Hello. I appreciate the fact that, in this world of aggregators and social media, you have taken the time to visit an actual website. Mine isn’t much at the moment, but it’s home. And it is a convenient place for me to direct your attention to some entertainments which I have produced or have helped to produce, some of which you might feel inspired to pay money for, and some of which are free from any inducements regarding matters financial. Starting with the former category, here are some things of which you might wish to be aware:

  • I contribute puzzles regularly to the posh-yet-pottymouthed American Values Club Crossword (formerly the Onion AV Club Crossword, now available via subscription), which also features many other fine constructors besides me, some of whom I exchange daily IMs with about theme entries and 90s alternative rock reissues (okay, that’s really just Brendan).
  • You like puzzle books? Because, friend, I tell you what: I write a lot of those. Some of my most recent ones (and some older ones that I’m particularly fond of) include Brain Games for Word Nerds, Sudoku in Space, Trivial Pursuit Crosswords, Boss Lady Word Search Puzzles, and more.
  • Also my day job is editing puzzle books for Puzzlewright Press, and here are some books that I’ve edited which you would be flat-out crazy not to own: Patrick Berry’s Puzzle Masterpieces; Thomas Snyder and Wei-Hwa Huang’s Mutant Sudoku and Tight Fit Sudoku; Mike Selinker and Thomas Snyder’s Puzzlecraft; Todd McClary and Patrick Berry’s Crowd-Pleasing Puzzles; and others which people will probably be offended I left off, but frankly it’s time I got back to talking about me.
  • Custom puzzles: I will totally write those for you for money. I’ve been commissioned to write a wedding proposal puzzle, a wedding ceremony puzzle, and if you want one, I’ll write a serving-divorce-papers puzzle, because at that point you could probably stand to lighten the mood. How much? Depends! But probably more than your first guess. For instance, when Thomas Dolby was looking for someone to write a Thomas Dolby-themed puzzle, his first guess was “nothing” (as was his last guess). That was much, much too low! Anyway, e-mail me if that’s a thing you’re interested in.
  • I also am a sometime humor writer. My collection of anagrammatic poetry and play pastiches, Holy Tango of Literature, is way the heck out of print but used copies are available in the places you would expect, or you can read it on Google Books or in the CC-licensed ebook version. That book began its life as a series on the vintage zombie website Modern Humorist, also featuring Hansel and Grendel, First Draft: Aphorisms, among other drolleries. And I wrote a few thingies for Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency back in “the day.”
  • Oh and I’ve written cartoons and musicals and anagram songs and blog-type-things, my favorites of which will be archived here at some point but I’m still working on that. See the site directory over on the side of the thing and maybe there are links over there with stuff like that in them.

Please enjoy your stay.

12 thoughts on “Home

  1. I am loving this fresh, cool website with all of its content. The things you discuss are *exactly* what I have been thinking about for so long and the way you discuss them is poignant yet remarkable, and pognant. You should also check out me website, and I think we will have a lot to say to each other at freeonlinepharmacieperskriptions.edu chat with pognant russian girl in your town

  2. why is there so few cryptogram books. They are my favorite puzzles to do. Are there any books from many years ago that can still be purchased.

  3. I completed “The Sudoku Code” and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and immediately started looking for another. No luck. Is this the first and only one you have done? I would appreciate your reply. Thanks

    • Glad you enjoyed it! We talked about doing a sequel, but it didn’t happen, unfortunately. Both Frank Longo and I have worked on other sudoku books, though. You might like his “Brain Aerobics Wordoku,” which does not have the overarching meta structure of “The Sudoku Code,” but does have a hidden word in each grid; or if you want to try something different, I wrote a book of sci-fi-themed sudoku variants entitled “Sudoku in Space,” which I’m particularly proud of.

  4. I just read some of the Holy Tango poems online. I like them so much I am on my way to Amazon to find a paper copy to buy (if I can afford it) – I feel guilty enjoying myself so much without you benefiting at all. I don’t have the brainpower for the more challenging puzzles, but do like crosswords and will look for yours. You really ought to join the Oedilf project, the limerick dictionary: http://www.oedilf.com/db/Lim.php , no money but great fun, for those who can. May you enjoy great success and satisfaction, and may your wonderful talent delight people for at least another hundred years. JM

  5. I didn’t know what I was ‘infor’ when I bought your “Suduko Code” puzzle book. I have never been so challenged as I have been with your ‘cruel’ puzzles. Once I got used to using letters as place holders instead of making words; I had a great time; thankyou.

  6. Hi Francis, I am slowly getting into the puzzle writing world with my new word puzzle Snakeword. Similar to a crossword but the answers change direction every time you use a vowel. Please give it a try. The website will be given a whole new look very soon to look less homemade. I love your guess the song from the lyrics game. I will try that as am a big music fan. We play a game of picking a subject and then matching song titles or bands/singers to it. They start of sensibly and then get into puns. On the subject of sleeping we had ‘tears on my pillow’, ‘bed of roses’ but my personal favourite was ‘Duvet know it’s Christmas’. I nearly crashed the car I was laughing so much!
    Anyway shameless plug: Check out http://www.snakeword.com and as a puzzle guru any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Kind Regards,
    John Mansfield

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