Enjoy a puzzle for Easter! (I worked a year on 18 mini puzzles, and sharing them all for free now)
Wet from snow we arrive at my parents’ house. “You’re here!”, my mom shouts. “Come in, your brother’s also just arrived”. I see him hunched over the table, looking at the newspaper, “I already have five”, he says with a smile. I wave to my dad and join my brother. “What’s the theme this year?”, I ask. It’s Christmas time. It’s puzzle time.
Every year the local newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden publishes a Christmas puzzle with cryptic images. It’s a tradition.
The whole family joins in. My mother, my father (he says he doesn’t like it, that he’s not good at it, but he usually comes up with an unexpected insight solving the most difficult ones), my brother. We pour over the puzzle, write down synonyms, dive into Wikipedia, collect words from the dictionary and brainstorm together on the theme. The puzzle takes us deep into the night.
It’s a lot of fun and a great activity to do together. A slow and mindful activity: we don’t work on it all the time, and instead let it rest for a couple of hours before diving back in. The puzzle leads to conversation, and conversation often leads back to the puzzle.
Friends, cousins, uncles: everybody is in a friendly competition. Whatsapp is buzzing! The puzzle is connecting us through Christmans, as we share cryptic clues and try to boast of how many puzzles we already solved.
And now you can do it too
I like solving the puzzle from the newspaper, but I like creating stuff even more. So I set out to make my own puzzle, for Easter.
My Easter puzzle has become a tradition as well, this is my third try. Every year I challenge myself to try something new and this year is the first time the puzzle is in English.
The theme is birds, and I learned there are a lot of funny bird names, like Bananaquit, Warbler, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Vampire Groundfinch (creepy bird!), Bobolink, Bounty shag, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brazilian Ruby and Bunting.
All-in-all, there are 18 puzzles! Play it here, share it with your friends, print it out and put it on your kitchen table!
Making the puzzle took me a whole year. Each mini-puzzle took about two weeks from idea to finalization, I wrote the puzzle-code myself, and I double-checked all of it (thanks Jesper!).
I’m very proud of the results. Let me know if you liked it!
Happy Easter, and may my puzzle bring you and your friends and family much joy!
Thanks to Jesper for proofreading my work. Go to the puzzle