It’s Follow-Up Friday: And a One And a Clue 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 #PennyDellPuzzleBands 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 Puzzle Bands, mashing up Penny Dell puzzles and favorite bands or musicians!

Examples might be The Beat-the-Clock-les, Brick by Brick Astley, or Kris Krossword.

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


The Rolling Stepping Stones / Stepping Stones Temple Pilots / Steppin’ Stones Wolf

Fill-In Collins (singing Su-Su-Sudoku) / Fill-In Sync

Spinwheel Doctors

The Who’s Calling? / The Guess Who’s Calling? / The Who’s Who

Radioheadings

Men at Framework

Kenkenny Rogers (or Loggins or G) / KenKen Chesney

Kenny Chess Words

Paul Simon Says / Simon Le Bon Says / Simon Says Garfunkel

Paul Simon and Art Garfield’s Word Seeks

ZZ Top to Bottom / Top to Soggy Bottom Boys

Zigzag Top / Jay Zig Zag / Zigzag Marley

Missing Persons List / Missing Persons Trios

Cryptogram Parsons / Patchwork QuotaGram Parsons

Letterboxes Zeppelin / Letterboxes to Cleo

Led Zeppelin and Around

Tina Turnabout / Tina Turn a Phrase / Tossing and Tina Turner

U2 of a Kind / U2 by Two / U2 for One

Three Doors Down of a Kind / 3 Doors Ups and Downs

Three Doors Across and Down / Across and Three Doors Down

Big Brother and the Three’s Company

Three from Nine Inch Nails

Third Bull’s-Eye Blind

Never Mind the Bull’s-Eye Spiral…Here Come the Sex Pistols!

The Four-Most Tops / The Four Tops to Bottom

Four Square Blondes / Tears Four Square

Gang of Foursomes

The Crackerjackson 5

The Jackson Fancy Fives / Maroon Fancy Five / The Fancy Dave Clark Fives

Black 47-Up

Seven Mary Three’s Company

The Jesus and Mary Chain Words

Alice in Chain Words

Square North of Nines

Thirteenth Floor Escalators

Mix and Matchbox Twenty / Match-Up Twenty

Talking Heads & Tails / Radioheads and Tails (singing Creepto-Families)

Florida Georgia Line ‘Em Up / End of the Florida Georgia Line

Drop-outs Kick Murphys

NickelThrowbacks

Wall Flower Powers / The Flower Power Kings

ColdWordPlay

ColdPlaces, Please / The Black Eyed Places Please

Jefferson Starspellship / Ringo Starrspell

Ringo Starr Words / Mazzy Star Words

Thompson Twin Crosswords

Pairs in LeAnn Rimes

Eric Clapboard

New Kids on the Blockbuilders / New Kids on the Crossblocks

Around the New Kids on the Block / New Kids Around the Block

ABBAcus (singing Take a Letter Chance On Me and Waterloose Tile)

Bobby Vee-Words

The Partridge Family Ties

Missing Fats Dominoes

Morris Day & the Rhyme Time

Right of Waylon Jennings

KC and the Sum-Doku band / K.C. and the Sunrays Band

Sunrays & Cher-A-Letter

Motley Crueptograms

Janis Joplinkwords

Alphaville Soup / Bowling for Alphabet Soup

The Smashing Pumpkin-Patchwords

Junior Walker & the All Stars and Arrows

Stars and Aerosmith

Sudoku & the Banshees

Sudokool & the Gang / Kool and the Changelings

Mirror Imagine Dragons

Kelly Picker-Upper

Blackout Sabbath

They Might Be Puzzler’s Giants

Sweet Honeycomb in the Rock

Busta Rhyme Time

A to Z Maze featuring Frankie Beverly / A to Jay-Z Maze

Beat the Strawberry Alarm Clock

Foreigner ‘n’ Aft

Metallicancelations

Frank Zip It

Patsy Cline ‘Em Up

Golden Earringmaster

Add One Direction

Jethro Full Circle / Jethro Tiles

The Point the Way Sisters

Santanagrams

Marcy Word Playground

Mariah Carey-Overs / Carry-Overs Underwood

The Black Keywords

Neil Diamond Mine / Nine of Neil Diamonds / Neil Diamond Rings

What’s Left Eye Lopes

Face to Faces / The Small Face to Faces

Split and Splice Girls

Word Player

Quotefall Out Boy

Word Mazey Gray

B-U-S METRO STATION

Simply Grand Funk Railroad!

