203. Wynne Win

December 5, 2013

Here’s a “fun” puzzle, adapted from one that appears in iFlush: Hurtling thru History. Click on the image to download a PDF.

puzwynne3


201. Rejected Puzzler Cover

October 9, 2013

adequateAvailable Now:
People ? Celebrity Puzzler

Here’s the cover we didn’t use. To find out the actual title, click on the cover.

Inside you’ll find a dozen of our patented Top Ten Jumbo Puzzlers, plus a quintet of Top Ten Fun Fact pages covering today’s sizzlingest celebrities. Also, back by popular demand, seven types of puzzles and a six-page treasure trove of trivia.

Puzzles and art direction by Patrick Merrell; edited by Cutler Durkee and Lisa Russell; photos by Linda Pacheco; brought to fruition by Isata Yansaneh; published by Time Home Entertainment; 128 pages; $11.99 less on Amazon.


200. Hunger Games Search

October 8, 2013

THGcoverComing October 29, Jumbo Word Search: The Hunger Games Edition (the unofficial puzzle book for fans). A whopping 240 pages of Hunger Games stuff you’ll find nowhere else:

An entire section of puzzles for each Hunger Games book and another for the movies.
Fascinating Hunger Games facts at every turn.
8 types of word search puzzles: regular, jumbo, plot search, one-word, clue, quote, trivia, and THG.

Edit/design by Patrick Merrell; puzzles by Jamie and Patrick Merrell; cover by Anne-Michelle Gallero; published by Time Home Entertainment. $12.99 less on Amazon.

Five factoids from the book:
• Bathsheba Everdene, the lead character in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, inspired Katniss’s last name.
• WINNERS’ DESPOT is an anagram of PRESIDENT SNOW.
• In a 2012 People magazine poll, the “which hunk do you like best?” voting favored Peeta over Gale, 73 percent to 27 percent.
• Suzanne Collins found occasional relief from the realities of working on The Hunger Games by writing episodes of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, a preschool Nick Jr. show.
• Other fictional Buttercups: the princess in The Princess Bride, a unicorn in Toy Story 3, and a tomboy Powerpuff Girl.


198. Hurtling thru History

September 26, 2013

iFlush-HISTORYcover2iFlush: Hurtling thru History is now officially available (ages 8 and up; 96 pages).

A FEW OF THE TOPICS:
Grover Cleveland’s rubber jaw • Cynisca, chariot princess • New York’s creepiest island • Mayan books • The widow pirate • Santa Anna’s leg • The treehouse tribe • Civil War picnickers • Mummy cats • Russian America • The real story of El Dorado • Invasion of the Aussie bunnies

PLUS 40 unique puzzles, one accompanying each article.


195. It’s Out

May 25, 2013

iSCI_coverlThe first iFlush book, Swimming in Science, is available now — ahead of schedule.

After all these years, it’s my first-ever hardcover book, so I’m all in a tizzy. The publisher has even splurged on embossing and spot gloss for the front cover and schmancy endpapers inside.

What’s in it? You can read about the premise by clicking on the book, but I’ll add to that by listing some of the science topics in it:

Extremophiles • Tesla’s earthquake machine • Elektro, the Moto-Man • science fiction • Sophie Germain • Pong • Professor Laura Bassi • quackery • Shen Kuo’s Brush Talks • grille codes • Mario Molina • autism • fossil hunter Mary Anning • the Baghdad battery • Titanoboa • Friendly Floatees • thorium energy • Lewis Latimer • the Tunguska event • bee queen Eva Crane • Hector the astro-rat — even quantum mechanics! (O.K., so that’s like half the topics.)

But, wait, there’s even more! Each article has a related puzzle that’s different and fun and cool.

For smart kids and curious adults (ages 7 and up); 96 pages; $12.95 list price, $9.32 on Amazon.


194. Scrambled Words:

April 28, 2013

scrambled125 Brand-New Anagram Puzzles is now available for your solving pleasure.

The difficulty increases and variations are introduced as you go, including illustrated anagrams.

Puzzles by Patrick Merrell • puzzle concept by Stephanie Spadaccini • published by Portable Press • 288 pages • 5 x 7″ • $9.95.

Read more about it on Amazon.com


191. WOW ‘OOH

April 6, 2013

ambigramsAmbigrams Revealed, a new book by Nikita Prokhorov, makes a great addition to your ambigram library … or a great start to your ambigram library.

