Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 MagicWordSquare posting schedule

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoy visiting this blog, hopefully on a regular basis. Please follow it!

I started MagicWordSquare almost three years ago for a number of reasons. First, I wanted experience blogging, so I could take what I learned back to my job and apply it there. Second, I wanted to explore the fun of playing with words and letters—nerdy, I know! But the fact that one set of letters can be used so many different ways, one word can mean so many different things, and one sentence can be interpreted with many different meanings…language, and English in particular, is simply fascinating! It was a way to keep my mid-life brain active, figuring out how to challenge your brain.

Third, I was hoping (and still am!) that a publisher would realize there’s a market for these puzzles, collected in book form. I have many more puzzles not posted here; there are lots of eager puzzle solvers out there; all we need is that middleman distributor!

And fourth, I wanted to share my puzzles with you.

So I’m sticking with this another year at least. I’ve mapped out 2011 with both the daily 9x9 puzzles and a variety of new forms of Sudoku wordplay, using the variant I created that I call “Qudoku,” for Word Sudoku-with-quote.

You may have noticed that my posting schedule is a bit complex! I post (1) daily; (2) weekly; (3) monthly, and (4) according to specific dates throughout the full year, such as birthdays. Here’s the 2011 schedule for your puzzle-solving planning purposes:

Daily posting schedule, each week
  • Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9x9 Classic Word Sudoku
  • Wed: 9x9 Hidden Word Sudoku
  • Sat: Swifty Sudoku
  • Sun: Sunday Challenge

A Swifty Sudoku puzzle is a Qudoku puzzle set spelling out a hopefully very bad adverbial pun. And the Sunday Challenge is a 12x12 Hidden Word Sudoku puzzle. My local newspaper (The Oregonian) publishes 9x9’s all week of increasing difficulty; then it publishes a 16x16 on Sunday, which I find too hard to do in a reasonable time. So I’ve created something in-between, that includes a hidden word or phrase. Challenging but doable.

Monthly posting schedule
In 2011 I’m also challenging you with a regularly-scheduled set of extra Word Sudoku puzzles posted on specific days of each month.
  • 1st: Letter Run Sudoku or Word from Word Sudoku
  • 15th (Ides!): Last Word Sudoku
  • 28th: Quote of the month Sudoku
Letter Run Sudoku plays off ‘runs of letters’ such as ABCDEFGHI. Most Word Sudoku puzzles published elsewhere use random letters or letter runs as the symbols in their puzzles. But my letter run puzzles are different, as I hope you’ve come to expect. The Qudoku puzzle set contains a quote grid spelling out several common phrases that each contain all the letters in the letter run. For example, given the letter run ABCDEFGHI, one (perhaps not-so-common) phrase containing all these letters is ‘the Mayor of Casterbridge;’ another is ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’

Word from Word Sudoku is one of the kinds of word play puzzles I referred to at the beginning of this post—forming new words from the letters in one word. For example, from the word verticals you can derive the five-letter words acres, tears, ravels and vials, to name just a very few. Check out the first of these puzzles later today.

Last Word Sudoku is a Qudoku puzzle set spelling out famous last words from historical figures. I came across a wonderful book “Immortal Last Words” by Terry Breverton (Quercus Publishing, Plc, London; containing the last words or immortal sayings of 370 people—dying remarks, deathbed declarations and final farewells, as the title page explains it. Absolutely worth reading—buy it now! (Quercus:; Amazon: I’ll “value-add” to a few of these sayings each month on the Ides, encasing them in Qudoku puzzle sets and challenging you to ‘decode’ them.

Birthday posting schedule And finally, I post based on historical dates.
  • Day of entering the union: State Sudoku
  • Birthday: Presidential Sudoku
So, for instance, on August 4, I’ll post a Qudoku puzzle set involving President Barack Obama (his birth date is August 4, 1961); and on August 1, I’ll post a Qudoku puzzle set involving the state of Colorado (which entered the union August 1, 1876). This will be the first year for Presidential Sudoku; State Sudoku is entering its third year! The first Presidential Sudoku puzzle set will post on Jan. 7; the first State Sudoku puzzle set of 2011 will post Jan. 2.

Word Sudoku pages Say you’re sick, and have time on your hands: You want a variety of many puzzles, not just one hard one. I’ve listened to those of you who crave more than one Word Sudoku puzzle to solve at once. I’m creating a series of blog pages that will each contain about a dozen (or more!) Word Sudoku puzzles, each page exploring one theme. I’m working on a page of Maya Angelou quotes; I’m considering a page of “Top Ten” lists, etc. Look for the first page in mid-January.

So in 2011, I’m posting more than 500 Word Sudoku puzzles. It should keep you busy! Please use the blog’s comments to let me know what you think—what you like, what you don’t; what you’d like to see more of or perhaps less of. And please follow this blog!


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