The Saturday workshops are one of the most popular aspects of our Puzzle Fest events. This year, the workshops will be held on Saturday, January 28th in the Program Room of the Morgan Hill Library from 10:30am-5:30pm.
Workshop Schedule: (subject to change)
10:30am: Octo Puzzles
12:10pm: Lunch Break
1:30pm: Mastering Hard Crosswords
2:30pm: Meet the Constructors
3:30pm: Crossword Clues
4:30pm: Puzzle Trends 2012
|Teen Study Room|
1pm: Sudoku for Beginners
3:30: Word Puzzles for Kids
Introducing Octo Puzzles
An introduction to the OCTO puzzle, a new kind of math and logic puzzle, by the puzzle's inventor. Come hear about how he got the idea for it, and the steps he went through to write and improve the program that creates the puzzles, the patent process, self-publishing, basic solving strategies, and other related topics.
Doug Gardner is a very part-time puzzle inventor who works as computer security specialist for the Department of Defense. He recently founded and organized the Arlington, VA Puzzle Fest event. He also constructed the scavenger hunt puzzles you can enjoy during our event. Learn more about OCTO at http://www.octo-puzzle.com/.
All About TomTom
TomTom Puzzles are calcu-doku puzzles with a bit of soul, with clever themes and unique challenges on each page that will simply amaze you. Learn all about these unique puzzles from their inventor, Dr. Sudoku himself, and get tips and tricks to help you in the extra bonus round during Sunday's competition.
Thomas Snyder gained notice in the puzzle world by winning the US and World Sudoku Championships. He has also won the US Puzzle Championship for five straight years. As a puzzle constructor, Thomas specializes in hand-crafting artistic, themed logic puzzles, particularly sudoku and variations. His Sudoku and TomTom puzzles will be featured in Sunday's tournament rounds. Learn more at http://motris.livejournal.com/
12:10pm-1:00pm LUNCH BREAK
Explore downtown Morgan Hill for many lunch options. Maps and
suggestions will be provided.
1pm (Teen Study Room)
Sudoku for Beginners (Kids & Adults)
New to Sudoku? Need a refresher before Sunday's tournament? Adults and kids of all ages will enjoy this workshop, aimed at introducing novices to these puzzles and improving the skills of Sudoku beginners. The workshop will start with a pre-test, so that participants can be grouped together and taught at their level.
Dave Holmstrom is an educator with the American Institute of Mathematics. Dave also runs Morgan Hill Game Nights the last Tuesday of each month (unless otherwise specified) in the El Toro Room at the Morgan Hill Community Center.
Mastering Hard Crosswords
There's no such thing as a crossword puzzle you can't solve. Join crossword champ Jordan Chodorow as he guides you through the most daunting puzzles and gives you the tools you need to conquer them.
In 2011, Jordan Chodorow won the Crosswords L.A. and Bay Area Crossword tournaments. Jordan practices tax law in Los Angeles and has been a film critic, a U.S. Open tennis umpire, and a national bridge champion.
Andrea Carla Michaels and David Steinberg
Meet the Constructors
Not one but two special constructors will share their stories as they interview each other and we all learn about these two remarkable people, providing inspiration for all of us to give constructing a try.
Andrea Carla Michaels is a professional namer and puzzle constructor, has been an NPR radio panelist/commentator, television writer and online humor columnist. Her crossword puzzles have been published in the New York Times, LA Times, and other prestigious publications. Learn more about her at www.acmenaming.com.
David Steinberg is a freshman at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. He began constructing crossword puzzles when he was 12 and was first published by The New York Times at 14, making him the third-youngest constructor in the newspaper's history (and the second youngest under Will Shortz's editorship). He has since had nine additional puzzles accepted by the Times, five of which have been published, and one puzzle accepted by the Los Angeles Times. He has a regular crossword in his school newspaper and a custom-crossword business (www.customcrossword.com).
Getting a Clue to Getting Your Fill of Crosswords
A look at crossword clue conventions and twists, plus a look at creating crossword fill. If time allows, the group will whip up a themeless end-of-the-week puzzle together.
Mark Diehl has been a full-time dentist with the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto for the past 34 years. When time allows he constructs crosswords for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other venues including Silicon Valley Puzzle Fest. Along with Kevin McCann, Mark co-authored the 800+ page 21st Century Crossword Puzzle Dictionary in 2009.
3:30pm (Teen Study Room)
Word Puzzles for Kids
This year's tournament will feature a variety of word puzzles for kids (in addition to one round of crosswords constructed by David Steinberg). Come learn about the different kinds of puzzles that will be used as well as other types that may tickle your brain, a perfect warmup for Sunday's tournament.
Puzzle Trends 2012
What's new and hot in puzzles in 2012? Join puzzle superstar Tyler Hinman on a tour through trends and happenings in the world of puzzling. He'll introduce you to new puzzles, web sites and resources that are sure to keep your brain busy throughout the year.
Tyler Hinman was one of the featured players in the award-winning 2006 documentary film Wordplay, the film that inspired Puzzle Fest. In addition to his solving prowess, Tyler has constructed original crossword puzzles for several major newspapers and syndicates, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. For hisday-job, he designs and engineer games to improve users' brains at Lumos Labs. Learn more at http://www.tylerhinman.com/blog/