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.
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).
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