00:00 - 19:0019:00 - 23:00

12:01 AM
@LukasRotter What answer were you thinking of? I wasn't trying to build in a deliberate red herring this time, although in the title I mentioned as an afterthought a couple of things you might think it is.

I have a slight "fear" that it might still be correct and I'm missing something so I'll rot13 it just for safety: Yvoenel

@Randal'Thor r.e. your riddle, is the borrower and lender in the title the wrong way round?

@BeastlyGerbil No, but the title is (like the original Hamlet quote) not a description but an instruction: it's you who should be a borrower but not a lender, rather than the thing being described.

Ahhhh I see, I was taking the subject as the thing being described, didn't realise it was a quote :)

@LukasRotter You were right, which means the riddle was too easy :-( Which line did you think doesn't fit?

12:10 AM
I don't know about others but the first thing I saw when I see 'borrow' is the answer
Probably because I am not old enough to borrow from a bank so :P

I didn't think X would actually give you money if you give them Y. I thought they just accepted pure donations because their main Ys are from vendors anyway.

I'm not entirely sure how much of the way these things work is country-specific. That might explain why @Beastly was the one to answer, coming from the same country as me.
@BeastlyGerbil Yeah, I was just going to say that :-D

(Also updated to tables)
Yeah, the only thing I've ever borrowed from is that so :P
Although I've never heard them of them paying for donations as such?

I thought they do?
Maybe I got mixed up with the occasional book sales, where you could pay like 50p or £1 and get an old second-hand book to keep.

2

From me you can borrow, but only for a while. You've got to give it back or you'll pay a debt. I won't borrow from you, that's not my style. But you can give to me and some money you'll get. I'm always found in academic places, But public versions can also be found. My stuff is stored in sort of ...

12:26 AM
I’m pretty sure book shops do, but I’m almost positive that (public ones at the very least) definitely don’t
They pay the authors with royalties, but any book donated is unpaid for

12:43 AM
@LukasRotter This is actually what I was going for
Which part of that is the most unfair as a definition? (feedback pls?) I think all those definitions are replaceable in sentences..?

For my part I'd never have come up with score/cut without desperately searching for it after having the deadline/cutoff idea. Off seems like kind of a loose synonym for below standard. Keep in mind that I'm not a native english speaker and my judgement could be completely wrong here, so you'd get better feedback from someone else. I don't think there's any problem with the structure of the clue itself.

"score" = CUT seems mostly okay by me, though a bit loose

@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica The bit I was saying was unfair was my initial post containing "but" which I replaced... I am not sure which part of the revised clue is actually unfair (and not just difficult... apparently)... hence me asking :)

"subpar" = OFF seems to not really be a synonym
they're related, but not really the same thing

His performance had been off lately?
I think the example in M-W was worse though (The milk tasted off.. which I don't think anyone would replace with substandard)

12:56 AM
hm, maybe? i feel like "off" has connotations more of "different / unusual [in a way that's discomforting]"

Maybe my lesson is to not use M-W as my checker ;p

"off" in that sense doesn't seem to me to be about any particular standard other than 'normality'

mmm standard as in usual rather than level of quality...

right

... but you wouldn't use "off" to mean "higher than usual" would you?

12:59 AM
no - it does definitely have negative connotations, but the negativity isn't really the 'point' of it
at least, to me

Yeah fair enough. I was already feeling like if the combined minds here hadn't worked it out, then there was something off about the clue.

(hehe)

But I honestly didn't think it was as difficult as it turned out to be... humble apologies.

@Randal'Thor if you’re still here I have a slightly odd request, if not though, no problem!

@LukasRotter I have seen cut | score a lot though... which is possibly from my "liberal" Australian crossword sources.. :/ Sorry

1:01 AM
i think that's fine
"I made a [score/cut/notch] in the log." are all equivalent to me - absolutely zero issue there imo

I was more worried about the overall definition than "off", which I found surprising. Because when I got worried (that I had broken C4) and got advice, I got the same response that cutoff was fine and off was off.
It might be minor differences in usage of the words between US | UK | AU :/

yeah, i have no issue with either CUTOFF = "final moment", or CUT = "score". it's just OFF that seems weird to me

Anyway, thanks for feedback :) I will improve!

