Games World of Puzzles June 2023


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…From the Editor

It’s early April, and we’re preparing the June issue to go to press. Amid the hustle and bustle, GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES celebrated an important milestone this past weekend: its first year as official sponsor of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT).

Directed by Will Shortz, the New York Times Crossword Editor, the 45th annual iteration of the ACPT took place in Stamford, CT, from March 31 through April 2. Representing GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES at the event were Editor Raymond Simon and Contributing Editor Andrew Parr. Simon and Parr toiled hard all weekend as ACPT officials: collecting and distributing crosswords, and checking contestants’ finished puzzles. Their work was appreciated and needed, as the ACPT set an attendance record this year, with 780 registrants from 44 states.

Busy as they were, Simon and Parr also took the opportunity to meet and chat with prominent figures from the Crossworld, many of whom have been featured in this magazine. These folks include lead ACPT judge Mike Nothnagel, whose enormously popular “Mixed Doubles” puzzle appears on page 3 of every issue; cruciverbalist extraordinaire Brendan Emmett Quigley, who has a tough 15×15 themeless puzzle on page 21 ; and fifth-place finisher Stella Zawistowski, whose Cryptic Crossword 1 can be found on page 60.

All told, our first year as ACPT sponsor was a roaring success. We’re already looking forward to next year in Stamford!

Of course, we didn’t let all the excitement detract from the issue in your hands. As always, it’s packed with puzzles, articles, reviews, and more. Of particular interest is Todd Kreisman’s feature article “Mary, Queen of Codes” (page 36). You may have heard in the news this past winter that a team of cryptologists had discovered and deciphered some previously unknown correspondence from Mary, Queen of Scots, during her long period of exile. Kreisman’s piece tells the story of the three men who found the letters and cracked Mary’s code. Fascinating stuff!

From a puzzling perspective, fans of word puzzles with a visual element will want to try Shawn Kennedy’s “Truth-isms” (page 10), which challenges solvers to identify familiar sayings in which each word has been replaced by its first letter. Those who enjoy math and logic have plenty to choose from: Floris Smith’s “Tents” (page 13), Ryan Langewisch’s “Vectrix” (page 52), and Rodolfo Kurchan’s “Crossword Sudoku” (page 64), to name just a few.

Enough from us; sharpen your pencil and start solving!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Editor in Chief



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The fifth in a series of columns featuring lesser-known Japanese logic puzzles
Mary, Queen of Codes
Three codebreakers have deciphered previously unknown letters written by Mary, Queen of Scots
Ten Chess Variants
All of these games can be played with a standard chess set
Title tk: Grids for Kids
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This Old Game: The Flintstones Game
Vintage games from the collector’s closet


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
Contest: Coded Crisscross 2023
Contest Results: Paint by Numbers (from October)
Electronic Game Reviews
Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Squire for Hire
Tabletop Game Reviews
Paint the Roses, Sleeping Queens 2: The Rescue!


    • 52-Skiddoo
    • 6’s Mixes
    • A or B?
    • Crossword Sudoku
    • Dszquphsbnt!
    • Family Reunions
    • …and More!