Library’S Online Podcast Club Focuses On Puzzles In January

The Podcast Club at Fort Bend County Libraries’ University Branch Library will focus on “Puzzles” in January. The Podcast Club meeting will take place online via Zoom, so listeners throughout the area can participate from the comfort and safety of home.

Similar to a book club, the Podcast Club provides an opportunity for podcast listeners to get together to discuss podcast selections from a themed podcast-listening list and share their opinions on trending topics. Each month features a different theme, along with a short list of podcast episodes.

The next meeting of the University Branch Library Podcast Club will take place on Monday, January 25, beginning at 7:00 pm. A link to the Zoom meeting will be emailed to all who register.

A direct link to the podcasts can be found on Fort Bend County Libraries’ online calendar on the FBCL website. The playlist of podcasts from which to choose includes:

Inside the Jigsaw Puzzle Factory” – Every Little Thing (13 minutes – first half of podcast only). In the time of “puzzle and chill,” listener Myco needs to know: how are jigsaw puzzles made? Plus, why are clouds of terrifying black birds gathering in listener Amanda’s neighborhood every evening? ELT puts the pieces together.

Kryptos, the Uncrackable Code” – Great Big Story (17 minutes). At the heart of CIA headquarters stands an enigmatic sculpture called Kryptos, encoded with a secret message. For more than 30 years, it’s stumped an entire community of puzzle solvers. Master cryptologist Elonka Dunin refuses to give up on this challenge and today, she may be inching closer and closer to cracking the code.

I’m the New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor” – Weird Work (48 minutes). Will Shortz is the crossword puzzle editor at The New York Times. The only person in history to receive a degree in Enigmatology — the study of puzzles – Shortz has been creating and publishing his own puzzles since he was 14 years old. In this podcast, Shortz talks with Sam about the origin of the paper’s famous crossword and explains how the puzzle’s history is not so different from today. Oh, and there’s a puzzle — did you really think we’d have Shortz on and not have a brain stumper?

Cicada 3301 & The Liber Primus” – Dark Frontier (52 minutes – start at 0:09:45). Hear about the cryptic cyber puzzles of the illusive and mysterious, Cicada 3301.

The Twists & Turns of the Rubik’s Cube” – Outlook (26 minutes). Outlook’s Saskia Edwards goes in search of the elusive creator of what must be one of the most maddening games – the Rubik’s Cube. On route, she meets one of the fastest cubers in the world, Feliks Zemdegs. He can solve the puzzle in a matter of seconds, but even he can’t tell Saskia where she can find its inventor – Erno Rubik.

Musicals, Luxury Cars & Birds” – Question Connection (8 minutes). Presented by Sporcle, Question Connection is the podcast where trivia and puzzles combine to tickle your brain. Hear eight trivia questions whose answers share something in common. Can you spot the common bonds and get all the answers correct? In this week’s episode, you have to determine the common bond between musicals, luxury cars, birds, and more!

Episode 1: Shopping Malls & Circular Logic” – Brain Drop (9 minutes). Puzzle 1: How Quickly Things Escalate (Logic/math); Puzzle 2: One Dude’s Trash is Another Chap’s Treasure (Riddle); Puzzle 3: Circular Logic (by Stephen Wort) (Lateral Thinking)

Episode 2: Mister E Mystery” – Brain Drop (10 minutes – just listen to the answers to Episode 1’s puzzles).

The Podcast Club is free and open to the public. Registration is required; a link to the Zoom/WebEx meeting will be emailed to all who register. To register online at the library’s website (, click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the University Branch Library (281-633-5100).