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See what other Variety puzzle fans have to say, share your solutions, and get help.
9/13/2012 9:35:33 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I think Dell logic puzzle books are better than Penny, because the grids give me more room to write things down. The Dell ones are too tiny for my taste. I also like that in the Dell book, they tell you on what page you'll find the answer to a particular puzzle. In the Penny book, it takes a while to find the one you're looking for.

Sometimes Dell has what they call a 2-star puzzle, which I find difficult, and sometimes they'll have a 4-star puzzle which I'll find relatively easy. But for the most part, the starring system works, so you know when the more difficult ones come up.

I can only guess that the Penny ones work sort-of the same way, where Puzzle #1 is the easiest, and Puzzle #90 (or however far out they go) is the hardest, but I'll occasionally find that one with a low number isn't that easy for me, or one with a high number isn't that hard for me.

Indiana, I like SemiPro's guess of "Cheek to Cheek," too. And how about "belly to belly?" I wonder if "Caint to Caint" would count (from when you can't see in the morning, to when you can't see at night, the workday of slaves in the South before the Civil War put an end to slavery).

Just thought of another 5-letter one: "Ashes to Ashes."
edited by Amy-in-PA on 9/13/2012

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Amy

9/13/2012 1:08:58 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
IN_Puzzler wrote:
creamchz3@aol.com wrote:
I agree with Bernadette, I do Penny Press because I just like the puzzles better. There are a few in Dell I like but not enough to purchase the magazines. (That's what the Select Puzzles are for). There are a few puzzles they both carry but called different names and as far as which is harder I think they're about the same. I also agree that the Dell Crosswords are much more challenging than the Penny Press but I don't do crosswords very often anymore. I also believe Dell has more number puzzles and Penny has more word puzzles, I much prefer the word puzzles which is why I do all Penny Press. CC



I tend to get my Variety books in the super discount packs (can't beat 40 books for $25 or so), so I usually work in and out of Dell and PP. I have not noticed any differences other than naming similar puzzles differently (Crostics/ Anacrostics, cryptofamilies / cryptoquizzes, Laddergrams / Escalators, etc). Dell books seem to have more Cross Sums and Sumduko type puzzles. But nothing can beat Penny for those Word Games.

Is there a different editorial team for each "brand"? I subscribe to a magazine (rhymes with "Names") and I find the puzzles in that publication to be significantly more challenging than PP or Dell. My wife has picked me up a few variety puzzle books published by the Greek letter company (who also publish rhymes with "Names') and those books are on par with PP or Dell. They sell those at this discount store in our area for $1. Last night I spent an hour and a half solving a NY Times Friday x-word and only had about 25% of the grid filled in.


You can get the 40 magazines of all Penny Press but it is not offered on the site. You have to call customer service. I've been doing this for many years. CC

9/13/2012 1:18:50 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
Purple Pisces wrote:
After reading CC's post I realized that it was Crypto-Families that I have done, not the Cryptoquizzes. I imagine the Dell version is harder. Even more impressive than I first thought IN_Puzzler! smile


In Penny they are Crypto-Families, in Dell they are Cryptoquizzes. Cryptograms are the same in both magazines. Dell has Cryptic Places, penny has Crypto-Biography and Crypto-Verse. They are all worked the same way, they really are all the same puzzle. CC

9/13/2012 1:42:25 PM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
creamchz3@aol.com wrote:

You can get the 40 magazines of all Penny Press but it is not offered on the site. You have to call customer service. I've been doing this for many years. CC


I wrote my request for 40 all Penny Variety magazines on a piece of paper, and mailed it in with my check. That worked, too.

9/13/2012 4:11:56 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Bernadette I may have to try a Dell Anacrostic! I do like that type of puzzle from time to time and have only been able to solve a few of Penny's Crostics on my own. Maybe I'll have better luck with Dell's version. Thanks!

CC thanks for posting the variations of cryptogram type puzzles. I remember reading a post that listed the different varieties of them but never realized that Dell published specific ones that Penny Press didn't.

Looks like everyone has a favorite for different reasons! smile

Thought of one for the __to__ puzzle, elbow to elbow.
edited by Purple Pisces on 9/13/2012

9/14/2012 5:12:17 AM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
How about eye to eye? CC

9/14/2012 7:11:53 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
creamchz3@aol.com wrote:
How about eye to eye? CC



That's a good one.

9/14/2012 7:16:54 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
I went and checked my 40 Variety puzzle box and it turns out most are Dell titles. So, I stand corrected and most of the mags I have done are Dells. However, I do have a couple of the big 300 puzzles or so Penny books and they seem to have many more of the little puzzles.
edited by IN_Puzzler on 9/14/2012

9/14/2012 9:34:07 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
Eye to Eye may be a good phrase, but it doesn't contain the same 5-letter word twice, only the same 3-letter word twice. Somehow I thought we were looking for 5-letter words, CC.

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Amy

9/15/2012 6:20:22 AM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
I didn't know. I came in at the middle. CC

9/15/2012 11:11:33 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Agreed! I can complete LADDERGRAMS usually pretty quickly but I find ESCALATORS to be stumpers.!

9/16/2012 12:52:52 AM


Guest
Personally, I like them both, but I have to agree that Penny's 'grams are the hard of the two. You'd think that with Dell's variable number of letters, it'd be harder, but somehow they aren't. I dig the puzzles absolutely though, both of them. Would that make me an anagramaniac?

