My Unpublished Puzzles

Since I joined the National Puzzlers' League in the spring of 1999, I have had a number of puzzles published in the Enigma. However, not every idea is publishable; some of them are just too obscure, or too far outside the rules, or use bases which have been overused in the past. When I give up on these ever appearing in print, I post them on this page.

1. DOUBLE-CROSS (*13, 5, *10, *8) (*13 = non-MW)

An NPL-er known to all, for fun
Went to the movies; saw the film called ONE.
When asked he said, "It's not like my home town."
Then he went home to write across and down.
"I wish this grid did not depend so much
on books by FOUR, words like Adar, and such
trite crosswordese," he thought. That's when he called
a friend in THREE (near Oakland). "I'm appalled
at puzzles using words that no one knows.
What's dudaim?" "That's a type of TWO; it grows
in Asia," said his friend. "I guess it'll do.
But I'm afraid I'm stuck with that Omoo."
=/dev/joe, Winthrop MA

Pleasantville, melon, Pleasanton, Melville

Notes: Pleasantville refers both to the movie and (in line 3) to Will Shortz's home town. This was my first submission to the Enigma and it was rejected based on (i) Pleasantville and Pleasanton being too closely etymologically related, and (ii) a flat on Pleasantville being published too recently.


One night I was walking through a Pep Boys,
In my sleep (that's right, I TOGETHER).
In that store I encountered irate frat boys
Each of them with a ONE on his sweater.
They were yelling at a THREE about oil.
"You've been out of Pennz. for four FOUR.
Why don't you order TWO? It won't spoil."
They left with none, through the door, door, door.
=/dev/joe, Winthrop MA

somnambulate; eta, lub. (=lubricant), man, mos. (=months)

Notes: I used this as a profile puzzle for the April 1, 2002 masquerade chat, with the flat type as my name. It didn't fit, but I pasted it all into chat a couple times for people to solve, and also recommended they try solving it as a Flat We Never Finished Reading. The flat was inspired by the song "A Winter's Tale" which many of us were introduced to during the 2002 MIT Mystery Hunt, which features (among other bizarre, shouted lyrics) the line "I perambulate, somnambulant." The verse doesn't really follow the rhythm (if there is such a thing) of the song, but the start is inspired by the chorus of the song, which begins "Forever walking through December."

3. BIGRAM BEHEADMENT (*5*4, *7, neither MW)

(to come - need to find this one)
=/dev/joe, Winthrop MA

AspenTech, Pentech

AspenTech is the official short form of the name of my company, Aspen Technology. Pentech is a company that makes writing instruments. I wrote this flat while I was attending my company's trade show in the fall of 2000. Neither of these non-MW words is very well known, so if this flat somehow got published it would be KU. (It probably also fails on both being based on the word technology, and I should instead write a bigram beheadment on aspen, pen, which suffers none of these problems.)