Julie Cohen         Puzzle Development

Puzzle Books  / Magazine Publications  / Puzzle Consulting
[Puzzle Styles: from Anagrams to Zig-Zags]

Puzzle Development

Developing puzzles is one of my loves, and believe it or not, a subset of writing. There are many nuances to language which often come into play when developing puzzles. Just consider crosswords puzzles. The hints can be very straightforward or subtle. On the other hand, many puzzles don't require much use of the written word, other than conveying the rules or instructions (e.g. numeric-based sudoku). While I have developed all of these puzzles (and more!), I enjoy developing puzzles that are unique in some way. Often that means adding a puzzle within a puzzle. Which leads to my specialty... custom puzzles.

Custom Puzzle Projects (highly specialized projects involving multiple puzzles)

Customizing puzzles is all about taking a theme or concept and presenting it in a fun and challenging way. Puzzles can be customized to any age level and created to work with any theme and medium. I've developed puzzles for websites, DVDs, books, magazines, newsletters and even cell phones. There is really no limit to how and where a puzzle can appear. If you are interested in my work, please email me with any questions. I will be happy to discuss customizing puzzles to meet your needs.

Decide to Drive Campaign (2012)
The AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeions) came to me looking for puzzles to support their Decide to Drive Campaign. The campaign is focused on urging drivers to not drive distracted. The idea is that by making children aware of the distractions their parents face — and of the consequences of driving distracted — perhaps those children would remind their parent not to drive distracted. Thus, a puzzle booklet geared to kids was a key marketing piece in their campaign. The puzzles (used for two booklets, the full version and the shorter version), and campaign, were well-received and are ongoing to this day.

Brain Games Books (2009 - 2012)
The fun and energetic group at Publications International are publishing more Brain Games books to challenge puzzlers of all ages and levels. I've been working for Brain Games as both a puzzle consultant and puzzle developer on a variety of exciting projects. You can view the list of puzzle books for which I have developed puzzles, as well as those for which I have edited puzzles by other authors.

Concept Arts: "BioShock2" - Viral Campaign (Summer 2009)
The creative geniuses at Concept Arts hired me and my puzzle talents for a special project. To see some of these puzzles in action, you will have to work hard! These puzzles are rather obscure and hard to solve, which was the intent. Viral Marketing Campaigns incorporate marketing techniques, in this case online, to entice consumers and create brand awareness for existing or upcoming products. This particular campaign preceded the release of the video game, BioShock 2, and was hugely popular among consumers. The site created for the viral campaign was somethinginthesea.com. The puzzles are no longer accesible via the website, as the campaign ended in 2009. You can certainly ask folks at ConceptArts about me or my work; just ask me for the contact information.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (May 2009)
The head administrators of the AAOS contacted me to do what some might consider for "typical" puzzle development. They wanted both a cross word and word search using terms specific to not just their profession, but a special initiative they were gearing up for—CORQUAT. I accepted, knowing this would not be a difficult job. Unfortunately, that meant there was no challenge in the job for me. I'm a puzzle developer, I like challenges! Ultimately, I did what I always do with any puzzle... I had some fun. That meant throwing in a few twists into each puzzle. In the end, the client was very happy with the puzzles, and I had had fun developing them!

Mind-Boost in Minutes 2, puzzles for DVD (February 2009)
The people at MindBoost engaged me to create a series of puzzles for their latest brain fitness DVD, Mind-Boost in Minutes 2. This latest DVD challenges adults to increate their mental agility, improve their mental clarity and enhance their memory through the use of challenging puzzles and brain exercises.

EA Mobile, puzzles for Cell Phones (April 2008):
With the huge success ofMerv Griffin's Crosswords on TV, EA Games approached me to create crosswords in the style of the popular TV show. The twist: the puzzles would have to work on cell phones. As with any custom order, there were parameters to which I had to adhere, and a style I had to emulate to give mobile customers the same fun and exciting experience of the popular TV show. I loved the idea and the challenge before me. In April 2008, EA Games released Merv Griffin's CrosswordsTM for mobile phones. I created the crossword puzzles and clues for two dozen puzzles for EA.  See EA Mobile or the Merv Griffin Crossword site for information on the game and how to download this highly popular crossword game to your mobile phone.


Book & Magazine Publications
I have sold crossword and challenge puzzles to Cobblestone, AppleSeeds, Highlights for Children and Highlights Puzzlemania magazines, as well as a series of math puzzle books to Nasco, and a variety of puzzles to Brain Games.

Puzzle Consulting
Yes, there is such a thing as a puzzle consultant and there definitely is a need. To find out more about my puzzle consulting, read, Puzzle Consulting: Is There Really Such a Need? and Creating Puzzles for Specific Markets and Mediums.


[Puzzle Styles: from Anagrams to Zig-Zags]

Samples of a variety of puzzles sold to clients and publishers.

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