Party in the Stacks will feature puzzle mystery, and more
For residents who are fans of puzzles or mysteries, there is a treat in store at the Party in the Stacks! 2017 – The Enchanted Forest, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21.
Renowned puzzle maker Eric Berlin is creating a special puzzle event for the party. He will be hiding a number of objects throughout the library for party goers to find and use to solve a number of puzzles.
“As soon as I heard the theme, the Enchanted Forest,” said Berlin, “I knew what I wanted to do: Create a scenario where people will go on a series of quests – some easy, some a little harder. And hidden in the Enchanted Forest are the magic items that will help you complete those quests.
“I’ve created group events for other organizations before,” Berlin said, “but nothing like this one. People can solve the puzzles as a team. Or one person can do it alone. If you wish, you can play only the easy quests. Or you can do the entire set of puzzles. It will be fun for everybody. And I’ll be there to help if people are having difficulty… I may even give a hint or two.”
Party in the Stacks! Is the Friends of the Milford Library’s annual fundraising event: It features a DJ, dancing, a silent auction, literary-inspired costume contest and more. Tickets, on sale at the library starting Sept. 5, are $35 for Friends of the Milford Library members, $40 for non-members and $50 after Oct. 1. Attendees must be 21 or older (more information on the event is available on the library’s website:milfordlibrary.org).
Berlin, who has lived in Milford for about 15 years, has been fascinated by puzzles since he was a child. When he discovered Games Magazine on the newsstand, he was captivated by the breadth of games and puzzles. After he graduated from college he wrote a letter to the magazine seeking employment and ended up becoming a freelance writer for them.
He also is an avid friend of the library. “Whatever town I have lived in,” said Berlin, “I have always been a great user of the library. I come to the Milford Library about twice a week. And I love to look at the books that are on sale at the Friends tables in the lobby. I’ve found some real gems to buy there.”
A member of the National Puzzles League, Berlin has participated for the last 20 years in the MIT Mystery Hunt, an annual event that attracts elite puzzlers from around the world. He is the author of the puzzle-filled mysteries, The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, The Potato Chip Puzzles, and The Puzzler's Mansion, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons. Together, the three books earned 13 state award nominations.
A lifelong puzzler, Berlin has created dozens of crosswords and other puzzles for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Games Magazine, and many other outlets. He has created live puzzle events for schools, companies and organizations, including the Connecticut Science Center, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and the Connecticut Library Association.
An advocate of the notion that puzzles are an important part of a child's education, his most recent project is "Puzzle Your Kids," an innovative weekly pencil puzzle e-mailed out to thousands of solvers. Berline is a member of the National Puzzlers' League. He lives in Milford with his wife and two children.