People Puzzler

“People Puzzler” is an American television game show that premiered on the Game Show Network in 2021. It’s based on the popular crosswords from People magazine. The show is hosted by Leah Remini. Contestants participate by answering questions related to various celebrities, events, and facts from the world of entertainment, music, film, and television. The aim of the game is to earn as many points as possible by correctly answering questions. “People Puzzler” offers viewers an entertaining and informative experience, providing insights into celebrities and their accomplishments.


In this game, three contestants take the stage. Each contestant selects one of the ten words displayed on the board, similar to marking entries in a standard crossword puzzle (like 1-across, etc.). The contestant receives the first letter of the word yet to be revealed and a clue is provided. Points are earned for correct answers, with the score determined by the word’s length, following a format reminiscent of both The Cross-Wits and the 1980 NBC version of Chain Reaction. Bonus points are awarded if a contestant successfully solves three words in a single turn. The contestant retains control until they either make an error or earn a bonus. If a mistake occurs, the correct answer remains hidden, giving the next contestant a chance to select it again for more letters, potentially making it easier to solve (although they can opt for a different word). The final letter of a word is never disclosed.

In certain puzzles, there’s a twist known as the “Double Word,” where a single clue pertains to two words in the puzzle, creating a two-word phrase. To earn points, both parts of the Double Word need to be solved simultaneously, and successfully cracking it rewards the player with the combined value of both words.

Round 1

Before the game begins, a contestant, selected randomly, picks from four available categories and starts the game. Throughout the game, the turn passes clockwise, returning to the starting position if necessary. Each correct word solved earns points at a rate of 10 points per letter, and a bonus of 100 points is awarded for solving three consecutive words accurately. The round continues until the puzzle is solved entirely or until a buzzer signals its end.

Round 2

In the second round, the contestant who is trailing at the end of the first round, or if there’s a tie, the player on the left side among the tied contestants, picks one of the three remaining categories and starts the round. Each word solved earns 20 points per letter, with an extra 200-point bonus for solving three consecutive words correctly. Within the chosen words, one is marked as the “Wager Word.” The first contestant to uncover this Wager Word has the opportunity to wager any or all of their current score on their ability to solve it. A correct guess adds the amount of the wager to their score (and they also get the 200-point bonus if it’s their third consecutive word). However, an incorrect guess deducts the wagered amount. If the Wager Word remains unsolved, subsequent attempts to solve it earn points based on its natural value. Moreover, if the contestant who discovers the Wager Word has zero points at that moment, the word is played for its regular value.


Upon the conclusion of the round, the contestant occupying the third position faces elimination, barring them from continuing in the game. However, as a token of consolation, all eliminated contestants receive a complimentary one-year subscription to People magazine.

In the event of a tie for second place following the conclusion of the second round, a tiebreaker round ensues, employing a buzzer system. A single word alongside its corresponding clue is presented, with letters gradually revealed in random sequence. Contestants retain the option to buzz in at any point after the clue’s announcement. A correct guess propels the contestant forward, whereas an incorrect guess results in elimination. If required, the process repeats until a definitive outcome is reached, particularly if all three contestants remain deadlocked.

Head to Head Showdown

In the subsequent phase, the contestant leading the pack, or alternatively, the one lagging behind with the lowest score, is presented with two fresh sets of puzzles and tasked with choosing one to tackle. The mechanics of this stage closely resemble those of the “Crossfire” round seen on The Cross-Wits. A countdown of 60 seconds begins as soon as host Remini concludes the reading of the initial clue. The contestant retains the liberty to tackle the words in any sequence, with the freedom to make numerous attempts before opting to move on. Additionally, they can freely switch between words as needed until the clock runs out. Just like in previous rounds, an initial letter is disclosed upon the contestant’s first selection of a word, with additional letters granted upon their return to the word following a pass. Each correctly solved word garners 50 points per letter, with a bonus of 1,000 points bestowed upon conquering all 10 words. It’s worth noting that the point values for the two puzzles may differ. Subsequently, the opposing contestant receives the remaining puzzle and must solve it under the same set of rules. The contestant leading the pack at the conclusion of this round clinches a $1,000 prize, securing the championship title, and progresses to the “Fast Puzzle” round for a shot at winning $10,000. Should the trailing contestant fail to bridge the gap, the game comes to an abrupt end. However, if a tie persists, a sudden-death word is employed to determine the ultimate champion.

Fast Puzzle Round

Upon securing the championship title, the victorious contestant is presented with four categories, each aligned with a trio of word puzzles, from which they select the three they wish to tackle. They are granted a generous minute to unravel all nine words, with the freedom to interchange between words or even between puzzles as required. Should the champion successfully decipher all nine words within the allotted minute, they walk away with a handsome reward of $10,000.

Production and broadcast

On June 2, 2021, the Game Show Network gave the green light for another thrilling season of the show, which graced screens on September 27, 2021. Then, on July 18, 2022, another exciting announcement came as the Game Show Network renewed the show for a third season, debuting on August 1, 2022.

People Puzzler Talent

Leah Remini, Host

Leah Remini, known for her multifaceted career as an actress, author, producer, and television personality, gained fame for her role as Carrie Heffernan in the beloved CBS sitcom “The King of Queens.” She showcased her acting prowess in the romantic comedy “Second Act,” alongside Jennifer Lopez. In 2015, Remini made waves with her New York Times Bestselling memoir, “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology,” shedding light on her experiences. Building on the success of her book, she ventured into television production, creating, producing, and hosting the critically acclaimed A&E documentary series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” which earned her a Primetime Emmy® Award. In the summer of 2020, she expanded her storytelling platform, teaming up with Mike Rinder for the “Scientology: Fair Game” podcast on iHeart Radio. Recently, Remini inked a production deal with Critical Content, signaling her ongoing commitment to creating compelling projects for both television and film.

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