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12:04 AM
@Rubio By 1/3 chance I mean 1/3 chance of being shot at any point in time. It's intuitive (at least to me) that 1/3+2/27+4/243+...:2/9+4/81+8/729+...=2:1
12:26 AM
Q: Helping Florence go back

Kit-GinevraHaving competed at the American Puzzling Championships and done your state proud, you begin the long drive back home. 'This is the life' you think with music pumping out and the desert wind in your hair.'All I need is something yummy to tuck into-and since I don't have any blondes here now, I'l...

3 hours later…
3:07 AM
This fortnight's topic-challenge post on meta has a difference. See if you can spot it.
@Randal'Thor You mean it has no difference, right?
I voted to close, because the "difference" is the worst addition I've ever seen to this site.
Would you all say a puzzle that involved lying, but not anything like the standard "liars and truthtellers" puzzles, would be acceptable as an 'entry' into the fortnightly challenge?
Truth teller: I think it's ok, but it shouldn't be tagged
yeah, I probably wouldn't tag it
but the fortnightly theme is specifically , not liars
3:16 AM
(though arguably we should maybe also revamp the wording of the challenge to make the topic "liars", rather than "")
But how do we know the answer's being honest about what the topic challenge really is?
Hm... maybe we should have the answer say "The question would say it was a truthteller"?
4:21 AM
Q: Fortnightly Topic Challenge #28: Liars

rand al'thorThis is not the twenty-eighth instalment of the Fortnightly Topic Challenge not described here, with topics neither suggested nor voted on here. This fortnight's topic is not liars (not suggested by Jon Mark Perry), and will not span from the the 6th to the 19th of March. During this period, we w...

Q: Changes to the audit system?

Herb WolfeI'm not sure if the audit system it supposed to work like this or not, but I was reviewing the first posts queue, and was shown what appeared to be a first post by a new user. I opened the question in a new tab, and the answer given was an exact dupe of the accepted answer by a different user, ye...

1 hour later…
5:29 AM
Q: I'm not a fat hen

RubioStart with the phrase   I'm not a fat hen. and perform the following steps in some order to find a famous quotation: Add a letter. Remove a letter. Add a word. Remove a word. Join two words. Split a word. Change a letter. Rearrange words. Note: You can ignore punctuation, and add/remove punct...

I figured that'd be quick
Can't even accept it yet :)
Yeah, it's not difficult.
(Incidentally, I really don't like those puzzles.)
Yeah I don't either actually. I was bored.
I haven't found one that doesn't scream "low-effort".
And I can't get this damn C4
Devious Siam Piss Lion.
Find a not-so-famous quote, by doing these in some order -
- anagram every word
- remove a letter
- split a word
- switch a letter
- join two words
- switch a letter
forgot one, whoops. :)
5:40 AM
Deusovi something something solution.
I screwed it up anyway
Too lazy to figure out what it actually is. The anagram/join/split steps make a pretty big state space.
it ends up Deusovi is my PSEidol
ah, alright
but that's not the quote, so nvm hehe
5:42 AM
You tried.
That's kinda the problem with those. either they're trivial and solvable, or they hit combinatorial explosion and require a great deal of luck to get to
Well, one of the problems with them.
The other is that they're easy to create but hard to solve. It can turn into "guess what I'm thinking" pretty easily.
@Rubio Want a hint?
i don't not want a hint. I probably could spend some more time on it but I have a feeling it won't help.
5:49 AM
"don't not" -> ok then, well here's a not really a hint:
CCCC Hint: "pipe" is a slightly mean choice of word (though still totally legitimate), chosen largely because it improved the surface reading.
ho boy. Thanks, I think ;)
FTC entries aren't required to be original, are they?
@Ankoganit Required? No. But strongly encouraged.
hm okay
2 hours later…
7:27 AM
Q: I need your help. I... I think I'm in danger

Beastly GerbilI need your help. I... I think I'm in danger. I'm not sure what's coming, but whatever it is... I need to know. I'm scared because I don't know what going to happen... I just know that whatever it is, it will be bad. You may be my last hope. I woke up yesterday. Everything was normal... until I ...

