Meet the Daily POP Crosswords Constructors: Bonnie L. Gentry

One of the Daily POP Crosswords app’s best features is the level of involvement from topnotch constructors. We’ve assembled one heck of a team when it comes to creating terrific, exciting, fresh themed crosswords.

And over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of them. Some names you may know, some you may not, but they’re all doing amazing work on these puzzles and deserve a little time in the limelight.

In this installment, allow us to introduce you to constructor Bonnie L. Gentry!

How did you get started in crosswords?

I sold my first puzzle in 2003 to The Los Angeles Times after I discovered a community of crossword constructors on the website Cruciverb.com. It had style sheets and contact information so I gave it a shot.

I have since been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Crosswords Club, and several crossword books. I also construct a two-page newspaper crossword each Thanksgiving for numerous newspapers.

I’m only a casual solver. I enjoy constructing much more. I tried only twice to compete in a national crossword tournament (ACPT), but ranked miserably. Switching to judging was far easier.

What do you enjoy about working on Daily POP Crosswords?

I love doing the research. I learn something new for every theme I do. I like that it’s a learning experience for me as both a constructor and a solver. This is quite different than traditional crosswords that rely more on wordplay.

Patti Varol is an amazing editor. Her insight makes me a better constructor. Also the volume of work she does is just staggering.

I love that the majority of constructors are women, although there are some great men as well.

I also solve the puzzles on Daily POP Crosswords every day. They are simple enough for any level but they all give an “Aha Moment” when I solve them.

Is there a particular theme day that appeals to you most or that you enjoy working on?

I enjoy sports themes the best. I’m a big fan of all sports and I’m an enthusiastic spectator. Football is probably my favorite sport.

When I do Book Smart themes, it introduces me to books I hadn’t thought much about and has led me to read new books.

I enjoyed learning new things about David Bowie in an upcoming puzzle I made. But the downside is a particular song keeps playing in my head. (But I won’t say which one, because it’s a spoiler.)


A huge thank you to Bonnie for her time! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for her puzzles in the Daily POP Crosswords app, free to download for both iOS and Android users!

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Super Bowl Snack Puzzle: The Solution!

super-bowl-51-tom-brady-vs-matt-ryan

Last Friday, we shared a football-themed brain teaser just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, and today, we’re going to walk you through solving it!

So, first, let’s refresh you on the puzzle itself:

Five couples have gathered for the big game, each football-loving woman having invited a male date, because it’s fun to invert stereotypes sometimes.

The women are Amanda, Evelyn, Janice, Rhianna, and Sue, and the men are Bill, Cory, Mack, Ted, and Walter.

Each couple brought a different snack: Doritos, Pringles, Lays, Tostitos, and Cheetos.

Can you figure out which couples brought which snack from the hints below?

Here are your hints:

1. Ted did not accompany Rhianna to the Super Bowl party.
2. Amanda and her date brought Doritos to the party.
3. Bill and his date and the couple who brought Pringles cheered for the Falcons.
4. Rhianna and her date cheered on the Patriots.
5. Mack and his date decided to bring Cheetos.
6. Evelyn and her date did not bring Lays chips.
7. Sue and her date, who wasn’t Ted, were Patriots fans.
8. Sue and her date didn’t bring Tostitos.
9. Cory and his date did not bring either Lays or Pringles to the gathering.
10. Bill and Amanda and their dates all sampled the five different types of chips.
11. Evelyn and her date did not bring Tostitos.
12. Ted and his date cheered the halftime show instead of either team.

So, given all the information, we know there are five couples, and we have clues regarding the men, the women, the snacks, and what they were rooting for. Let’s build a grid to help organize our information.

With the info in Clues 2, 3, 5, and 10, we have this starting grid:

snack1

We can now start to map out where some of the other women fit. According to Clues 4 and 7, both Rhianna and Sue were Patriots fans, which means they weren’t part of couples 1, 2, or 3.

snack2

Now, this doesn’t immediately place Sue or Rhianna, but when you combine this information with Clue 12, we can place Ted.

snack3

If we turn our attention to Clue 9, we can now place Cory, since we know he and his date didn’t bring Pringles or Lays, which means he can only be part of couple 5.

Since he didn’t bring Lays, we can also place both Lays and Tostitos in the snack column. And, by placing Cory, we also place Walt in the men column.

snack4

According to Clues 8 and 11, neither Evelyn nor Sue brought Tostitos, so we can place Rhianna in couple 5 with Cory. That leaves Sue as the other half of Patriots-cheering couple 4.

snack5

Finally, Clue 6 tells us that Evelyn didn’t bring Lays chips, meaning that we can place her in couple 3, and Janice in couple 2, completing our grid.

snack6

And there you have it, five couples enjoying the big game (or the halftime show). To each their own.