There’s no way you can earn 5 rep nowadays is there?
For context I’m 15 rep away from 44’444 :P

oh wait that's only -2
well then get an accept and 5 downvotes

1:09 AM
I was going to ask rand if he could temporarily accept my answer just until I grab a SS but I think they’re probably asleep based on time zones
I’m on 44429, so need 15 exactly
Oh well it’s no biggie if it doesn’t happen but always a bit of fun :)

a chance to go check to see if any of them have been improved

I doubt I’ve downvoted enough answers recently enough for my vote not to be locked :P

it unlocks after an edit

Yeah, maybe a 2/3 but 15 would be a big stretch
Also impossible to check on mobile (AFAIK)

1:17 AM
Checked and there’s def no chance of finding 15 rep from there :P it’s ok it’s just a fun milestone, I’m not too worried about it

Web developer is your friend, Beastly Gerbil!

Ahaha, might have to ‘Inspect Element’ a Screenshot tomorrrow :P

2:03 AM
Lukas takes the C4! Who knew

2:29 AM
0

Take the first 10 primes. Can you divide them into $g$ disjoint groups, such that the sum of numbers in each group is prime. In particular can you make this work for every value of $g$ in the range $[2,10]$ ?

2 hours later…
4:38 AM
0

Is it possible to divide the first $96$ primes into $𝑔$ disjoint groups, such that the sum of numbers in each group is prime, for all $1 \leq g \leq 96$ ? You will probably need a computer for this. I realize this is a lot of computations, so I will be happy to see just a few examples of $g$ whe...

1 hour later…
6:02 AM
@BeastlyGerbil Sorry, I was asleep, and now you're 25 rep over at 44469.
Maybe I can find an answer of yours to temporarily unaccept and unupvote? ;-)

3 hours later…
8:55 AM
0

There you go with some chosen words from a large group: angel bat cling dog glass hatchet ice king knife lamp lancet lion lung noodle oil parrot pin pipe rainbow rock sand sun surgeon tile trigger turkey velvet viper Can you guess what do they have in common?

9:45 AM
CCCC: Candy-coated copper inside morning market (4, 4)

@LukasRotter RAIN DROP Copper symbolises Radium, which is RA on the periodic table. IN is obvious, inside. Morning market stocks have benn DROPping since 2020.
Of course, Candy coated is the def, which references the song.
It all seems to fit
Seen 4 s ago Is it right @LukasRotter?

Nope, I don't think "morning market" would be valid for DROP, it would have to be "morning market's behavior" or something like that for it to work. I was searching for the song you were referencing, and "Candy coated rain drop" has 47 views on YT so that would be evil
Oh ok now I know which song you mean. Still no
I also honestly don't understand how copper=radium. Copper would just be CU?

10:10 AM
I hate being a cc noob

2 hours later…
11:44 AM
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica Head over to theguardian.com (UK newspaper) and find their crosswords. Pick an oldish one from a Monday (they tend to get harder over the course of a week). Spend at least a few minutes thinking about each clue. You may well not solve any; that's OK. Maybe note down what ideas you had. Then go to fifteensquared.net and search it for the crossword you looked at (use the crossword number); you should find a solution with explanations of all the clues. [...]
... Go through those, taking note of any indicator-words, ideas, etc., that you weren't familiar with before. Wait a day or so to let things settle in your brain. Repeat. I'm not certain that fifteensquared does literally every Guardian crossword, so you might want to search it before attempting one -- but then you will be more tempted to cheat :-).
There are books about how to solve crosswords; the ones I have on my shelf, both of which I think are pretty good, are the "Chambers Crossword Manual" and "How to Solve the Times Crossword". Working through one of those would teach you a lot.
The Chambers Crossword Manual is still in print, price ~£12 in hardback. HTSTTCC looks like it might not be. But there are quite a number of other similar books. I haven't read them and can't comment on whether they're any good, but probably some of them are.
Of course, here I'm assuming that "hate" actually means what it says. If you meant "mildly dislike, but not enough to put in a few hours' work and a couple of hours' minimum wage worth of money" then it's probably not worth doing any of that :-).
There are other useful online resources. E.g., the Guardian newspaper I mentioned above has a crossword blog, with an occasional series on "cryptic crosswords for beginners". Archive here: theguardian.com/crosswords/series/…

