Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Puzzle Solution

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

solutionAll you crossworders who didn’t quite manage to fill in the blanks, click here for the solution to last week’s puzzle (created by fiction ed Michael Griffith). Congrats to Juliana Gray for getting us her completed grid in record time! Remember, there will be a real doozy of a crossword on the last page of our summer issue, due out in July.

Crossword Challenge Continued

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

eveYep, the brain-tickling never ends here at Cincinnati Review. Today fiction editor Michael Griffith presents you puzzle-doing types with another upper-works workout. Click here for Eve’s Puzzle. Michael describes the difficulty as “moderate,” but we’re printing a real killer of a crossword on the last page of our summer issue (out in July).

As always, the first person to send a correctly completed grid to editors [at] cincinnatireview [dot] com receives a free issue (mailed to the person of his/her choice).

On an unrelated note: We’re gearing up for our summer contest. Look for details here next week!

Crossword Key

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Gold keyFor those who haven’t yet puzzled through this month’s puzzle—or for you crossword whizzes who just want to check your answers—click here for the key. The winner (submitting her solution approximately an hour after we posted He Hath No Fury) is Katherine Karlin, whose remarkable story “We Are the Polites” appears in our current issue. Congrats, Katy. Look for another puzzle next month. . . .

Crossword #3: He Hath No Fury

Monday, April 6th, 2015

bali-pirate-mapA post for our passionate puzzlegoers—“goers” because working a puzzle is a bit like taking a journey, both physical (you cross spaces, traverse territory) and mental (you explore both your mind and the puzzle-maker’s). Not to mention, there’s a map—a tricky one, rather like those soiled and tattered bits of parchment in pirate movies, with signs that even intrepid adventurers can’t parse until they’re in the thick of things (dangling from unraveling rope bridges, in the clutches of cannibals, etc.). The title of this month’s puzzle (by, yep, fiction ed. Michael Griffith) is He Hath No Fury. (And yes, there’s a clue in that there adjusted adage.) As before, the first person to send the correct key to cincinnatireview[at]editors[dot]com gets a free issue! Time to head into the volcano, friends. Watch out for the glowing red stuff.

Crossword Solution

Monday, March 16th, 2015

pencil-happyThe first puzzle-solver to send us answers was the ever-so-sharp Laura Somerville (who won many—perhaps all—of our blue pencil prizes some years ago). Congrats, Laura! And the runner up (around 3 hours shy of first place) was contributor Katherine Karlin, whose haunting story “We Are the Polites” is in our current issue. Thanks for playing, Katherine!

Click here for the crossword key.

The CR Crossword Challenge . . . continued

Monday, March 9th, 2015

braincrossIn the spirit of our Games, Contests, & Diversions category, we give you—our bloggy wogs (i.e., followers of our blog; and yes, we just made that up)—a second crossword challenge by come-lately cruciverbalist (and fiction editor) Michael Griffith. Regarding this month’s puzzle, Michael says, “Clues in the ‘ham//board’ format are after-and-before clues. You’re looking for the word that ends a two-word phrase beginning ‘ham’ and starts a two-word phrase that ends with ‘board.’ In this case, the answer is ‘sandwich.’”

As before, the first person to solve the puzzle will receive a free issue of his/her choice. Submit your entry by commenting on this post (click the title) or contact us at editors[at] Good luck, word wonks!

Click here to view (and print) the crossword.

Crossword Key

Friday, February 6th, 2015

As promised, and hopefully in time to save the remaining hairs on your head, here is the key to Michael’s first crossword.

Stay tuned for the next puzzle!

Guess Whose Desk

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

We’re in the thick of mailing mayhem and don’t have time for a blog-post proper, but for fun we’ll toss out these shots of what’s on or next to our staff’s desks. This will be more fun for folks in the department, but if you match the image with the right staffer (Sara, Matt, Nicola, Brian, Don), we’ll give you a free issue.

Game of the Month: The Emerson Method

Monday, April 8th, 2013

For the past several weeks the University of Cincinnati has had the pleasure of hosting Claudia Emerson, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of, most recently, Secure the Shadow (LSU, Southern Messenger Poets, 2012), as Elliston Poet-in-Residence. This past Friday Claudia gave a talk on the importance of measured syntax, during which she described her unusual writing process: She spools out sentences in paragraph form and then prunes them into what become the lines of her poems.

This so piqued our interest, we decided to honor Claudia’s process—which we’ve termed The Emerson Method—in our game of the month. The game’s also an homage to spring. And to the daffodil, the first flower to rear its head in Cincinnati every year.

So: We’ve provided some facts about the daffodil below. Channel your inner Dickinson or Wordsworth  by making the following technical information—well, pretty. Prune sentences (pun intended), change words, add words, rearrange phrases—really, do whatever you want; we’re flexible—to make a stanza, haiku, or piece of microfiction. Form and word count is up to you. The writer of the best entry will win his or her choice of free back issue, slingpack, or CR thermos. And, as a special bonus, we’ll also publish the winning entry on Twitter.

Click on the post’s title to leave your entry as a comment. Good luck!

Daffodils: Species information (from

Scientific name: Narcissus pseudonarcissus L.

Common name(s): daffodil, common daffodil, wild daffodil, Easter lily, Lent lily, downdilly.

Conservation status: Locally abundant and not considered to be threatened.

Habitat: Woodlands, coppices, open meadows and grassy slopes.

Known hazards: The leaves, stems, seed pods and bulbs contain toxic alkaloids. If eaten they can cause dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea and occasionally also convulsions. The toxins are usually most concentrated in the bulbs. Rather surprisingly, daffodil bulbs have been eaten on occasion after being mistaken for onions. The sap can cause dermatitis, and the leaves are poisonous to livestock.

About this species: This well-known European flower brings bright swathes of color to woods and grassland in early spring. Although the daffodil is sometimes known as the Easter lily, it is actually a member of the Amaryllidaceae (the plant family that also includes snowdrops) and hence is not a true lily.

The Latin name for daffodil is thought to have been inspired by Narcissus, who was a figure in Greek mythology said to have fallen in love with his reflection in a pool of water. The nodding head of the daffodil is said to represent Narcissus bending down and gazing at his reflection. Daffodils suffered a rapid decline in England and Wales in the mid 19th century, and are now considered rare in some areas, although they are often still abundant in areas where they remain.

Game of the Month: February Is Like…

Monday, February 11th, 2013

So: February. Did you know that this month’s observances include American Crossword Puzzle Week and National Fettuccine Alfredo Day? Until a few minutes ago, neither did we, because the miseries of February have blinded us to its less horrendous aspects. But we’re trying to make it more bearable by having a bit of fun with February in our new game of the month (our last one, unfortunately, was lame, or dull, or something that resulted in no one even trying). To make up for it, we’re going to award five prizes this time out. We want you to win. Really.

How to play? Tell us what February’s like. Come at us with your best metaphors and other literary lampoonings. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Short and brutal—a Napoleon of a month. —Alli Hammond

February makes a bridge, and March breaks it. —George Herbert

Kath says February is always like eating a raw egg;
Peter says it’s like wearing a bandage on your head;
Mary says it’s like a pack of wild dogs who have gotten into medical waste
and smiles because she clearly is the winner.

—Tony Hoagland

Submit your entry by commenting on this post (click the title) by Friday, February 15. Writers of the five best similes win their choice of thermos, slingpack, or CR back issue (2.2 excluded). Good luck!