Tag Archives: anagrams

Puzzle 353: Before-and-Aftergrams. A twisted product of a twisted mind.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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How about a variety puzzle for some… well, variety? I promise, though it’s Friday the 13th, the nothing freaky will happen to you when you do this puzzle. Before you decide which version to open up — because opening the easier version could give away some things that you wouldn’t want given away if you wanted the moderate or harder version — I’ll explain the difference between the versions. (That’s why the links are below the explanation in this post today, unlike other posts.) Like quite a few of my previous variety puzzles on this site, they involve anagrams, but this one doesn’t involve straight-up anagrams. Here’s how I developed the premise for this puzzle. I discovered that there are some words whose letters both end some words and start some other words even though they aren’t really etymologically related to them (ok, not exactly a groundbreaking discovery, but work with me here). For example, the word ADO ends the unrelated word AVOCADO and starts the unrelated word ADORABLE. So I blended the two words together to make AVOC(ADO)RABLE. I took all the remaining letters outside those parentheses, AVOCRABLE, and anagrammed them into a two word phrase, VOCAL BEAR. Now, here’s the difference between the versions.

In the easiest  version, you would get the three-word set VOCAL BEAR ADO. (The “common” word could be the first, second, or third word.) You would then need to figure out that ADO is the word that ends one word and starts another, and rearrange VOCALBEAR, combined with ADO, into the words AVOCADO/ADORABLE.

In the moderate version, you would get the two words VOCAL BEAR with the notation (7,8) (indicating the first solution word to be 7 letters and the second solution word to be 8 letters) in the left column, and you would need to figure out which word in the right-hand column (whose words are arranged randomly) goes with the phrase to be able to be anagrammed in this fashion. In this case, you would find that right-hand column word to be ADO, and the first word (which is always the word that ends with the “common” word) would be AVOCADO and the second word (always the word that starts with the “common” word) ADORABLE.

The hardest version is the same as the moderate version, but there is no notation giving the lengths of the solution words.

I think, no matter which version you choose, that there are some tips and tricks that you’ll figure out as you go along to untangle this puzzle. I’m willing to give you some if you really get stuck (just email me), but I have faith in you!

Get the easier version PDF here!

Get the moderate version PDF here!

Get the hardest version PDF here!

Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Tuesday!

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Puzzle 73: Anagram Crossword 4. Add letters and stir.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!

In case you missed my first three Anagram Crosswords, they can all be found right here. The hardest part of constructing these was building up the database. That’s still going on. After that, constructing it is the same as constructing any other crossword for me, but with a much narrower word list… except, when cluing, sometimes I catch myself thinking of a clue for the actual entry instead of the anagram for that entry. (Don’t worry, I checked them all… there aren’t any “regular” clues here.)

I’ll be back with another freestyle crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle 46 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! Let me know how you did! What did you like? What could I do better?

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 69: Word and Variations. Your chance to play “word detective”.

Last Friday’s Freestyle 42 solution

Get the “easier version” PDF here!

Get the “harder version” PDF here!

Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!

Did you ever have one of those “déjà vu” moments where you come up with an idea, but you swear you’ve seen something like that before and yet you just can’t place it or even find it on Google? Anyway… whatever it is, wherever the idea came from, I’ve got what I think is an interesting puzzle for you. The crux of the puzzle is this: I’ve thought of 25 “mystery words”, each one of which has an anagram, a synonym, and a rhyme. I’ve given the anagram, synonym, and rhyme of each of the 25 individual words (not in sequence, of course) and your goal is to figure out each of the 25 mystery words.

There are two versions, an “easier” and a “harder” version. In the “easier” version, 75 words are split off into three columns, with each column arranged in alphabetical order. Using your linguistic logic, pick the one word from each column — one of them is the anagram, one the rhyme, and one the synonym, whose order is for you to determine — that leads to each “mystery word”. In the “harder” version, the same 75 words are all arranged in alphabetical order, not with any particular columnar arrangement. That is, instead of picking one word from each column as in the easier version, you’ll have to find the three words for each “mystery word” somewhere in the list, in no particular order. In both cases, each word listed will be used exactly once. The directions for each will explain in more detail… I just want you to know what you’re getting into before you choose “easier” or “harder”.

I’ll be back with another crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle Puzzle 43 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 53: Anagram Crossword 3. It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up grid.

Last Friday’s meta puzzle solution and explanation

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!

The Anagram Crossword has been the most popular of the variety puzzles I’ve posted on this site. Here are the first one and the second one in case you’ve missed them. Hey, give the people what they want, right? It’s been fun and a lot of time cultivating the word list I use to make these grids, and I’m going to keep adding to the list for future puzzles like this.

I’ll be back with another freestyle crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle 32 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! Let me know how you did! What did you like? What could I do better?

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 45: Alphagrams. Take a letter for me, would you?

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!

Hey, imagine that! An actual variety puzzle today! Back to the old steady topic of anagrams for this one today. It’s a little different than the others, though… I’ve got the missing sentences with two words, but the difference is that one of the words is the other word minus its first letter and anagrammed. (I’ve got an example inside the link.) You’ll see 26 sentences, and that’s because the first letter of the longer word will be different for each sentence… I think that might help you.

I’ll be back with another crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to Freestyle Puzzle 27 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 33: Anagram Crossword 2. All mixed up with somewhere to go.

Last Friday’s Word Worms solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Since there was some good positive feedback about my first Anagram Crossword (try it if you’ve missed it!), I decided to bring back the concept for another go-around. Since that last one, I’ve added quite a bit of words to the anagram wordlist, so I worked with a more expanded vocabulary that certainly made it easier for me to construct. I constructed this puzzle to have a little better flow than the last one (the 5×3 corners in the upper right and lower left are a little closed off, but that’s it) to make it less likely that solvers would get stuck.

You’ll see that I included a couple of longer — 11-letter, to be exact — entries here. Honestly, it was an excuse to throw in a longer anagram that amused me more than mildly (not because it’s apt — at least I don’t think it’s apt — just that it was funny that the anagrams worked out). I also threw in a few more “tricky” clues than in the last one, but I still think I’ve kept it fair and eminently solvable.

I’ll be back with another freestyle crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle Puzzle 19 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! Let me know how you did! What did you like? What could I do better? Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow? Would a parrot start to stutter if you kept it in an echo chamber? Wouldn’t it be fun to see downhill slalom skating at the Olympics?

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 25: Anagram Crossword. Order… I need order in this grid!

Last Friday’s Split Decisions Two Ways solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

This is the rare puzzle that gets both the “crosswords” and “variety puzzles” category! Now, I’m not one to tell you how to do your puzzle, but the colleague to whom I gave this puzzle said, “Wow, this is definitely gonna be a pencil puzzle.” The object of this puzzle is to solve it like a regular crossword, except the corresponding entry in the grid will be the anagram of the answer to the clue. (No, I didn’t keep this one under 72 words.)

Don’t be surprised or frustrated if you find some clues more difficult than others… there is a definite reason to the degree of difficulty of particular clues as opposed to others. I’m not going to give away quite what it is, but see if you can discern what I was thinking during the cluing process.

I’ll be back with another crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle Puzzle 15 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! Let me know how you did! What did you like? What could I do better? Are you waiting for something… tell me, would you wait all night? Don’t you find the word “gumption” fun to say? Would a one-way intersection indicate a wormhole in space-time?

As always, share this link! Pass it around!