Games World of Puzzles August 2017


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…From the Editor

Welcome to the August issue of GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES. While it goes without saying that every issue is a puzzle lovers’ delight, this issue in particular will appeal to wordplay aficionados. This month’s feature article, “Trips: Mr. Wizard’s Code,” is by longtime contributor Stephen Sniderman, whose way with words has been entertaining—and perplexing—our readers since 1980. “Trips” is the first of a three-part series on the development of SuperClues, Sniderman’s “Internet Game of Dropping Hints.” The other parts will run periodically in these pages, so keep your eyes peeled.

Sniderman is only one of the many contributors who have been with GAMES since its early days. There are others, like Michael Ashley, who has been writing the Double Cross since 1978. That’s a lot of clues and a lot of quotes! The brilliant and varied work of R. Wayne Schmittberger, a GAMES staff member since 1978 before he became editor in chief from 1993 to 2014, can still be found in almost every issue. Schmittberger’s specialties include contests; his Role Playing contests are a perennial favorite. Some of them, like Path Math on page 44, pose quite a challenge. He’s also our movie and chess expert; see page 65 for his recap of this year’s U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. And finally, current New York Times crossword editor and all-around puzzle celebrity Will Shortz, who joined the staff of GAMES in 1978 and became editor in chief in 1989, was featured in our April cover story and continues to inspire puzzle creators all over the world.

These contributors helped to shape GAMES, now GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES, into what it is today. In fact, our next issue, September, marks the 40-year anniversary of GAMES, which debuted with the September/October 1977 issue. We are planning a special issue filled with memories and blasts from the past as well as a look into the future of games and puzzles. But for now, there’s plenty to enjoy in these pages, so pick up a pencil and get to work!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor



Trips: Mr. Wizard’s Code
Baffle your family and friends with this name-guessing trick
The Right Steph
Meet Stephanie Spadaccini, who’s made a career of games and puzzles
A logical game of musical chairs
Your Word Against Mine: Scrabble Happenings, Puzzles, and Tips
Tools to improve your game
2017 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship
Wesley So and Sabina-Francesca Foisor emerge victorious


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
What’s Happening
Previews of upcoming events
Contest: Path Math
Contest Results:
“United” States 2 (from January)
Electronic Game Reviews
RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch; Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
Traditional Game Reviews
Rolling America, Skiwampus
Game On!
Offbeat news, trivia, and more from today’s world of games and puzzles


  • Battleships
  • Code Crosswords
  • Crypto-Funnies
  • Helter-Skelter
  • Let Us Spray
  • Rows Garden
  • Split Decisions
  • …and More!