🧩 Festive Crosswords Are Here!

🧩 Festive Crosswords Are Here!
Your monthly digest from the world of puzzles and games View in browser 

Dear Reader, 

You're reading the monthly newsletter from Amuse Labs, covering the world of puzzles, publishing and updates to PuzzleMe™, the most advanced digital platform for smart games. 

    A Sporty New Crossword

    Defector, an employee-owned sports and culture website, has launched a weekly crossword with PuzzleMe. Here’s how Maitreyi Anantharaman, co-founder of the outlet, described the launch to readers:

    “In our recent reader survey, some of you complained that you weren’t wasting enough company time on our website. We put our top business minds on the case, and they came up with a solution to your productivity woes: We’re starting a Defector crossword.”

    Isn’t it wonderful when your audience asks for more? A reader commented on the announcement, “I am genuinely thrilled that Defector is getting crosswords and it will absolutely increase my time-on-site.” 

    For niche sites with a loyal audience base, puzzles can work wonders to increase audience engagement.

    Bring On The Festive Vibes With Puzzles

    The Indian Express gave its readers one Diwali-themed puzzle every day last week in the run-up to the festival. The series started with Word Rangoli, a spelling game themed with Diwali colors using PuzzleMe’s theme editor. We also got a Diwali-themed jigsaw puzzle, and a Picdoku with Diwali-themed pictures. 

    On similar festive lines, we were thrilled to see several Halloween-themed puzzles this year. John Lieb created one for Boswords, and Vox also ran a Halloween special by Adesina O. Koeki.

    With Christmas coming right up ahead, these are stellar examples of how puzzles can add to your readers’ festival experience. Talk to us about how you could add an extra festive touch to your puzzles this holiday season.

    Hosting Contests with PuzzleMe

    Did you know that we can host contests for you at Amuse Labs? Whether it’s an employee engagement activity or a puzzle league for your readers, we can take care of web hosting, analytics, leaderboards, and everything else. 

    Here’s an example: Mubadala, a sovereign investment firm in the UAE, wanted to challenge its employees with a crossword as part of the company’s cyber week aimed at bolstering cybersecurity awareness. We hosted the crossword competition for them as part of the campaign. Who said cybersecurity training needs to be a drag?

    From the Crossworld

    Evan Birnholz created a special Sunday crossword for The Washington Post that makes for a delightful solve. He first tried the concept 12 years ago but failed to get it published. Read the story after you’ve given this unique puzzle a shot. Hint: it’s quite fitting that Birnholz published this puzzle right before going on paternity leave.

      Last month, we told you about Alta Journal launching crosswords. They recently interviewed their constructors Rebecca Goldstein and Rafael Musa on becoming a constructor, the process of publication, and much more.

      PuzzleMe Spotlight

      A selection of features from PuzzleMe, the most advanced digital platform for smart games.

      Live Previews on A Brand New Editor

      We know how important it is for you to communicate with your solvers. With PuzzleMe, you can customize the messaging at the start of the game, when it’s paused, or at the end to your liking. Set custom messages, images and videos to deliver a message or integrate your brand. 

      With a brand new WYSIWYG editor, you’ll see exactly how your message will look to the end user. Format your text the way you want, and embed images and videos. Navigate to Edit Game > Messaging on the PuzzleMe creator to experience the new editor.

      Schrödinger, now on Magic Fill

      PuzzleMe’s Magic Fill helps you create denser crosswords by finding compatible words that fit your existing grid. Now, Magic Fill can help you create Schrödinger grids! 

      Just add the Schrödinger solutions to the Must Have Words list, and see PuzzleMe magically find surrounding words that can fit both solutions. It’s never been easier to create your own Schrödinger puzzle. Try it now.

      30+ Languages Now Supported

      At Amuse Labs, we’ve always shared a deep love for the languages of the world. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we now support 30+ languages on PuzzleMe, with the recent additions of Ukranian, Assamese, and Gaelic. 

      We’ve seen exciting uses of languages on PuzzleMe, from Arabic crosswords by the Saudi Research and Media Group to Sanskrit crosswords for the Samskritam conference at the University of Pennsylvania. See the full list of languages supported here.

      Did You Know?

      Have you heard of the Giant Crossword of Lviv? Located on the side of an apartment complex in Lviv, Ukraine, the world’s largest crossword puzzle – in physical size, at least – is an interactive artwork aimed at encouraging urban exploration.

      Around 80 clues to the crossword puzzle are scattered throughout the city’s major landmarks. Visitors must explore historic monuments, museums and parks to find the clues. The answers are painted in fluorescent lettering that only become visible when lit up at night. Visitors are often seen around the building at night crosschecking their solutions.

      About Us

      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 by sending a note or applying if you’d like to work with us! 

      Oh, and to the journalists on our mailing list, write to us if you’d like to cover highlights from this newsletter or about Amuse Labs.

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      Nishant Kauntia