It’s Follow-Up Friday: ABCs and Butterflies edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

For those new to PuzzleNation Blog, Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and update the PuzzleNation audience on how these projects are doing and what these people have been up to in the meantime.

And today I’d like to talk about patterns.

One of the key puzzly skills a solver should have is an ability to spot patterns. Whether it’s determining a pattern in a series of numbers or spotting irregularities in a pattern that are significant, this level of observation serves puzzlers well in all kinds of solving experiences, from word searches to Match-Up-style art puzzles.

The innate human ability to find patterns in nature has led to numerous scientific discoveries over the years, but it has also led to some wonderful artistic and visual discoveries as well. From shells that adhere to a Fibonacci sequence to patterns in flower petals, patterns (and our ability to uncover them) are everywhere.

Artist and photographer Kjell Bloch Sandved has applied his puzzly attention to detail to photographing moths and butterflies, and he’s developed his own patterns: alphabets hidden in wings.

These patterns come from dozens of different photos, and Sandved has not only created several butterfly alphabets, but he sells custom prints spelling out names and messages in butterfly letters.

Once again, puzzly skills reveal not just brilliance, but beauty in the world as well.

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 our library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

Let’s get it (kick)started!

The newest tool in the arsenal of big thinkers and big dreamers is crowdfunding, wherein creators take their ideas directly to the people in the hopes that a lot of small donations will add up into capital to make their ideas reality.

Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have literally made dreams come true — heck, LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow Kickstarter just raised over a million dollars in ONE DAY — and it’s quickly becoming a key outlet for worthy puzzle projects. Some top-tier constructors are going straight to the fanbase with their puzzles, and with marvelous results. Constructors like Trip Payne, Eric Berlin, and Matt Gaffney have all had success on Kickstarter and Indiegogo with previous campaigns.

In the past, we’ve covered several crowdfunding campaigns, including Rachel Happen’s Baffledazzle puzzles, The Doubleclicks’ board game and pop culture-infused musical endeavors, and a company making board games and card games accessible to the visually challenged.

And I wanted to spread the world about some other puzzly endeavors that might interest the PuzzleNation readership.

The first is Peter Gordon’s Fireball Fortnightly News Crosswords.

Peter Gordon is known across the puzzle community for his Fireball Crosswords, a challenging brand of puzzle for ambitious solvers, as well as an easier weekly news-themed puzzle for The Week magazine. So now, he’s combined the two to create Fireball Fortnightly News Crosswords!

Every two weeks, you’ll receive a crossword by email that includes as many topical news-related items in the grid as possible. So you get your news and your crossword in one fell swoop. Not as difficult as his usual Fireball Crosswords, these puzzles will still let you flex your solving muscles twice a month.

With backer prizes like additional crossword books and the chance to create a puzzle with a master puzzler, Fireball Fortnightly News Crosswords might be right up your alley!

The second Kickstarter campaign features a puzzle app for Android devices.

Blackout is similar to Lights Out, Q*Bert, and other puzzle games where you must make every icon on the screen the same color, which becomes a tougher task to complete as the patterns grow more complicated and each click affects neighboring shapes.

The game will feature multiple levels of difficulty — including one where the icons change shape as well as color — ensuring it’ll keep you thinking and clicking for quite some time to come.

Finally, we have Block Party.

Block Party is a pattern-matching game featuring several shapes, colors, and patterns, and players must find parties — groupings of similar aspects or collections of each different aspect — without touching the blocks. The first player to shout “Party!” then reveals the grouping they’ve spotted, and the game continues.

Block Party combines visual reflexes, pattern-matching skills, memory retention, and spatial reasoning to create an immersive game that appears deceptively simple at the outset.

With backer rewards like a printable version of Block Party and limited-edition versions of the game, this campaign is ready to engage solvers of all ages.

The amazing thing about all of these projects is that the audience, the potential fans, have an enormous role to play not only in sharing their thoughts with game and puzzle creators, but in showing their support for designers and projects they believe in, and doing so in a meaningful way.

Here’s hoping each of these projects finds success.

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!

PuzzleNation Product Reviews: Loonacy


Looney Labs is a game company with a creative model everyone can get behind: high replay value through wildly interactive, adaptable game play. Perhaps best known for their card game Fluxx, Looney Labs games are designed for portability, packing a lot of punch into smaller, more efficient packaging.

