• Jacob Cohen

#78: Mergeword, Star Battle, Crossword (plus a custom Wordle)

Updated: May 28

Hello, and welcome to Puzzles for Progress!


Before I get into the puzzles: I somehow completed seven Wordles in twenty-five seconds! I'm still in shock. Watch the video footage and read about it in my latest blog post.


On the subject of Wordle, my first Wordle blog post came with six custom six-letter Wordles, and people seemed to like them, so I'm trying something new: for the near future, each edition of Puzzles for Progress will come with a custom Wordle selected by me! Today's is five letters long, though they won't necessarily all be. I'm hoping to feature words that are difficult in a satisfying way — totally common and fair words that happen to have interesting letter patterns — though I'm not ruling out simply using whichever words strike my fancy.


Without further ado, here is the first Puzzles fordle Progress (title open to workshopping).


Onto today's normal puzzles! I published the first Mergeword last October and planned to make a sequel — I used a computer program to generate all possible mergewords, and saw that there was an ample supply of good ones. Somehow it's slipped through the cracks...until now! Sadly, no online interface for this one.

Printable PDF


People seem to like Star Battle, so here's another easy one! I originally made it for the PANFOPCHWTTAPA 2 contest, but it didn't end up working out. Regardless, I'm happy with it, so here it is!

Printable PDF / online with puzz.link


Finally, a 9x9 crossword. There's a certain two-word phrase that I've been thinking a lot about from a wordplay perspective, and so eventually I had to make a puzzle with that as the seed. It's 11-Across.

Printable PDF / online with Crosshare / downloadable .puz file


By the way, testers found some of the clues I originally had for this puzzle too obscure/hard/specific to me. They're probably right, so I took them out, but I still like the clues! If you want the "director's cut" version, with those clues left in, solve at your own risk:

Printable PDF / online with Crosshare / downloadable .puz file


Or: all three puzzles on one page / the answers


Small Details Probably Only Jacob Cares About Corner

As you can see, this is a totally new puzzle layout, with Star Battle as a sort of "inset" to the Mergeword! Formatting this was a bit of a challenge, since Mergeword and Crossword both fall firmly in the "large word puzzle" category, space-wise. However, I'm happy with my solution.


As always, if you have any feelings you want to share, don't hesitate to comment, email me, or talk to me any other way. I'll be back with more puzzles as usual in two weeks!

—Jacob



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