Monday, October 12, 2015

New Variety Puzzle Format: Sandwiches (And a Contest!)

I've been tinkering with the idea of a new puzzle format for a few years now, and I think I hit upon something that I can sink my teeth into, so to speak. It's called "Sandwiches," and you can try your hand at it by downloading the PDF file below. Instructions are included with the PDF.

I would like as much feedback as possible for this debut, so I made it a contest which requires you to e-mail me (wink-wink) in order to enter. So feel free to include your thoughts and comments regarding the format. I had a couple test-solvers give initial feedback, but the amount of people that have actually solved one of these is still very small, so I do appreciate any commentary you have.

As mentioned in the PDF, I will do a random drawing of all the correct entries I receive by the end of the day next Monday, October 19th. One lucky entrant will have the choice of a free one-year Rows Garden subscription or a one-year AriesXword subscription.

Hope you enjoy the puzzle: DOWNLOAD "SANDWICHES"


  1. Read the directions 6 times and cannot make heads or tails of it. I get the crusts and fillings but not the row, or how one might actually go about solving the puzzle. Maybe if you put up a video of you solving some of it that would help.

  2. Apologies for the confusion and sorry for the frustration. Basically the rows have one entry on the outside (separated by the black bars) and either one or two in the inside whose clues are in the parenthesis. The columns work similarly, except there is one outer entry (the Crust) and one inner entry (the Filling) that is sandwiched between. The columns do not have the benefit of seeing where the lines of separation are in the Crust entries, nor do you know what column they belong in.

    Many solvers have admitted initial frustration on how to break through with the format, but after they climbed the hurdle the challenge wasn't too tough, so I think you're close but it just hasn't clicked for you yet.

    No worries if you want to give up, either - I realize that the format isn't for everyone.

  3. Hi Andrew, loved the puzzle. Initially I too was flummoxed by the instructions, but your comments above clarified it well, One problem I had was that it was too wide for the printer and I lost a skerrick off the right side, but that might have been my fault. Look forward to seeing more :) Mary

  4. Had no problem solving this puzzle with your explanations. It was a lot of fun. Hope to see more of them.

  5. Your sentence above "The columns work similarly..." would have been very helpful with the initial instructions, or an example of a column like you gave for the row. Once I figured that out it wasn't a difficult solve, although there was a fair amount of erasing involved! I'm just amazed that you have the ability to construct something like this.