Computer Games

Sandra and I are back in Denver for a couple of days for work purposes, which means I've been here in the hotel room, wide awake on my usual nutso night-person schedule.

I was feeling make-something-ish, and I've had this pencil-puzzle bug anyway, so I thought "Hey me, let's do a word-fill puzzle, those are easy to make; you just need to type up a good word-list and let the software jam 'em into a grid. Easy, quick, fun and satisfying."

"Good thinking, me."


So then I decide Paranoia is a good source of words, because I'm a certified junkie fanboy of Paranoia, most especially the sublime 2nd Edition.

So I do the thing, and it's as easy as advertised.

But there's this thing about my brain. It hates easy. So, it sort of sidles up and offhandedly remarks "Hey, it sure would be cool if you dolled it up to look like Paranoia paperwork! I mean, you don't have to, though. That'd pack a few hours on to a quick project. In fact, forget I said anything. It's fine. I'm sure it's fine."

Paranoia has this tradition when it comes to in-game paperwork. It takes place in a lethally bureaucratic society trapped/cared-for by a paranoid AI in a far-future arcology and I'm sure my brain didn't really mean anything by it, it's just being helpful, but then I can't look at the puzzle anymore because it's not this cool thing it could be.

It's a one-night hotel project, you understand. And yet, my brain only seems to have the one gear.

So ... it's around 6AM as I write this. So that's still technically one night.

You can click here to grab it via Google Drive. If you've never done wordfills before, they could be described as "inside-out crosswords," because you get all the answers instead of all the clues, or "What if Sudoku wasn't quite so dry?" because the thinking is similar, but with fitting words instead of fitting math.

I don't recommend actually using this form in a Paranoia session. Not unless it's one-on-one and you need the player occupied while you take a long restroom break. But it does, I daresay, evoke the right general feel. Appreciate, if you will, the truly unnecessary craftsmanship.

I should also point out that while it did take forever to build my custom clean-vector eyeball-monitor and Great Seal graphics, those forevers were other, prior forevers, not tonight's additional forever. The rest was the rest, or pointedly, the opposite of rest.

Enjoy three forevers in a single page. Enjoy them a lot, because Happiness is Mandatory.

Note: this isn't a contest like a full-bore crossword. Just a lil' print-and-play. But if you enjoy it, drop me a line anyway! I love to hear from readers. Version 2.0 of the puzzle corrects a typo in the original, which took another hour and change. I'm totally sincerely going to sleep now.