“C” the Spice Girls and “C” the Beastie Boys

Little Mix at a Time

Anagram Magic! Square

The Associations

Fats Domino Theory

The Washington Jigsaw Squares

Linkwords Park

Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Occupancy

Scoremaster Flash

ABeeGee’s

John Mayall’s Codebreakers

Nat King Collective Crossword

Dave Match-Up’s Band

Jane’s Letter Addition

Counting Cross Sums

Fleetwood Mac & Logic Problems / Flinkwords Mac

Crostics Stills & Nash

Maxi-Score Priest

Drummerman-heim Steamroller / Drummerman-fred Mann

A Trigons Called Quest

Sir Mixmaster-A-Lot

Weird Al Wacky Words Yankovic

Uncle Crackers

The Marshall Mind Tickler Band

Banana Word-A Rama

Ashford & Simpson Says

The CultureWords Club

Earth Wind and Fill-Ins

The Mamas and the Papas Grand Tour

Ringer’s Eleven

Public Double Trouble Enemy

Guns ‘n’ Rows Garden


Those bands would be sure to win plenty of AnaGrammy and QuotaGrammy Awards!

Our fellow puzzlers on Twitter also offered up some terrific entries themselves!

@EmilBurp was “torn between the obvious ‘A-Dell’ or the semi-obvious ‘Anacro-Styx'” — two very clever entries! And @_PaulSurf offered up several choice entries, including “Panic at the DisCodewords,” “ZZ Top Choice Sudoku,” and “CryptoGraham Parker and the Rumour.”

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

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It’s Follow-Up Friday: Broadway Puzzles 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 #PennyDellBroadwayPuzzles hashtag game!

[Sir Ian McKellen, exhausted from coming up with puns all night.]

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’re been collaborating on puzzle-themed hashtag games with our pals at Penny/Dell Puzzles, and this month’s hook was Penny/Dell Broadway Puzzles!

Examples of shows might be “Oooooooooooooklahoma Runs!” and examples of songs might be “(I Am) Sixteen Going on Seven-Ups” or “Give and Take My Regards to Broadway.”

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


Shows!

Figgerits on the Roof / Fiddler’s Frame on the Roof (featuring the smash song Matchmaker)

Keep On Movin’ Out

Les MiséraBubbles

The Bookworms of Mormon / The Book of Bricks and Mortar

La Cage aux Fill-Ins

Lucky Starlight Express

Jesus Christ Superstarspell / Jesus Christ Superscore

The Mystery Word of Edwin Drood / The Mystery Person of Edwin Drood

A Chorus Line ‘em Up / Draw the Chorus Line / End of the Chorus Line / A Crostic Line

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Foursomes / Four(-um) Corners / Four Square

How to Succeed in Boxes Without Really Trying

A Little Puzzler Night Music

The Fan Words of the Opera / The Shadow of the Opera

Sunrays Boulevard

Oh! (Quote) Cal-cu(la)ta!

Hair-A-Letter

The Best Little Scoreboard in Texas / The Best Little “Score”house in T(ripl)ex-as

Annie-gram

Annie-gram Get Your Gun

Fill-Into the Woods / Drop-In to the Woods

Avenue (Q)uotagrams

Kiss Me, Kate-gories

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Timed Framework

Godspell(down) / Godspellbound / God Spell it out

Can-Can Cancellations

Les Miz(sing Vowels)

The WIZard Words

Wizard Words of Oz, featuring the song “Follow the Yellow Brick By Brick Road”

Bowl Mame

The Pajama Bowl Game

Cactus Flower Power

The 25th Annual Putnam County Starspelling Bee

Odds and Evens Couple by Neil Simon Says

The Merry Window Boxes

A Balancing Act of God

Kiss of the Spider’s Web

Drummerman of La Mancha


Songs!

“Ya Got Double Trouble” (The Music Man)

“Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Quick Quote” (Guys and Dolls)

“There’s a Places, Please for Us” (West Side Story)

“The Circle Sums of Life” (The Lion King)

“Dance: Ten, Looks: Three from Nine” / “Dance a Perfect Ten, Looks Three of a Kind” (A Chorus Line)

“I Don’t Need Anything But You Know the Odds” (Annie)

“Scoremaster of the House” (Les Miserables)

“Getting to Know You Know the Odds” (The King & I)

Mamma Mia needs some Alphabet Soup!!” (Mamma Mia)

“Surrey with the Fringe On Top to Bottom” (Oklahoma!)

