A Self-Enumerating Crossword

sallows crossword

Here’s a unique crossword puzzle by Lee Sallows. There are no clues — instead, each of the 12 entries must take the form [NUMBER](space)[LETTER](S), like so:


And so on. Can you complete the puzzle so that the finished grid presents an inventory of its own contents?

(A couple observations to get you started: Because the puzzle contains 12 entries, the solution will use only 12 letters. And one useful place to start is the shortest “down” entry, which is too short to be plural — it must be “ONE [LETTER]”.)

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A Long Visit


Your tedious nephews, Kerry and Kelly, are not honest, but they’re orderly. One of them lies only on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and the other lies only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. At noon, they have the following conversation:

Kerry: I lie on Saturdays.

Kelly: I will lie tomorrow.

Kerry: I lie on Sundays.

On which day of the week does this conversation take place?

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Black and White

daniel chess problem

By Arthur William Daniel. White to mate in two moves.

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Home Free


A baseball poser from Clark Kinnaird’s 1946 Encyclopedia of Puzzles and Pastimes:

“In a spring training game with the Dodgers at bat, the first man up hit a triple, the second man hit a double, the third man hit a double, the fourth man hit a single, the fifth man hit a single, the sixth man hit a single. Yet the Dodgers did not score a run in that inning. How could this have happened? These were the only men who went to bat in the inning.”

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Tossing and Turning

Butler University mathematician Jerry Farrell has telekinesis. Here’s a demonstration. Toss a coin and enter the result (HEAD or TAIL) as 1 Across in the grid below. Then solve the rest of the puzzle:

farrell puzzle

Across                                   Down

1 Your coin shows a ______               1 Half a laugh
5 Wagner's earth goddess                 2 Station terminus?
6 Word with one or green                 3 Dec follower?
                                         4 Certain male
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Cover Story

On the floor of a room of area 5, you place 9 rugs. Each is an arbitrary shape but has area 1. Prove that there are two rugs that overlap by at least 1/9.

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Black and White

speckmann chess problem

By W. Speckmann, 1973. White to mate in two moves.

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Puzzling Lines

In his 1943 book The Life of Johnny Reb, Emory University historian Bell Wiley collects misspellings found in the letters of Confederate soldiers. Can you decipher these words?

  1. agetent
  2. bregad
  3. cerce
  4. crawsed
  5. furteege
  6. orpital
  7. perperce
  8. porchun
  9. regislatury
  10. ridgement

Bonus: What does A brim ham lillkern mean?

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A Chess Maze

wurzburg chess puzzle

By O. Wurzburg, 1919. If Black does not move at all, in how few moves can the white king reach f4? White can move only his king; as in regular play, it can capture enemy pieces but cannot enter check.

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Quick Thinking

Some “ridiculous questions” from Martin Gardner:

1. A convex regular polyhedron can stand stably on any face, because its center of gravity is at the center. It’s easy to construct an irregular polyhedron that’s unstable on certain faces, so that it topples over. Is it possible to make a model of an irregular polyhedron that’s unstable on every face?

2. The center of a regular tetrahedron lies in the same plane with any two of its corner points. Is this also true of all irregular tetrahedrons?

3. An equilateral triangle and a regular hexagon have perimeters of the same length. If the area of the triangle is 2 square units, what is the area of the hexagon?

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