New puzzle!
8:00 AM
Just to agree with Deus, I too dislike those here's-a-list-of-operations-do-this-to-the-sentence-somehow "puzzles". Emphasis on the quotation marks around "puzzles" :P
(Also, @Deusovi I may or may not have enjoyed Danganronpa a bit too much, just sayin'. I'm almost tempted to get a PS4 to play it early, but money :P)
Nice presentation Beastly :)
8:22 AM
@BeastlyGerbil How did the sphinx beat a human?!
@TheGreatEscaper you are a grid-deduction-puzzle-making machine ;)
No, I'm just a master of spending time on things other than schoolwork :)
Unfortunately, as the end to the long weekend approaches, I feel like it's about to catch up to me
Is this a state thing?
(the long weekend I mean)
School thing, I think
Q: Curiouser and Curiouser

TheGreatEscaperCHAPTER ONE Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: when she was overcome with the strangest sense of deja vu, and saw a 7x3 grid of letters in her mind's eye. 'Why', she declared, 'I can spell out my name, ALICE, moving orthogona...

8:47 AM
@TheGreatEscaper I also have a long weekend
@TheGreatEscaper australia.gov.au/about-australia/special-dates-and-events/… Happy Western Australia Day!
9:06 AM
(Whatever that is?!)
9:35 AM
Q: Where is my friend traveling to?

Bojan BOver the weekend I met my old friend Wayne Machkeb, so we decided to go for a coffee and had a nice little chat. He was totally excited about a trip he was going to take but didn't want to tell me where. After persisting for a while to tell me, he said: "Since you like puzzles so much, I'll giv...

2 hours later…
11:09 AM
Q: You trolls, get out of my party!

AnkoganitYou have invited $2017$ of your acquaintances to a party. But after they all arrive, you come to know from a reliable source that each of your guests is either a troll or a true friend. You don't know who is what, but you do know the following: A true friend always tells the truth in ans...

11:30 AM
Q: Puzzlegrid: 5 levels

Wen1now Those are the warmups. Here's the real challenge. And yes, it is uniquely solvable.

1 hour later…
12:41 PM
@Sphinx 4/5 done, oh boy...
1:27 PM
^ cool puzzle. nice solve.
1:47 PM
Ah, of course
for some reason, my first thought when noticing 1,2,6,20, was centred binomial coefficients
Q: A new puzzling approach

Snickbrack Sometimes I am very small But sometimes even tall My name is sometimes spoken with a humans name But I am not a human at all You can throw me but not If I am too heavy And even if im very light I cannot walk away What's my name? I hope this not to heavy for you ;)

Urgh, it's kind of hard to write up working out without it turning into a case bash depth-first-search essentially
2:06 PM
You could submit a computer program code that solves it :)
@Rubio Is there any clue in there which confirms the fact that we have the final answer with 14 letters?
Eh I could, but geometric problems like these with rotations and such are a bit annoying
@Techidiot The 3rd email, I think, should be pretty clear on that point.
@TheGreatEscaper I like your puzzle, but it's beyond me :(
Aw, I'm glad you like the idea anyway! The first step is probably the hardest, to be honest
The maze in chapter 4 can be solved individually, so if you're interested you could take a look at that
2:12 PM
Like I said in the comments, I found a way to write Alice, March and Hare using 10 slots but I always come up short putting in the last word (be it white, hearts, or cheshire)
@TheGreatEscaper I might (I looked briefly at it, long enough to understand the rules) but I probably won't have time today.
I just love the flow of the puzzle chapters, I haven't even looked at solving it. It looks fun, but too time-consuming for a Monday morning hehe
@dcfyj There are so many frustrating arrangements which just don't work
I think what I found for the first 3 words is correct but it's proceeding from there that's the issue
Can you post what you've found here? Or would you rather not share? I'd love to take a look
Sure, I probably won't be able to finish that grid anyhow
Maybe it'll help someone else finish it
@TheGreatEscaper suddenly silent?
2:30 PM
Sorry, just had a quick shower :P
Just got back, in fact.
Nice start! I won't confirm or deny any of your letter placements...
Of course not :P
3:31 PM
Q: Inexplicably, Recognizably, Specifically - What am I?

n_palumWhen you blink, you will always blink twice No, that doesn't make sense, does it? You know that without a doubt, the sun rises daily. But what if it is cloudy and you can't see it? Look I won't be surprised if this puzzle is solved early. Unless it's harder than I think it is. Careful but qu...

