2:14 AM
0

So, I randomly stumbled across this cipher/code and I am pretty stuck and wondering if anyone had any input: 65706377 736D 797367 676B72687A67 74636D64 7161 B8B 78863B1F56468 767A796B 71 6C6E79657A 657771 73766C 6466 62676E676271 64717364 7770712E 1CE01966 6369696D 7769677077 7572 7069676D2E 6E6...

5 hours later…
7:18 AM
@GarethMcCaughan Yes, that's it.
(Just for the record.)

2 hours later…
9:04 AM
@GarethMcCaughan Weird, I thought the witch came from Charn. :-)

That was totally a retcon.

you mean Samuel "coming back"? yeah :-)

I meant the witch being from Charn, but sure. EVERYTHING'S A RETCON

(By the way, I'm familiar with the Samuel story, but would never have remembered where the witch was from -- and, if I had, I'd have remembered it as En Dor, the Hebrew name, not Endor. Of course, for our (cryptic clue) purposes it's the same thing. Just sayin'.)
@Mithical yeah, I knew what you meant :-)

So you're saying you wouldn't have tried walking through it.

9:14 AM
@Mithical huh?

After all, there's no door. (:
....bear with me. I'm operating on four hours of sleep and I like bilingual puns.

(groan)
for everyone else:
en אין = there's no
en עין = spring of
The latter is in the place name En Dor.

9:49 AM
0

Here's a set of puzzles related to 1337. The first one goes here: One digit for each question mark. \$1337=1?×3×37+?\$ This is pretty easy. Solve it.

1 hour later…
11:11 AM
0

If, 7∆ + 11□ - 2□ + 1∆ = 36 12∆ - 8∆ + 8□ + 2∆ = 25 3□ + 17∆ + 5□ + 2∆= 289 then, 1□ + 7□ + 2□ + 3∆ + 17∆ = ?

11:23 AM
@msh210 That sort of thing is unavoidable, no? E.g., you can have some bit of a clue produce HERCULES even though some people might think of him as HERCULES, or (getting Biblical again) ABRAHAM even though I guess you call him AVRAM, etc.

Pretty sure you meant to type HERACLES one of those times....
And no, Avram was his original name, but it was changed (canonically) to Avraham, which would be Abraham.

Actually the second was meant to be HERAKLES. And duh, yes, I also meant Avraham (or Abram/Avram, but oddly I think his old name might be too obscure for a cryptic clue).
Sorry, not very awake yet this morning.

Have you tried the hot coffee and cold bucket of water approach?

(I expect more people could tell you the story of Abram->Abraham than could tell you the story of Samuel and the witch of Endor. But words and phrases can stick in the mind without context, and I'm guessing that more people have the words "witch of Endor" in their brains than the name Abram.)
I have, of course, precisely zero evidence for any of that.
@Mithical I tried, but the coffee burned my head really badly and I had trouble drinking the whole bucket.
4

Ah well, at least an attempt was made.

11:34 AM
If you want my perspective of that: I've seen Endor as home of the witch in a newspaper crossword recently and could solve it, because somehow I was aware that there was a "witch of Endor". When I looked it up, I was suprised that it was a biblical story. (I'm not exactly "bibelfest".)

As an illustration of how not-awake I am, I wondered about using another example rather than Abraham. You might think that then I'd not have made that dumb mistake, but I'm pretty sure I remember thinking "I could use Isaac/Yaakov". (Of course it's actually Isaac/Yitzhak and Jacob/Yaakov. I guess the repeated "a"s were just too distracting.)
@MOehm Nice to have my guesses corroborated a little.

@GarethMcCaughan for sure. I wasn't complaining.

Feel free to complain about my carelessness with Hebrew names instead :-).

Trust me, when I wanna complain, I won't be shy. :-)

I wish languages didn't naturalize foreign names so much. As a pedant it always bugs me to have to say "Cologne" and "Moses" and so on, but of course the alternative is to sound incredibly pretentious.

11:39 AM

(Actually, I think naming place names correctly has become more common. It probably doesn't sound too weird in English to say "Köln". But e.g. pronouncing "Paris" as the French do would get you some very strange looks.)

