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3/3/2012 6:20:50 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
Last night I cracked open my very first volume of Codewords. YIKES!! I didn't realize that they only give you a couple starter letters for the first puzzle and the rest are free of any hints. These are going to be tougher than I thought!! Not that I'm complaining, I love a good challenge when it comes to a puzzle. I definitely see these puzzles sharpening skills that will come in handy with cryptograms as well, such as testing out the most commonly used letters in the alphabet and applying them to the puzzle to see which works best and looking for certain patterns within a word that can help identify it.

3/3/2012 10:55:14 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 762
First of all, if you're desperate for a hint, you can go to the back of the book and you'll see 3 letters. Secondly, I've developed a skill at figuring out, in
95% of the puzzles, where the Q is. So then that gets me the U, and very often another vowel. If one of the letters following one of the QU combinations,
appears frequently but NEVER has a double-letter, I bet it's the A. If it appears frequently and has at least ONE double-letter, I bet it's the E. If the word
ends in Q-U-something, it's probably the E (except for COLLOQUY and SOLILOQUY).

I've never seen a word end with a Q (they wouldn't allow a proper name like Iraq). I've never seen a word whose penultimate letter is a Q. (They won't
allow a proper name like Iraqi.) I've never seen a word which has U-Q-U in it. (They don't allow a proper name like Dubuque, Iowa.) And I've never
heard of a word which has Q-U-double-vowel. So I can rule out a lot of possible Q's, pretty easily.

I've also never seen the Latin word "quo" or "qua" or "qui." So I've learned to ignore 3-letter words that otherwise might begin with Q. That gets rid of
even more possible Q's. Also, I don't think they've ever had the word "vacuum" in the puzzle, so any time I see a double letter, I've decided (rightly
or wrongly) that it can't be the U, so whatever precedes it, can't be the Q.

Very often I can get it down to only one possible letter which is the Q, although sometimes there are 2 or 3 possibilities, and then it's more challenging.

I've also gotten to know a lot of 4- and 5-letter words ending in "U." That also helps.

Give it another try, and you probably won't think it's so "yikes" after this, even without hints.
edited by Amy-in-PA on 3/3/2012
<em>edited by Amy-in-PA on 3/3/2012</em>

--
Amy

3/3/2012 11:41:01 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 879
Now see with me I usually can find where the E is. It's the most commonly used letter in the alphabet. It's pretty easy to spot. CC

3/4/2012 12:28:21 AM

Semipro
Semipro
Posts: 164
Amy Lowenstein wrote:
I've never
heard of a word which has Q-U-double-vowel.

queen

squeeze

"Queer" probably wouldn't be used in a puzzle because its slang meaning might offend some readers, but it counts.
<em>edited by Semipro on 3/4/2012</em>

3/4/2012 2:59:22 AM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 879
I laughed my a-- off on that one! CC

3/4/2012 11:37:13 AM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 459
Semipro wrote:
Amy Lowenstein wrote:
I've never
heard of a word which has Q-U-double-vowel.

queen

squeeze

"Queer" probably wouldn't be used in a puzzle because its slang meaning might offend some readers, but it counts.
edited by Semipro on 3/4/2012


Also: Marquee, Squeegee.

3/4/2012 12:01:58 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
Thanks everyone for the tips and word possibilities!! I finished my first one last night, with a bit of peeking I have to admit. I hate peeking, but figured I would check to see if I had the right letter and save myself a lot of back tracking. The majority of my hunches were right so I guess I didn't do too bad. One word that had me stumped was "euro" I had the "eu.." and could not think of any possible word. It definitely teaches you some patience and to open your mind a little as far as words go. It can get tricky because they often will throw a word in there that's new to me.

Thanks again everyone!! smile

3/4/2012 12:28:07 PM

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 605
Is the codeword book you started one of the Penny Selected Puzzle book collections? I rarely ever see Codewords with NO hints at all, but you say most of the book is that way? I always see the puzzles with at least two letters given. I believe the Masters puzzle books are the only ones where I've seen no letters given.

