Results tagged “Puzzles & Answers Magazine”

A more accessible PandA

logo.jpgI only a few days ago got around to cracking open the latest (April) issue of Puzzles and Answers magazine (a publication we've mentioned on this blog before), and noticed an interesting format adjustment - its editor and constructor, Foggy Brume, has decided to lead in each issue with several pages of stand-alone puzzles. The entrée of each issue continues to be an "extravaganza," a thematically linked series of more difficult puzzles with a meta-puzzle topper.

Since I became a regular reader/solver last year, I've noted that Foggy's been moving in this direction over the last few issues; not long ago he started introducing a page or two of easier warm-up word puzzles before getting into each issue's main course. I approve of this change, which I hope makes the magazine more accessible to a wider audience of solvers without alienating its current readership.

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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