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Friday, December 25, 2009
Welcome to the Shark's monthly contest. Winning entry or entries will earn an ad for a month on this blog. Entries are due to me by email at email@example.com by midnight Dec 31, 2009, Eastern Standard Time.
There is a real word puzzle this month, and two tie-breaker picture questions. Anyone with enough persistence should be able to solve the puzzle. It is an anacrostic, which is my favorite kind of word puzzle, and I have discovered that I like to make them up as much as I like to solve them. The one caveat is that I can't really tell ahead of time how difficult it is going to be, so I would appreciate it if anyone who tries the puzzle would tell me two things: Is this the first anacrostic you have ever tried, and was it easy, medium or hard.
You can download the puzzle here as a pdf file. I'm sorry that the lettering isn't as crisp as I would wish. I had trouble changing it to a pdf and retaining the clarity of the letters. If anyone has trouble seeing it, let me know and I'll try sending you a graphic file. Anacrostic for Dec contest
Note: Carmen already found an error. Sigh. Apparently I can't tell the difference between Ls and Is. So I'll give you clue R. It is ILLIUM (which is actually spelled wrong).
Have you tried an anacrostic before? The goal is to fill in the grid, and thus spell out some saying or quotation.
They are complex, but that actually gives you more help in solving them. When you download this and print it you will see that there are two parts of the puzzle. There is a list of clues, in this case from A to CC (29 clues). These have a question and blanks in which to place the letters of the answer. The number of blanks and their spacing tells you how many letters and words are in the answer. Under each blank is a number. These numbers are used to transfer the letters to the other part of the puzzle, which is a grid. Each white space in the grid has a number and letter. When you answer a question in the word list, let's say that the first letter was "T" and there was a number "5" beneath that line. You would put the letter "T" into the box numbered "5" on the grid.
Once you answer the questions that you can on one try, and transfer those letters to the grid, then you can use the grid to work back to the list to help you get more words. For example, we put "T" into space "5." Let's say that we also have an "E" in space "7," and in the grid, 5,6,7 is a three-letter word. You now have T _ E, and you might guess that the missing letter is "H." You can use the letter in the grid box to put that H where it belongs back in the word list. So if space "6" has "6P" in it, you would look for clue P, and the number 6, then put "H" in that blank to help you get that clue.
There is one more way to get some help. The first space of each word in the list will vertically spell out the name of the author, and the work that the quotation was taken from. So if you begin to see a word or name taking shape in those first letters, you can take a guess on the missing letters.
Using the dictionary or online research is completely permissible. Just send me the quote and the name of the author and work quoted. No need to scan the whole grid and send to me. If you have the quote correct, I'll know you solved it.
Here are the tiebreakers:
1. Who made the footprints in this picture, and in which direction is each traveling?
2. What made the prints that the red arrows point to?