It’s Follow-Up Friday: International Puzzle Day edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today, I’d like to return to the subject of puzzly holidays!

[Let’s celebrate with some crossword cake!]

Today is International Puzzle Day (or National Puzzle Day, depending on who you ask), and we here at PuzzleNation couldn’t resist getting involved in the puzzly celebrations!

In fact, we went all out this year, building a puzzle fort from various puzzle magazines! Check it out!

puzzle fort

And that’s just for starters. We’ve also assembled a new rundown of all the terrific puzzle apps and games PuzzleNation has to offer!

From the iOS and Android versions of the Penny Dell Crossword App (including new puzzle collections for both!) to our Classic Sudoku, Classic Word Search, and Bible Word Search apps, you can get all the details on our library of apps right here!

And to cap off the day’s festivities, we’ve collaborated with our pal Darcy over at Penny Dell Puzzles to concoct a little puzzly quiz for you!

Click here to find out What Kind of Puzzle Am I?, complete with links to share your results across social media!


So how are you celebrating International Puzzle Day? Are you kicking back with your favorite app or puzzle book? Meeting with friends to do a bit of tabletop gaming? Or maybe tackling an Escape the Room event and testing your puzzle mettle! Let us know in the comments!

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Prep for College the Puzzly Way!

It’s summer here in the United States, which means many high-school graduates are already looking forward to starting college. But for those soon-to-be freshmen, as well as high schoolers looking for an edge before university, have you considered puzzles and board games?

Now, it comes as no shock to me, but this article from the U.S. News and World Report website might surprise some, since it lists puzzles and board games as two of its five tools to develop critical thinking skills before college!

Naturally, I’ve been an advocate of puzzles as a learning tool for a long time, so it’s gratifying to see a major publication sharing the same views and ideas.

From the article:

Collections of crossword puzzles, logic problems, riddles, sudoku, word problems and word searches can be found at your local bookstore or library. The puzzles in these books are a wonderful strategy to activate different parts of your brain for a round or two of mental gymnastics, and many collections even discuss what each puzzle is meant to target within the mind.

Allow me to expand on this for a bit. Different puzzles can target different skills, so which puzzles you solve can make a big difference when it comes to critical thinking.

Crosswords encourage deduction (figuring out words from a few common letters) and a facility with wordplay (dealing with crafty clues and alternate definitions), while word searches offer great practice in pattern recognition and quick reaction times.

And the demand that Sudoku puzzles place on active attentiveness and concentration exercises parts of the brain associated with forming new memories, encouraging better memory retention.

[All three of the above pics come from our line of puzzle apps! Perfect for puzzly pre-college practice! Shameless plug now concluded!]

But the article also mentioned that certain board games can be excellent tools for honing valuable mental skills for college.

Choose board games that require more than luck – namely, strategy – for players to win. Any game where players must carefully consider their next move, recognize patterns and remember details will aid in honing critical thinking skills.

The article goes on to suggest some classics, like Chess, Checkers, and Mastermind for learning chain-thinking (planning several steps ahead) as well as Scrabble and Boggle (speedy information analysis, as well as word formation) and Clue and Risk (anticipating and reacting to the gameplay of others).

But I think they’re excluding some prime examples of board games that could benefit younger minds.

  • You could pick a cooperative game like Pandemic or Forbidden Island, which not only encourage strategic thinking, but teamwork and the free exchange of ideas (something that forced group exercises in school never really managed).
  • You could choose a rapid-change game like Fluxx (either the board game or the card game), which forces the players to adapt quickly to constantly changing rules and gameplay (a perfect microcosm of problem-solving in the real world, where things rarely remain static for long).
  • You could select a mixed-play game like The Stars Are Right, which incorporates several forms of gameplay (in this case, pattern-forming, tile-shifting, and a strategic card game akin to Magic: The Gathering or Munchkin) and forces players to exercise different forms of strategy and puzzle-solving all at once.

Just think about it. You could turn Family Game Night or Family Puzzle Time into College Prep Time in a snap. It’s win-win, or perhaps even win-win-win. What could be simpler, or more fun, than that?

