Word Ways

Article Title

Novelty Forms: A Satire


Late in the last century, forms (solid crossword arrays with various geometrical outlines) were frequently found in puzzle columns in magazines and newspapers. Constructors soon tired of standard outlines such as squares, diamonds and pyramids, and developed a variety of more exotic ones: stars, crosses, pentagons, enneagons, hurglasses and the like. Two hundred and nine different shapes (including minor variants) can, in fact, be found in the 1906 Key to Puzzledom, a guide to the best in word puzzle literature up to that time. Alas, every excess creates its own reaction; the following satire is an abridgement of an article published by 'Amaranth' in the Enigma in April, 1924.