December 05, 2008

Puzzles from other places

This week's new Matt Gaffney Crossword Contest puzzle has a theme and hidden answer that relate to geography. If you're a combination crossword/geography nerd, you won't want to miss it. (Note: Please don't discuss the puzzle's specifics before the contest deadline on Tuesday. All those people whose correct solutions are randomly chosen instead of mine have to earn their prizes!)

In the new February 2009 issue of Games magazine, the Ornery Crossword is by Mike Nothnagel. I haven't tackled it yet, but a 25x25 themeless puzzle by Nothnagel? I'm in!

There are some promising variety-grid crosswords in this issue, too. Mike Shenk has a Snowflake puzzle with hexagonal spaces. I'm guessing this puzzle was originally published years ago and Games is reprinting it, but it's surely still as good as ever. Shenk's known for devising interesting variety puzzles. There's also a Rows Garden puzzle by Patrick Berry, with 6-letter answers filled in in hexagons that cross horizontal rows. These are pretty tough going, and I love 'em. With Berry's name in the byline, you know you're in for both a challenge and superlative quality.

Is it bad form to recommend puzzles I haven't done? Nah...