12:03 PM
@GarethMcCaughan Thanks
I usually open Alex Bellos's Monday Puzzle in The Guardian, never knew they had cc guides

2 hours later…
2:04 PM
0

In eleven clues, contrary to normal cryptic clue rules, the definition part has been placed somewhere in the middle. It divides the wordplay into two separately solvable parts, indicating a place where the answer can be altered to form another, thematic word. These alterations are not written in...

2 hours later…
4:13 PM
0

Pls someone help me solve this insert the missing character. I am not getting any clue how to solve this question so pls someone help

Modern warfare has changed from large scale clashes of armies to suppression of civilian populations. Chemical agents that do their work silently appear to be suited to such warfare; and regretfully, there exist people in military establishments who think that chemical agents are useful tools for their cause.

Which of the following statements best sums up the meaning of the above passage:
(A) Modern warfare has resulted in civil strife.
(B) Chemical agents are useful in modern warfare.
(C) Use of chemical agents in warfare would be undesirable
How to crack such questions what should be study technique
?

?
This isn't really the place for this

I'm confused

4:28 PM
In my mind either nothing is correct or both B and D are correct, since both B and D rely on a weird conclusion. The explanation geeksforgeeks gives for why B is incorrect is that "there is no fact in the data justifying the usefulness of chemical agents for warfare", so D is correct because the last line mentions it. D relies on a generalization of "there exist people in..." (!= people in military...) and B apparently relies on external resources outside the context of the question.
"appear to be suited" -> "are useful" and "there exist people in" -> "people in" are both wrong conclusions IMO

@user586228 This isn't "Get Help With Standardized Test Questions: The Chatroom", this is a general chat for Puzzling-related matters and for Puzzling users to shoot the breeze

5:13 PM
Anyone here who's better at using SEDE than I? I want to restrict my MathJax table query to exclude posts where the tables are entirely contained within spoilers (since I can't do anything for those) but I am unsure how.

@bobble
Is there any such chatroom or are you sarcastical

I do not know of any such chatroom. It might exist. It isn't here.

But why were you so sarcastical?
You could have written it normally couldn't you?

@user586228 It sounds like you're asking for help on exam technique. You won't be able to find that here on SE, but there will be youtube videos and other websites that can help

ok
@bobble See how politely @BeastlyGerbil replied.

5:27 PM
Okay, so now you're just being passive-agressive
Good day, good bye

@Deusovi We really need new r/o

Yes that also explains the reputation and hence the humbility:-)

You don't need to be rude
That wasn't very nice, being passive-aggressive like that

*sigh*

Hey mith

5:32 PM
\o

What's with the sigh?

*gesticulates around*

Yeah...
Also, what's the process with electing a new R/O? I really think we need some new ones
I know we should have a meta post
But like, I don't know. I guess we need an okay from Deus and Gareth?

I mean, that's what happened last time, but that's not necessary how it needs to happen this time
the mods could just unilaterally appoint a few people

I've been asking for like several months now >.<;

5:35 PM
14

Your friendly neighbourhood moderators are fairly active in chat in The Sphinx's Lair, but we realize that we can only do so much. We would like to add some new room owners, who will inherit certain privileges to help with moderation of The Sphinx's Lair. A room owner has the following privileges...

