The Daily Worker Placement

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

2023 Non-Denominational Contest Answers and Winner

by | published Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Puzzles and games have always gone hand-in-hand for me–though I respectfully disagree with Amabel Holland’s recent assertion (without explanation or justification) that puzzles are games. I would love to debate that with her someday–heck, I would love to just sit around and talk about anything game-related with her someday. But that is all for another time. Suffice to say, me loves puzzles.

And so, I put together our first Non-Denominational Contest five years ago very much in the spirit of GAMES Magazine, whose puzzles, articles, and contests I have loved since 1980. That first contest combined a bunch of different puzzles: identifying board games by their components; anagrams; and finally finding the missing member of a boardgame-related quartet.

In the years since I have tried to continue that tradition of boardgame-related puzzlery, and I thought it would be fitting that for this last contest I return to the ideas of the first. Hence the grid of bits. 

Of course, in the years since, technology has progressed to the point where Reverse Image Search has made such tasks trivially easy–IF I just recycled images that were already on the web.

This was why all the photos for the contest were taken, by me, in such a way as to (I hope) defeat that method–or at least make it so tedious it wouldn’t feel worth doing. Each time I took a photo I Reverse Image Searched it myself to see what came up; if the correct answer turned up in the first couple of dozen hits, I either retook the photo or switched games entirely.

All of which doesn’t mean any of the several correct entrants didn’t use RIS–but I hope at least I made them work for it. The 25 games in the grid were:


Finding five five-letter words to be spelled out wasn’t hard–but I admit it was a stroke of fortune that I realized the first couple of words in my original answer (I think they were “dozen” and “shiny”) could both coincidentally be anagrammed into names of boardgames. It was totally a coincidence–and it handed me on a silver platter an additional layer of boardgame-related puzzling which led me to rejig some of my original answers to make it all work out. The final shaded-letter bit was the cherry on top:


So the final answer was, fittingly, CHESS, a classic game which will never go out of print–and which, if you pay attention to such things, is currently enmeshed in some serious drama at its highest competitive levels.

Of the correct entrants it is Taylor N. who wins the Space Base collection. Congrats to them and to everyone who entered!


  • David W.

    David is the Managing Editor of the DWP. He learned chess at the age of five and has been playing tabletop games ever since. His collection currently consists of about 600 games, which take up way too much space. His game "Odd Lots" won the inaugural TABS Game Design Contest in 2008. He is currently Managing Editor of The Daily Worker Placement. All in all he's pretty smug about his knowledge of games and game design.

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