Games World of Puzzles October 2020


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…From the Editor

Welcome to the October issue of GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES. Thus far, 2020 has been a memorable year, most notably because of the pandemic. COVID-19 has affected all of us in ways big and small. For example, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which was tentatively rescheduled for September, has now been canceled out of concern for the safety of participants. Although we’re disappointed, it was a prudent decision. Our hope, however, is that the articles and puzzles—including plenty of great crosswords and crossword variants!—in this issue will provide both a workout for your brain and a pleasant diversion from outside events.

Here in the United States, it’s also a presidential election year. Now, we understand that politics can be extremely important and deeply divisive. In fact, hundreds if not thousands, of serious articles on the upcoming election have been published in various venues. But you won’t find any of those here. Instead, we present a fun way to test your knowledge of those who have held America’s highest office: “Presidents from A to Z” (page 42) by Don Kerr. Give it a try!
In other newsworthy events, a few weeks before this issue went to press, we learned that NASPA (the North American Scrabble Players Association) had removed about 200 offensive words—including racial slurs and obscenities—from its official word list. In his column, “Your Word Against Mine” (page 38), our Scrabble correspondent Scott Appel offers a detailed look at what led up to this change. It’s a thought-provoking piece; we encourage you to check out.

On a lighter note, our feature article, “Let’s Do the Twister” (page 34) by Julie Harris, delves into the unlikely success story of a game that started off as an advertising campaign. Read the article to learn what product it was originally designed to promote and how it became an overnight sensation.

As always, our Pencilwise section is a cornucopia of puzzling delight. For word lovers, we have a new batch of “Setka” puzzles (page 54) by Rachel Geman; these puzzles mix clue-solving with a light element of logic. There’s also “Report Card,” a cleverly designed cryptic crossword by master constructor Bob Stigger. For math and logic fans, we offer Slitherlink (featured on this issue’s cover) on page 13. Next, left-brained types will want to try Joel Nanni’s Flustered (page 29) and Gamma Rays (page 64) by Jim Winslow.
That’s enough from us…happy puzzling!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor



Let’s Do the Twister!
Learn about the origins of this classic game
Your Word Against MineService
Scrabble bans slurs and vulgarities from competitive play
Flashback 40
An ongoing retrospective of this magazine’s history
Presidents from A to Z
A presidential quiz for this election year
This Old Game: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Why
Vintage games from the collector’s closet


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
Change of Art
Find the 10 differences between these illustrated scenes
Contest: Ill Will
Contest Results: It’s Your Turn (from February)/dt>
Electronic Game Reviews
Gears Tactics, Desperados
Tabletop Game Reviews
King Me!, Getaway Driver


    • 52-Skiddoo
    • 500 Rummy
    • A-Plus
    • Art on the Square
    • Battleships
    • Boomerangs
    • …and More!