4:06 PM
Q: High School Extra Credit Logic Problem... HELP?

hsstudentI have this question as extra credit for my chemistry class. Im passed the deadline for EC so i don't even care about that, the answer is just driving me crazy! No one else has figured it out that i know of. Here's the logic problem: EC: Science Friction The science department at Rasputin High ...

4:38 PM
I think this ^ logic problem has two solutions.
I'm reluctant to post them just in case the OP is fibbing about being past the deadline for extra credit.
well, it turns out that the "obviously not intended" solution I found is in fact not consistent with the problem as stated so that's OK; and the OP posted their own solution so I don't need to worry about that. (As did another Puzzling regular, obviously less of a worrywart than I am.)
Q: Old puzzle with a new twist

GadhaAs what happens in the usual puzzles, Alice had a long list of names, and that names are read loud to Bob. Bob, obviously, should find up the most (called up name. But as he had a duel with Alice just before, Bob's short term memory has gone cuckoo - He can only hold up a name in his mind. If Al...

Heh. Hey @gareth. :)
I think I'm going to award my bounty to Pokemon even though s/he hasn't quite yet finished finding the Secret Job, as they basically have the thing solved
@Gareth and @Tech were hard on their heels, looked like it might be a photo finish. I don't suppose either of you have the answer at this point?
4:56 PM
15 minutes to go. Sadly not sure how to look at it without brute-force thing.
Last word could be God making him Christian. (though its a stretch of thinking at my end)
Did you see the latest comments on the existing answer?
But it doesn't have a G
Yeah. He got quite a good fit there.. Senor, abduct him!
But, yes, its about them as clued
So, it can't be a him
it's not about "them".
@boboquack mobile :P
I was thinking it was with this line in there ....read my message without telling them too.
5:03 PM
"the phones and email here are all monitored, so [...] nor can I tell you how to read my message without telling them too." is the "them", which isn't relevant to the job, just to keeping the job a secret
Yeah, I also tried to fit secret in there, but not sure how to fit other words
Also, secret takes 2 e's which may be wrong
@Rubio I wondered whether the last word might be Tom (same person as "my associate Thomas" which would help explain the need for obscurity) but it wasn't obvious what the first two words should then be. Some things in the question seem like they may be meant to hint at the identity of Mr Peters somehow but nothing actually have me any useful ideas.
oh, hang on a moment
You've got roughly 2 minutes ;)
nah, just had an idea that didn't actually make sense
aw. ok
well - gonna give it to Pokemon then. for one word alone they earned it
5:08 PM
Given what you said about Pokemon being almost there, it seems like "abduct" is probably the right middle word, but I can't find anything that works much better than Senor / him.
I expect I will feel very stupid when all is revealed.
Who is the most likely target for the job?
But I usually feel very stupid so that's not a very surprising prediction.
er. of the job
Well, I already suggested Thomas = Tom.
But that doesn't play well with "abduct" which also contains a T
Possibly "Harry P......." would be a valuable clue for those who know more than I do.
During a royal society chemistry seminar, [blah blah blah;] a rogue journalist slinked catlike into earshot; hearing Thomas exclaim: "[blah blah blah]" Some article quoting Thomas' creations would harm our incomes. I hate asking, but - swiftly handle Lady Discount Walters! Avert our bankruptcies!
That's the hidden message in its essence
The answerer didn't catch on to the middle indented block being a quote block, and I was tired of correcting every jot and tittle.
(Also, "creations" should be "reactions", but I missed that and it's not particularly important)
So the job should be to handle the reporter (before any article can be published). Does that help?
5:18 PM
I confess I'd assumed that that text was really only there as fodder for the next stage of text-processing yielding the 14 letters. So, is there some obvious 3-letter name for a reporter? Errr, nope, not obvious to me right now. But maybe it should be "Simon, abduct her"
which I guess is one notch better than "Senor, abduct him"
Job is to handle the lady reporter, so her fits fine. But how can we get Simon? :-/
That's a bit of wordplay fun
Simon is his christian name. (And Simon Peter[s] is a very Christian name.)
Simon is really the only thing that fits
if you advance search on the internet anagram server, with 3 words, and one of them "her", it gives that to you on a very short list of alternatives
whoa hey. It doesn't anymore. I checked that!
That's... really weird.
@Rubio Are you talking about this?
5:32 PM
(though boulter narrows it directly to SIMON if you have the other two words, if I recall correctly)
Not exactly simon, but a scrambled simon
Hm, nope guess it doesn't. I used boulter for part 1, but not part 2
That's really bizarre. I specifically looked and was actually pleasantly surprised to see "Her abduct simon" on the list when I looked on the IAS, as that would be pretty directly rearrangable to the intended answer.
But it no longer shows up.
Oh well. At least that one is finally solved; hopefully Pokemon will edit semi-promptly to provide the final answer.
I am tempted to open the first hint on my puzzle. Not sure what kind of hint should I provide. Or may be I modify the puzzle a little to clear the confusions.
You might be surprised at how hard it is to compose a non-trivial sensible message using almost exclusively words that are the only anagrams of their letters. That was a pain in the butt. Then using some of the words twice to get a second level message out of those words' unique letters... oy :)
To be very frank, after coming across boulter, I almost forgot about wordsmith until you reminded me today.
The big difference between the two is, the later doesn't provide phrases
And hence boulter was a big no-no for solving the second part
5:53 PM
@Alconja: CCCC solution: S(WELL)ING. Damp hole = WELL, to "pipe" is to SING.
6:08 PM
huh. nicely done.
I was at no point ever near that. :)
Q: FAQ: Practical questions?

