Games Interactive 2: Word Puzzles

While I’ve been stuck on the Battleships, I’ve been progressing through the Word Puzzles. I finished them today. I haven’t been posting about them because I don’t have much to say about them. It’s exactly the same assortment as in the first Games Interactive: Bulls Eye, Mind Flexers, Quote Boxes, and Solitaire Hangman. But I do have some complaints, which I’ll make now.

One of the Bulls Eye puzzles calls for a word that can be formed from the first letters of a sequence of words in the instructions, but the instructions are apparently not the same ones this puzzle was originally printed with, so that clue is impossible.

One of the Hangman sets is composed of highly unusual words, like “ouabain” and “buprestid”, which is basically cheating. I remember playing Hangman as a child: the other children would say “Oh no, it’s Carl! He has a large vocabulary, and will doubtless choose an obscure word none of us know!” But I recognized even then that this would be a cheap victory. The true triumph is in choosing a word that’s perfectly common, but that they still wouldn’t guess, like “shoebox”. And that’s what most of the Solitaire Hangman sets are like, apart from this one. I can’t say that it was completely impossible, though, because I managed to get the word “siphuncle” right, despite not knowing it, just from guessing likely letters. The twelve most frequent letters in the English language are ETAOINSHRDLU, and applying those to “siphuncle” yields SI_HUN_LE with only five wrong guesses. And of the remaining letters of the alphabet, the ones most likely to appear before an H are C and P — which just happen to be the letters we need in the word.

And finally, there’s a certain amount of repetition. Two of the Quote Boxes sets use the same Elizabeth Taylor quote about people with no vices. Even worse, Hangman set 6 is simply a repeat of set 5 in a different order. I can believe that they’re just copying stuff from the magazine, and that the magazine repeated puzzles occasionally. But it’s definitely something that should have been caught before publication.

1 Comment so far

  1. cherie brown on 26 Jul 2016

    I was expecting more from this second installment to be honest, it seams like not much thought went into these games :/

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