I'll take credit for the word, and humbly submit that yes, yes indeed I am. Now, I need a magic square fix....

9/16/2012 12:58:35 AM


Guest
For the record, toe was used, as well as head, but then they got into some wild ones. Eyeball, for instance. That one tossed me for a loop forever. I need to copy those answers so I can give you all what the ____to____ poop was in that puzzle. I know coast didn't make it, and I don't think heart did either.

Woman did....

9/16/2012 9:53:13 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I like that word "anagramaniac," Dark Horse.

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Amy

9/17/2012 9:47:15 AM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
In continuation of our discussion around Penny / Dell, I did 2 crostics in All Time Family Favorite Variety Puzzles Jully 2012 (Penny) this Saturday. I was able to complete the first puzzle (Crostic #2) fairly quickly (within 2 hours). I then spent the rest of my puzzle time on the crostic that was on the opposite page of the book (Crostic#1). That one took a bunch of time (in between chores, Mass, meals, kids, etc) but I finally worked it out after breaking through on a couple of the words in the passage of the work. (When I looked up the answer in the back, I saw that " ..." was used to link a bunch of it). What kind of blew me away, and I haven't come across this in Dell books, was "pennies" were featured prominently in both puzzles. I haven't come across this in the numerous Dell acrostics that I've done in my various magazines. I started Crostic #4 yesterday morning after finishing off the Sunday paper puzzles and ran into a real "buzzsaw," I was only able to get about 5 clues out of 25, and I gave up last night. I'll tackle it tonight, but may need to work some other puzzles to get my mind right.

PS: Looking up the answers to crostics is a dicey proposition, I unwittingly caught a glance of part of the answer to one of the other crostics, so that one is spoiled.

Buzzsaw (n): a puzzle in which after scanning it, no answers are immediately apparent (coined by a friend of mine)


IN_Puzzler

9/17/2012 10:34:38 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
If you can put your hand over most of the page in the back, you may be in a better position to hide from yourself the answer to a puzzle you didn't want to spoil yet. Then again, when I look up an answer to, say, Puzzle #12, and I catch a glimpse of Puzzle #13, well, by the time I do Puzzle #13 I've probably forgotten the hint I've seen about it, so it's a fresh puzzle for me anyway. If I finish #12 too quickly to forget the hint on #13, I can always start doing #14 instead, and then come back to #13 quite a bit later.

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Amy

9/17/2012 6:41:40 PM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
Amy Lowenstein wrote:
If you can put your hand over most of the page in the back, you may be in a better position to hide from yourself the answer to a puzzle you didn't want to spoil yet. Then again, when I look up an answer to, say, Puzzle #12, and I catch a glimpse of Puzzle #13, well, by the time I do Puzzle #13 I've probably forgotten the hint I've seen about it, so it's a fresh puzzle for me anyway. If I finish #12 too quickly to forget the hint on #13, I can always start doing #14 instead, and then come back to #13 quite a bit later.



Yes that is definitely something I should have taken into consideration. I've already forgotten the clues anyhow. I typically work Dell Acrostics and they publish the word lists and quotation on different pages.

When working crosswords, I've trained my eyes to scope out on the section of the puzzle in which I need a hint without compromising the rest of the grid.

Happy Puzzling!

9/17/2012 10:01:08 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I guess if that "____to____" thing isn't restricted to 5-letter words, "time to time" might be a possibility. I forget if someone already mentioned "head to head" or "day to day." Then there's always "month to month" (which is 5 letters). And there's "week to week." And there's a long one,"paycheck to paycheck."

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Amy

9/17/2012 10:47:49 PM


Guest
TheDarkHorseOne wrote:
For the record, toe was used, as well as head, but then they got into some wild ones. Eyeball, for instance. That one tossed me for a loop forever. I need to copy those answers so I can give you all what the ____to____ poop was in that puzzle. I know coast didn't make it, and I don't think heart did either.

Woman did....



For Amy.

9/18/2012 3:29:42 PM

Indiana Puzzler
Indiana Puzzler
Posts: 559
I am home sick with the flu today and finally felt well enough to do some puzzling. I worked a Crypto-Families from Penny (Family Variety Puzzles and Games, July 2012) and found it to be on par with respect to difficulty to the Dell puzzles I have done. This one took me about 1 hour to complete all 6 families. The families were as follows:

1) Teacher's Desk Example: Text
2) Use Your Eyes Example: Gaze
3) Fly Away! Example: Zeppelin
4) Drive-in Movies Example: Projector
5) On a Fire Truck Example: Nozzle
6) Animated Movies Example: Toy Story


Nos. 2 and 3 were the most challenging (Glimpse, Stare, Watch, Look, Observe, Witness, Behold, View, See, Scan) // (Dandelion Seed, Ladybug, Soap Bubble, Helicopter, Balloon, Space Shuttle, Boomerang, Hang Glider). For No 3 I was thinking mostly of vehicles so dandelion seed and soap bubble were the challenges. FOr No 2, I just couldn't get anything other than see but after coming back to it I was able to work through them.

So overall, in my experience Crypto-families and Crypto-quizzes seem to be of equal difficulty. The challenge in these puzzles is figuring out the "theme" of the answers. I am relatively new to code breaking puzzles (just started doing them this year). Now I just need to crack Kukuros/cross sums and word math to build up my puzzling "toolbox."

Indiana Puzzlers

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