The Infamous Blue Room Crossword Puzzle
& Pencil-Puzzle Archive


Welcome to the Infamous Blue Room Crossword page, the only collection of crosswords I know of where knowledge of roleplaying games, cooking, and giant Japanese monsters are your keys to success! Be warned - these aren't ordinary puzzles! Read How the Crossword Works to get a feel for what you're in for.
  • Crossword #1: The first of the puzzles was created using Excel 5 to make the grid, a painstaking process made a lot easier by the fact that I was doing it at work (I had a desk job working reception and records for a toxic waste disposal outfit for a while). It's small, simple and primitive, and probably a good way for beginners to get their feet wet, too. It was solved by Josh Talley.
  • Crossword #2: I got ambitious with the second puzzle, moving to a 15x15 grid and what seemed to be the right mix of clue difficulty, since I got nearly-complete responses from a large handful of players, and participation was enthusiastic from all corners. Jonathan Woodward took the prize, the first of many triumphs for the king of the Crossword.
  • Crossword #3: This was my first break from using Excel. Instead, I used the shareware version of Crossword Compiler, easily the best crossword-making software there is. Since the shareware version supports nothing larger than a 10x10 grid, I opted to use bars instead of blocks, but the heavily-interlocking nature of the format made the puzzle the most-rapidly solved of them all, with Shawn & Marsha Lockard beating the howling pack of complete solutions by a matter of hours.
  • Crossword #4: I definitely wanted to get back to 15x15, but those things are a lot of work in Excel, so this one had to last a whole summer while Sandra and I were busy with work, life, and moving to Texas. As a result, I built it hard, and there's no question that it's one of the most difficult puzzles currently in the archive. It was finally cracked by the ace team of Tim Driscoll & Colby Perkins.
  • Crossword #5: I finally plunked down the dough for a registered copy of Crossword Compiler, which made constructing this new "revival" crossword a breeze. Solving it was another story, however. The July 99 puzzle is the only puzzle to go the distance without anybody getting a 100% complete solution, but again the team of Driscoll & Perkins proved to be masters of the obscure, and were awarded a special note of effort for getting closest. Tackle this one at your own risk!
  • Crossword #6: Another tricky one, but a better balance, I think. The lessons learned in designing all the previous puzzles were actively applied, here, and the trickiest clues turned out to be those referring to the Blue Room itself! A few spirited souls took up the gauntlet and plugged away at solutions, but finally the Godlinghood was handed to John "Tucker" Taylor.
  • Crossword #7: This puzzle was a small one again at 11x11, because I woke up one morning with a little extra zip and decided to race myself: Can I make a crossword in an hour? As it happens, it took me an hour and a half, but I'm happy with that! I'm happy with the puzzle itself, too - a couple of solutions came in quickly, but they were the exceptional few, so I think it has just the right amount of potential stumpage to entertain. Stuart Faulds took the mantle of Godlinghood.
  • Crossword #8: This puzzle is in a slightly different format. I set aside the traditional newspaper-style for the first time since Puzzle 3, opting for a "quick grid" style. The easy building suits the theme of the puzzle, which I call "easy does it." The idea was that this (and some simple clues) would make an easy crossword for beginners . . . But no such luck! Joel Davis rose to the Godling throne with very little competition, nearly a full day after the puzzle had been posted. So, easy does it with easy does it!
  • Crossword #9: The Crossword returns after a long hiatus, and it returns via The Vortex, a mind-bending 15x15 blue-room-a-thon designed for a careful, tightrope balance of tricky and casual. There are a handful of easy "ins" but after a while, it's sink or swim. Jesse Paulsen was the first to defeat it!


There are times when you want the thinking to be a little less strenuous. WordFills are a great way to relax with a challenge to your noggin that has nothing to do with trivia or cryptic clues:

  • A Paranoia Wordfill: This one's strictly PDF, for reasons that may become apparent. If you feel the Computer has erred with any portion of this puzzle, I think it's best if you report it personally.
  • The Star Trek WordFill: It's short and sweet and simple, and any Trek fan can solve it if they think about it for a minute.
  • A Gamer's Bookshelf is a more traditional wordfill (the list of words is actually provided, this time!) built from a random sampling of roleplaying game titles. Fun and easy!
  • A Cumberland Game is traditional, too, but it's trickier: all the words are exactly seven letters long, and they all have a common "ancestor," so to speak.
  • Canned Soup applies the "Andy Warhol" principle to the art of the wordfill. Now if I can just get my hair to behave again . . .
  • The Bigass RPG Wordfill is another "common ancestor" puzzle, with every word made from letters found in the phrase "Roleplaying Game." And it's BIG. Very, very big.
  • The Lurking Wordfill of Veen is exactly what it sounds like. Yes, I think that's fair to say. Published to celebrate the release of The Greydeep Marches, by my friend Peter. PDF.

Tiny Terrors!

The full-length crosswords are for long, lazy afternoons (or, in some cases, gruelling, frustrating weeks), so there are also Tiny Terrors - crosswords quick enough to satisfy in an ordinary lunch-break!

  • "I Squash the Nasty Thing With My Mace!" is the first Tiny, a crossword that harkens back to the gaming days of yore, complete with some nasty trick questions; beware!
  • Out of Cryo is the second Tiny, published quite a lot of years after the first one, because that's the kind of thing that happens here. It's less tricky. I mellowed. Audrey Winter was the first to solve it.

Assorted Diversions

I enjoy all kinds of pencil-puzzles and word games, so crosswords aren't the only thing that appear on the Blue Room. Here's a handful of ways to get your pencil dull and your mind sharp:

  • The GURPS Title Word Search: Lots and lots of GURPS titles, all in a grid. Of course, I don't specify which, exactly. How many can you find?
  • A GURPS Anagram Puzzle: Okay, I promise not to make any more puzzles about GURPS titles, but this was my first. Besides, it's funny.
  • The Dallas Maze (53k ZIPped Acrobat file) is the simplest puzzle here; a hand-doodled labyrinth resembling an alien brain or a pile of spaghetti. For when you're in the mood to discard logic and memory and just follow a pencil for a bit!

What's all this about solutions and Godlings? When I post a new puzzle, I sometimes (always, in the case of the main Crossword seris) hold a friendly contest to see who can crack it first. The winners of the old contests were enshrined in the Grand List of Blue Room Crossword Puzzle Godlings Worthy Of Cash and Sexual Favors. I no longer do the Godling page (it's a fossil, folks) but I still list new winners here on this one (see above), as I roll out new puzzles.


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