Acrostic puzzles

Anyone who doesn't already know what an acrostic is probably doesn't want to know, but here are my boilerplate instructions: "Guess the answers to the clues, then transfer those letters to the corresponding numbered squares in the grid. Work back and forth between the clues and the grid until the quotation is revealed. The initial letters of the clue answers, reading down, form an acrostic revealing the source (author and title)."

These puzzles are not designed to be solved online (sorry), but to fit on an 8½″×11″ printed page.

The older ones were made for three different readerships and have never been compiled in one place before, so I felt the need to eliminate some repetition. All the quotations are different, but some words are repeated among the answers in the clue sections. In the several dozen cases where I had reused the same clue-and-answer combination, I have rewritten one of the clues so that the same answer always has a different clue. New puzzles made for this site do not repeat any answers already used.

I make these using a program I wrote in FoxPro. The program does none of the creative work of coming up with the anagrams — I do that. The program does the mechanical task of keeping track of which letters have been used and where they go, and generates the result. The most time-consuming part, of course, is finding a quotation to use, so I use my commute time to do that. Once I have a quotation, it takes me about an hour to turn it into a puzzle.

Puzzles for the Web (2009–13)

These newest puzzles were created only for this site and not targeted at any narrower readership.

#1 (6/09) Puzzle Solution
#2 (7/09) Puzzle Solution
#3 (7/09) Puzzle Solution
#4 (10/09) Puzzle Solution
#5 (3/10) Puzzle Solution
#6 (3/10) Puzzle Solution
#7 (4/06, completed 12/12) Puzzle Solution
#8 (10/13) Puzzle Solution
#9 (10/13) Puzzle Solution
#10 (10/13) Puzzle Solution
#11 (10/13) Puzzle Solution
#12 (10/13) Puzzle Solution

Puzzles for Vashon Island Loop (2004–9)

All of these were either published or intended to be published in the Loop. (The first appeared in the final issue of its predecessor, the Ticket.) In the case of the last three, I had gone only so far as to find the quotations and did not actually create the puzzles until preparing them for posting here.

#1 (4/04, published 4/22/04) Puzzle Solution
#2 (4/04, published 5/5/04) Puzzle Solution
#3 (4/04, published 6/2/04) Puzzle Solution
#4 (4/04, published 6/16/04) Puzzle Solution
#5 (5/04, published 6/30/04) Puzzle Solution
#6 (5/04, published 7/14/04 and 1/26/05) Puzzle Solution
#7 (5/04, published 8/11/04) Puzzle Solution
#8 (6/04, not published) Puzzle Solution
#9 (6/04, published 8/25/04) Puzzle Solution
#10 (6/04, published 9/8/04) Puzzle Solution
#11 (6/04, published 9/22/04) Puzzle Solution
#12 (6/04, not published) Puzzle Solution
#13 (6/04, not published) Puzzle Solution
#14 (6/04, published 11/3/04) Puzzle Solution
#15 (6/04, published 12/29/04) Puzzle Solution
#16 (6/04, not published) Puzzle Solution
#17 (6/04, published 12/15/04) Puzzle Solution
#18 (6/04, published 1/12/05) Puzzle Solution
#19 (6/04, published 2/9/05) Puzzle Solution
#20 (6/04, published 2/23/05) Puzzle Solution
#21 (6/04, not published) Puzzle Solution
#22 (6/04, published 4/6/05) Puzzle Solution
#23 (7/04, published 5/4/05) Puzzle Solution
#24 (3/05, not published) Puzzle Solution
#25 (3/05, published 6/1/05) Puzzle Solution
#26 (3/05, published 6/15/05) Puzzle Solution
#27 (3/05, published 6/29/05) Puzzle Solution
#28 (3/05, not published) Puzzle Solution
#29 (4/05, not published) Puzzle Solution
#30 (5/05, not published) Puzzle Solution
#31 (8/05, not published) Puzzle Solution
#32 (9/05, not published) Puzzle Solution
#33 (9/05, completed 5/09) Puzzle Solution
#34 (9/05, completed 5/09) Puzzle Solution
#35 (9/05, completed 5/09) Puzzle Solution

Puzzles for Corbis (2004–7)

These puzzles made up the original version of this page and were online for about a year before the rest were added. All of them originally were posted on the company intranet at work. They are unified by a common theme: All the quotations chosen are somehow related to pictures. Two mapping errors in #21 have been corrected.

#1 (1/04)PuzzleSolution
#2 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#3 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#4 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#5 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#6 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#7 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#8 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#9 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#10 (2/04)PuzzleSolution
#11 (3/04)PuzzleSolution
#12 (4/04)PuzzleSolution
#13 (4/04)PuzzleSolution
#14 (5/04)PuzzleSolution
#15 (7/04)PuzzleSolution
#16 (9/04)PuzzleSolution
#17 (10/04)PuzzleSolution
#18 (10/04)PuzzleSolution
#19 (10/04)PuzzleSolution
#20 (2/05)PuzzleSolution
#21 (2/05)PuzzleSolution
#22 (2/05)PuzzleSolution
#23 (3/05)PuzzleSolution
#24 (3/05)PuzzleSolution
#25 (9/05)PuzzleSolution
#26 (11/06)PuzzleSolution
#27 (10/07)PuzzleSolution

Puzzles for Integra (1987–88)

All but one of these originally were published in Integra, the monthly journal of Intertel. Unlike the later puzzles, they were assembled without the use of a computer. In catering to the readership, I included some obscure words among the answers, but there should be enough easy words to make up for them.

Because these puzzles are the earliest, they received the greatest amount of rewriting. When I made these, I had recently tried out for "Super Password," and under the influence of that game, I limited most of the clues to single words. This approach, besides being unconventional, made the puzzles harder than they needed to be, so I've rewritten any clues that seemed too vague or imprecise. In other cases where it seemed necessary to rewrite a clue because of repetition, I chose to change these puzzles rather than later ones.

Not all the acrostic portions of the answers adhere to the usual format of author plus title. All include either the author or title or both, but some include other wording.

#1 (published 1/87) Puzzle Solution
#2 (published 2/87) Puzzle Solution
#3 (published 3/87) Puzzle Solution
#4 (published 4/87) Puzzle Solution
#5 (published 5/87) Puzzle Solution
#6 (published 6/87) Puzzle Solution
#7 (published 7/87) Puzzle Solution
#8 (published 8/87) Puzzle Solution
#9 (not published) Puzzle Solution
#10 (published 10/87) Puzzle Solution
#11 (published 11/87) Puzzle Solution
#12 (published 12/87) Puzzle Solution
#13 (published 1/88) Puzzle Solution
#14 (published 2/88) Puzzle Solution
#15 (published 3/88) Puzzle Solution
#16 (published 4/88) Puzzle Solution
#17 (published 5/88) Puzzle Solution
#18 (published 6/88) Puzzle Solution
#19 (published 7/88) Puzzle Solution

 

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