Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Southwest's compass bearing

I seem to have a new puzzle interest that has been sparked by Southwest Airlines. Flying last weekend, trying to kill time during takeoff, I flipped through the magazine to see the puzzles in the back. I love sudoku, so I did those. The next page had something called shinro. It took me a while to figure out how to do these puzzles, and then I fell for them. I ripped the page out of the magazine so I could remember the name of this game.

On my flight back, it had become August. I got on the plane and grabbed the Southwest magazine, eager to get new Shinro puzzles. Alas, they had a whole different set of puzzles.  No Shinro.

So here I am with a crumpled piece of paper pulled from the Southwest magazine, googling "shinro."  And I found this:

  • I came across a new kind of puzzle called shinro that can be found in Southwest Airline magazines. According to the magazine, shinro is Japanese for “compass bearing.” The puzzle involves finding holes in a square grid. Like battleship puzzles, the number of holes in each row and column are indicated. In addition, there are a number of arrows in the grid that point to at least one hole.
  • waa hoo! i found myself looking up shinro after flying southwest airlines, as well! thanks for the link. great puzzle!
  • Yeah! I was just on Southwest last night and solved 4 shinro puzzles. Thanks for the info
  • Me too! Southwest flight! landed, thirsty for more.
  • I also flew on Southwest Airlines and was hooked!!! I Love IT!!!!
  • Just discovered the Shinro puzzles on a flight on Southwest and am hooked.
Google has just four references to the paper-based game shinro on its first page of results, and all mention Southwest.  (After that, it references either shinro iPhone apps -- yay! -- or Shinro Ohtake the artist.)  My favorite is this:
If you're visiting this site, we probably have something in common... Most likely, you recently flew on Southwest Airlines and passed some of the time by working on the Shinro puzzles in an issue of Spirit Magazine. Like me, you later searched the internet looking for additional puzzles to work on and found little or nothing in the way of Shinro puzzles.
That person is creating the puzzles, so he or she is my new hero.

Who knew that something in an inflight magazine could inspire such passion?   

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