The Daily Worker Placement

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


by | published Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Barred cryptic crossword grid

For the fifth in our annual winter puzzle contests we return to the British-style Cryptic crossword. For a guide on how to solve these types of puzzles, you can go here. You can download a PDF of the puzzle and instructions here.

The deadline for correct submissions will be midnight on Monday, December 26, with the winner and answer posted the following day. (Email submissions to One correct entry picked at random will win a copy of Zurmat, by first-time designer Tim Densham and publisher Catastrophe Games. It’s a light wargame about small-scale counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan by someone who was there and has a combination of different and elegant mechanisms that make it one of my favorite games of this past year. I’m so happy to be able to share it. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, eligibility for the prize is restricted to North America–but please feel free to enter anyway for bragging rights, lolz, or just because.

Twelve of the clues have answers that clash in the grid. In other words, there will be six squares where letters will have to share space. Now for the worker placement mechanic. Send six worker meeples to pick up the letters from those overstuffed spaces. You will know you have done this correctly because removing the letters will result in two new words–one reading across, one down (possibly skipping the empty space where the intersecting letters had been. 

For the first part of the contest, combine and rearrange the letters in each pair of these intersecting words to form the name of a prominent tabletop game. 

For the second part of the contest, take the twelve letters retrieved by your workers and rearrange them to form the title of another prominent tabletop game. 

Your contest entry should consist of the solved grid, the six games formed by anagramming the intersecting answers, and the final game formed by anagramming the letters collected by the workers.


1 In a variant, Hearts and Light Speed are played before Sequence… (7)

5 …or, out of boredom, mixed up before the end of Monopoly Express (6)

10 Held back by EU Trivial Pursuit? Goodness! (6)

11 Canadian author Alice plays with Ron; first up is 90’s-era German two-trump card game (5)

12 One of the best-known word games ever produced by South Carolina Mob (8)

14 First two of automa are ahead? Dandy! (4)

15 Yes, following up on the last of the errata is child’s play (4)

16 Aim to shorten Planet by a third (4)

19 Storage box included in Destinies (3)

20 Phil Walker-Harding game is hip to me, strangely (7)

22 Inform on admitted traitor at the start? Smart! (7)

23 Father, playing with Enid, is hurt (8)

25 Con adds Martin Wallace game about investigating seafood (6)

27 Got out of sabotaged wreck and is humiliated (6)

29 (A)dam West taking fire, losing head, going crazy (4)

30 Fellow bowler gets brown Seyfarth building game (9)

35 One player gets nothing in first sale of shares (3)

36 Celebration about a possible spoiler? (8)

38 Limits of Wingspan include rook, eagle’s head, and songbird (4)

39 Following analysis paralysis, Arlo has a meltdown but is not charged (6)

40 Secure Alien in a small chained case (8)

42 Take time away from launch? Get away! (4)

43 Takes power away from Union leader, enters disorder (7)

44 Hard to understand: Blood Rage loses nothing–nothing!–in translation. (9)

45 Dicey Peaks of doubtful origin; don’t get yet (5)


1 Box font (4)

2 Breezes through the second half of Corsairs (4)

3 Trick-taking streak is seen in games like Empire Builder (8)

4 Regret taking Black, lose in Russian capital (5)

5 Confederate general gets up to something slippery (3)

6 Bugbear without gear becomes pal (3)

7 Former head of Eggertspiele taken in by prompt (7)

8 Rained-out envelopes Mark found on top of dice can be found inside Waterworks box (9)

9 Rising German Youth leaders accept translation of UNO Junior (5)

11 Really decent sort of chess pieces can be found in front half of school (6)

13 Appeared to remove classic Knizia bidding game from camera (6)

17 Part of Cathedral is made of mashed peas (4)

18 Pawn takes rook–what a shrimp! (7)

21 A golfer’s need to multiply endlessly (3)

23 Daddy’s got Medium–it’s in South America (6)

24 John, in Scotland or Indiana, rings the head of Asmodee (3)

26 Noir is a mess–yes, it usually means the opposite of what it says (7)

28 LotR spider is a messy type, he admitted (6)

31 Version of Phalanx without Northern Cross is pre-beta? (5)

32 Take advantage of me being trapped in rising lava (5)

33 Reportedly, Go is usually found by the seashore (4)

34 Nothing in dual arrangement is audible (5)

35 Got to ride around outside kindergarten (5)

36 Space wharf uprising (6)

37 Squad Leader came first, but it is known for quickly going downhill (6)

41 A bit of energy! (3)


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  1. […] As for me, I’ve enjoyed writing reviews and commentary, but I’m actually most proud of my episodes of The Game Changers podcast (which will continue to be available, along with Table Talk) and the puzzles I constructed for our semi-annual contests. Why? Because no one else out there has produced anything like them. If you want reviews or previews you can go literally anywhere else in this hobby. Only a very few (Space-Biff and No Pun Included come uppermost in mind) give in-depth critique and thoughtful analysis–and even they’ve never set a cryptic crossword with a boardgame theme. […]

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