The Washington Post’s mini-meta game format keeps solvers hooked through the week
This is a first: Saudi Research and Media Group launches online Arabic crosswords
What’s KenKen, and why does veteran editor Will Shortz love it?
To keep you puzzling through this newsletter, what’s a 4-letter word for “Language of poetry and romance”? Keep reading to find out.
The Mini-Meta Game Format
Daily mini crosswords are a great way to keep solvers coming back for more. They quickly become part of a daily routine, allowing users a quick, snackable solve for a couple of minutes every day. But what if the mini crosswords were all connected? What if you uncovered one part of the puzzle every day, for a big reveal on Saturday? Now we’re talking.
The Washington Post’s Mini Meta, developed by Pete Muller and Andrew White, does exactly this. Each mini crossword from Monday to Friday must be solved in order to get one word of a five-word clue. The clue itself leads to a word hidden in the sixth mini-crossword, which you must find by snaking your way through the grid, like in a word search puzzle. This makes for a thrilling reveal on the weekend puzzle, where you solve two puzzles at once.
Amuse Labs has developed a custom interface for this new game format in PuzzleMe. If you have a unique game format in mind, just email us.
At Amuse Labs, we’ve always had a fondness for the languages of the world. When we’re able to combine that with our love for games, there’s nothing to beat it.
That’s why we’re thrilled about this dailyArabic crosswordlaunched by the Saudi Research and Media Group. Since Arabic is written right-to-left, so go the Across words (Down words are the same, thankfully!) Enabling right-to-left languages like Arabic, Hebrew etc. to thrive in the form of crosswords is the kind of challenge we love tackling. You can also use word search and other games in PuzzleMe with right-to-left scripts.
(Still working on the answer to “Language of poetry and romance”? Hint: it also goes right to left. Scroll down for the right answer.)
Veteran NYT puzzle editor Will Shortz said this about KenKen “I was addicted from the start. I solved one puzzle, I asked for another, then I asked for a whole book of ‘em… I love this puzzle.” KenKen is a logic-based game that’ll keep you puzzled for a while.
One way to describe this game: it’s like sudoku, but much more math-y. The idea is to fill the grid with numbers such that the numbers in a cage match the math operation and result for that cage. Trythis puzzleand see what the fuss is about. Amuse Labs partners with the kind folks at KenKen, and would be happy to help you integrate this puzzle to your site or app.
From the Crossworld
Have you heard about Puzzle 5? The fifth puzzle of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) is meant “to separate the elite solvers from the rest of the pack.” If you think you’ve got what it takes, trythis year’s Puzzle 5. Fair warning, though: NYT puzzle editor Sam Ezersky says this is the toughest puzzle he’s ever created.
What’s new in PuzzleMe?
Here are some cool new features we’ve added to PuzzleMe:
PuzzleMe has a new feature to enable streaks and habit formation. The end message can now show other puzzles in the series and whether the user has completed them.Contact usif you'd like us to turn this feature on for your games.
Empower your readers with a large-screen experience for puzzles. PuzzleMe now supports Full Screen Mode. Publishers wishing to enable this experience, please write to us and we can turn it on for you.
Indie constructors and puzzle enthusiasts publishing smart games on their blogs and websites can benefit with the PuzzleMe plugin for WordPress. The plugin makes embedding a game in a Wordpress site even easier. What’s more, you can even let users register and participate in contests using a WordPress login.
Did you know?
The most important metric for reader-supported newsrooms is not page-views or time spent. Can you guess what it is? Reader regularity, according to the Medill Subscriber Engagement Index. It’s better for subscriber retention if your readers visit regularly instead of diving deep only once in a while. More details here.
P.S. If you want to chat about how smart games could boost your subscription offering by aiding reader regularity, book a demo with us here.
Amuse Labs is the creator of PuzzleMe™, the leading digital platform for Smart Games. It is a B2B SaaS company trusted globally by brands and publishers, powering Crosswords, Sudokus, Jigsaws, Quizzes, Word Searches and more. Explore opportunities to partner bysending a noteorapplyingif you’re interested in working with us!
Oh, and to the journalists on our mailing list, if you’d like to cover any highlight from this newsletter or about Amuse Labs, thenwrite to us.