Friday, December 6, 2013
Five Gift Ideas for Puzzling People
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Need some brilliant ideas for the puzzle lovers on your list? Try some of these...
1. Top of my gift giving list, without a doubt, is Laser Maze from ThinkFun. You can check out my review of it here and find out the nitty-gritty, but you simply can't go wrong with lasers and puzzles combined! Unfortunately, Amazon has raised the price by $20 for the Christmas season, and ThinkFun is sold out! But MindWare still seems to have some at the more reasonable price of $30. This is great for kids and adults alike!
2. Scrabble is a fabulous way to build your vocabulary! My kids and I have been trying to figure out a way to have a long-play board of Scrabble set up so that people could play their turn when they were in the mood. But we just don't have any surfaces at our new house for something like that to sit out. (We gave up having an eating table so that we could have a homeschool room instead.) And with 2 very nosy cats, the board would get messed up at least once or twice a day! So I was very pleased when I stumbled on The Walk By Scrabble Board and quickly purchased one. It will be a family gift for Xmas, so I haven't opened it up yet, but I does look good from the outside! Now both the kids can play my favorite word game with me and not feel too pressured to make a word within a given amount of time. I think it'll be a hit!
3. Here's a gift for the budding puzzle maker. Mike Selinker and Thomas Snyder do a fabulous job of presenting a ton of different puzzle types with tips on how to create them and solve them. It includes chapters on Perception Puzzles, Word Puzzles, Logic Puzzles, and Puzzles Within Puzzles. The book is also full of solvable examples.
4. Here's a fairly esoteric idea. I just bought a copy of "Numbers: facts, figures and fiction" by Richard Phillips for my puzzle writing reference shelf. It is chock-full of interesting facts about numbers. Want to know something about the number 78? Turn to page 68 and you will find that the number 78 is 2x3x13, is the life expectancy for women in the UK, and is the number of presents sent on the twelfth day of Christmas. I know, you can probably find all this info on the internet, but this is a really glossy book with pretty pictures and, even though I adore my Kindle app, I still like to flip through a real book sometimes!
5. And one last single-player puzzle recommendation...Vikings Brainstorm from Smart Games. You can find more about the game here and buy it at Amazon for $20. It is a really nifty little game. I haven't had a chance to write a review for it yet, but it is quite satisfying to play with and solve. Definitely for kids and adults.
Good luck shopping and happy holidays!