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Guest Post by Glenn Dallas

Hello Forces of Geek!

My name is Glenn Dallas, and among other endeavors, I write for the PuzzleNation Blog, a site dedicated to all things puzzly.

I’m a sci-fi geek, a Star Wars geek, a B-movie geek, a horror fan, a roleplayer, an avid reader, and a film buff. I spend entirely too much money on LEGOs each year, I can name entirely too many characters in the Mos Eisley Cantina, and I am entirely too emotionally invested in Hollywood’s recent fascination with “gritty” unnecessary reboots.

Sorry, just felt a need to establish my geek cred before I continue.

I was surprised when Stefan told me there’s no puzzle content on FOG!, since puzzles are right up the modern geek’s alley.

I mean, deep down, we all want to be treasure hunters, solving riddles and unraveling mysteries.

It’s the impetus behind so many terrific video games, from Myst and Portal to the Elder Scrolls and Legacy of Kain series.

That’s why dungeon romps still exist and dragons still hoard treasure. That’s why we read along as comic book heroes navigate the labyrinthine plots of supervillains and save the day. That’s why movies like The Goonies and books like Ready Player One resonate so deeply with us.

And I think puzzles are an integral part of that same quest spirit. From codecracking and anagramming to applying vast amounts of trivia and wordplay skill, puzzles can demand all those skills and more. It’s the cleverness of the constructor vs. the craftiness of the solver, and everybody wins.

Puzzle fiends have enjoyed puzzles in print and digital formats, including a wide array from our pals at Penny Press and Dell Magazines.

The PuzzleNation Blog, and PuzzleNation itself, are natural outgrowths of that entrepreneurial spirit, that shared enjoyment of a puzzle well solved. With classics like Crosswords and Sudoku and specialty puzzles like Diggin’ Words and Guessworks (as well as our new Classic Word Search iBook), we’re happy to offer mental challenges galore to be conquered.

Every geek at heart is a storyteller, and at the heart of every great story is a puzzle to be solved, whether it’s a seemingly invincible foe to overcome, a season-long murder to unravel, or a particularly beguiling Sudoku to conquer.

And, at least for me, the greatest challenge is creating puzzles for others to solve. Whether it’s a crossword with some diabolical cluing or a multilayered mystery for my fellow D&Ders to tackle.

I think Simon Pegg said it best:

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

So, whether you’re a casual Words With Friends enthusiast, or a hardcore Professor Layton devotee, whether you’re a nationally ranked Settlers of Catan player, or an RPGer with several bested bridge troll riddles under your belt, I think it’s terribly cool how much puzzles bring to the table in so many different forms.

Essentially, we’re all part of the solution.

And as a thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with the Forces of Geek audience, I’ve whipped up a puzzle of my own design, which I call Word Chain, ready for you to solve.

In Word Chain, the solver is given clues to a series of six-letter words. The “chain” (or “loop”, if you prefer) aspect comes from the answers themselves. The last three letters of one answer become the first three letters of the next answer, and so on down the line, until the final answer’s last three letters are the same as the first answer’s first three letters, completing the chain.

(For examples on how to solve, click here!)

And so, without further ado, here’s the 11-step Word Chain (this puzzle goes all the way to 11!) I created especially for Forces of Geek!

Richard B. Riddick portrayer __ __ __ __ __ __

“Foundation” doomsayer __ __ __ __ __ __

Glover of “Community” __ __ __ __ __ __

He walked on the moon  __ __ __ __ __ __

Horseshoes accomplishment  __ __ __ __ __ __

Hans Gruber, e.g.  __ __ __ __ __ __

“Deal or No Deal” host __ __ __ __ __ __

Giant stony “D&D” slug __ __ __ __ __ __

“The Usual Suspects” role __ __ __ __ __ __

“The ____ of Bilbo Baggins” __ __ __ __ __ __

Scottish boy or Simpsons dog __ __ __ __ __ __

Check out the PuzzleNation Blog for the solution to this puzzle and lots of other posts of interest to puzzled geeks.

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