Daily Archives: April 18, 2009

Puzzling with Eric Berlin and Winston Breen

Puzzle folk have always intimidated me. They’re smart. Sometimes scary smart. You know, the type who does the weekend crossword every Saturday in your local coffee spot while you’re looking at the Style section of the newspaper? When I worked at the bookstore, there was this older customer who came in pretty frequently and over time, tried to turn me into a crossword puzzle person. She was so sweet and patient and was obviously a true puzzle afficianado. I tried not to let her down. I read some books about cryptic crosswords. I worked at it. Let’s just say I’m not a natural. I do remember feeling this awesome rush when I would actually get one of the words after an embarrassing length of time. It was exhausting.

Today I offer a special puzzle-related treat. Eric Berlin, puzzle-master, author and super-smart guy, has written a second book in his series about Winston Breen, mystery-solver and puzzle-addict. The first book, The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, was met with great reviews. The sequel, The Potato Chip Puzzles (Putnam, May 2009)  is every bit as ingenious and entertaining as its predecessor, and is sure to be intellectually-stimulating for puzzlers everywhere.

Eric has put together a “Puzzle Party” to celebrate the upcoming release. Here’s how it works. Each day he’s posting a puzzle at a blog (my blog today!) and you have the chance to solve it. When you solve it, send your answer to puzzleparty@gmail.com. At the end of each day of the party, one randomly drawn correct answer with receive a signed copy of The Potato Chip Puzzles. Cool, yes? You’ll want to save your answers along the way because they will help you to solve the final puzzle on April 22nd. The randomly drawn winner of that last puzzle will be super lucky and receive more than 2 dozen titles from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Wow! Here’s the schedule:

April 16th: A Patchwork of Books
April 17th: Fuse #8
April 18th: Shelf Elf (HERE!! NOW!! TODAY!!)
April 19th: Books Together
April 20th: Bookshelves of Doom
April 21st: Chicken Spaghetti
April 22nd: Oz and Ends

If you have a question about the rules, chances are it is answered here. Who knows? Perhaps I will find renewed inspiration and turn into a smarty-pants puzzler after all.

So, here is the link to today’s puzzle: http://www.winstonbreen.com/Winston’s Puzzle Party – 3 – Treasure Hunt.pdf

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting an interview with Eric about his love of all things puzzley, and I will also announce the winner of today’s particular puzzle contest.

Get to work!