This section illustrates novel uses of the PuzzleMe™ platform. Of course, PuzzleMe is also used by traditional publishers to run daily puzzles of the kind that appear in newspapers. For such use cases, take a look at the sites PuzzleMe powers for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Newsday and The Atlantic. These sites illustrate a complete solution based on PuzzleMe, including a puzzle picker, multiple series and sizes of puzzles, and monetization. Not visible, however, is PuzzleMe’s ability at the backend to seamlessly ingest puzzles from a syndicate or constructor, to manage the editing and publication workflows, and to provide detailed analytics on puzzle plays.
Puzzles for brand promotion
Using PuzzleMe, brands can engage with their customers in a playful and thoughtful way. Games invite meaningful, positive and pleasurable interaction with a brand, with a high recall value.
For example, here is a puzzle commissioned by Netflix for its show, The Chair. The puzzle clues are related to the theme of the show and the experience folds in Netflix brand assets. As users solve the puzzle, a cut-out of Sandra Oh, the star of the show, periodically comes in to encourage the user to finish the puzzle. When the puzzle is complete, a special audio message recorded by Sandra is played as a reward, and solvers are directed to the show’s website.
This puzzle promotes Shopify and its local merchants as part of a campaign in the L.A. Times.
This Daily Beast puzzle highlights entries connected to Delta Airlines.
This Kriss-Kross puzzle promotes Formula-1 racing.
Movie and product launches
This themed puzzle created by the Postmedia group in Canada demonstrates how puzzles can be part of launches and events. The puzzle is based on Christopher Nolan’s blockbluster movie Tenet and was released in Canada during the movie’s promotion. All the clues and answers are related to this movie and can be used as an engagement tool to create buzz amongst audiences.
This example illustrates how a puzzle can be themed for different types of events.
Click here to try the puzzle on the National Post’s website.
Virtual events and contests
PuzzleMe was also the online platform for the 41st annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament hosted by New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz.
In a contest, PuzzleMe’s secure contest mode ensures participants cannot reveal or check answers. Our analytics backend automatically grades submissions provides the contest directors the players’ score and completion time which can be used to generate the standings.
You can also use online puzzles to liven up virtual events and tradeshows. For example, the annual conference of the Online News Association featured puzzles about journalism, and the Mathematical Association of America ran a puzzle contest about math topics at MathFest-2021. In these cases, PuzzleMe can integrate with any online event platform of your choice.
The New Haven Independent regularly creates crossword puzzles on topics of local interest. The puzzles include multimedia, and are highly topical to the conversation in New Haven. Click here to go to the site.
Another example of multimedia puzzles in a local news context is a set of puzzles done by WCPO, a TV station in Cincinnati. Click here to solve a puzzle on Cincinnati neighborhoods.
Encyclopaedia Britannica is a major learning site for school children and young learners across the world. Britannica’s content editors create crossword and word search puzzles on topics of general interest as a part of their site. The puzzles span a wide range of topics from Shakespearean characters to important battles of the world, and from iconic car brands to types of fishes.
Click here to go to the Britannica site and play some of these fun puzzles.
Another great use of crosswords is to build vocabulary. Merriam-Webster uses the PuzzleMe platform to engage kids with crossword puzzles related to its words-of-the-week newsletter.
Puzzles can be used to engage consumers of physical products. You can distribute our puzzles by printing them or by linking to them via a QR code or URL printed on a label or sticker that is attached to your product. PuzzleMe can output content or links in a range of formats that are suitable for printing. These puzzles can also be used for contests or to generate leads. A completed puzzle could be used as a coupon or voucher for the next purchase.
The image here is the label on a beer can sold by Lamplighter Brewery in Boston. The grid is printed directly on the can and a QR code directs solvers to this interactive page where solvers can complete the puzzle online.
Depicted on the left are some beautiful puzzles by JAMA (Journal of the Americal Medical Association) website. You can solve them on the JAMA crosswords page.
On the left is a visual puzzle on U.S. national parks in which players identify the park based on an iconic image. It illustrates the use of a green theme in the grid instead of the traditional black. PuzzleMe can be themed with fonts, colors, masthead and imagery to match your brand or preference. Click here to play the live puzzle.
Crosswords are a great tool for language learners. With PuzzleMe, you can easily create vocabulary puzzles with multimedia in them. Shown alongside is a Spanish-English puzzle (Click here to play it.) Teachers have created a wide range of puzzles on the usage of topics like idioms and proverbs, numbers, everyday objects and grammar.
We can help customers generate such puzzles automatically, and they can be graded by level of difficulty of words. PuzzleMe’s creator provides for a way to users to provide a list of words which can be converted into a crossword puzzle format. This could be used as a basis for a personalized language learning system, where PuzzleMe creates puzzles for each user based on their past performance.
Try Merriam-Webster’s crossword puzzles based on their weekly newsletter on vocabulary for kids.
LA-based comedian Zach Sherwin and ace constructor Will Nediger collaborate on some brilliant and fun crossword puzzles with a lot of rhyming and punny clues. (What’s a capital that is in Czechoslovakia, but not in Czechoslovakia?)
The puzzles are solved on stage (with a lot of music and comedy!) in front of a live audience in different cities. For such live events, PuzzleMe can be configured to project the puzzle on the big screen with a popup-clue mode, so that the audience can focus on one clue at a time, while keeping the whole grid in view.