Who here *currently* solves the cryptic crosswords in "Games"

As I’ve [del]namedropped[/del] [del]bragged[/del] mentioned a few times, I test-solve the cryptic crosswords for Games Magazine. In a puzzle I worked on recently, there was a mention to one of the new media,

specifically, PODCAST

(I put it in a spoiler box, since it refers to the answer and someone may be doing the puzzle in the March issue and remember this.

Anyway, the editor (Jen Orehowsky) and I got into a discussion of how to refer to this new media in a way that would be technically correct “for the kids,” but also in a way that would point to the answer in a way helpful to us middle-aged folks who might partake of this medium in some limited way but not be aware of the ins and outs of it.

In the middle of the discussion, I said, “Yanno, it would be really helpful if we had some idea of the age of the solvers” – the original clue that I objected to had been okayed by the young-uns (20somethings) – Jen’s probably early 30s and was iffy on it – I’m 53 and was totally WTF about referring to this medium in that way.

The magazine has gone to printer, so I’m not asking for help on the specific clue – what I want to know is, are there any current Games cryptic solvers around, and how old are you?

PS: Thanks to TommyTutone in the current Pit thread on xw puzzles for giving me the idea to start this thread.

I love the Games cryptics, although I think they usually rely too much on anagrams. I’m 47 years old.

I agree with you on the anagrams, but I myself can’t write a cryptic clue to save my life, so it’s hard to be too critical.

I don’t know if you check constructor bylines – but I think Bob Stigger is a major talent. I’m really impressed with his work, esp. his variety cryptics.

I’m also a big fan of the cryptics. I’m 45.

(And, hey tell the editors - more Rows Gardens!)

I hate the cryptics. I do almost every other puzzle in the magazine, sometimes even the kids’ puzzles and word searches if I’m bored. I know I’m smart enough and “clever” enough, but they feel… I guess, too clever and smirky for me. Not specifically GAMES cryptics, but cryptics in general.

And Just1Lurk, I agree - I LOVE Rows Garden!


ETA Sorry, I guess this wasn’t a helpful response to the OP. But I seldom get to talk about puzzles :slight_smile: 35 this month.

I do. I’m 32.

I can’t do the Cryptics. I’m just not smart enough or something…I end up looking at the clues and thinking, “Duh…whuh?” I love the crosswords, though, especially the 3-star and World’s Most Ornery.

I don’t currently do the cryptics in Games, but this is making me consider giving them a try. How do they compare, in originality and difficulty, with those in Harper’s and The Atlantic?

Not a matter of intelligence at all – it’s a game with very specific, rather odd, rules, and it takes years to learn how to do them. (Which is why the folks who write the budgets at Games, appalling cheapskates, are willing to pay me a reasonable amount of money to test-solve them – not many people know how.)

40 here, and I know what a podcast is. I solve the cryptics in Games and Games World of Puzzles; they’re just about my favorite thing, and the themed/gimmicked ones often have me really impressed at the ingenuity of the creator.

I’m not familiar with those others these days, but the ones in Games, at least, always play fair, and are almost always do-able (to me, in under an hour, though occasionally I get tuck on one or two words and have to peek at the answers) (which I can’t always say for cryptics from other sources).

Yeah, I do too – but describing it as “something something multimedia” (sorry, don’t recall the exact wording) wouldn’t have gotten me there – since I’m 53 and think of it as a downloadable radio show – and think of multimedia as being way more elaborate than a podcast.

And thanks for observing the spoiler-ism on that.

:smack: Oops, sorry. Maybe a mod can delete or spoiler that.

“Multimedia”? Maybe not. “One of the new media”? sure.

Not a prob – anyone who solves it later will probably get that giddy “ooh, I remember when they were talking about that on the Dope” frisson.

Anyway – the 20somethings were fine with multimedia – I said no, referring to it as “multimedia whatever” wouldn’t get me to podcast. That’s why we started discussing age differences.

Just got my new issue yesterday! Jumped right for the cryptic crossword. Got a couple right away, still working it.

I’m 57. The cryptics in the magazine were my favorite puzzles, actually, and I did them for years. I haven’t bought the magazines in a few months because I came across a site that offers free cryptics daily: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/puzzles/cryptic.html. Their difficulty varies. I find that the ones by DA are the hardest.

Cool. Are those US-style (“pure” cryptics) or British-style (mixed)? I can’t do British style.

I don’t get Games, but I do most of the cryptics in World of Puzzles.

I am still 38.

I get the GAMES magazine often,not every issue anymore but I do them when i get it. I am 40

I loved Games and cryptic crosswords when I was a teenager, but I haven’t picked up an issue in years. This is making me nostalgic; maybe I’ll subscribe.