I am not really a Codewords solver but I am very easily influenced so now will have to try them! LOL

3/4/2012 12:46:10 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
Yes the book is a Penny Selected Puzzle book, Volume 241. This is my first volume of entirely Codewords and am used to having the hints to start me along, so I was surprised to see only one puzzle with hints. They do give you the starter letters in the back if you need them, but I like a good challenge! smile

3/4/2012 12:47:29 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 879
I looked through all my Masters books and they all give at least two letters. In the Penny books, I don't recall ever seeing a codeword that didn't give at least two letters. Ever. I've got all the mags from two years back if there is one that you know of let me know so I can look it up. CC

3/4/2012 3:04:58 PM

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 605
CC, I don't have all of my Masters books handy to look through but just for instance, the last one I bought and have here before me is "Masters Variety Puzzles Plus 20 Places Please", Vol. 87, March 2012 (with a dark blue-gray cover.)

It contains seven Codewords and only the first two have any letters given, the remaining five have none at all in the grids.

3/4/2012 4:30:58 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
CC when you say you don't recall seeing a Codeword without at least 2 given letters in the Penny books are you referring to just the variety magazines or are you talking about the Penny Selected books also. Maybe I lucked out and got a tough one! smile

3/4/2012 4:53:12 PM

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 605
I buy the Frameworks Selected Puzzle books and sometimes an issue will seem to be made up almost entirely of very difficult puzzles, as if perhaps the editors had pulled all of them from the Masters series magazines. I wondered if maybe that's the kind of Codebook issue you have there or if they're all like that.

I was thinking about purchasing some of the Codewords Selected Puzzle books but if most of the puzzles have no hints, they might be a bit harder than I'd enjoy! smile
<em>edited by Bernadette1959 on 3/4/2012</em>

3/4/2012 5:49:39 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
Bernadette, like Amy posted, they do give you the starter letters in the back of the book if you want to use them. Using the hints would make it like a volume of "regular" Codewords. I say if you enjoy Codewords and want to get the books go for it!! smile
<em>edited by Purple Pisces on 3/4/2012</em>

3/4/2012 11:52:00 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 879
OMG Bernadette is right! I was just talking about the regular variety magazines but in the Master's only the first few give letters! I've been way too busy doing the Word Games that I have forgotten that there really are other puzzles. I bought Master's 88 tonight, same thing. Imagine that! CC

3/5/2012 9:30:48 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 762
Frances wrote:
Semipro wrote:
Amy Lowenstein wrote:
I've never
heard of a word which has Q-U-double-vowel.

queen

squeeze

"Queer" probably wouldn't be used in a puzzle because its slang meaning might offend some readers, but it counts.
edited by Semipro on 3/4/2012


Also: Marquee, Squeegee.


Right. I must have forgotten.

I do find "queen" and "queer" a lot (and, yes, they do put "queer" in sometimes because it is also a "regular" word as well as having a
double meaning). Squeegee is a good word; don't know if I've seen one in Codewords yet, but that has not only a double-letter after the QU, it
also has the same double-letter BEFORE the QU. Wow! And, yes, I'd forgotten about "marquee" which was in a couple of Codewords I did.

In fact, I guess if I do locate the Q, and there is a doubled letter right after the U, the word has to be "queen" or "queer." If it's a six-letter word,
I keep an open mind as to whether it's Queens, or "queers" as in "he queers the pitch," which may have been in a Codeword I once did.

--
Amy

3/5/2012 10:57:35 AM

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 605
Purple Pisces wrote:
I say if you enjoy Codewords and want to get the books go for it!! smile
edited by Purple Pisces on 3/4/2012


Well, I have a small stack of magazines with Codewords in them, so when I finish those I'll probably take the plunge and order a volume or two!

Thanks for your help! smile

3/5/2012 10:58:40 AM

Bernadette1959
Bernadette1959
Posts: 605
creamchz3@aol.com wrote:
I've been way too busy doing the Word Games that I have forgotten that there really are other puzzles.


LOL!! That tends to happen! smile

3/5/2012 12:53:22 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
Bernadette1959 wrote:
Purple Pisces wrote:
I say if you enjoy Codewords and want to get the books go for it!! smile
edited by Purple Pisces on 3/4/2012


Well, I have a small stack of magazines with Codewords in them, so when I finish those I'll probably take the plunge and order a volume or two!

Thanks for your help! smile


You're welcome!

3/10/2012 5:14:09 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 599
Well I've done a few puzzles now without any hints or peeking and have solved them correctly!! Yeah!! It definitely helps to pinpoint the E's, and from there to try and identify the other vowels. I'm enjoying these puzzles so much that I just ordered another volume of them! smile

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