Small update before we get to the goods. It's been a month since I launched Signals. In that month:
- 80+ folks have signed up to be paying members
- I've sent out 4 weekly Dispatches to members
- I've posted 23 original puzzles as part of EnigMarch
- … which have also gone up on Instagram
- I joined TikTok
I feel I need to explain that last one: one EnigMarch prompt was “Trick”, and I had this idea to make a puzzle that riffs on the “It’s Tricky” TikTok meme, using my dog. Instead of following up that thought with the reasonable let's not, I created an account and posted the video. As it turns out, you need more than a cute dog to go viral. So I guess now I need to start posting more TikToks, but sadly I’ve used up my one idea. Got any ideas for a novice TikToker? I may be too old for this shit, but that doesn't mean I can’t try.
Meanwhile, 80 people is a fantastic start. If you like these newsletters, but want them more often, here’s the button you want to tap:
Take a four letter term for a part of the body. The first and last letters are the same. Advance the first letter 1 spot in the alphabet, and the last letter by 2 spots, and you'll get another term for the same body part. Which two words are these?Submit your answer here 🗳
Some favorite links from the last four weekly Dispatches:
Why Are Letters?
It may feel that the shapes we use for each letter are arbitrary, and for a long time, linguists assumed they were. But there's new research into recognizing letters' iconicity — the idea that a word or letter's shape, or a gestured sign, is representational, in some way, to what it's referring to.
The Book of Dreams
Heads up, new puzzle book just dropped. The Book of Dreams: A Puzzle Anthology is a collaborative project designed by 12 awesome puzzle crafters, many of whom I know and can vouch for personally. The project launched on IndieGogo last week and is already funded over 200%.
Jerry Slocum, puzzle collector
I never got much into owning puzzle toys, but Jerry Slocum did. In his life, he's collected over 40,000 mechanical toys, most of which he's donated to the Slocum Collection in the Lilly Library at Indiana University. Many are on display, and some of them you can even play with. I've never been, but now it's on my list.
Wordle variant of the month
Okay okay, this is just Name That Tune, but since we're in the Wordle Era, it's now got a Wordley name.
Back on Hey Riddle Riddle
After a couple years floating adrift, I was finally invited back into the warm embrace of the Hey Riddle Riddle podcast.