Their latest release is Loonacy, a pattern-matching card game that requires quick reflexes, a quicker eye, and no small amount of strategy.

In Loonacy, players compete to drop all of the cards in their hand by dropping them one-at-a-time into various piles by matching one of two symbols on the card. For instance, if you’ve got a card with a cookie and a brain on it, you can drop that card onto a pile with a cookie on top or a brain on top.


You can try to strategize by arranging cards into your hand by symbol or possible chains — brain/cookie, cookie/ship, ship/puppy — but you have to play each card individually before you can drop the next card. And since everyone is racing to empty their hands at the same time, it can rapidly become a very chaotic playing experience.

(And in your enthusiasm, you’ll probably end up bending a few cards. Hey, it happens.)

But there is an element of strategy to the gameplay. If you have multiple cards with a cookie, you’ll want to play the card where the other symbol doesn’t help your opponents. (For instance, if there’s already a brain symbol showing and no one can play on it, play the cookie/brain card.)

That way, you can play your second (and hopefully, your third) cookie cards in a row and decrease the number of cards in your hand in a hurry. Of course, if someone drops their card on top of that cookie card, your strategy might go right out the window.

But that’s part of the fun. Loonacy tests observation, reflexes, and decision-making skill, all in the matter of a few minutes per game.

While it’s light on the puzzling, it’s high in charm, replay factor, and style. The sheer number of potential images to match makes this far more interesting than the average card game or pattern-matching challenge.

Looney Labs has a winner on their hands with Loonacy. I suspect it’ll be a big hit on Saturday during our International TableTop Day celebrations at home.

[Click here to check out our reviews of several other Looney Labs products!]

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

PuzzleNation Live Game #3: Answers!

As promised, here are the answers to Friday’s PuzzleNation live game, a.k.a. the Progressions challenge! Thank you to everyone who gave it a shot. I look forward to doing another live puzzle game soon!

(And for anyone who didn’t get a chance to play, you can check out the original puzzles on our Facebook and Twitter accounts!)


1.) 18  25  28  35  ______  45  48  55  58

Answer: 38 (+7 +3 +7 +3 +7 +3 +7 +3)

2.) 92  91  89  85  ______  76  74  70  62

Answer: 77 (-1 -2 -4 -8 -1 -2 -4 -8)

3.) 64  71  78  83  ______  91  94  95  96

Answer: 88 (+7 +7 +5 +5 +3 +3 +1 +1)

4.) 81  162  54  108  ______  72  24  48  16

Answer: 36 (x2 /3 x2 /3 x2 /3 x2 /3)

5.) 22  23  28  33  ______  35  40  45  46

Answer: 34 (+1 +5 +5 +1 +1 +5 +5 +1)

6.) 242  121  123  41  ______  11  15  3  8

Answer: 44 (/2 +2 /3 +3 /4 +4 /5 +5)

7.) 15  9  18  14  ______  22  44  40  80

Answer: 28 (-6 x2 -4 x2 -6 x2 -4 x2)


1.) 39  43  49  52  ______  63  69  72  79

Answer: 59 (+4 +6 +3 +7 +4 +6 +3 +7)

2.) 9  17  25  23  ______  29  37  35  33

Answer: 21 (+8 +8 -2 -2 +8 +8 -2 -2)

3.) 108  104  52  48  ______  20  10  6  3

Answer: 24 (-4 /2 -4 /2 -4 /2 -4 /2)

4.) 58  49  52  44  ______  40  43  35  40

Answer: 49 (-9 +3 -8 +5 -9 +3 -8 +5)

5.) 31  22  66  57  ______  162  486  477  1431

Answer: 171 (-9 x3 -9 x3 -9 x3 -9 x3)

6.) 46  47  49  46  ______  47  53  46  38

Answer: 42 (+1 +2 -3 -4 +5 +6 -7 -8)

7.) 4  16  18  6  ______  28  30  10  11

Answer: 7 (x4 +2 /3 +1 x4 +2 /3 +1)

Thanks for visiting the PuzzleNation blog today! You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check out our Classic Word Search iBook, play our games at, or contact us here at the blog!