The Nerd Potluck Looms Large!

Aloha, fellow puzzlers and solvers galore!

Last week, I mentioned that I’d be attending a Nerd Potluck this coming weekend. It’s a celebration of all things puzzle, game, and nerd-centric, and I’ve been working on a new word puzzle to challenge my fellow attendees.

And as promised, you’re getting the first peek at it. I call the puzzle “Word Personals.”

Word Personals is based on the singular parlance of personal ads and dating slang.

Your standard personal ad looks something like this:

SWM, 31, brown hair, brown eyes, calf muscles of a Roman gladiator, enjoys full contact rock-paper-scissors and the films of Ben Stiller…

The breakdown is pretty simple.

–SWM is short for single white male in standard personal ad jargon. SWF would be single white female. (SBF would be single black female, MWM would be married white male, etc.)
–That’s followed by the person’s age and a brief description.

So my idea was to employ this format, but make the ads themselves word puzzles to be decoded by a solver.

Here’s an example:

SWF, 6, one letter once, one letter twice, and one letter three times, enjoys hanging out and giving people the slip.

Again, the breakdown is pretty simple.

–SW stands for “single word.” (If it was “MW,” it would be “multiple words,” indicating a phrase.)
–The next letter, F, stands for “features,” indicating that characteristics of the word will follow. (If it was “M,” it would be “means,” indicating a definition, synonym, or hint toward the definition would follow.)
–The number that follows is the number of letters in the word or phrase.
–Finally, there’s the description, which is in two parts. The first part, as indicated by “F,” gives some characteristics of the word. The second part is a jokey clue to provide further information.

And there you have it, Word Personals. I’m sure you’ve solved the example one already, so how about we check out a few more?

1) SWM, 8, power or vigor, enjoys vowel conservation and Herculean qualities.

2) MWF, 11, can read backwards and forwards, enjoys formal greetings and the days before holidays.

3) SWF, 4, goes from one syllable to three by adding a letter, enjoys taking car trips in the past tense.

4) MWM, 9, stutter-stop way of talking, enjoys frequent breaks and a certain British inspector.

I admit, It’s a bit esoteric, but I like the concept quite a bit, and I think it’ll be a hit.

Naturally, your thoughts are welcome. What’s confusing? What works? Is it too prone to alternates? Too easy? Too difficult? Your input would be very much appreciated.

In the meantime, I hope Word Personals provided you with a bit of brain-teasing today. So keep calm, puzzle on, and I’ll catch you next time. Wish me luck!

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