We here at Tapir Type are big nerds and love puzzles. Our favorite kind is acrostics. Lots of people know acrostics as poems or verse messages in which the first letter of each line spells out another, shorter word or phrase. Acrostics can also be puzzles, similar to crossword puzzles only a little more complicated.

The acrostic puzzles that I make come in two parts: a grid with numbered squares and blanks, and a series of clues in which the number of letters are given as blank spaces. Each blank space is assigned a non-consecutive number that corresponds to a numbered square in the grid.

As you write in the answers to the clues, you also write in the letters in the grid, using the corresponding numbers to see where they go. My acrostics - based on the same formula used by the acrostic makers for the New York Times Magazine - spell out a literary quote in the grid, and the author's name and the title of the book are spelled out in the first letter of every clue.

It sounds pretty complicated, and honestly, it is, but it makes more sense if you see a puzzle itself. Below are two of the acrostics that I've made (PDF file links).

First Acrostic

Second Acrostic