PuzzleNation Looks Back at 2014!

The year is quickly coming to a close, and as I look back on the past twelve months, I’m both proud of everything we at PuzzleNation accomplished and optimistic for the year ahead of us.

It’s been both a pleasure and a privilege to explore the world of puzzles and games with you, my fellow puzzle lovers and PuzzleNationers. I’m closing in on my 300th blog post, and I’m even more excited to write for you now than I was when I started.

Over the last year, we explored dice games and tile games, apps and pen-and-paper puzzles. We met designers, constructors, and creative types of all kinds. We cracked brain teasers and tackled mind-bending riddles.

We explored the different roles puzzles have played throughout history, from codebreaking during the American Revolution and the Civil War to Galileo’s anagrams and a Pope who crafted puzzles for the local paper.

We celebrated International TableTop Day, Star Wars Day, the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, the 30th anniversary of Tetris, and the 75th anniversary of Batman, and we were happy to share so many remarkable puzzly landmark moments with you.

We spread the word about numerous worthwhile Kickstarters and Indiegogo campaigns, and along the way, we supported some fantastic causes, like saving a puzzle/game shop in Washington and donating to a campaign to adapt games for colorblind and visually-impaired puzzle/game fans.

And that’s just the blog. PuzzleNation’s good fortune and accomplishments in 2014 went well beyond that.

In February, we launched the Penny/Dell Jumbo Crossword App, our most successful puzzle app to date. In March, we launched Classic Sudoku for the iPad, and in May, we added Classic Word Search for the iPad.

With numerous new puzzle sets (including two launched in December!), we have proudly maintained a steady stream of topnotch puzzle content for our solvers, and we’ve got plenty more on the way in 2015.

Not only that, but in September we relaunched our website, gearing it entirely to providing you with the best mobile puzzle gaming experience around.

And your response has been terrific! We also amassed over a thousand followers for the blog and over 1600 followers of the PuzzleNation Facebook page in 2014, numbers that are both humbling and encouraging.

2014 was our most productive, most exciting, and most creatively fulfilling year to date, and 2015 promises to be even brighter.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, your support, and your feedback, PuzzleNationers. Have a fantastic New Year. We’ll see you in 2015!

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!

New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s New Year’s Eve, and around this time, people start making resolutions for the new year. Goals, plans, even the occasional scheme, all in the hopes of being a better version of themselves.

And I instantly began wondering if anyone was making puzzly resolutions. So, like all great philosophers, I asked the folks on Twitter.

Right after I posted the question, my friend Candice replied, “Spooky timing. Had just added ‘set aside a few hours every week to do puzzles’ to my list.”

As it turns out, plenty of people had puzzly resolutions for 2014, including a few familiar faces!

Puzzle poet Peter Valentine resolved to “Get up early and finish the poem before anyone else is awake — I wonder how many puzzler parents use this tactic for solving the puzzle?”

[Glenn’s note: Probably more than you suspect, Peter.]

Constructor Patrick Blindauer tweeted, “In 2014, I resolve to solve more, use fewer black squares, and never, ever use TREEN.”

[Glenn’s note: A quick dictionary search reveals that TREEN is anything made of wood, especially cookware or utensils. Diabolical crosswordese!]

Friend of the blog Krud tweeted, “I resolve to embed an anagram into every tweet. Aye, mint tea lovers drown beige meat near vote.”

Crossword blogger Kathy Matheson (a.k.a. Crossword Kathy) declared that “My resolution for the New Year is to construct and submit at least three daily-size crosswords to Will Shortz — so I better get to work!”

Constructor and Puzzle Historian David Steinberg resolved to “finish the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project’s litzing stage and to construct more Sunday crosswords, since I’ve been doing mostly dailies.”

[Glenn’s note: Litzing is the PSPP term for converting print puzzles into an archivable electronic format.]

Friend of the blog (and YouTuber!) BaffleDazzle had a stack of puzzly resolutions:

“1. Exercise brain as much as body (easier, no weights/special clothes required)
2. Make puzzles for friends/family birthday gifts
3. Try new puzzle/puzzly game each month (growing stack of old Springboks + new Looney Labs discoveries!)
4. Make puzzles the new black!”

Constructor Robin Stears also offered a pretty ambitious list of puzzly resolutions:

“Next year, my resolution is to interact more with puzzle fans. I hope to attend some crossword tournaments and trivia nights and spend some time getting to know the contestants and finding out what kinds of puzzles they like. There will be more digital collections this year, more contests, and more freebies for Team StearsWords.”

As for me, I have a few resolutions of the puzzlerific variety. I resolve to:

  • Anagram more. New Years resolution = Now to rerun easy lies.
  • Play more board games. Working on the blog has reignited my love of board games, and I hope to get a regular game night going.
  • Write fewer pop culture-related palindromes, particularly involving Kim Kardashian’s advice to her daughter. “Nori West nods. ‘Moms don’t sew, iron’.”
  • Fight crime, but with puzzles. Probably through the clever use of origami and paper cuts.
  • Take PuzzleNation PuzzleInternational! (Not really sure how to go about this yet. It’ll probably involve some scheming.)

Happy New Year, my fellow puzzlers! May 2014 be as delightful, surprising, and occasionally baffling as you desire!

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 Classic Word Search iBook (recently featured by Apple in the Made for iBooks category!), play our games at PuzzleNation.com, or contact us here at the blog!