Games World of Puzzles December 2018


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…From the Editor

With the holiday season well-nigh upon us, we’ve compiled a festive collection of brainteasers, crossword variations, and other assorted amusements for your puzzling pleasure.

A highlight of this issue is “Wanna Play?” (page 34), Jonathan Schmalzbach’s report on his visit to The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Regular readers know how much this columnist loves vintage games; imagine his excitement when surrounded by what is arguably one of the world’s most amazing collection of toys, games, and pastimes. Sure, the Strong is an important site for the scholarly study of games; more important, it’s a family-friendly place that regularly puts on eye-popping, interactive exhibits. If you love games, it’s well worth a visit.

Longtime game reviewer Thomas L. McDonald continues that thread by reviewing a handsome new volume produced under the auspices of The Strong: A History of Video Games in 64 Objects. As home of the World Video Game Hall of Fame, The Strong is in a unique position to put this still relatively recent form of play into its historical context and evaluate the relative merit of individual games. Of course, McDonald has some opinions of his own, too. Turn to page 39 to learn more.

The rest of this issue is rounded out with the puzzles and commentary you expect. Scott Appel offers Scrabble lovers a great gift in his conversation with 2017 North American Scrabble champion Will Anderson (page 42); and Andrew Parr trawls through the GAMES archives to create a clever puzzle around classic toys and games (page 40). Parr pitches in yet again with an interesting hybrid puzzle—part crossword, part logic puzzle— called “Crossword Appetizer” (page 30).

Speaking of puzzles, we’ve got some genuine challenges just waiting to be unwrapped. Veteran contributor Michael Ashley serves up a particularly tough Double Cross (page 51), and then there’s Margery Albis’s “3-D Holiday Gifts,” a tough logic challenge. Solve that one and you deserve a glass of eggnog!

Happy puzzling!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor

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Wanna Play?
Welcome to Rochester, New York’s Strong Museum of Play
Book Review: A History of Video Games in 64 Objects
Moving Forward, Looking Back: When Classic Toys Were New
Can you connect each toy or game with its original review in GAMES?
Change of Art
Find the 12 differences between these illustrated scenes
Your Word Against Mine: Scrabble Happenings, Puzzles, and Tips
Some tips from top player Will Anderson, plus plenty of puzzles


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
What’s Happening
Previews of upcoming events
Contest: True Grid
Contest Results: Lucky 13 (from April)
Electronic Game Reviews

<ddIsle of Skye, Ganz Schön CleverBoard Game ReviewsThe Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits, GracklesGame On!Offbeat news, trivia, and more


  • 3-D Holiday Gifts
  • Art on the Square
  • Code Crosswords
  • Crossword Appetizer
  • Mirror, Mirror
  • Pencil Pointers
  • Split Ends
  • …and More!