We’re Number Pun! We’re Number Pun! — The ReHASHtag Game


You may be familiar with the board game Schmovie or hashtag games on Twitter.

For years now, we’ve been collaborating on puzzle-themed hashtag games with our pals at Penny Dell Puzzles, and this month’s hook was #PennyDellPuzzleSports. Today’s entries all mash up Penny Dell puzzles with teams, athletes, famous quotations, and more things associated with the world of sports!

Examples include: Seventh Inning Stretch Letters or Basketball For One.

(The entries leaned heavily towards baseball — understandably, since it only returned a few weeks ago.)

So, without further ado, check out what the puzzlers at PuzzleNation and Penny Dell Puzzles came up with!

Puzzly Athletes!

CrackerJackie Robinson

Simone Biles Says

Tara Blipsinski

Wayne Grepsky

Puzzly Teams!

Arizona Diamond Ringbacks

MilwauKeyword Brewers

Minnesota Twin Crosswords

Philadelphia Fill-Innies

Tampa Bay Sunrays

Washington Wizard Words

Orlando Magic Squares

Chicago Bull’s-Eye Spiral

Puzzly Sports Terminology!

FenWord Ways Park

Doubleheader Trouble

A Few Fielder’s Choice Words

Box Scoremaster / Lucky Box Score

Perfect Dart Game / Perfect Fit Game

Right of Way field

End Zone of the Line

End of the Line drive

BaseLine ‘Em Up

Base Pathfinder

Baseball Diamond Mine

Grand Tour slam

Draw the Defensive Lineman

False Start and Finish

Game, Set, Match-up!

Hall of Framework

These Three-Pointers

Super Bowl Game

Scramble Across & Touchdown

Picker-Upper Deck Home Runs

Puzzly Famous Quotations!

“Are you ready for some Quotefalls?!”

“…The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Delete”

“I never said most of the Everything’s Relative I said.” – Yogi Berra

“This is like Deja vu All Four One again.” – Yogi Berra

“It ain’t Overlaps til it’s over.” -Yogi Berra

“Window Boxes isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” — Red Sanders

“…it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names… Well, let’s see, we have… Guess Who’s on first, What’s Left on second, You Know the Odds is on third…”

Several of our puzzlers went above and beyond, crafting calls from the announcers at these puzzly events!

The Call of the Game presented by Hall of Framework puzzle announcer Neil Simon Says:

“There’s two Drop-Outs here in the bottom of the Nine of Diamonds, One & Only one man on base, and Wade Mind Boggler steps up to the plate for the Tampa Bay Sunrays. This will be his First and Last at bat of the Word Games World Series. The Pitcher Sleuth looks to his What’s Left, then checks his Right Angles, sets his feet and Square Deals the pitch. It’s swung on by Mind Boggler and holy cow it’s a walk-off Home Run! That Baseball for One was crushed to Bits & Pieces! The Scoreboard says it all folks with a Three-to-One victory for the Sunrays. Who in the world could Picture This kind of ending? Just wow!”

Wide World of Sports reporting from the National Figure Skating competition:

Today, during the synchronized figure skating event, The Ice Chips team, sponsored by Penny Dell Puzzles, began their program divided up into Pairs and glided out onto the ice Two at a Time, and Step by Step taking their positions Face to Face. They gracefully began their number, first skating in a Mirror Image, then dividing up into Odds and Evens. A Small Change in the pace of the music brought a sequence of fast mohawks, turns, spread eagles, swizzles, lifts, and a Shuffle.

Have you come up with any Penny Dell Puzzle Sports entries of your own? Let us know! We’d love to see them!

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Step Right Up and Test Your Puzzly Skills! It’s Carnival Time!

[Image courtesy of Wikipedia.]

The local carnival has already come and gone in my town, but there are many more county fairs, state fairs, and amusement park visits in the immediate future. After all, summer is almost here.

With carnivals and fairs, there are certain universal attractions. The Ferris wheel. The burlap sack slide. And, of course, those devious midway games.

Games of strength, games of dexterity, games of skill and chance… carnival games are tailor-made to separate you from your hard-earned dough. But we’re not any run-of-the-mill rube or mark for the carnival crews to exploit; we’re puzzlers!

So is there anything we can do to improve our odds?

You betcha.

Let’s look at a few classic carnival games and how we can increase our chances for stuffed animal prize success.

[Image courtesy of BGR.]

One of my personal favorites is the basketball shot. It seems simple, since all you have to do is make what looks like a regulation three-pointer.

