Category Archives: Words

Knights tours


Today we have “special forces”, such as the SAS in the UK, the Russian Spetsnaz, and the USA Rangers and Seals. In the middle ages these special forces had a name that still rings today: knights. The link between them and todays puzzle is very thin: the knight got a place in western chess, and todays puzzle uses the move of the knight on the chessboard.

In the series on new magazine format puzzles, I published a post on a new word format puzzle I encountered in the free newspaper metro in my native Netherlands.

In it, you have a 3×3 grid, the center of which is empty, while the outer edge is filled with letters. The letters form a word, and consecutive letters are always a knights jump (knight in chess) apart. Example:


For those who don’t know how a knight in chess moves: move one horizontally or vertically, followed by a diagonal move away from the starting square.

A knight on the square marked “K” may move to any square marked “X”.

My main criticism is that the puzzles as published by Metro are too easy to solve.

Today it occurred to me that the size of the board can be increased, and the size altered, to increase the difficulty of the puzzles.

9 letters**/*****


12 letters***/*****


20 letters****/*****


That increased size raises the difficulty level of the puzzle is easy to understand: a larger size does not only give more starting positions, but also more possible moves on subsequent moves.
Another way to increase the difficulty is by not using single letters – the human mind in the western world is used to work with them – but digrams (two letter combinations) or trigrams (three letter combinations).

Proverb split into digrams***/*****

Proverb split into trigrams***/*****

A new puzzle is published at least twice a month. I welcome your comments below, but please do not spoil the fun for next visitors by listing your solutions. Solutions are published one or more weeks later. You can find more puzzles with words by following the link to the right.

You can check your solutions here

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The ancient tablet


1) The ancient tablet**/*****
Some archeologists discovered an ancient tablet. After a concerted effort, the managed to translate four sentences:
Baruntas glizaval kama – the golden crown is hidden
Glu kama valet – the golden bracelet is revealed
Glizaval glu kazu – silver crown is revealed
Baruntas kazu valet – Silver bracelet is hidden

What does “kama valet baruntas” mean?

You can check your solution here

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Fridays. Solutions are published after one or more weeks. You are welcome to remark on the difficulty level of the puzzles, discuss alternate solutions, and so on. Puzzles are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.

If you like this puzzle, you may be interested in my book with similar ouzzles.

Round about


1) Nr 1**/*****

1 Uttered short, shrill sound
2 occurring more typically than an alternative form
3 place for keeping explosives
4 found in the earthcrust
5 give and receive reciprocally
6 make anew
7 follow along behind
8 live forever
9 more than opponents
10 leave country

The letters around each numbered square are an anagram of the numbered clue.
The numbered squares should be filled with the first letter of each word of the solution
Together, the letters form a word.

This puzzle is a variation on the “Blokje om” puzzle, in Visie 2017 nr 16. Visie (vision) is a magazine published by de Evangelische Omroep (Evangelical Brodcast) in The Netherlands.

You can check your solution here

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Friday. Solutions are published after one or more weeks. You are welcome to remark on the difficulty level of the puzzles, discuss alternate solutions, and so on. Puzzles are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.

Words


On Twitter I follow several accounts, one of which is Genius Brain Teasers.

One of the type of puzzles they publish is of the type: Remove x letters from this sequence to reveal a familiar English word.

My main criticism on this puzzle type is that they tend to be fairly easy. I’m a non native speaker, and if I can solve them, most native speakers should find them even easier. Nevertheless, as I don’t recall having seen them elsewhere, I think they deserve to be mentioned here.

Let me try to give you some examples:
Hidden word 1*/*****
Remove 5 letters to reveal a familiar English word:


Hidden word 2*/*****
Remove 5 letters to reveal a familiar English word:


Hidden word 3*/*****
Remove 5 letters to reveal a familiar English word:


Here’s a small variation of my own:
Hidden words 4*/*****
Remove 4 letters to reveal a familiar English word. Then, remove 4 other letters to reveal a different English word:


Hidden words 5*/*****
Again, you find the letters of 2 words. Remove 4 letters in 2 different ways to reveal 2 familiar English words.


You can check all your solutions here

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Friday. Solutions are published after one or more weeks. You are welcome to remark on the difficulty level of the puzzles, discuss alternate solutions, and so on. Puzzles are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.