## Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Preview

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

NOTE: This preview does NOT contain plot spoilers for Pandemic Legacy.

If you’re not familiar with the Legacy genre, this will sound like an unusual way to start a review of a board game. But Legacy games are unusual, as I recently started to learn.

Released in 2015, Pandemic Legacy was the second game in the Legacy genre. The series started with Risk Legacy in 2011 but it was the buzz around Seafall in late 2016 that finally caught my attention.

The concept underpinning all three titles is that decisions and outcomes in one game affect subsequent games. In Risk Legacy, a variation on the classic game of world conquest, players choose a faction they will lead over the course of 15 games. Factions gain and lose bonuses depending on how well they do. Individual games become parts of a longer campaign.

Pandemic Legacy reportedly raised the bar and produced something excitingly different. I intend to recount my personal experiences while playing through the whole of “Season 1”. This first post is spoiler free in the sense that I have done nothing but open the box, read the rules, and play a trial, legacy-less game with my other half.

## Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 13

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is it! This is the final part of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

For a puzzle where the number 12 is so important (relying on there being 12 zodiac signs, 12 positions on a clock face and using 12 different alchemy symbols), I like that it has taken 13 blog posts to reach the final solution.

Before revealing my answer, a final summary of the whole puzzle and how the solution is reached is warranted. Links lead to the 12 preceding parts of the solution to read the full details of each stage.

## A Present of a Picross

Example Picross

A final present from me for Christmas! This time it’s a Picross puzzle.

A picross is a logic puzzle. They’re also called Nonograms, Hanjie, Griddlers or “Paint-By-Numbers”.

The goal is to blacken squares in a grid to create a picture.

Numbers around the grid are clues. From these clues you can deduce exactly where all the black squares go using logic and deduction. There is only one solution where the clues in the columns and the clues in the rows are consistent.

Each clue number signifies an unbroken line of black squares. These lines appear in the same order as the numbers, running left to right for the rows and top to bottom for the columns. Every line of black squares is separated by one or more un-blackened squares. You can mark these in with light Xs. A zero means the entire row or column is unblackened.

## Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 12

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 12 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

Previously, the full list of 75 solution objects were found and put in their correct order. These objects actually represent a set of instructions for casting The Alchemist’s Spell.

Gunson’s justification for using objects to symbolically represent the spell was to make the puzzle independent of language.

## Turn Your Name Into a Snowflake

Gerontius snowflake

Have you always wanted to write your name in the snow? Here I offer a single, precious snowflake, made uniquely for you based on your name.

## Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 11

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 11 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the full list of 75 solution objects in their correct order. It also confirms which page of the book each object comes from to make it easier to check.

Obtaining this list can take several hours of work turning back and forth through the book, even when you know exactly what you’re doing.

## News and Updates for December

Christmastime is here, by golly!

Whether you call it Christmas, Hanukkah, Hogswatch, Krampusnacht, Pancha Ganapati, Winterval, Yule or Yalda, the end of the Gregorian Calendar year is, for many, a season of glad tidings and enforced time with the extended family.

Puzzles and games are a great way to soothe political and religious differences, offering something entirely different for people to argue about.

As I write this, there’s still time to pick up some of these puzzle books if you’re stuck for gift ideas. Alternatively, there are a few online challenges to while away the northern hemispherically cold winter evenings.

## Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 10

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 10 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the complete solution to the Diabolo mini-puzzle. This is the last mini-puzzle and is so straightforward that the bulk of this post is devoted to a summary of all 7 mini-puzzles which make up The Merlin Mystery.

In part 3, we established a chain of objects that links the Diabolo to an open, blank book. The book has the right page half turned over. Literally, this means “turn to the next page of The Merlin Mystery”.

The Diabolo mini-puzzle simply says that the sequence of steps described by the previous 6 mini-puzzles should be carried out on every page of the book. That’s it.

## Cryptic Crossword Primer for Christmas

Cryptic crosswords are one of those things you either love or hate, that you either understand or can’t stand. Part of the problem is that there is a huge set of rules for solving them which you are simply supposed to know. If you don’t know the rules, you’ve got no chance.

This post is a Chritmas present to readers. It includes a short introduction on how to solve cryptic crosswords and a special Christmas themed crossword to try your hand at. It is not like some of the devious cryptic crosswords in the broadsheets. Most of the clues should be fairly easy and fun.

You can click on the image to the right to view the crossword at full size, and here is a PDF version to download and print. Answers are at the end of this post but try it for yourself first!

Puzzles are a great activity for families stuck together for extended periods trying to think up topics of conversation! So print a few of the crosswords off and work together over the holiday period to find the answers.

This crossword and the primer below were written by myself and my partner in crime at inkflamingos.com. Please take a look at her art portfolio.