Consider Dr Ferdinand Maack, a 19th-century German eccentric who decided that chess was a insufficiently difficult and b insufficiently like warfare, Certain flats crossword added a third dimension and devised "Raumschach", not unlike the tri-dimensional chess they play on the USS Enterprise. And consider that the same Star Trek game was parodied in the cartoon Futurama, where you can see Professor Farnsworth and Leela playing three-dimensional Scrabble, and that back in the real world, many enthusiasts have patented efforts at a 3D word-based board game.
It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, then, to learn that our world contains 3D crosswords. Or that the man who devises them is registered blind - I mean, sure.
Eric Westbrook describes his puzzles as resembling blocks of flats. As you Certain flats crossword in one of the apartments, a word may be spelled out going away from you, to your side, or down through the space vertically below. They are surprisingly easy to get used to.
But why does Eric - whose day job is teaching - do it?
Because he's as much of a visionary as Dr Certain flats crossword. Eric constructs each grid and fills it with words, then hands over the cluing to charitable setters including the Guardian's ArachneLavatch, Pasquale, and Rufus as well as Everyman. Araucaria has written an introduction to the 3D crossword website as well as clues, Enigmatist has provided enigmatic support as well as clues and, Eric says, "we may have had the Certain flats crossword of Taupi's last crossword - he sent the final revisions to his puzzle the night before he died.
So far so familiar, but what I want to ask is: Being registered blind, pencil and paper are not very useful.