Trip Payne’s month-long Puzzle Extravaganza 2013, a primarily word-based puzzle hunt, kicked off Monday, bringing a series of 12 puzzles, and one meta-puzzle for its 275 competitors to crack.
The puzzle hunt will last from July 1 through July 31, when the solution to the meta-puzzle must be emailed in. Unlike other hunts, Puzzle Extravaganzas winners are chosen at random, from all of the correct entries. There will be two grand-prize winners, each will receive $100 in cash.
June 30 was the last day to register for the event, which came with various buy-in levels that offered additional puzzles and perks. $10 provided contest entry, while $20 added 3 puzzles to the challenge and $50 provided the Extravaganza, bonus puzzles, and two books signed by Payne.
The hunt’s puzzles will be available for purchase through the Triple Play Puzzle website for $15, following the conclusion of the contest.
Exploration Of Design
Payne is a long-time puzzle constructor, having authored dozens of puzzle collections, self-published puzzles online, and appeared in the Wordplay documentary. Puzzle Extravaganza 2013 is his second foray into the puzzle hunt form, and it’s something he’s enjoying constructing.
“These extravaganzas allow me to create puzzles I can’t easily publish elsewhere. Certain puzzles could be run as stand-alone puzzles on my website, but others (such as a trivia quiz with a twist) work better in the context of a puzzle suite”, relates Payne. “And I’m really enjoying the creative aspect of it: I can create any kind of puzzle I want, and that freedom can be exhilarating.”
The Puzzle Extravaganzas give Payne a different puzzle authoring environment to explore, and it’s his desire to construct new things that drove him to create the hunts.
What A Trip It’s Been
“[Puzzle Extravaganza 2012] was just an experiment”, says Payne. “I’d seen a couple of similar things done by friends of mine and I wondered what kind of response I would get if I tried it. I began on Kickstarter and was gratified by the enthusiasm I saw for it.”
The project was launched in Dec. 2011, and successfully funded after 9 days. It would go on to amass the help of 209 backers, generating a total of $4,615.
Naturally, when it came time to finance 2013’s contest, Payne turned again to Kickstarter backers for crowdfunding. What Payne didn’t know, was that Kickstarter had made adjustments to its terms, and 3 weeks into 2013’s fundraising drive, everything was shut down.
“I was forced to give up Kickstarter because of a change in rules at their site (they no longer allow contests to be funded there)”, Payne told Puzzle Pile.
In his Jan 16 announcement to backers, Payne described the situation, but told the Extravaganzas would soldier on. The event was moved to Payne’s Triple Play Puzzles website, where he foresees a bright future for the event.
“I certainly expect there to be a 2014 Extravaganza”, Payne related to Puzzle Pile, Monday. “It will probably be in the same general time frame where I start creating it in the winter and release it in the summer. I already have a possible theme in mind, as well as a number of general concepts for individual puzzles, but nothing is very concrete yet.”
We’re looking forward to see what Payne will produce on his puzzle workbench for 2014.