No new puzzle this week – and I did skip a week so that I could put the update out today.
All being well, Saturday 23 November will see my 150th Inquisitor puzzle. Or so. I haven’t seen the final proofs yet so there may be a last-minute substitution, but I hope not.
Why ‘Or so’? Well, the counting of the puzzles got a little complicated with the appearance of SPINK. First of all, I’m not sure I should count the two collaborative SPINK puzzles as full Phi puzzles – but nor should they be zero. I think I’ve counted one and not the other. Secondly, the second SPINK puzzle was not not taken into consideration when I first totted up the approach to 150.
So 150-ish. In any case, I got the totting up wrong, and Saturday’s puzzle isn’t the one I planned for the slot. But it’s actually not bad – the twist (I think, anyway!) is certainly worthy of a commemorative slot. The actual 150th I planned will follow in due course (and probably not the next one either…)
Devotees of the splendid Dave Hennings’ database will be able to do a quick search and find 61 Phi Inquisitors and 31 Phi Independent Weekend puzzles, which is by no means 150. But Mr H starts on 3 January 1998 for the Independent Weekend Magazine puzzle – and I start on 8 October 1988 (with this puzzle). For the first year I appeared pretty much monthly, and even allowing for less frequent appearances later during that nine-and-a-bit years I racked up the 50+ needed to make up the shortfall.
I am not sure I have an opinion on reaching 150. Dave’s database provides a quick list of post-1998 titles, most of which are quite beyond recall (Look Here! No, Here! No, Here! – what was going on there?). I am checking up on the solution notes he provides, but there’s part of me that doesn’t want to, and to wallow in perplexity as to what I could possibly have been thinking. And just to continue the theme of the last two blogs, I don’t have a favourite – I can’t remember enough of them to do the selection justice. But I do enjoy looking through them when choosing puzzles for the site, so that will continue.
As will new Inquisitor puzzles, I trust. There are at least two in the possession of the editor, and another one is close to finishing on my iPad. And then there’s a Post-it note to the left of this keyboard with six thematic words on it and ‘IQ’ jotted in the corner. The horror of not having a new idea is still being held at bay.
Beyond the 150th IQ, next week sees three puzzles from me: a Kcit Toughie on Thursday 28, the usual Independent puzzle on Friday and a Times Jumbo to round off the month.