Mystery League ✈️ New York City

I’ll be in New York City on October 24-27. I’ve got a few slots open for anyone interested in a puzzle event. Just reply to this email if that’s you, and let’s chat.


Take a 10-letter word for something that is often done in the dark. Remove first letter, swap two other letters, and you’ll get a word that can be preceded by “dark”. What are these two words?

Anagrams, but where you can break apart letters: "Anagraphs"

This is an incredible video by someone who wrote his own typography software in order to build “anagraphs” — which are anagrams, but where you can also break up letters into component parts and re-build them into new letters.

The Best Way to Learn How to Make a Crossword Puzzle? Get Yourself a Mentor

At the end of this article is a list of generous folks who are willing to help new constructors break into the field. If you are thinking of getting into the puzzle-writing, now’s the time. My name’s not on that list but I’d be happy to be anyone’s mentor, just drop me a note by replying to this email.

Study reveals what it takes to become a cryptic crossword expert – and it's more than just practice

Study reveals what it takes to become a cryptic crossword expert – and it’s more than just practice
It could be you.

After many years of practice, I finally feel like I can approach a cryptic crossword with confidence instead of cowering in fear. This study suggests that it’s not just practice that makes one a good cryptic solver, but also “a leaning towards maths, science and code-cracking and a strong desire to engage your brain even in your leisure time.”

Some kids on Twitter have questions about making puzzles. Here comes a thread.…

Eric Berlin, one of my favorite puzzle constructors, walks through how he makes puzzles in this deep Twitter thread. A lot of the steps he describes are things I do everyday, too.

Solution to the previous Puzzler

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