Games World of Puzzles October 2023


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…From the Editor

Welcome to the October issue of GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES! If you’re anything like us, you appreciate autumn, and we can’t think of a better way to accompany the falling leaves and that nip in the air than solving some challenging puzzles.

Of course, October also means Halloween. We’d like to reverse the normal order, though, and share a few treats with you first. To begin with, there’s our special section of crosswords from this past spring’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which we sponsored. These are top-notch puzzles by some of the country’s best constructors. If you’ve never attended the ACPT but were curious, here’s your chance to try solving these puzzles from the comfort of home. You’ll find them starting on page 59.

That’s not the only special crossword content we have for you this month. Turn to page 36 for “The Stellar Puzzles of Stella Zawistowski.” In this Q&A, Rachel Fabi, who contributed to the “Wordplay” column for the New York Times, interviews Zawistowski, one of the nation’s top crossworders, about her new book, Tough as Nails Crosswords. Think you’re up to the challenge? Then turn to page 38 to try one of Zawistowski’s puzzles.

Of course, there are also plenty of tricks in this issue. Think you know your way around? Then try “Dungeon Sudoku” (page 49), Raymond Young’s fiendishly clever mash-up of maze-solving and sudoku. “Act Scared” by Donald Kerr (page 45) continues down this spooky path. It’s a tricky trivia quiz that tests your knowledge of classic horror movies. Hope you didn’t close your eyes during the scary parts. Finally, there’s “Creep-tograms” (page 40), a mini Necronomicon of frightening quotes encoded in an infernal script from Julie Snider and Raymond Simon. Crack the code…or else!

Of course, it’s not all Halloween-themed. Surveying the rest of the issue, we have “Def Jam,” a variety cryptic by Bob Stigger (page 54), “More AI Anagrams,” a continuation of this issue’s cover puzzle by Esteban Grinbank and Rodolfo Kurchan (page 10), and “Opposites Distract,” an anagramming puzzle by Shawn Kennedy (page 21).

In other words, there’s plenty here to keep you busy. So sharpen those pencils and start solving!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Editor in Chief



Discovering Japanese Logic Puzzles: Crazy Paving
The eighth in a series of columns featuring lesser-known Japanese logic puzzles
The Stellar Puzzles of Stella Zawistowski
A Q&A with crossword constructor Stella Zawistowski, plus a puzzle from her new book
Hopping in the Shower
This curious idiom leads to some amusing musings from Carl Held
Quotes from your favorite horror films, encrypted into sinister ciphers
Act Scared: A Fright Flick Quiz
Can you name the actors who starred in these classic scary movies?
This Old Game: Nevada City
Vintage games from the collector’s closet


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
Contest: Crypto-Doubles
Contest Results: Silence Is Golden (from February)
Electronic Game Reviews
Roll Player, Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft
Tabletop Game Reviews
Long Shot: The Dice Game, Illiterati


    • Battleships
    • Cryptic Crossword
    • Def Jam
    • Mad Libs
    • More AI Anagrams
    • …and More!