Valentine’s Day is fast approaching…


Valentine’s Day is this Saturday, and it can be tough to find something appropriate for your significant other that’s sincere and interesting and heartfelt. This is as true for puzzle lovers as it is for everyone else.

So, in the spirit of romance, love, affection, and all things Valentine’s Day, I’ve compiled a few puzzly suggestions for what to give your significant other.


Now, you can always start with something simple, like a subscription to a puzzle service like The Uptown Puzzle Club, The American Values Club Crossword, or Matt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword Contest. New puzzles every week or every month are a great gift. (Especially the Valentine’s Deluxe Set for the Penny Dell Crosswords app on PuzzleNation! *wink*)

If they’re more into mechanical puzzles, our friends at Tavern Puzzles offer several brain teasers that incorporate a heart shape.


But if you’re looking for something more personalized, why not make a crossword for them yourself?

(Yes, you can also commission a top puzzler to do one for you — Brendan Emmett Quigley for one — but you’d usually want to get the ball rolling on something like that well before Valentine’s Day.)

Now, to be fair, crosswords can be tough and time-intensive to make, so if that feels a little daunting, why not try a Framework puzzle instead? It involves the same crossing style, but doesn’t require you to use every letter.


[This grid is presented fill-in style, in case you
don’t want to use crossword-style numbering.
Check out the original here.]

It allows you to maintain a terrific word list all about you and your significant other without all the effort of filling in every square crossword-style.

Some themed entries could include where you first met, favorite meals, favorite movie… heck, if you’ve been together a long time, the names of your kids, or your favorite vacation spots.

Or you could write the object of your affection a coded love letter! All throughout history, people have employed different tricks and techniques to keep their private messages away from prying eyes, and you could do the same! Whether it’s a simple letter-shifting cipher or something more complex, make sure your message is worth reading. =)

If that’s not your cup of tea, maybe do a scavenger hunt! You could leave clues around leading to a gift, or a romantic dinner, or some other grand finale. Maybe a rose with each clue.


Or you could hide jigsaw pieces around the house that, when put together, spell out a Valentine’s message or a picture of the two of you.

Put your own spin on the idea. A little bit of effort can go a long way, plus it doesn’t cost anything.

You could even make a game of it! Play Valentine’s Day Bingo.


[I found this blank template on]

Maybe go for a walk or take your loved one out to dinner, and see if they can get bingo by observing different things. A couple holding hands as they walk, a Valentine’s Day proposal, outrageously priced flowers…

The possibilities are endless when you put your mind to it.

A friend of mine did something puzzly and romantic for his girlfriend, creating cryptic crossword clues she had to solve in order to receive each birthday gift he’d gotten her. When all of the clues were solved, they spelled out a special message. (You can check out the story here.)

And let me know if you or your significant other have ever shared any puzzly romantic moments!

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