A New Publishing House—Announcement from Panini Press SpecGram Vol CLVI, No 1 Contents Classifieds—Advertisement


As part of a recent linguistics black-ops mission, I have liberated the SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ from their imprisonment in Trey Jones’s puzzle sweatshop in Tokyo. We have relocated to a top-secret location in Sweden. The elves have mostly adjusted to the change in climate, and are ready to get back to work. Despite their harrowing experiences in Tokyo, they still insist on cranking out pseudo-Nihonese puzzles, which is fine by me (but see Lila Rosa Grau’s comments in issue CLV #4. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.)

FonoFutoshiki is a straightforward variation of normal Futoshiki puzzles, but with just enough linguistics to keep the plebes away. If you are familiar with Futoshiki, the key difference is that, rather than being based on which numbers are larger than which, FonoFutoshiki is based on which vowels are more raised than which.

If that means nothing to you, here’s the deal: the point of FonoFutoshiki is to put the vowels (a, æ, ɛ, e, ɪ, i) into squares in each row and column of the puzzle so that no vowel is repeated in a row or column, and so that all of the relative raisedness markers () are obeyed. (For reference: a ⊢ æ ⊢ ɛ ⊢ e ⊢ ɪ ⊢ i)

That’s it. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Maybe, maybe not. If you are willing to spend your valuable free time finding out just how good you are at keeping vowel heights straight in your head while trying to satisfy enough simultaneous constraints to generate unique output, give it a try. If not, don’t bother; the SpecGram editors have told me I can keep all the prizes if no one submits a solution. If you are a killjoy, you must submit your solution to SpecGram by April 15th, 2009. The solution, and prize winners, if any, will be revealed in the May 2009 issue of SpecGram.

Ulfheðnar ber Sarkur     l’École de SpecGram, Öland

A New Publishing House—Announcement from Panini Press
SpecGram Vol CLVI, No 1 Contents