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Announcing: PUZZLES for PROGRESS

Hello everyone!

Today, I have a big announcement to make. I'm officially starting PUZZLES for PROGRESS!

Puzzles for Progress is a weekly puzzle page you can get delivered directly to your email. After today, it will be released every Friday morning. Each puzzle page contains three completely homemade puzzles that you can print out and enjoy. There are a large variety of puzzle types, including the ubiquitous crossword, the fan-favorite Capsules, the unique Overwrite, and more. 

The website is at It's not super expansive, but in addition to a short description, it contains an FAQ and official Puzzles for Progress email. It will eventually contain the full puzzle archive. Well, it does right now, but the full puzzle archive is one puzzle.

But it’s about more than the puzzles. It’s not in the news much, but every few minutes, a human being dies from malaria. However, not only is malaria preventable, but it only costs around $10 to purchase and ship a malaria net to a community in need. Nothing but Nets allows you to do this. It’s associated with the United Nations and a partner of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so you can trust it’s legitimate. If you don’t donate, you shouldn’t feel guilty; that serves no purpose. But Nothing but Nets is perhaps the most efficient way your money can save lives, and I want to inspire you to help make the world better. That's why Puzzles for Progress is also a fundraiser to stop malaria.

The link to donate is at Obviously, a donation isn't mandatory, but it has the potential to save a life. 


Now, here are two questions from the FAQ that I think might be particularly relevant:

1. I'm sorry, but I just don't like puzzles. Can I go now?

Well, obviously you could give them a try anyway. You never know what you'll enjoy. That said, I hope you'll still make a donation to help stop malaria. You can do that even if you don't like puzzles.

2. What inspired you to start Puzzles for Progress?

I've always loved puzzles. My family has always subscribed to the Sunday edition of the New York Times, which comes with a crossword and puzzle page. The crossword was a family ritual, something we would do together, since I was very young. We ignored the puzzle page. Eventually, the Times released a new type of crossword called the mini. The mini was only 5x5 (7x7 on Saturdays) and we were hooked. You could (and still can) do them for free on the Crosswords app or online. Little Jacob could even solve them sometimes! But I was never a creator at that point, only a solver.

At some point, the New York Times was doing a promo where a kid would construct a mini that would be published. I didn't participate. After all, I couldn't make a crossword. But when the mini aired, I was a bit curious. Could I make a mini?

It turned out I could. That mentality would repeat itself over the course of my early puzzling career. I can't make a 7x7. I can't make an 11x11. I can't make a full-size 15x15 crossword puzzle. (Airing in a few weeks, just you wait.)

About a year later, my family decided to take a look at the puzzle page. It gradually became, like the crossword, a family ritual. So I tried my hand at making some of those puzzles. And it turned out, I could.

Over one hundred puzzles in, I kept wondering what to do with all these homemade puzzles. I had no outlet for publishing them anywhere. For a while, I considered compiling them in a puzzle book. But I didn't take any steps to follow through on that. I was chatting with my mom about it when she suggested making a weekly puzzle page, like the New York Times. Each page would contain a few puzzles, then people could print it out and solve them.

But I knew I wanted to do more. When I would talk about the puzzle book, I would always charge money for it and donate 100% of the proceeds to charity. After all, it's not like I have a ton of expenses right now. Since the puzzle page would be online, it wouldn't make sense to charge a fee. But I still wanted to do what I could to help people in need. So I decided to make it a fundraiser for Nothing But Nets, a group working hard to combat malaria. And here we are. Enjoy!

I know it's very easy to ignore this and move on. But I'd be so grateful if you attempt my puzzles, and/or make a donation to Nothing But Nets. Thank you all for your time.



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