@PrinceNorthLæraðr post a about it, see if people agree, and then have people nominate either on that post or another

@Mithical Okay. I'll look into making one

"Do we need additional Room Owners for The Sphinx's Lair?" - detail the issue, mark it , and see what the answers say
that's how e.g. SFF dealt with it
Meta on the other hand just has the existing owners decide to appoint new members :p

Okay
I'll make a meta post

(thumbsup)
see if you can drag Rubio up from the dead while you're at
5

How??

5:41 PM
the amount of H2G2 references has been way too low lately
@PrinceNorthLæraðr recite some sort of incantation about Diet Coke and dogs, it's sure to work eventually

In the Hebrew Bible, the witch of Endor is a woman Saul consulted to summon the spirit of prophet Samuel in the 28th chapter of the First Book of Samuel in order to receive advice against the Philistines in battle after his prior attempts to consult God through sacred lots and prophets had failed (1 Samuel 28:3-25). The witch is absent from the version of that event recounted in the deuterocanonical Book of Sirach (46:19–20). Later Christian theology found trouble with this passage as it appeared to imply that the witch had summoned the spirit of Samuel and, therefore, necromancy and magic were...

@bobble Not an expert, but I think the time you'd have to spend getting that to work is not worth it. I mean, you could write a regex that works in most cases, but at the very least it will break on things like "[spoiler ... ] [table outside spoiler] [spoiler ...]", because the BODY field is in html, which means you have to deal with start/end tag identifiers, which regex is not good at.
You could get the markdown by joining PostHistory with the text field, excluding certain typeids, but then 1) I'm not sure the text properly contains line breaks for you to match somthing like ^(?!>!).*fooand 2) the posthistory table obviously gives you multiple entries for every post, so you'd have to filter them to the last edit :)

R/O?
Ohhhh room owner, ignore me :P

phew, they're gone
(also, a note that I am perfectly aware that they would not have believed: I was not intending to be sarcastic)

Don't worry, I think only they thought it, I didn't take it that way

5:59 PM
in The Grove, Jan 15 at 15:47, by bobble
@user586228: this isn't a room to just ask for personal tutoring, especially if you can't be bothered to even type the problem out. Mostly it's North's friends here.
same user dropped into The Grove in the middle of a conversation and posted an image of their homework

Yeah, I don't think they quite understand the purpose of this site or chat

There is another chat they post in, from Physics, that is intended for problem-solving help
... but that's not here

We really need new Room Owners
Hopefully I'll have time to write a meta discussion

I can, if you want

You sure? I have some specific instances to cite

6:02 PM
Got time

Later

I'm pretty sure I've either been involved in or read about all the instances

@PrinceNorthLæraðr you could edit in said examples when you're able to after

6:03 PM
I have to do a practice DBQ right now >.<;

@bobble you could list all the main ones you can think of, and if north remembers any more then they could add to it?

I guess not specific links, but just instances of where not having an R/O was detrimental
Like
That time we had the spammer drop in, and I mentioned how it was good that Deus was available, but imagine if he wasn't
And then we had the Platty incident
And now this
Sphinx is getting fairly active, which means it's much more likely we'll have a higher influx of spammers and just overall unwanted situations

You don't need to be too specific in the meta post (if anything it would be better not to be) regarding any instances

Yeah
I think the main problem is that situations have been escalating, because there was nobody to come in and kick someone out or give a warning

Leave usernames out, and be somewhat vague, just provide enough information to emphasise your point

6:07 PM
Yeah
I wasn't going to name names, just instances
Or I guess bobble's got this so
But yes. The main reason for the new R/O from my POV is basically that situations keep on escalating because there hasn't been anyone to deescalate it

unrelated: I'm ambivalent on whether this is too little improvement

I've voted not enough improvement
Its just changing a capital letter and removing a spoiler

Well in that case, then yeah, that's probably not enough

Yup, that's exactly what happened

looks like we're going the non-meta-post route then?

