We might be living in the Age of Puzzles. They’re on our phones and in our hands and nestled in the corners of our brains. And we think maybe we know why: Puzzles are safe mysteries, solvable problems, if we apply enough wisdom, logic, and patience. In that way they’re not just fun distractions; they help us navigate an uncertain world. In fact, we love puzzles so much here at Atlas Obscura that we just had to make our own.
Each Monday, we’re going to provide you a dose of intellectual stimulation, starting with today’s inaugural Atlas Obscura–themed crossword, Great Big Things. It was created by Stella Zawistowski and edited by Laura Braunstein, who are part of Inkubator, an organization of women and nonbinary constructors.
Crosswords from Inkubator and independent puzzle maestro Brendan Emmett Quigley will be appearing every other week, alternating with linguistic puzzles from around the world by author Alex Bellos, and exquisitely hand-crafted logic puzzles from the cult Japanese puzzle publication Nikoli. And we’ve got a few surprises in store, as well.
At their best, puzzles can themselves be stories, and we hope they’ll also be a gateway to the rich narratives and global perspective we work to provide here at Atlas Obscura. We’re really excited to start sharing them with you!