Sunday, February 4, 2007

Our Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

This is a little exciting for us, it's been a long time since we put anything but a sudoku on this page.

There is a weekly publication issued by the Democrat & Chronicle titled The Insider; it is free and aimed at a young crowd, with lots of glitzy colored pictures and replete with articles, comics and puzzles. The person who provides the puzzles is a nationally recognized constructor named Matt Jones; he offers two puzzles per issue, one a crossword and one a quasi-sudoku. If you want to know more about Mr. Jones, you can check out some of his stuff here.

We have freely borrowed a particular puzzle concept from him; we have no idea whether it originated with him, or if he borrowed it from somewhere else (we know that he borrowed at least one of his puzzle types from elsewhere; we used to solve that type in Dell Publications, lo those many years ago.)

Anyway, Bonnie took a decided liking to this particular style of puzzle, so I took it upon myself to try constructing some, to tide her through those dry periods when the provided puzzles were uninteresting to her. As long as they exist, we may as well share them, so here is the first in an occasional series that we have chosen to call Cryptocrostics.


 We have chosen to call them Cryptocrostics because they are solved somewhat in the manner of a cryptogram, and the grid is reminiscent of an acrostic.

The solving rules are:

All 26 letters of the alphabet are included in the puzzle, and each letter is represented by a number, always by the same number - i.e., if 17 represents A, it will represent A throughout the puzzle. As in cryptograms, the number assignation is random (if 17 = A, it does not necessarily follow that 18 = B.)

Because I am still a novice at constructing these, I have taken it upon myself to relax the rules a bit - you will run into an occasional capitalized word, such as a name or city, and I have included a hyphenated word in one puzzle so far (not this one.)

To solve, you will need to look at the puzzle as you would at a cryptogram - look for frequency of letters, letter placement, at the ending letter of longer words (e.g., few long words end in U), such things as recurring prefixes and suffixes - as a solving tip, you will see that the long horizontal words at the top and bottom share a prefix and a suffix, and the long vertical word just right of the central line has four of the same letter, two of them together. As a further tip, you will find two proper names in this puzzle. 

For sources delineating letter frequency, you can visit here, here, and here.

We certainly hope that you enjoy solving this type of puzzle; if not, feel free to let us know, and if we get enough thumbs down, we'll stop publishing them. Happy solving!


Bonnie and Walt


mutualaide said...

EEEEEE GADS!  Okay, printed ... and will try it ...

randlprysock said...

Yikes!!  That would take me a week!!  I am really terrible at cross words but I do love word searches.  Hugs,

fitzzer said...

Huh??? :)
I really must sit down and concentrate on the directions. I'm determined to figure this thing out! Hugs, ~ L

queenb8261 said...

wow y'all have been busy.
Hope you're having a good week and keeping warm & safe.  I'm not sleeping worth a fig and I've got the 2 little girls all week. Have a good rest of the week.
Hugs to you both, Barb