What is an acrostic?

What is a quote acrostic puzzle?

Who would want to receive a custom quote acrostic puzzle as a gift?

How is a quote acrostic puzzle "customized"?

Can I choose the quotation for the puzzle?

Show me some sample quotations.

How much does a custom quote acrostic puzzle cost and what do I get?

How do I pay for the Custom Quote Acrostic Puzzle?

How can I get a free sample?

Sign me up for 5
(Hold on, a questionnaire is on the way. In the meantime, direct your queries to janelandia@yahoo.com with 'ACROSTICS' in the subject line ).

 


What is an acrostic?
Acrostics come in various forms, and the example below is one of the simplest. You start with a word displayed vertically and use its letters as the initial letters of horizontal words that generally relate in some way to the vertical word:

What is a Quote Acrostic Puzzle?
There are 3 components to a quote acrostic puzzle. First there is a list of clues, each identified with a letter (the first clue is labeled A; the second, B; and so on. Next to each clue is a set of long dashes where you can place the letters that spell out the answer to the clue, like so:

The next component is the grid. It looks pretty much like a crossword puzzle - without the symmetry - and the words that fill the grid only read horizontally, and they spell out a pithy quotation by some notable wordsmith. But I get ahead of myself: How does the quotation get into the grid? Once you have answered the clue, you would transfer each letter, say, the "H" from 8, above, into the grid square labeled 8. Here's a corner of a sample quote acrostic grid:

As you answer the clues and transfer the answers into the grid, you can be further aided by noticing that maybe a three-letter grid word starts with a T and ends with an E. It would be a reasonable guess that the inbetween letter is an H and you can work backwards into an unanswered clue. The 3rd component, the acrostic, can also help solve the puzzle: The initial letters of answers A through W (or A through Z, as the case may be) will spell, vertically, the quotation author's name and then the topic of the quotation.

return to top of page

Who would want to receive a Custom Quote Acrostic Puzzle as a gift?
Solving a quote acrostic puzzle can be high entertainment for shut-ins, time-wasters, word-lovers, librarians, writers, commuters, Mensa folk with 15 minutes on their hands and many others. In addition to those, count any number of egoists who delight in being the subject of discussion. I have made customized acrostic puzzles for wedding presents and the happy couples have actually worked them on their honeymoons. No divorces yet. They make unique birthday, anniversary, retirement, Valentines' Day, Mothers' Day, and Fathers' Day presents, and if you would like to propose marriage to a librarian, I think we could compose a compelling acrostic to do the job. You should be fairly sure that the would-be recipient has an affinity for words and/or puzzles and does not go into a snit when someone suggests Scrabble or Charades.

How is a Quote Acrostic Puzzle "customized"?
At least 75% of the clues relate directly to the solver, his or her personal history, achievements, hobbies, work, nicknames, family, schooling, hometown, etc.

I recently created a 60th birthday acrostic for a fellow (abbreviated 'H' below) who is a baseball fanatic, works in the music business and is a member of NARAS (National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences) One of my favorite clues for him was: "Membership here entitles 'H' to vote for Weird Al Yankovich." The quotation was a compilation of Dizzy Dean malapropisms and of the 25 clues, 8 related to baseball, 5 related to his family, 5 were generic but localized, 4 related to his musical history, and 3 were miscellaneous personal.

In order to create a personally amusing puzzle that will astound the recipient, I will need to collect some data from you and ask some follow-up questions.

return to top of page

Can I choose the quotation for the puzzle?
Sure. You can write it yourself or choose a passage in the public domain, that is, not protected by current copyright law. Or, you can suggest a theme or author and I'll search for an appropriate quotation. If you provide the quotation or if you choose one of the sample quotations, I'll give you a 10% discount. Four things to keep in mind though, if you provide the quotation:

1. All of the letters in the author's last name should appear in the quotation. For example, if you wanted a quote by Richard Nixon, it might be difficult to find one with an "x" in the quotation.
2. You will have to count all of the letters in the words of the quotation and try to keep it between 40 and 240. I charge by the letter, so that may be a factor for you.
3. If you provide the quotation, that means that you don't get to have fun solving the puzzle too.
4. No threats. No violence. No nasty words. French and Spanish languages are fine, but the clues will be mainly in English and we'll let the tildes and accents graves fall where they may.

return to top of page

Show me some sample quotations.
Okay. Click here to peruse a growing list of quotations on the topics of love; life, age, and aging; etc.

How much does a Custom Quote Acrostic Puzzle cost and what do I get?
There is a charge of $1 (US) per letter in the quotation, with a $100 minimum. If you provide the quotation (or choose one from my new and expanding list of quotations), there is a 10% discount. If you live in California, your local sales tax is added. If you send a photograph of the gift recipient, I can apply some artistic license and include that image on the puzzle page too, for an additional $20. What I will send you is 5 copies of the finished puzzle on 8.5 inch x 14 inch paper. You may reproduce it as much as you'd like, so long as you acknowledge my authorship of the puzzle. I will retain the puzzle solution until you holler "uncle!" Then I'll forward it on to you at no charge.

How do I pay for the Custom Quote Acrostic Puzzle?
Presently, by check or money order only.

return to top of page

How can I get a free sample?
US residents can send an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) to Jane Cleveland c/o 4837 Geary Blvd, San Francisco CA 94118.

What you will receive is 2 quote acrostic puzzles to solve; one is a "mini" with only 39 letters in the quotation, and the other is a "mega" with 238 letters. The subject-person of both of these puzzles is George W Bush and I have to warn you that the clues do not flatter our bellicose president. There are some embarrassing facts and some humor. Soon there may also be a friendlier, medium-sized free sample puzzle directed at Jimmy Carter.