Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Today officially  begins this summer’s Jumble(R) scanning for the new fall Jumble(R) book. Luckily, this year we didn’t have nearly enough puzzles from our source to do another GIANT book of the world-famous word puzzle, and as such I only have 180 to work through, instead of the usual, spirit-crushing 500.
For anybody else who wishes to create their own book of Jumbles(R), here’s a quick-and-easy recipe.
1. The first thing you’ll need, of course, are a stack of Jumble(R) puzzles. The best way to get these is to have a deal with the Chicago Tribune in which you’re allowed to reprint them and sell books collecting them. This would be the most difficult and most expensive ingredient to procure .
1a. Alternately, you could create your own Jumbles, but you couldn’t call them Jumbles, because Jumbles(R) are Jumbles(R). You could perhaps call them Scrambles(R), but we wouldn’t recommend it without a good team of attorneys at your disposal.
1b. The proper way to create a Jumble(R) is to first come up with a bad pun or groaner of a play-on-words, and place it in a sentence.
Ex. 1: At the end of the day, the mirror installer liked to reflect on his work.
Ex. 2: The woman who kept breaking marriage engagements felt like her life was filled with near Mrs.
Take this sentence and cut off the pun or wordplay. Written entirely in capital letters, this will become your Answer. The rest of the sentence may be reworded if you choose, and becomes your Clue.
Ex. 1: What the mirror installer liked to do at the end of the day. (Clue)
REFLECT ON HIS WORK (Answer)
. . .
And you know what? I’m not going to bore you with the rest. A Jumble(R) is a magical thing, you see, and if you explain too much of it, some of that magic goes away.
(Also, I just spent ten minutes writing down more instructions and I realized that it bored me silly.)
Quick version of how to scan Jumbles(R)
1. Scan in a puzzle at 600 dpi, at 4 x 4 inches, as Line Art in Photoshop.
2. Convert the scan from Grayscale to Bitmap.
3. Orient the Jumble(R) as necessary.
4. Remove all extraneous elements from the puzzle, including instructions, copyright information, date of the puzzle, and “Yesterday’s Answers” section.
5. Convert the scan back to a Bitmap.
6. Resize it to 7 x 7.
7. Save it as a .TIF file.
8. Repeat until your eyes bleed.
Everybody loves Jumbles(R)! Some even pull off capers to get their hands on ’em.
 As if there’s some sort of ceremony.
 You ever try to buy dried porcini mushrooms? $54.00 a pound. I swear to God.
Current music: The Vicinity Album: XTC, “All Along the Watchtower”