How did you do, fellow puzzlers? Did you unravel this one in celebration of Game Day? Let me know how you did!


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The Super Bowl Snack Brain Teaser!

super-bowl-51-tom-brady-vs-matt-ryan

The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and appropriately enough, a friend of the blog sent me a football-themed brain teaser to crack. (In an attempt to credit the creator, I uncovered this webpage, which I’ll cite until more information becomes available.)

But instead of solving it right away, I’ll put it to you first, my fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers, and give you the weekend to unravel it yourselves!

Here we go!

Five couples have gathered for the big game, each football-loving woman having invited a male date, because it’s fun to invert stereotypes sometimes.

The women are Amanda, Evelyn, Janice, Rhianna, and Sue, and the men are Bill, Cory, Mack, Ted, and Walter.

Each couple brought a different snack: Doritos, Pringles, Lays, Tostitos, and Cheetos.

Can you figure out which couples brought which snack from the hints below?

Here are your hints:

  • Ted did not accompany Rhianna to the Super Bowl party.
  • Amanda and her date brought Doritos to the party.
  • Bill and his date and the couple who brought Pringles cheered for the Falcons.
  • Rhianna and her date cheered on the Patriots.
  • Mack and his date decided to bring Cheetos.
  • Evelyn and her date did not bring Lays chips.
  • Sue and her date, who wasn’t Ted, were Patriots fans.
  • Sue and her date didn’t bring Tostitos.
  • Cory and his date did not bring either Lays or Pringles to the gathering.
  • Bill and Amanda and their dates all sampled the five different types of chips.
  • Evelyn and her date did not bring Tostitos.
  • Ted and his date cheered the halftime show instead of either team.

I’ll post the solution and the solve next week!

In the meantime, happy puzzling, happy viewing, and happy Super Bowl Sunday!


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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!

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Wordplay-action pass 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’m posting the results of our #PennyDellFootballPuzzles hashtag game!

You may be familiar with the board game Schmovie, hashtag games on Twitter, or @midnight’s Hashtag Wars segment on Comedy Central.

For the last few months, we’ve been collaborating on puzzle-themed hashtag games with our pals at Penny Dell Puzzles, and this month’s hook was Penny Dell Football Puzzles, mashing up Penny Dell puzzles and the world of American football. Players, teams, plays, terminology, anything and everything!

Examples include: The San Francisco Three-From-Niners, Coin Tossing & Turning, or Joe Namathboxes!

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


Tim Tebowl Game

Bricks and Marshawn Lynch

Up the Middle of the Road

Triple Play-action pass

Crozzle Dazzle

Pine Cone defense

Offensive Line ‘Em Up

Around the Bend Roethlisberger

Move the Chain Words

Punt reTurnabout

Running Throwbacks

End of the Line judge

Four Square pass

First and Last down

Places, Please kicker

St. Louis CryptogRams

Detroit Draw-the-Lions

Carolina’s Cam Scrambles Across Success

Tom Bull’s Eye Brady’s Perfect Spiral

Dallas’s Unlucky Star Quarterback

Beat the Clock: 2 Minute Warning Edition!

New York J-E-T-S Alphabet Style Soup

Tom Double Trouble Brady

Jim Brownders

Cris-crossword Carter

Mike Ditkakuro

Los Right Angles Rams

Fill-In-adelphia Eagles

Green Bay Crackers

Howie Many Triangles Long?

John Madd-One

San Francisco 49 of Diamonds

Emmitt’s Your Move Smith

Bart Starrspell

Michael Strahanagrams

Fearsome Foursomes

Complete-a-Word Pass

John El-Right-of-Way

Around the Blocker

Face to Faceguard

Halftime Show

Offensive Line ’em Up

QuarterPiggybacks

Endzone of the Line

St. Louis Anag-Rams

Walturnabout Payton

Gale Say-That-Again-ers

Joe Montanacrostic

Arizona Place Card-inals

Miami Dolphinish the Fours

Top to Bottom Brady


Our fellow puzzlers on Twitter also offered up some terrific entries themselves! @_screenhog contributed two great ones: Joe Montanagrams and Cryptograndstands

And @Francespuzzles blitzed us with many choice entries, including Extra Point the Way, Fourth & Aft, A Perfect Ten Yards, Gale You-Don’t-Sayers, Face to Facemask, Incomplete-A-Word, Across & First Down, Placekick Your Number, Solve & Sack, and my personal favorite, Fran Tar-KenKen-ton.

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

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!