Games World of Puzzles January 2020


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…From the Editor

Welcome to 2020, puzzle lovers! If your New Year’s resolutions include doing more puzzles, then we can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than the January issue of GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES.

Just consider the cover, which points solvers to Raymond Young’s new puzzle, “The Web” (page 22). Circles and Strands replace Across and Down in this crafty crossword variation. Will you get tangled in confusion or will you sew everything up? You won’t know until you give it a try. Patrick Berry’s “Some Assembly Required” (page 54), which requires solvers to piece together a 14×14 grid, is a nice complement. Do you have the tools to complete the task?

Puzzles like those should keep you plenty busy, but we don’t want our readers confined to their favorite solving spot. That’s why each issue includes our calendar of upcoming game- and puzzle-related events, “What’s Happening” (page 33). This month, we’d like to give you advance notice of a super-cool event: Sporcle’s Trivia Con 2020, which takes place between April 3 and 5 in Las Vegas. In addition to the typical trivia games, there will be a Dunder Mifflin quiz, as well as a Battle of the Brains, where teams compete for $20,000 in cash.

But that’s not all. This issue also sees the return of contributor Tyler Davidson, who last wrote for us about World Pun Champion Ben Ziek (“Ben Ziek: Punning in Circles,” October 2015). This time around, Davidson recaps the goings-on at a long-running convention in “Strategicon: Gateway 2019” (page 34). There’s a place for everyone at this Southern California institution, from LARPers to tabletop enthusiasts and video gamers.

On the other hand, you may be looking for a solo challenge. These pages offer plenty of diversions to turn to, including “Pict-Analogies” (page 10), an illustrated puzzle that challenges solvers to find parallel relations between pictures. Fans of logic puzzles will enjoy two offerings, “Skyscrapers” from Conceptis Ltd. (page 13) and Ryan Langewisch’s “Logisquares” (page 64). Those last two puzzles offer an excellent entry point for Joe Celko’s “Another Look at an Ancient Game” (page 40), an examination of Nine Men’s Morris, a very old game that has recently caught the attention of computer scientists.

The enduring appeal of games is part of what we enjoy about them. But we’re equally impressed by their endless adaptability. Raymond Simon explores that topic in “Play Is the Best Medicine,” a short article on using board games to train health care professionals (page 36). We think it’s an excellent way to rest and recuperate after working your way through all the excellent puzzles packed into this issue.

Until February, happy puzzling!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor



Strategicon: Gateway 2019
This Los Angeles con brings gamers of all stripes together
Play Is the Best Medicine
Games can be a valuable tool for health care professionals
Your Word Against Mine
Try your hand at these Scrabble Squares puzzles
Another Look at an Ancient Game
All about the game of Nine Men’s Morris
Arithmetical Croquet
A mathematical diversion from the notes of author Lewis Carroll
This Old Game: Blind Date
Vintage games from the collector’s closet
Maria’s Mosaics
Two colorful logic problems of “tile and error”


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
What’s Happening
Previews of upcoming events
Contest: The 2020 Challenge
Contest Results: Big 12 (from May)
Electronic Game Reviews
Santorini, Cultist Simulator
Board Game Reviews
Domino Maze, Hello My Name Is


    • Art on the Square
    • Dszquphsbnt!
    • Fives and Eights
    • Jam Session
    • Pict-Analogies
    • The Spiral
    • …and More!