It Was a Dark and Stormy (and Puzzly) Night…

dark and stormy

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!

gopher1

gopher2


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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View a Clue: Crossword Characters Answers!

A few weeks ago, we brought back one of our trickiest recurring features: the View a Clue game!

If you recall, I selected ten fictional characters that commonly show up in crossword grids — some have become crosswordese at this point — to see if the PuzzleNation audience could identify them from pictures.

Without further ado, let’s give it a shot!


#1 (4 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Heroes and Villains Fandom.]

Answer: ODIE, loyal and drooly companion of Garfield and his owner Jon Arbuckle


#2 (4 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Pinterest.]

Answer: ASTA, beloved dog of film detectives Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man series


#3 (3 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Redbubble.]

Answer: REN, from Nickelodeon’s Ren & Stimpy


#4 (4 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Disney Fandom.]

Answer: SMEE, Captain Hook’s right-hand man from the Peter Pan stories


#5 (4 letters) [I’ve included two possible characters for this one.]

view fcc 5a

view fcc 5b

[Images courtesy of E! Online and Wikipedia.]

Answer: ELSA


#6 (4 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Hulu.]

Answer: EYRE, more specifically Jane Eyre


#7 (4 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Amazon.]

Answer: IGOR, the assistant of Dr. Frankenstein


#8 (5 letters)

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[Image courtesy of Soap Central.]

Answer: ERICA, more specifically Erica Kane of All My Children


#9 (4 letters)

view fcc 9

[Image courtesy of Getty Images.]

Answer: AHAB, Captain of the Pequod from Moby-Dick


#10 (3 letters)

view fcc 10

[Image courtesy of Warner Bros.]

Answer: RIN, as in Rin Tin Tin, the famous Hollywood dog


How many did you get? Let me know in the comments below! And if you have ideas for another View a Clue game, tell us below!

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!

Hashtag Game Fun with Puzzly Women!

Oh yes, it’s that time again! It’s time to unleash our puzzly and punny imaginations and engage in a bit of sparkling wordplay!

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

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 #PennyDellPuzzleWomen, mashing up Penny Dell puzzles with famous women both real and fictional!

Examples include: Lana Tossing and Turner, Adele Sunday Crosswords, and Madeleine Albright of Way.

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


Selma Diamond Rings

Fill-Ins Diller

Katie Kakuroic

Mary Kay Places, Please

Cher-a-Letter

Priscyllacrostic Presley

The Maddow

Tie-Indira Gandhi

Midler’s Frame

Victoria’s Secret Words

In Black and Betty White

Gennifer Flowers Power

Stepping Sharon Stones

Classified Cheryl L-Adds

Marcia Crossroads

Ariana Grande Tour

Esther Rolle of the Dice

Tori Spellingdown

Sigourney Weaver Words

Maggie Wheelers

Debra Messing Vowels

Emily Observation Post

Tina Turnerabout

Diamond Ringrid Bergman

Word-a-Matilda

Kate In The Middleton

Evan Rachel Word Seek

Right of Fay Wray

Sylvia Plathboxes

Carly Simon Says

Shirley Temple Blackout

Chess-ica Simpson

Senator Barbara Mathboxer

Jenny “From the Blockletters” Lopez

Jigsaw Squares Eyre

Anne Bowl Gamelyn

Miss Piggybacks

Paris Hilton in Rhyme

Louisa May All Frame

Zsa Zsa Gaborderline

Twiggybacks

Marla Marbles

Mariah Carey-Overs

Kathleen Battleships

Dora the Exploraword

Mrs. Double-take-fire

Glinda the Group Values Witch

Diamond Li’l Rings

Major Margaret “Hot Blips” Houlihan

At Sixes and Seven of Nine

Elphababet Soup

Queen Ellery Elizabeth of Penny Dell

Mary-Kate and Ashley Double Trouble


There was also a submission that deserve its own section, as one of our intrepid puzzlers went above and beyond.

To the Cartoonist: Draw the Lynda Carter character Around the Block from the Double Trouble. We’ll Roll the Diana Prince into Wonder Woman and the Amazing Quote Amazon will take them down Brick by Brick.


And members of the PuzzleNation readership also got in on the fun!

On Facebook, Sandra Halbrook submitted the delightful entry Marcia Cross Sums!

Have you come up with any Penny Dell Puzzle Women entries 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!