Games World of Puzzles May 2016


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…From the Editor

There’s no question that we live in a digital age. We see evidence of this everywhere: Go into any waiting room, for example, and you’ll find people passing the time on electronic devices—iPads, Kindles, smartphones, etc. They may be playing games, managing their bank accounts, or simply avoiding interacting with others—even members of their own family.

So naturally you might start to wonder if traditional family activities are becoming a thing of the past. Happily, the answer to that question is a resounding no. In fact, board games—one of the pastimes family and friends enjoy most—are experiencing a resurgence as of late in the United States. The board game industry saw a 10 percent rise in sales in 2014. Classics like as Monopoly and Scrabble are still going strong, while newer, more strategic games like Settlers of Catan have also joined the ranks of top sellers.

But what about the rest of the world? Are board games as popular in, say, Russia, as they are here? Jonathan Schmalzbach conducted an informal survey of his friends and family overseas. His article “Family Game Night Across the Globe” (page 34) will give you some insight into what games are enjoyed by families worldwide. It’s an entertaining and interesting piece that also delves into the history of some ancient games.

And in preparation for your next family Scrabble night at home, you can check out Scott Appel’s “Your Word Against Mine” (page 38) for tips, news, and puzzles that will help you improve your game. All of this information, including the puzzles, is more accessible than you might think, even if you’re the most casual of Scrabble players.

Finally, if you’re all about the puzzles, you’re in for a treat. Along with the usual favorites, we present “You’re On a Role!” by Christopher Magan. This “White House Mini-Movie Caper” casts you as a reporter who must solve a series of puzzles in order to learn what actor will star as George Washington in an upcoming Hollywood biopic. Give it a try and see if you can get the scoop!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor




Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2016
Magnus Carlsen defends his Masters title
Family Game Night Across the Globe
An informal survey of the games enjoyed by families worldwide
World Puzzle Championships
How do you stack up against the world’s top puzzlers?


What’s Happening
Previews of upcoming events
Your Word Against Mine: Scrabble Happenings, Puzzles, and Tips
Tools to improve our game
This Old Game: Shenanigans
Vintage board games from the collector’s closet
MinMoves Puzzles
A logical game of musical chairs
Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
Contest: New Role-Playing Connections
Contest Results:
Coded Crisscross III (from October)
Electronic Game Reviews
The Room Three, Fallout 4
Traditional Game Reviews
Hengist, Flip City
Game On!
Offbeat news, trivia, and more from today’s world of games and puzzles


  • Buried Gold
  • Dszquphsbnt!
  • Life of Ease
  • Pentominoes: A Variety Cryptic
  • Tough as Diamonds
  • Word Squares Crisscross
  • …and More!