Humanizing Puzzles

Humanizing puzzles
Amuse Labs logo
PuzzleBuzz Unit

Issue 11, February 2023

Dear Reader,

As the AI-led chatbot storm — the topic of many dinner table conversations — begins to quiet down, we want to highlight the human connection that is at the heart of the puzzle community. While some enthusiasts did experiment with the AI platform to seek answers to cryptic clues or to create a crossword puzzle, only to conclude that it has room to improve, our focus this month is on people.

Happy puzzling!

Note: We will host our monthly PuzzleMe webinar on Feb. 22nd, at 11 am (EST) on the topic, “Creating powerful Quizzes and Jigsaws.” In this session, learn about the many features we offer for quizzes and jigsaws, including multiple-choice questions, type-the-answer, adding multimedia and more. Reserve your place here.

p.s.: Guess which country’s resident holds the world record for collecting the most jigsaw puzzles. Find the answer in the “Did You Know?” section.

Logo of "Black Crossword"

Just in time for Black History Month, Juliana Pache — an independent constructor — has launched a series of daily mini puzzles on her site, “Black Crossword.” With clues like “ 'The Fire Next Time' author Baldwin” (Feb. 1, 2023) or “Textile pattern originated in West Africa” (Jan. 28, 2023), the crosswords emphasize knowledge of the Black community. Check out this sleekly designed site by clicking here.

Social Play,
solve crosswords with friends

Custom-creative showing how PuzzleMe's "Social Play" feature works. Press on the "Human+" icon and upto four participants can solve a crossword together, in real-time.

Enhance your users’ participation in the crossword community by informing them how to co-solve puzzles! With PuzzleMe’s Social Play feature, your users can now solve a crossword in real-time with up to three other people. Friends, family or colleagues, anyone can be invited. It helps adoption if you tell your readers about this possibility in your “Start” Message or in promotional materials, directing them to click on the “human+” icon. Partner websites using PuzzleMe, including The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Crossword Club and Morning Brew, are using Social Play.

Puzzles in Norwegian

Logo of "NTB"

NTB — Norway’s leading provider of text, graphics, and videos to the country’s media — creates puzzles, powered by PuzzleMe. NTB produces a suite of daily kryssord (crossword), sudoku, ordsuppe (word search) and ordknute (word flower) for Norwegian publishers. Word Flowers in Norwegian are very popular. These are easy-to-create puzzles in any language and for daily frequency.

Screenshot of the "Series Picker" as seen on NTB. This enables publishing multiple game types together without separate implementation work on your landing page.

When you scroll to the center of their home page, you’ll see integrated pickers of four different games. These “Series Pickers” make it easy to manage and embed different game types by using a single embed code. Different game types can be added or removed without any implementation work on your page. As you click on one series in the Series Picker, a puzzle picker for just that puzzle type opens. Contact us if you wish to create a similar experience for your solvers.

Calling all Bostonians!

Logo of "Boston Magazine"

Boston Magazine covers the local flavor, culture and things to do in the Greater Boston area. The magazine is now publishing monthly crosswords — powered by PuzzleMe — written with a distinct Bostonian perspective by Brendan Emmett Quigley, a renowned constructor.

p.s: Did you know that Boston also has a distinct brand of beer called WordPlay that pays homage to the crossword puzzle? The puzzle is playable by scanning a QR code printed on the beer can.

Burlington Library

The Burlington Library is a community space in Burlington, Massachusetts with engaging programs and a diverse collection of resources. On their website, you'll find weekly crosswords created by Phil Fraas and powered by PuzzleMe. Know a local library that can use such games to engage their community? Put them in touch with us.

Did you know?

Photo of Luiza Figueiredo from Brazil showing her 1047 jigsaw puzzles collection. Credits: Guinness World Records

Luiza Figueiredo from Brazil has been collecting jigsaw puzzles since 1967. In 2010, she achieved her first world record with 238 puzzle sets. After losing the title in 2012 to Georgina Gil-Lacuna from the Philippines, she reclaimed it in July 2017 with a collection of 1047 unique jigsaws.

When you start creating digital jigsaws using PuzzleMe, how many will you make?

In case you missed it

Catch up on topics that you may have missed.

  • The financial powerhouse Barron's is now publishing puzzles on its website, including exclusive Sunday crossword and weekdays crossword (from the Wall Street Journal), sudokus in three tiers of difficulty, and weekly jigsaws of their magazine covers. Accessible in the USA.

  • Media24 — the media company in South Africa — has launched crosswords, sudokus, word flowers and quizzes on three of their independent news websites. News24 is in English while Netwerk24 and Landbou are in Afrikaans.

  • Canada’s leading LGBTQ2S+ media organization Pink Triangle Press, which publishes Xtra Magazine, has launched Xword, its monthly queer crossword series constructed by Ada Nicolle and powered by PuzzleMe.

  • The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament will be held from March 31 to April 2, 2023, and is now open for registration.

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 and specializes in digital games, powering Crosswords, Sudokus, Jigsaws, Quizzes, Word Searches and more. Explore opportunities to partner by sending a note or applying if 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, then write to us.

Nishant Kauntia