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out our library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Apps and Alex edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

For those new to PuzzleNation Blog, Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and update the PuzzleNation audience on how these projects are doing and what these people have been up to in the meantime.

And today, I’ve got two terrific announcements for you all!

First and foremost, we’ve updated our Apps and iBooks page to reflect the latest puzzles and platforms available! Crosswords, Classic Word Search, and Sudoku puzzles await you there, ready for your mobile devices! Enjoy!

And second, since we’ve been talking about trivia recently, it seems utterly apropos that I stumbled across this video on the Guinness Book of World Records website this week.

It’s host Alex Trebek accepting the certificate for Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter (Same Program), officially documented by Guinness (hardly the show’s first world record, but easily its most impressive).

For the record (and the Record!), Alex zoomed into first place by hosting his 6,829th episode of Jeopardy!:

Thank you for checking out Follow-Up Friday! If there have been any posts or puzzle-centric stories featured here that you’d like us to follow up on, let us know! It could be the subject of next week’s Follow-Up Friday post!

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Word Search Edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

For those new to PuzzleNation Blog, Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and update the PuzzleNation audience on how these projects are doing and what these people have been up to in the meantime.

Today, I’d like to update you on what’s going on in the world of PuzzleNation apps and puzzles!

I’m happy to announce that we’ve just launched our latest puzzle game for the iPad, Classic Word Search!

With all sorts of delightful themed word lists, this is the word search solving you know and love, made easy with the touch of a fingertip! Just drag your finger along the words in the grid to loop them, and watch as they’re crossed off the word list one by one!

Accompanied by trivia for each themed word list, the puzzles in Classic Word Search are suitable for all ages and just waiting to be solved!

Classic Word Search joins the terrific lineup of apps and puzzle iBooks from PuzzleNation and Penny/Dell Puzzles, and we’re so excited to add another world-class puzzle to our mobile library.

Thanks for visiting the PuzzleNation Blog today. Stop in again soon for the latest puzzle news, app announcements, and all sorts of puzzly goodness!

App announcement time!

Hello puzzlers and PuzzleNationers!

One of the most exciting developments for PuzzleNation has been our move into the mobile puzzle-game market with our apps and iBooks. You can take PuzzleNation puzzles with you wherever you go!

And we’re proud to introduce the latest addition to our mobile lineup: the Penny/Dell Jumbo Crosswords App!

Featuring 150 all-new crosswords, Penny/Dell Jumbo Crosswords has several difficulty levels and all the topnotch features in the original Penny/Dell Crossword app!

There’s also the original Penny/Dell Crossword App, available for iPad and iPhone. It features smart navigation to move you to partially filled-in entries and an alternate-clue option to help you solve!

And of course, we have our marvelous Classic Word Search iBooks! Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 are all available for the iPad! With plenty of puzzles to keep you busy, Classic Word Search is a terrific way to pass the time!

Classic Word Search is also available for Kindle Fire through the Amazon App Store!

And stay tuned, fellow puzzle fiends. Coming soon, a certain number-based puzzle will also be available for your mobile devices!

Thanks for visiting the PuzzleNation blog today! You can like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, cruise our boards on Pinterest, check out our Tumblr, download our puzzle iBooks and apps, play our games at PuzzleNation.com, or contact us here at the blog!

PuzzleNation on the go!

Hello puzzlers and PuzzleNationers!

One of the most exciting developments for PuzzleNation has been our move into the mobile puzzle-game market with our apps and iBooks. You can take PuzzleNation puzzles with you wherever you go,

First off, we have our marvelous Classic Word Search iBooks! Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 are all available for the iPad! With an adaptable screen and plenty of puzzles to keep you busy, Classic Word Search is a terrific way to pass the time!

Classic Word Search is also available for Kindle Fire through the Amazon App Store!

And our friends at Penny/Dell Puzzles have a wonderful app for iPhone and iPad! Check out the Penny/Dell Crossword App, featuring smart navigation to move you to partially filled-in entries and an alternate-clue option to help you solve!

(And keep your eyes peeled for the Penny/Dell Jumbo Crosswords App, which launches in early February!

2014 promises to be our best and most accessible year yet, so please revisit this page to explore our latest additions to the PuzzleNation mobile line-up!