Long-time readers know that we often host in-house wordplay contests. Not only do we invite our friends at Penny/Dell Puzzles to participate, but our fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers as well!
This month, the challenge was to pen a Penny/Dell- or puzzle-inspired opening line in a novel!
Participants could create new opening lines from whole cloth or twist a classic opening line in a puzzly direction. Bonus points for any punny references to Penny/Dell puzzles or magazines!
With both text and art submitted, let’s check out what some clever puzzly minds came up with!
Some of our contributors went the parody route, so here are some familiar lines with a puzzly twist!
“Somewhere in La Mancha, in a Number Place whose Crypto-Name I do not care to Remember When, a gentleman lived not long ago.” — Don Quick-quote
“All Four One this happened, more or less.” — Slaughterhouse-Fancy Fives
“Here & There was no possibility of taking a walk that Daisy.” — Jane-saw Square
“I had the story, Brick by Brick, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each Timed Framework it was a different story.” — Ethan Fromework
Others chose to craft a new line with puzzle references!
Brick by Brick, the Shadow, Spellbound, Wheels Bits and Pieces to the Crossroads.
It’s Your Move: In a Word, How Many Triangles does it take to solve How Many Squares?
Chrissie knew that that something was wrong when her Codeword was missing an X: Gerald never made mistakes that affected the basic rules of a puzzle. Something would have to have really affected him deeply for him to miss something like that.
“This is where I draw the line,” I said, trying to keep myself from using a few choice words; just because I had family ties with the local diamond mine didn’t mean I was ready to take on their case, but I’m not called the codebreaker for nothing and I knew I had to beat the clock if I was going to come face to face with the man called The Shadow, the one and only.
One intrepid solver submitted a series of opening lines from a fictional puzzle-novel series!
All first sentences were taken from the deluxe slipcase edition “Suddenly, a Shot Rang Out: the Best of Whitslocke’s Puzzling Adventures.”
Whitslocke’s mind reeled in shock as she struggled to make sense of the shocking discovery: she had a secret identical twin, but one who preferred Word Seeks to Crosswords!
Whitslocke gasped as she spotted the man in the threadbare suit several tables away from her in the Parisian bar as she realized that the Place Cards inventor must have faked his own death and created a new identity, but why?
Whitslocke saw the Deduction Problem’s answer in the reflection of her Bengal cat’s eye and thought, “My god, the prophesy is coming true!”
Whitslocke was painstakingly filling out her Logic grid when she saw a long shadow appear over her desk as a gravelly voice intoned, “I told you I’d be back.”
Whitslocke had just finished her lunch and her Letterboxes when she heard the thump of a package delivery right outside her door as she wondered, “But I didn’t order anything.”
Whitslocke squinted at the hieroglyphics in the Egyptian tomb, “Why, it looks just like a Cryptograms puzzle: soon all that treasure will be mine!”
Whitslocke took her coffee to her cafe table, sat down, and pulled out her Classic Variety puzzle magazine and a pencil when she heard a cheeky voice murmur, “I thought you’d be more of a Sudoku type, actually.”
Whitslocke despaired over the possibility of never finding her missing framed Logic Art puzzle, when she put on her coat and gloves, opened the door, and saw the most stunning sight imaginable.
Whitslocke returned to her study where she saw her prized macaw reach one talon out to snag her latest Masters Variety magazine and start to drag it into her cage, and thought, “Could he be my secret weapon?”
It was a dark and stormy night as Whitslocke stood at the front of the packed conference hall during the puzzle tournament – suddenly, a shot rang out!
Another solver created the first page (and cover!) of a puzzly children’s book!
Finally, another contributor tackled perhaps the most famous opening line in literature, and went above and beyond to capture the entire sequence:
A Tale of Two Cities at a Time
by Charles Brick by Brickens
It was the best of Rhyme Times,
it was the worst of Two Times Three,
it was the Camouflage of wisdom,
it was the Mirror Image of Roulette-ishness,
it Beat the Clock of belief,
Around the Block of incredulity,
it was the season of Double Delight,
it was the season of Marquee Malarkey-ness,
it was the spring of Kaleidoscope,
it was the winter of Cross Pairs,
we had Everything’s Relative before us,
we had nothing beFore ‘n’ Aft us,
we were going In All Directions to Heaven,
we were all Coming and Going direct the other way –
in Short Stretch, the period was so far like the present period,
that Some of the Parts of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received,
for Good Deal or for evil,
in the Superscore-lative degree of comparison only.
Did you come up with any puzzly opening lines for novels, fellow puzzler? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.
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