We began the PuzzleBuzz initiative a year ago aiming to bring you the latest news from the world of puzzles and games. Through our monthly issues we’ve brought you updates about events, new publishers launching Smart Games, innovative applications of puzzles, creative crossword grids, puzzle trivia, and more. Thank you for being a PuzzleBuzz reader.
In this month’s newsletter we bring you updates about Spanish crosswords and games, share information about the long-running American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and introduce some exciting new PuzzleMe™ features that you can use in your Smart Games.
Reminder: The next PuzzleMe webinar is scheduled for March 22nd, at 11 am (EST) and will cover the Word Search and WordroW games. In this session, we’ll discuss the many features of these puzzles in the PuzzleMe platform. We’ll cover fun features like multimedia and crooked letters in your Word Search. And we’ll help you create a WordroW, which is like Wordle on steroids. Reserve your place for the webinar here.
Create your own Wordle-like game!
Now you can recreate your own customized Wordle-like experience with PuzzleMe’s WordroW. WordroW is not just limited to five-letter words. Think up movie or book titles, famed personalities, travel destinations, or words of personal significance for a dear friend. It can be a word or phrase of any length and we’ll bring your idea to life in a fun and engaging way. Build your first game by clicking here.
Autostraddle, an LGBTQ+ focused news and entertainment website in the US, uses WordroWs in their mix of games to popularize LGBTQ+ friendly terms in a lighthearted way. Constructed by indie creators, these games are as interesting as they are queer.
Juegos in Español
Vocento, a Spanish mass media giant, publishes daily crucigramas (crosswords), sudokus and sopas de letras (word searches) on all their news sites. The same Smart Games are replicated across eleven of their regional websites and their national title, ABC. The same content is run across all publications (which the PuzzleMe CMS makes it easy to manage), while keeping the design and analytics for each site separate. This is a great example of how the same puzzles can be run across multiple titles owned by the same organization.
American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) — the largest and the oldest crossword-solving tournament in the US — is back with its 45th edition. Directed by New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz, the ACPT will run over the weekend from March 31 to April 2, 2023.
The in-person event will be held in Stamford, Connecticut but those who can’t attend in person can still participate from anywhere in the world by registering for the virtual tournament, which is hosted on PuzzleMe. The virtual tournament features the same puzzles and runs concurrently with the in-person tournament. Register here to experience the crossword community’s most anticipated event of the year.
If you wish to create digital tournaments with Smart Games, then write to us. You can focus on the tournament rules and game content, and leave the technical aspects to us.
What’s new in PuzzleMe?
We are introducing a section in this newsletter to share updates on new features and enhancements to PuzzleMe. These features will help make your audience's solving experience even better.
Test Solve puzzles
We always recommend that puzzles be solved by a small group of test solvers before they are published. This helps calibrate the puzzle’s difficulty level and gauge users’ reaction to the puzzle, which may help improve the puzzle. It is now easy for constructors and editors to gather feedback on their games before publishing them to your audience. The “Test Solve” feature in PuzzleMe offers a special preview link that can be shared with test solvers who can write comments on the puzzle using a Disqus widget. Constructors and editors can even send comments back to test solvers and have a conversation about the puzzle. The test-solve link is available on the puzzle’s “Publish and Preview” page, which is reachable from the PuzzleMe dashboard.
Dark Mode can now be activated by default by sites that use PuzzleMe pickers. Enable it by adding the “&darkMode=1” parameter at the end of the URL in the embed code or the direct link. This parameter ensures that dark mode will carry over from the picker to the puzzle. Check out this demo page for a sample. Dark mode works with crosswords, sudokus and WordroWs at present, and is coming to other games soon.
Decipher The Quote
Quotes are loved for the wisdom they carry. At Amuse Labs, we have a literally new twist on quotes with our latest game. Solvers have to rearrange letters in a grid to reveal a sentence – which could be a quote by a famous personality, the lyrics of a famous song, a heartfelt message for a friend, or anything else. The game only takes a minute to create. Try it out in our Variety Puzzles section. Like to try it out? Write to us for a demo.
Create puzzles in 28 global languages with PuzzleMe
We love adding new languages to PuzzleMe. You can now create puzzles in 28 languages, with Lithuanian being the latest addition. Select any language from the “Game language” dropdown while creating your puzzle. If you are a puzzle creator and your language is not already in PuzzleMe, please drop us a line.
Transpose your crossword grid
A crossword is more inviting if the first clue is intriguing. To help achieve this, you can now easily transpose your crossword while editing your grid with PuzzleMe. This option seamlessly interchanges Down and Across words and their clues and renumbers all the words and clues appropriately. Use this option if your 1-Down clue is more interesting than 1-Across. To use this feature, go to the puzzle editor page, click on “Edit grid & clues”, then select “Transpose grid” from the “Grid” drop-down menu.
We’ve created a new documentation page where you can find the answers to your most common questions about puzzle creation, embedding, sharing and analytics. These resources are currently for password-based login partners only. Click on the Documentation link in the navigation bar after you log in to PuzzleMe.
Did you know?
Back in 1978, the marketing manager of Stamford, Connecticut’s newly built Marriott Hotel was exploring ways to bring in business during a slow winter weekend. He decided to tap into the crossword-solving community and was introduced to Will Shortz by Norton Rhoades, a crossword constructor. Will had recently moved to Stamford and was ready to take on the challenge. He organized the first American Crossword Puzzle Tournament at the hotel, and now, 45 years later, still directs and hosts it for hundreds of crossword-solvers across the world. We’re already looking forward to the 50th anniversary of ACPT!
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.
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