Into the Vortex!

The Blue Room Crossword is an old tradition. It's also a tradition I set aside for a long time, and lately I've just ... got the ol' bug again. Today, that bug manifests as The Vortex, an all-new, all-confusing 15×15 puzzle clued with the geekiest and most indulgent of clues.

Indulgent? Boy howdy. The Blue Room Crossword is very much a Blue Room thing, which means it's about Stuff I Like A Lot, whether that means folklore or videogames or Doctor Who or Marvel movies or even Uresia. The older puzzles even refer to the Blue Room itself sometimes, while this newest puzzle (in this new age of having a blog) includes a blog-referring clue instead. That's just the way of things.

If you and I have sufficient Venn overlap in our interests, that might make it very enjoyable to solve. To the extent that nobody has perfect overlap in interests, that might make it very challenging.

I'm posting this on a Sunday morning because I want Sundays to focus on the interactive (see this post for something you should really really email me about, if you're so inclined) ... and the Blue Room Crossword has a long history as a friendly contest. Feeling a little nerdy, cryptic, and lateral? Grab a pencil (or a keyboard; there's a Java version) and give it a try. Here are the contest rules:
  • The contest has ended! But these had been the rules:
  • This is real, but it's not serious. Try it while drunk, sleepy, or both! That's not a rule; more a serving suggestion.
  • Email solution to blogmail@cumberlandgames.com with the word "CROSSWORD" somewhere in the Subject header.
  • One entry per entrant.
  • Your solution can be text in the body of the email (no file attachments), or a legible image of the completed puzzle (attachments are fine for images: a scan or phone-snap if you did it with a pencil, a screen-shot if you did it in the Java version, etc).
  • The first 100% correct, 100% legible solution wins, and that entrant is enshrined for keeps at the Blue Room Crossword page, and they get a free Cumberland electronic title of their choice.
  • I'll announce the winner right here (the mighty Jesse Paulsen has DEFEATED THE VORTEX).
  • Other correct entrants, if their entries arrive before I've announced the winner, will get a free Cumberland thingy of my choice.
In the past, some of these took weeks before anyone cracked them. I don't believe this one's super-tough*, but every maze looks simpler to the guy in the lab-coat than it does to the critter in the maze. I don't mean that metaphor personally, you understand; it's just a handy game-design principle (it applies to RPG adventures, too, especially mysteries).

Until we get that RPG Writing Workshop off the ground (we could start as early as next week with a few more writers chiming in), this will tide us over for this interactive Sunday. See you in the inbox!

* This one didn't even take days; Jesse nailed it to the wall somewhere around the tenth hour! In my own defense, they'll sell a lab coat to anybody. Keep an eye peeled for more crosswords down the line! Thanks also to Dave LeCompte for catching an error in one of the clues (fixed on 5/7).