sneak peak at the future.
P.S. No puzzle here, but there might be some hints.