Games World of Puzzles September 2017


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…From the Editor

Join us as we celebrate our 40th anniversary with this special issue. In it, we pay tribute to the very first issue of GAMES—September/October 1977—and all the great issues that have followed it over the years. If you remember that very first cover, this issue’s cover will look familiar. It’s an update of the original design featuring Rodin’s statue The Thinker—an apt centerpiece.

Many clever, creative thinkers have lent their talents to GAMES since its debut. In our feature, “40 Years of Fun and GAMES,” we bring you special memories from the editors and contributors who were essential to shaping GAMES in its early days: editors R. Wayne Schmittberger and Will Shortz, photographer Walter Wick, and puzzlemakers Michael Ashley and Stephen Sniderman, to name a few. Many of these people actively contribute to GAMES WORLD OF PUZZLES today. In fact, you’ll find “Forty,” an original board game created by Sniderman to mark this milestone, on page 54.

Of course, that’s not all. This issue also contains a special contest, R. Wayne Schmittberger’s “Coded Crisscross VI,” that honors our 40th. And in lieu of contest results (which will return in the next issue), we revisit “Charades,” a contest that appeared in the debut issue. Enjoy the puzzles within and try to solve the winning entry. As a bonus, you’ll see the unique prize that was awarded to Tom Moore, the first-place winner of that contest.

“This Old Game,” Jonathan’s Schmalzbach’s column on vintage games, also harkens back to the very first issue. This month’s selection is Rail Baron from Avalon Hill, which had a full-page advertisement in our first issue. You can see a replica of this very ‘70s ad on page 49.

As any longtime reader of this magazine knows, puzzles have evolved over the years, both in style and content. To highlight this point, we’ve included one puzzle from the very first issue of GAMES, along with one each from the 10th, 20th and 30th anniversary issues. The starkest contrast with today’s style is evident in Jack Luzzatto’s crossword “Murphy’s Law” on page 52. Reprinted from the September/October 1977 issue with the original clues and answers, this puzzle is bound to stump today’s solvers. Even the sharpest solvers on our staff couldn’t get through this one without a struggle (and an unabridged dictionary)!

Finally, we’d like to thank you, our readers, for playing along with us all these years. Here’s to the next 40 years!

Jennifer Orehowsky
Senior Editor



40 Years of Fun and GAMES
Fond memories from the early days of GAMES
Reelin’ in the Years
Eyeball Benders from the 20th anniversary issue
Game On!
Offbeat news, trivia, and more
Menagerie Maze
Wend your way among (and through!) the animals
A special board game for our 40th anniversary


Wild Cards
A potpourri of amusing little puzzles for your solving pleasure
What’s Happening
Previews of upcoming events
Contest: Coded Crisscross VI
Contest Throwback: Charades, from the very first issue of GAMES
Electronic Game Reviews
Ink Spotters: Sherlock Holmes Series, Slayaway Camp
Traditional Game Reviews
Baba Yaga, LYNGK
This Old Game: Rail Baron
Your Word Against Mine: Scrabble Happenings, Puzzles, and Tips


  • 52 Skiddoo
  • Cheery O’s
  • Cryptolists
  • Murphy’s Law
  • Paragrams
  • Stackoku
  • World’s Most Ornery Crossword
  • …and More!