3D Logic Puzzles

Thursday, April 1, 2004 Crazyquilt

It's a chilly autumn night in 1969. Hunched over the Monopoly board, my grandmother and I make our moves with focused deliberation. The rest of the family has long since departed our riverside cottage, but not Nana and I. We couldn't leave our unfinished board game behind. I sure don't remember who won that night, I just remember the warm camaraderie of a grown-up taking the time to make our game playing a priority.

Nana Brewer never just let me win the games; I had to win fair and square. From her I learned that game playing was about the fun of playing and who won in the end rarely mattered. But I admit, she wasn't above doing a victory dance if she played a truly devastating multi-jump sequence in checkers. From jigsaw puzzles, to croquet, connect-the-dots and scrabble, I delighted in my weekends playing games with her.

I left home at 18 to pursue my education and career in Psychology and computers. All the while developing a great love of creating psychological tests (puzzles) and writing computer programs (more puzzles). These early days with my grandmother had a truly great influence on my entire personality and life choices. I called her with pride one day to tell her that a Solitaire game I had invented named Twister , had won a contest and had been included in the most popular solitaire computer program of all time! I think she was as proud as I was.

When my Nana passed away several years ago, she gifted me with her entire collection of Games magazines - almost every single issue going back all the way to the 1970s. These are not collectors treasures, being rumpled and written on, they are treasured by me, as within their pages are crosswords and picture puzzles, word seeks and rebuses, all completed by me and my Nana!

Form 3D shapes when completed

It was Games magazine which introduced me to the Pic-a-Pix picture puzzles that have become my favorite simple pleasure. For years now I have kept the originals of every Pic-a-pix puzzle page in a large drawer, never working on the originals, photocopying favorites to play with over and over again. On easy puzzles I try to solve them without marking any squares except the filled squares. On harder puzzles I keep track of my errors or my speed and try to go faster or be more accurate when I try them again. I use indelible Sharpie markers to fill in the puzzle grid -so there's no going back - if I make a mistake I must start over.

One day I ran out of new puzzles to do. I carry a clipboard in my bag with puzzles, it was empty. In desperation I searched out the Conceptis puzzle site, and was thrilled to find a site filled with fellow puzzle-addicts, hidden Easter-egg puzzles, and joy-of-all-joys free weekly puzzles! I must kick myself for not doing this sooner. Once again I am behind on my work and covered with Sharpie marker stains.

I would like to share with the Conceptis community two Pic-a-Pix and one Link-a-Pix which I created. The Link-a-Pix puzzle was produced using Conceptis’ algorithm, based on my artwork. These puzzles are unusual in that they form 3D shapes when completed that only appear as you fill in the last few squares. Stak-O-Blox is the easiest, Mystery Box is my favorite, and crazy quilt (shown above) is a tribute to my Nana's quilt making.

Please visit me at one of my websites, I breed Samoyed dogs , I help small businesses automate and build communities on their websites - and I try to solve every single Conceptis puzzle I can get my hands on!

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