Puzzles & Answers Magazine

After enjoying several issues over the past year, I finally paid for a year's subscription to Puzzles and Answers, a bimonthly puzzle magazine by master constructor Foggy Brume.

Each issue takes the form of what puzzle-people call an "extravaganza": a collection of thematically linked puzzles, the answers to which plug into a "metapuzzle" that, when solved, reveals the single answer to the entire collection. The puzzles range in style from crossword variations to logic puzzles, unusual cryptograms, and plenty oforiginal word puzzles.

I love these sorts of puzzles, though I don't know how much exposure they have the general public. Games magazine has been publishing extravaganzas of its own lately, and the classic Mac game The Fool's Errand also takes this structure. My familiarity with them lately is largely from my involvement in the MIT Mystery Hunt, which I've participated in since 2004.

The puzzles in P&A are tough, but not super-hard, and especially good to solve with friends. It helps to be handy with crosswords, and to know some NPL-style puzzle lingo. (Yesterday, for example, I was briefly hung up on the difference between a letter change and a letter shift). There are some sample puzzles linked from the magazine's front page, with individual complete issues costing US$5. (Buying an issue lets you access it in PDF format, which you may then download and print.) Foggy is also the author of The Puzzle Boat, a large and free-to-play extravaganza intended to challenge a whole team of solvers.

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2 Responses to Puzzles & Answers Magazine

  1. It's been so long since I've seen a full-fledged magazine dedicated to different types of puzzles; most of what I've seen where I live is those crosswords and sudoku puzzles. I remember doing a math riddle in my high school, and I couldn't solve that one either.

  2. It's been so long since I've seen a full-fledged puzzle; most of the ones I've seen are either crosswords or sudoku puzzles.

    Have you ever heard of Perplex City? It's a puzzle game in the form of cards that give riddles with complex logic answers, and there was even a cash prize for proving a mathematic theory called "Riemann hypothesis" to be true. I have never played it myself; it's something I saw when I was checking out ThinkGeek a long time ago.

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