(unless you precede it with "gay")

Oh, yeah, there's the "gay Paree" thing. Maybe there are some others. I guess if you referred to the magazine Paris Match you'd be more likely to say it the French way.

Well, I don't know. Naturalization helps fit the names in the surroundings of an otherwise e.g. English sentence, especially phonetically.

@GarethMcCaughan thanks

11:42 AM
Incidentally, I think I'd also expect "gay Paree" to be spelt that way, ridiculous though it obviously is.
It's true that naturalization helps fit things in. But we would never e.g. do it to the name of a living person. (I think.) If Angela Merkel is in the news they don't pronounce "Angela" with a soft "g". (I'm not sure whether they get the first vowel in "Merkel" right, offhand; I guess so.)

@GarethMcCaughan yeah
@GarethMcCaughan I think of the sound (combination) exists (or is pretty common) in English, they get it right. Otherwise, not so much. Thus Angela has a hard g, but the vowels are American. That's my experience in the States,I think

Could well be right.
[AFK for a bit now]

Here in Israel, for some reason, French names ending in a silent t or s are afaict pronounced with those consonants: "paris", "rikoshet", "shevrolet"

...it's annoying...

Angela Merkel pronounces her first name with a hard g, but there are also Angelas who pronounce it the French way with a soft g. Usually the stress is on the first syllable but there are also an-GEH-las.
But I'm sure most English speakers don't get the first vowel of Ms Merkel's last name right. (I don't know about BBC people, though. Most evidence I have is from Americans.) To me, it sounds often like MURR-kle, but it really is MARE-kle.
That argument goes the other way round, too, of course. To the day, I don't know whether the last syllable in john Bercow's name rhymes with low or with cow. I've only ever heard the nme pronounced by Germans and I've heard both variants.

3 hours later…
2:29 PM
I think it's like "cow". I always want it to be bear-cough, which I'm guessing it was for his ancestors.
"shevrolet" written that way actually looks rather Hebraic.

2:51 PM
CCCC: Nothing more than a lake (4)

3:19 PM
@GarethMcCaughan by definition, the solution must be LAKE. :P

3:37 PM
Ho ho. But no.

3:50 PM
@GarethMcCaughan MONO? It's the name of a lake in California, and sorta means "nothing more than a".
Or OONA, a lake in British Columbia and another in Alaska, which is O+ON+A, nothing + more than + a
The latter seems likelier to me as a solution.

4:04 PM
MONO doesn't mean "nothing more than a", though I admire your chutzpah. OONA is rather clever and perhaps if I'd noticed it I'd have decided I needed a different clue. The intended solution is simpler than that.

Yeah, MONO was a stretch. :-)
Oh, it's MERE ddef.

4:26 PM
Ah, makes much more sense.

@Quintec I like LAKE, myself. :-)

5:03 PM
1

First 25 Prime Numbers are 2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31,37,41,43,47,53,59,61,67,71,73,79,83,89,97 Using up to 4 prime numbers and the following Math operations get all the 25 primes + - x / ^ Sq.Root, ! No others like !! Other rules Cannot use same Prime Number Twice or more than...

5:41 PM
@msh210 Correct!

3 hours later…
8:14 PM
A simple Gareth clue!

8:30 PM
0

I'm really confused I sound like subtraction But really I've refused A positive action Who am I?

An easy one, enjoy :)

CCCC: South American destination decays ultimately to become an isolated city (5)

8:57 PM
This is obviously PERU+(decay)S = PERUS, an alternative spelling and pronunciation of PARIS, the isolated city

why is paris isolated :o
oh, nvm

9:22 PM
@Avi because #BadC4Solutions is a thing

9:41 PM
@Quintec so close, and yet so far. Or maybe just far. :-)

10:13 PM
@ThePuzzlingPlatypus That’s why I said “nvm” :P

1 hour later…
11:27 PM
@Randal'Thor It's not that unusual.

11:50 PM
CCCC is PERTH from PERU’s last U literally decaying to Th.

Dang, if that's right then that's really clever

Clever, yes. Legal, dubious. Fair, probably. Perth, like, defines isolated city.