A crossword is a word puzzle that normally takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white and black shaded squares. The goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues which lead to the answers. In languages that are written left-to-right, the answer words and phrases are placed in the grid from left to right and from top to bottom. The shaded squares are used to separate the words or phrases.
A burr puzzle is an interlocking puzzle consisting of notched sticks, combined to make one three-dimensional, usually symmetrical unit. These puzzles are traditionally made of wood, but versions made of plastic or metal can also be found. Quality burr puzzles are usually precision-made for easy sliding and accurate fitting of the pieces. In recent years the definition of "burr" is expanding, as puzzle designers use this name for puzzles not necessarily of stick-based pieces.
The term "Burr" is first mentioned in a 1928 book by Edwin Wyatt, but the text implies that it was commonly used before. The term is attributed to the finished shape of many of these puzzles, resembling a seed burr.
Ostomachion, also known as loculus Archimedius (Archimedes' box in Latin) and also as syntomachion, is a mathematical treatise attributed to Archimedes. This work has survived fragmentarily in an Arabic version and in a copy of the original ancient Greek text made in Byzantine times. The word Ostomachion has as its roots in the Greek "Ὀστομάχιον", which means "bone-fight", from "ὀστέον" (osteon), "bone" + "μάχη" (mache), "fight, battle, combat". Note that the manuscripts refer to the word as "Stomachion", an apparent corruption of the original Greek. Ausonius gives us the correct name "Ostomachion" (quod Graeci ostomachion vocavere). The Ostomachion which he describes was a puzzle similar to tangrams and was played perhaps by several persons with pieces made of bone. It is not known which is older, Archimedes' geometrical investigation of the figure, or the game. Victorinus, Bassus Ennodius and Lucretius have talked about the game too.
Mathematical puzzles make up an integral part of recreational mathematics. They have specific rules as do multiplayer games, but they do not usually involve competition between two or more players. Instead, to solve such a puzzle, the solver must find a solution that satisfies the given conditions. Mathematical puzzles require mathematics to solve them. Logic puzzles are a common type of mathematical puzzle.
Conway's Game of Life and fractals, as two examples, may also be considered mathematical puzzles even though the solver interacts with them only at the beginning by providing a set of initial conditions. After these conditions are set, the rules of the puzzle determine all subsequent changes and moves. Many of the puzzles are well known because they were discussed by Martin Gardner in his "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American. Mathematical puzzles are sometimes used to motivate students in teaching elementary school math problem solving techniques.
A letter bank is a relative of the anagram where all the letters of one word (the "bank") can be used as many times as desired (minimum of once each) to make a new word or phrase. For example, IMPS is a bank of MISSISSIPPI, SENT is a bank of TENNESSEE and SPROUT is a bank of SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.
The term "letter bank" was coined by Will Shortz at the 1980 convention of the National Puzzlers League. This puzzle type is the basis for the word game Alpha Blitz.]citation needed[
Metagrobology is the study of puzzles. Thus a metagrobologist is one who practices or makes puzzles. Famous metagrobologists include Nob Yoshigahara and David Singmaster.
The word was coined by Rick Irby in the early 1970s on the basis of an old French word, metagrobolise, which means to baffle, confuse or puzzle, and which he found in an article in the New York Times. Rick Irby has been a puzzle designer, maker and seller of wire disentanglement puzzles for more than 30 years and coined the word metagrobologist for himself as one who puzzles people. He also coined metagrobolizers for the objects he makes and sells and metagrobology for the science of it all.
Crosswordese is a term generally used to describe words frequently found in crossword puzzles but seldom found in everyday conversation. They are usually short words, three to five letters, with letter combinations which crossword constructors find useful in the creation of crossword puzzles, such as words that start and/or end with vowels, abbreviations consisting entirely of consonants, unusual combinations of letters, and words consisting almost entirely of frequently used letters. Such words are needed in almost every puzzle to some extent. Too much crosswordese in a crossword puzzle is frowned upon by cruciverbalists and crossword enthusiasts.
Knowing the language of ‘crosswordese’ is helpful to constructors and solvers alike. According to Marc Romano, “to do well solving crosswords, you absolutely need to keep a running mental list of “crosswordese,” the set of recurring words that constructors reach for whenever they are heading for trouble in a particular section of the grid.”
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.