Follow-Up Friday: Other puzzles you might not know! (Volume 2)

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

Follow-Up Friday is an opportunity to look back on past posts and puzzly topics. Whether we’re updating you with new developments, providing answers to a previously-posted brain teaser or puzzle, or simply revisiting a subject with a fresh perspective, Follow-Up Friday lets us look back and look forward.

In today’s edition, now that we’ve presented some new puzzles for crossword devotees to try out, let’s turn our attention to Fill-In puzzle fans.

Fill-Ins feature the same grid-filling solving as crosswords, but instead of coming up with the answers to clues, you’re given all of the words in advance, organized by length, and it’s up to you to deduce which words fit the across boxes and which fit the down boxes.

Fill-Ins don’t demand the same level of recall and vocabulary as crosswords, but the deduction aspect more than makes up for it. And if you’re a Fill-In fan, but looking for something different, there are plenty of options out there for you.

Like Frameworks, for instance.

[Click here or on the grid for a larger version.]

A Framework puzzle is like a Fill-In, but without the rigid crossword-style grid. Instead, the grid is looser, allowing for longer words and interesting themes to be incorporated into the puzzle. The trade-off here is that, with fewer letters crossing, you have fewer hints for placing words in the grid. You’ll have to rely on knowing word lengths and counting boxes to complete these grids.

But for something a little less familiar, how about Places, Please?

[Click here or on the grid for a larger version.]

Places, Please gives you all of the words to place in the grid, just as Fill-Ins do, but there are no black squares to help guide you. Instead, you’re told where the first letter of each word will be placed, and you have to figure out in which direction each word will read.

You’ll want to start with the longest words first, seeing which directions will allow them to be placed. As you place each word, those letters offer clues for placing other words. Eventually, you’ll fill the entire grid! (It’s like a word seek in reverse!)

And if that’s a bit too open-ended for you, let’s talk Stretch Letters.

[You get the idea.]

Stretch Letters puzzles offer the same word-list format as Fill-Ins (organized by word length), but you’ll only enter them reading across. The wrinkle here is that some of the words above and below each row will share those letters, stretching the boxes (and the letters themselves).

It’s a visually striking take on word-placement puzzles, and the stretched letters make for a fun and interactive grid. One S could provide S’s for a half-dozen words or more!

Of course, if you enjoy the deductive side of Fill-Ins — figuring out word placement in the grid — you should also consider trying traditional Logic Puzzles.


Now, I know these grids can seem a little daunting to new solvers, but they’re simply a way of organizing information. As you work your way through the different clues in the Logic Puzzle, you exclude possibilities in the grid by putting an X in the box where those two options cross.

For instance, in the above Logic Problem, based on clue 7, you’d place an X in the box where Esther (listed under First Name) crosses Tyson (listed under Last Name), eliminating it as a possibility.

The more boxes you fill with X’s, the greater the amount of information you garner from the grid, and eventually, you’ll know their full names, ages, and instrument of choice based on those seven clues. Pretty impressive deduction there.

Next week, we’ll take a break from these puzzle recommendations posts, but if you’ve got puzzle recs for your fellow puzzlers in the meantime, please let us know in the comments!

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1 thought on “Follow-Up Friday: Other puzzles you might not know! (Volume 2)

  1. Pingback: Other puzzles you might not know! (Volume 3) | Blog

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