JasperToday, I decided to click the "new on puzzling" banner and then on the first question just out of curiosity: What questions should I avoid asking? That page contains the following text: You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Er... no? I ...

hi all
6:32 PM
Q: Don't get into me!

anonymous2I'm not hot if you're in me, I can be hot if I'm in you. You live like dogs if you're in me And pant like dogs if I'm in you. Kids steal cookies: they're in me; Kids make coffee: I'm in you. Who am I?

1 hour later…
8:10 PM
Q: So why do they keep asking us?

humnSettle down.   We are all understandably upset — once again — but this meeting is called to order.                  [Weary communal s  i  g  h.] Now that we have recited our non-denominational invocation we may proceed with this week’s award for most answers.   And it goes to...              ...

@humn 9999 rep with 3 gold, 27 silver and 99 gold? Too much to ask for! :D
@boboquack , yep, 3333x3^2d time's a charm, and you're just the one I hope to share these moments with!:
Jan 29 at 5:43, by boboquack
user image
Not big enough @humn
(that was supposed to be "3333x3^3d" up there)
@humn congrats on 10k!
8:23 PM
Thanks, Matt, two to get ready, now for another bounty, or some downvotes, to allow for a third shot at it.
8:36 PM
CCCC: Hot air cut spheres to the core, deformed like doughnuts (8)
8:56 PM
Q: Solve the ladder, but you have to get there first

n_palumFirst things first, your ever so helpful nonogram. It's got what you need. That should help you sort through this to get your words for the ladder. 468704385135680749804568064260425614895005420581716231115481154603320090941024708115010761512415321030211456515101151191512104992161121210502154...

Answer is obviously HAIRCUTE :P
@humn Oh no! Are you saying I missed out on extra rep?! :P
@boboquack , see how difficult you make things for yourself by disproving the unposed?
Actually, the timer puzzle you're likely to get bountied (there's some rep for ya) was meant to be the last of the 2-timer puzzles.
9:12 PM
@GentlePurpleRain Nice work.
@Alconja Thank you. Even though I was considering alternate definitions of "pipe" before, your hint got me thinking more intently in that direction.
2 hours later…
11:11 PM
Q: What's the longest sentence you can make using only 2-letter words?

BrettFromLAThe sentence has to be grammatically correct, and probably shouldn't be too nonsensical. Here are a few examples: Is he in on it? Is it to be me? Ma, Ed is in my gi! Note: This puzzle will obviously have multiple answers, and the current "winner" will be unseated again & again o...

Q: Aim the lasers up

rybo111Start with the phrase “Aim the lasers up” and perform the following steps in some order to reveal a popular lyric: Break a word in two Change a letter Combine two words Rearrange the letters of a word Rearrange the letters of a word Remove two letters from a word

11:43 PM
@GentlePurpleRain ...wait a minute... is it HERRINGS -> (def: Hot air) spHERes (cut to the core) RINGS (like doughnuts)? (though that ignores the "deformed" clue... so I'm not sure)

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