But looks are deceiving. The hoop is usually higher than normal, as well as farther away. In addition, the ball is overinflated to increase unfriendly bounces, and the rim of the hoop is often bent in an oblong shape to discourage successful tosses. (At one carnival, the hoop was so warped that my friend’s toss actually landed ON the hoop, proving there was no way to successfully make a basket.)

Assuming the hoop actually allows for a ball to pass through, your best chance is to avoid the backboard entirely and go for a clean swish.

[Image courtesy of Art of Manliness.]

What about the rope ladder? The rope ladder seems like the fairest carnival game, since there’s little visual trickery involved. It’s all about balance after all.

But, as expected, it’s harder than it appears. Since the rope’s peak is anchored at only one point — not the two points of contact at the bottom — it’s far easier to tip over. You have to keep your center of balance as close to the center line of the ladder as possible. But it’s virtually impossible to stay in the center of the rungs as you climb, because lifting yourself up and away from the ladder — as you would in normal climbing — makes tipping over likely.

Many websites recommend using your left arm and right foot in tandem, then alternating to your right arm and left foot. If you have a strong center of gravity, that will definitely help. Be sure to stay low and flat, which will allow you greater control of the ladder. Ignore the rungs and focus on using the outside ropes to pull yourself.

And, of course, keep an eye on the operator. Some will hold the ladder steady for you at first, and then let go at an inconvenient moment for you.

[Image courtesy of Art of Manliness.]

Water guns and pellet guns also make appearances in carnival games, with the “shoot the star” game being among the most infamous. The goal in this game is to shoot away any traces of the star from the paper.

It goes without saying that the BB gun will not shoot true, so take a few practice shots to get used to adjusting for the gun’s idiosyncrasies.

Your instinct will be to aim at the center of the star and work your way out, but that’s guaranteed failure. Doing so creates little flaps of paper as the center is eaten away, and those flaps will fold and bend as they’re hit, rather than tearing away.

The recommended tactic is to shoot a circle around the star, which prevents those little energy-absorbing flaps from forming. Granted, if you are successful with this tactic, the star itself will become a flap near the end of the game. It’s best to leave the top part of the circle connected last, since gravity at the very least will be on your side. (If, for instance, you shot away the top part of the circle first, the circle could easily fold or tip down, making it much harder to hit.)

This is definitely one of the tougher midway games. The FBI actually studied how the size of the star affects players’ chances for success, and it turns out the smaller the star, the better your odds. (Specifically, an inch or smaller in diameter is your best bet. If the star is wider than 1.5 inches, you’re outta luck.)

This video features a terrific statistical breakdown of the odds of various carnival games and some techniques for beating them. (It also confirms what we’ve all long suspected… that no matter how quickly you win a prize, you’ve already overpaid for it.)

And before we go, let’s conclude the post with a few more tips for not getting scammed. After all, for the most part, we’ve treated these games as difficult, but ultimately winnable. That’s not always the case.

So make sure to watch a game for a while before you play. Some unscrupulous operators will use different balls or equipment in demonstration than you get to use when your money’s on the line. Be aware.

Also, when trying out a game, always try to stand where the operator was standing. Most carnival games involve showing you “how easy it is to win” in order to sucker you in. But if the operator won’t let you try to recreate exactly how they did it — including which ball and where they’re standing — you might be playing an unfairly rigged game.

Got any other advice for carnival game enthusiasts? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!

Beware the power of crosswords!

Both athletes and sports fans can be superstitious. Some have rituals before game or during game, or certain things they have to do or say after a big play.

Sometimes, it’s a playful thing, a form of passive support for the team, or a fun activity for everyone gathered around the TV on a Sunday afternoon or in the parking lot tailgating.

But other times, it’s taken much more seriously. After all, where you have superstitions, you also have curses.

Well, we might just need to add crosswords to the list of possible ways to jinx a team or player.

You see, sports fan Evans Clinchy knocked one entry off his bucket list by publishing a crossword with the New York Times, a worthy goal to be sure.

But he’s afraid his entry for 58-Across, KEVIN DURANT, may have jinxed a long-time favorite player and idol. You see, news went out the next day that Mr. Durant fractured his foot and will be out from 6 to 8 weeks.

I highly recommend reading the entire article, which is very funny and offers some hilarious insight into the mind of sports fans everywhere.

And his post does raise an interesting question: have any of the constructors or puzzlers out there jinxed an athlete, an actor, or a celebrity with their puzzles, or worried about doing so? I have a hard time believing Mr. Clinchy is the only one, especially since there are plenty of sports fans in the puzzle constructing community.

Let me know! I’d love to hear your stories.

Better luck with your next puzzle, Mr. Clinchy! And heal up soon, Mr. Durant. Your team, and Mr. Clinchy’s conscience, need you.

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