What’s in it? Insightful discussions with top ambigram artists, including John Langdon and Scott Kim. In-depth analysis of selected designs with step-by-step sketches showing how they were created. Helpful advice on creating ambigrams. And a whopping 40-page section showcasing ambigrams from all over the world, over 170 in all.

ambigrams-180A few of my favorites: A flowing-metal Ringworld ambigram by Bastian Pinnenberg [page 127], Labyrinth graphically spelled out within the path of a maze by Krysztof Sliwa [page 120], a highly readable Rock n Roll by Kai Hammond [page 138], and a clever variation by Scott Kim, the numbers 1-12 used to spell Schönberg, the composer who invented 12-tone composition [page 32].

CLICK: An interview with Nikita Prokhorov
CLICK: Order the book from Peachpit Press
(both the book and ebook look great)


186. Spring Searching

March 16, 2013

WordSearchSpring13Now available on a newsstand near you, 142 all-new word search puzzles in six variations: regular, jumbo, one-word, clue, quote, and trivia.

Puzzles and interior design by Patrick Merrell; published by Time Home Entertainment.


184. Sneak Peek 2

March 5, 2013

iFlushHistory_COVERThe first iFlush book (iFlush: Swimming in Science, post 181) isn’t even out yet, but here’s an announcement for its sequel, iFlush: Hurtling thru History.

Coming in September, this 96-page compendium of history, stories, fascinating factoids, amusing anecdotes, unique puzzles and art will be everything you’ll come to expect of the iFlush books.


183. The Maze of Games

March 2, 2013

You may want to check out this new Kickstarter project, The Maze of Games: “It’s a full-length puzzle novel with over 50 puzzles and a deeply engaging story, all woven together in a ‘solve your own adventure’ style which will keep you jumping from page to page.”

Mazes and puzzles in an illustrated book … and none of it by me. Sounds like a good combination!

Update: A bonus puzzle by Deb Amlen, puzzlemaker, humorist, and writer for the New York Times crossword blog Wordplay, will be included if a fast-approaching subscriber goal is met (it was).


181: Sneak Peek

January 31, 2013

iSCI_coverlComing this spring: iFlush: Swimming in Science, the first book in a surprising new series for kids. Edgy, absorbing, refreshing, fun … and tons of real science!

Written, illustrated, and designed by Patrick Merrell from a concept by the big brains at the Bathroom Readers’ Institute, Gordon Javna and Kim T. Griswell. Published by Portable Press (96 pages, hardcover $10.36).


179. Search Me

January 19, 2013

biblewsThou shalt have fun. Jumbo Word Search: Bible Edition hits newsstands Feb. 15, with a super-sized 240-page trade version coming to bookstores in March.

Eight puzzle variations and tons of themes: foods of the Bible, Mary, scrambled books, Psalms and Proverbs quotes, Bible creatures, miracles, Moses, Bible locales, Passover, words that appear just once in the Bible, even Ben-Hur.

Puzzles and interior design by Patrick Merrell. Published by Time Home Entertainment.


177. Not Much Afoot

December 12, 2012

afootA number of birds have little or no ability to walk.

• Hummingbirds use their feet only to perch or scratch themselves. Moving even a few feet is done by flying.
• Swifts’ legs are almost nonexistent and their tiny clawed feet are suited for little more than clinging to vertical surfaces.
• The legs of some water birds, such as grebes and loons, are set so far back for diving and swimming that walking or even taking off from land isn’t possible.

From Bird Brainteasers


175. Try Emmy’s Symmetry

November 26, 2012

Coming in March: Ambigrams Revealed, written by Nikita Prokhorov and published by New Riders. Here’s a partial description of the book, which will include three of my ambigrams:

This small, quirky art and design book will showcase ambigrams culled from a call-for-entry to designers from around the world. The author has lined up an all-star panel of design judges to evaluate the entries and critique the best of the best for inclusion in the book.

The book also includes a section explaining how ambigrams are relevant to traditional typography and core design principles as well as a section that features several in-depth, step-by-step tutorials for creating ambigrams from start to finish.


172. Old Times

November 8, 2012

1. David Steinberg had his first crossword puzzle published in The New York Times at the age of 14. Now almost 16 years old, one of his hobbies is directing The Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project, digging up decades of old Times puzzles and converting them into electronic files. The growing collection of completed files can be found on xwordinfo.com (solve using Across Lite).

2. Anydate.com, an outfit that packages vintage New York Times stuff, offered to send me a free copy of their crossword collection in exchange for a link to their site. But I already owned that package, so they sent me their front-page presidential inaugurations historic collection instead.

I did my duty by including a link to their site, but I’m going a bit above and beyond here since I really love these old papers. Beyond the articles, it’s kinda fascinating to see how the design and price of the paper has changed through the years, as well as all the quirky ads and graphics.


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