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PUZZLE: Unthemely #89



The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is about two months away. One of the highlights of this year’s evening entertainments is an Escape Room designed by Eric Berlin. I won’t be attending the tournament and I’m curious to see what Eric comes up with for this activity. Escape rooms are trendy at the moment and the label offers commercial value for a range of puzzle and game tie-in enterprises. Puzzle books based on escape rooms are being planned (Christopher Manson’s Maze could be a prototype of the genre) and “Host a Murder Mystery” box games are being re-branded as “Host an Escape Room.” Among business that offer escape rooms, there is a great variety in the level of theme, and by “theme” I mean physical and sensory immersive detail. This variety introduces an interesting question: what is the difference between an escape room and a puzzle activity that is inspired by the concept of an escape room? Different people would have different answers to the question based on experience and expectations. Participants of Eric’s ACPT activity may describe their experiences in various terms but I’m sure they will all have a great time.


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