“Ease on Down the Crossroads” (The Wiz)

“Cell Blockbuilders Tango” (Chicago)

“I Don’t Know How To Solve This” (and I’ve solved so many puzzles before…) (Jesus Christ Superstar)

“No Places, Please Like London” (Sweeney Todd)

“No Good Deal” (Wicked)

“Grease Is the Codeword” (Grease)

“A Whole New Word Trails” (Aladdin)

“I’m Still Here & There” (Follies)


Some of our Twitter followers also got in on the fun, with @MicMcCracken tweeting “Les Misery Loves Company!”

And, naturally, it wouldn’t be a PuzzleNation game unless someone went above and beyond the call of duty. This time around, fellow PuzzleNationer Debra created a puzzly version of the opening stanza of “My Favorite Things”!

Crosswords and Word Seeks and Sudoku
Fill-Ins and Ken-Kens and Logic Problems too
Codewords and Crostics and Diamond Rings
These are a few of my favorite things!


All in all, the game was great fun!

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

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 the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

The Wide World of Sudoku

hypersudokufromsudokusolverdotnet

[A classic Sudoku grid with a colorful twist, where the 3×3 blue squares also have all 9 numbers inside them. One of many MANY Sudoku variants. Grid from Sudoku-Solver.net]

For more than a century now, crosswords have been the premier pencil-and-paper (or pen-and-paper, if you’re confident) puzzle, but a close second would have to be Sudoku, which has exploded in popularity over the last decade or so.

The simple concept behind Sudoku — a 9×9 grid arranged so that the numbers 1 through 9 only appear once in each row, column, and 3×3 square — is easily modified for any difficulty level, from beginners to topnotch solvers.

The classic form of Sudoku, originally known as Number Place or To the Nines, is instantly recognizable.

screen480x480

[A Sudoku grid from PuzzleNation’s own free Classic Sudoku app for iPad.]

But virtually any set of nine different symbols, characters, numbers, or letters can be used as clues for a Sudoku-style solve. That gives us variations like Picture Sudoku or Color Sudoku, where the same deduction is involved, but the solution is a bit more vibrant.

colorsudokufromalphedotse

[A color Sudoku from Aleph.se.]

Word Sudoku follows the same concept, replacing the numbers 1 through 9 with letters, allowing for the added bonus of a 9-letter word reading out along one of the rows. I’ve seen Word Sudoku variations in all sorts of languages, which is neat, because you can still solve the puzzle even if you don’t know the language; you’re simply choosing different symbols.

wordsudokufrommagicwordsquareonblogspot

[A Word Sudoku from Magic Word Square on Blogspot.]

Using letters instead of numbers often factors into larger Sudoku puzzles. While Penny/Dell’s Mega Sudoku is a 16×16 grid using the numbers 1 through 16, other large-scale Sudoku puzzles use letters instead of numbers above 10, while others go so far as to remove the numbers altogether, giving you the option of puzzles that span nearly the entire alphabet!

25gridfromcolinjdotcodotuk

[A 25×25 monster Sudoku grid using letters, courtesy of colinj.co.uk]

And since we’re already discussing bigger Sudoku puzzles, it’s worth mentioning smaller Sudoku puzzles. Often called Mini-Sudoku or Sub-Doku, these puzzles start at 4×4 grids (using only the numbers 1 through 4) and increase in size all the way up to the standard 9×9 grid.

Those are just the puzzles that use standard Sudoku rules. There are numerous types of Sudoku that add new rules or curious wrinkles to the standard solve.

Perhaps the most famous variant is known as Extreme Sudoku, Diagonal Sudoku, or X-Sudoku, and there’s one crucial difference: the numbers 1 through 9 also appear only once along each diagonal. This additional rule helps with solving, but Extreme Sudoku puzzles often have fewer set numbers in order to keep the difficulty level interesting.

extremesudoku

Another popular variation is known as Jigsaw Sudoku or Geometric Sudoku. These puzzles abandon the standard 3×3 boxes, instead using various Tetris-like shapes within the 9×9 grid. Each of these pieces contains each number 1 through 9, and the standard rule of no repeats within a row or a column remains.

These puzzles can either have random shapes or shapes with the same diagonal symmetry that rules both crossword grids and the placement of set numbers in classic Sudoku grids.

jigsawsudokufromanypuzzledotcom

[A Jigsaw Sudoku grid from AnyPuzzle.com]

Some variations involve more deduction as well, like Neighbor Order Sudoku or Greater Than Sudoku. These puzzles feature small arrows that indicate whether the number in a given square is larger or smaller than its neighbor.

