And the Winners Are, Part 2: Report on the ‘Hidden Contest’ – New York Times


Puzzle Mania

And the Winners Are, Part 2: Report on the ‘Hidden Contest’

Were you one of the solvers who found the hidden message in the 2018 “Puzzle Mania”?

By Will Shortz

  • Jan. 11, 2019

On page 2 of “Puzzle Mania” we said: “Somewhere in this issue … a secret word is hidden. Can you find it?” We added: “When you’ve found it, you’ll know it. In fact, you might say you will have seen the light.”

The answer was hidden in the “Find Your Way” mazes, #1 and #2, by Rick Jaspers, which were printed on back-to-back pages (9 and 10).

The solution to the first maze was this:

Image
CreditThe New York Times

The solution to the second maze was this:

Image

CreditThe New York Times

If you solved both mazes, then held the page of the newspaper up to the light, you got this:

Image

CreditThe New York Times

The two answer paths joined to spell AMAZED. This was the answer.

For the especially perceptive, the maze instructions contained a bonus hint: “For an extra challenge, ditch the pencil and try solving with a pen or permanent marker.” Normally we wouldn’t suggest what writing implement to use in solving a puzzle. We did so in this case so your answer lines would be dark enough to be visible through the sheet.

By the Jan. 3 deadline, 448 entries were received, of which 240 were correct. The winner, chosen at random, was Diana Djuric, of Pequannock, N.J. She will receive a check for $1,000 from The Times.

Ten runners-up will each receive “The New York Times Mini Crosswords, Volume 3: 150 Easy Fun-Sized Puzzles” by Joel Fagliano. They are:

  • Jack Barksdale, Nashville

  • Barry Fitzsimmons, Norwalk, Conn.

  • Peter Gordon, Great Neck, N.Y.

  • Julia Kardon, Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Ronnie Kon, Portland, Ore.

  • Sophia Pink, Washington, D.C.

  • Katherine Sparks, Lebanon, Ohio

  • Glenda Survant, Lexington, Ky.

  • Ken West, Scotch Plains, N.Y.

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