The Puzzle Wizard

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A little about us and our puzzles

I hope you're enjoying your visit to our web site. In case this is your first visit and you're wondering what we're all about, The Puzzle Wizard is a small business based in Brisbane, Australia, our specialty being the time-honoured favourite, crossword puzzles. My name is Greg Parker, and I try to guide the ship as best I can through the ‘rocky waters’.

My aim is to provide high-quality crosswords at the best possible value. I am drawing on a wealth of experience compiling and solving crosswords to help me achieve this. I think that maintaining a personal touch with my clients is extremely important too. I welcome everybody's input to help me achieve the best results for you.

What makes for high-quality crosswords? Clues that are concise and never vague are a necessity. Obviously the degree of difficulty will depend to a certain extent on the skill level of the person solving the crossword, but generally speaking the crosswords should present some sort of mental stimulus without proving impossible. The facts should be accurate and there be no errors in the clues or the grid. Slang terms, plurals, and abbreviations should be kept to a minimum or excluded in my opinion. And not too much monotony! Seeing the same clues over and over again drives some of us crazy! Attractive, symmetrical grids provide a pleasing quality to the eye. Most of all the crosswords should be enjoyable and even a little educational. By compiling all of the straight crosswords myself, I hope to keep a tight reign on quality control in these areas.

The internet provides the ideal forum to compare crosswords from certain corners of the world. Puzzles from Britain and Australia generally have more black squares in the grids, compared to crosswords from the U.S. This means (perhaps surprisingly) that words in the British and Australian puzzles are generally longer than puzzles from the U.S., and that there are fewer overlapping letters. In fact in most of the U.S. puzzles that I have seen, all of the letters in all of the words have a common letter with a word in the other direction. Obviously the more overlapping letters, the easier the puzzles should be to solve. Offsetting this though, I find that often the U.S. clues are slightly trickier and require a little bit of extra thought power. It really is a matter of personal preference as to which is the better style, rather than an issue about quality. Certainly each of these different types of crosswords have sold in Australia for years.

To be honest I find both styles fascinating in their own way. There is a certain magic about the rampant interlocking of letters throughout a puzzle. On the other hand, a puzzle with a high proportion of longer words may arguably do more for your vocabulary in the long run. I aim for the best of both worlds in the crosswords I produce, while striving for that high level of quality that I discussed earlier.

How can I give you such great value for money?

  • Years of experience compiling crosswords.
  • Limiting overheads to a minimum.
  • Diversifying my skills (I use the term loosely) in various areas of production.

Things have certainly been made easier through the age of computers and the internet. Also making it possible is the fact that I've received an enormous amount of moral support from my parents, and some wonderful puzzle ideas and creations from my father Bruce. I thank them wholeheartedly!

Anyway, I've waffled on long enough. Frankly I'd like the puzzles to do the talking for me. I'd love to hear from you if you have any queries or suggestions. Feel free to email me.

Regards,

Greg

Greg at his desk



Last Modified:  20th March 2017

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