That’s just the start of math-based Sudoku variants that exist. Sum-Doku or Killer Sudoku uses the standard one-per-row, column, and 3×3 box Sudoku rule, but also adds numerous smaller Tetris shapes and boxes, each with a total. The numbers within that smaller box add up to that total.

Those totals are a crucial aid for solving, since Sum-doku puzzles often feature many fewer starting numbers. (The shapes of the smaller boxes often follow the diagonal symmetry of the set numbers.)

sumdokufromcrossworddotnalenchdotcom

[A Sum-Doku grid from Crossword.Nalench.com]

Another popular variant involves overlapping Sudoku grids. You could have two 9×9 grids that share one 3×3 box, or two 9×9 grids sharing four 3×3 boxes, or you could have more grids overlapping in all sorts of ways.

overlappingquadruplesudokufromformsofenjoysudokudotcom

[A quadruple overlapping Sudoku grid, courtesy of the forums of enjoysudoku.com]

The best known overlapping Sudoku puzzle is probably Samurai Sudoku, which features five 9×9 grids, one at the center and one at each corner, so the 4 corner 3×3 boxes of the center grid link the puzzle together.

Check out this masterpiece I discovered on mathpuzzle.com:

5-way-hybridsudokufrommathpuzzledotcom

Not only is it a Samurai Sudoku with diagonal symmetry for all the set numbers, but each of the four corner grids operates under a different set of variant rules.

The upper left grid uses Extreme Sudoku (or Diagonal Sudoku) rules, the upper right grid is an asymmetric Jigsaw Sudoku (or Geometric Sudoku), the lower left grid has shaded the location of every even-numbered number to aid your solving, and the bottom right has two shaded ribbons weaving throughout the grid, each of which also includes each number from 1 through 9 once.

As you might expect, there are plenty of variations of Samurai Sudoku. My personal favorite is known as Shogun Sudoku; it’s two linked Samurai Sudoku grids — meaning there are ELEVEN linked 9×9 grids — and there are even larger variations out there for the solver who simply can’t get enough of overlapping Sudoku puzzles.

2014-12-04_10-11-41_260

[Upper left: Tight Fit Sudoku, Upper Right: Thermo Sudoku,
Lower Left: Arrow Sudoku, Lower Right: Consecutive Sudoku.]

Our friends at Penny/Dell Puzzles have several titles that offer a variety of different Sudoku puzzles. The four grids above all appear in various issues of Will Shortz’s WordPlay, all courtesy of Sudoku constructor Thomas Snyder.

You should also check out the Sudoku Spectacular title (featured in our Holiday Puzzly Gift Guide!) as well as their upcoming Will Shortz’s Sudoku title.


I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the mathier cousins of Sudoku.

2000px-kakuro_black_box-svg

Kakuro, also known as Cross Sums, follows the same no-repeats rule of classic Sudoku, but the grids are much closer to Crosswords. The numbers along the top and left-side are the total for each row or column, and they are the primary clues for solving the puzzle. Kakuro rarely features set numbers the way Sudoku does, instead opting for a single filled-in row or column to get the solver started.

kenkenfromthemathmagazineonblogspot

[A 6×6 KenKen grid, courtesy of The Math Magazine on Blogspot]

KenKen takes the addition from Sum-Doku and adds subtraction, multiplication, and division to the mix. Each box has a number and a mathematical symbol. The number is the total, and the symbol is how the missing numbers interact to reach that total. For instance, in the upper right corner of the grid, there’s 24X. That means the two missing numbers from that box, when multiplied, equal 24.

And since this is a 6×6 grid, following the same one-per-row and column rules of Sudoku, you know that 4 and 6 are the missing numbers in that box, but you don’t necessarily know where to place them yet.

When it comes to Sudoku, the variations on shapes and layouts are seemingly endless. I’ve seen diamonds and snowflakes, cubes and five-pointed stars, in all sorts of sizes. You can get Samurai Sudoku with 6×6 grids, Jigsaw Sudoku in miniature, and Word Sudoku with Egyptian hieroglyphics.

While researching this post, I encountered this marvelous Sudoku variant, which the constructor calls Star Sudoku.

starsudoku1

The numbers 1 through 9 appear once in each triangle, and there are no repeats along any row or slanted column. This puzzle is not only clever, it’s flat-out neat.

So, fellow puzzlers, what’s your favorite variation of Sudoku? Or do you prefer to stick with the classic version? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

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 the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!