Friday, August 27, 2021

Puzzles Thirty-Three and Thirty-Four: Luck of the Draw, Parts One and Two

A few months ago I challenged myself to construct a themeless puzzle incorporating the first five words produced by an online random word generator. Part 1 below is the second such grid and the first full puzzle I've produced using this approach. You'll find out what the words are as you go.

More recently, at the end of July, Will Nediger (independently) concocted an even tougher random construction challenge: incorporate five letters selected at random at points in the grid selected at random, and five black squares whose locations would also be selected at random. I took on that challenge as well, and Part 2 is the outcome. The random letters and their locations are highlighted in yellow and the five mandatory "black" squares, the location of which made this a true challenge, are highlighted in pink.

Other constructors who entered the Nediger Aleatory Thunderdome and emerged with solvable puzzles include:

Trent Evans, Grid Therapy: "Random Association 1"
Brian Thomas, Puzzles That Need a Home: "Themeless #57" and the new "Themeless #59"

Thanks to Quiara for test-solving both of these. And to the 00s UK grime sensation Lady Sovereign for the solving music below (it got stuck in my head while constructing, okay?).

META UPDATE: Though I haven't posted one in six weeks, the contest meta puzzles will return soon. I simply hit an idea drought at the same time as I also ran short on time to do the extra tasks related to the metas, like catching up on mailing out stickers to past winners, making spreadsheets, writing clues, sending draft puzzles out to be test-solved, and so forth.


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