Ah, okay, no meta needed, I see :P

yeah, not sure a meta post is needed (though we can make one - nothing wrong with that, it's just a bit slower and i figured you wanted this to happen pretty quickly)

@BeastlyGerbil Looks like your self-nomination from the old R/O meta post finally came to fruition :P

6:23 PM
alright, i think 3 more ROs should be enough for now? just added some people who have been around a long time and are still fairly active

Ah, okay
I've been around for a while :(
Though those users have been around for very long time :P

@PrinceNorthLæraðr I had no idea I even did that :P

I think three should be enough. Do we have most of the timezones covered? You cover most of the American timezones, Gerbil and Gareth in England, Mith in Israel, and I don't know where Lukas is :p

true! my decisions were fairly arbitrary here, and i'd be happy to listen to concerns, or switch people out / add more if necessary. didn't think it was super important though

Lukas I believe is germany (but I could be very wrong)

6:25 PM
Ah

Right, let me go read that guide then :P

Well, I'd be happy to nominate myself for the sake of timezone diversity >.<
In the meantime I must finish my DBQ

@BeastlyGerbil Austria, so same time zone
(UTC+1)

Well I got the time zone correct at least :P

ahh DBQs. never took APUSH myself but i have heard horror stories

6:27 PM
@PrinceNorthLæraðr I'd be happy to read it, if you want - I tutored several AP World students who specifically wanted essay help
DBQs aren't all that bad though!

@bobble Nah, it's due by the end of the class period which is... 15 minutes

You only have to remember one piece of outside evidence

It's not bad, I just have to stop getting distracted by this chatroom :p

For LEQs you have to construct a full-fledged essay with multiple evidences off just a prompt

I'm assuming a DBQ is some form of essay based off this

6:28 PM
Document-Based Question

@PrinceNorthLæraðr i can chat-suspend for 15 minutes if you want :P

Ha!
No, I'm just going to hop off the room so I stop checking it :p

It's an essay question on the AP History tests (US, World, European) where several "documents" (treaties, ship records, diary entries, political cartoons, maps, tables, etc.) are given, along with a general prompt, and you have to corral them into an essay within 45 minutes

(and no you can't, technically, chat suspensions are in hours only :P)

@bobble That sounds like student abuse if you ask me!

6:30 PM
i never said it would be only 15 minutes
3
(also i think i could just manually unsuspend? or is that not a thing on chat - i'm not as familiar with chat's mod tools)

@bobble hmmmm, the GED essay questions sound much easier
(yeah you can manually unsuspend)

For 2 (or 3? I forget) of the documents you have to include an analysis of the background info as part of your argument. (Stuff like historical context, authorial intent, etc.)
Plus at least one piece of outside evidence, and a general Contextualization of the topic & historical period somewhere in the essay
I usually finished with 5-10 minutes to re-read and revise
It was my favorite part of the test
I would figure out an argument, stretch the documents into evidence, and then just bluff my way through the thing

I'm in a situation where I still don't even know if I am going to be doing any sort of exam
My main exams have been cancelled, but I don't know yet how grades will be allocated

Your exams were cancelled? Dang, that's kinda both really good and really terrible

Well all official exams anyways
Its impossible to tell right now if it will be a good or a bad thing, it all depends on how they hand out grades

6:37 PM
Yeah. That's probably a bit nerve-wracking

Also means its quite difficult to stay motivated because we don't even know what we're working for :P

bit of a demoralizer :p

in case anyone wants to tell me again that the DBQ seems hard, you can go have a look at the DBQ I wrote for AP World history (page 6 is instructions, page 7 the documents start)

> Empty spaces, what are we living for?
Abandoned places, I guess we know the score, on and on
Does anybody know what we are looking for?

As long as I get the grades I need to go to the uni I want to, then I'll be happy :P

6:38 PM
(well it's the question. my response obviously isn't public)

@BeastlyGerbil That's the spirit :D
although your college entry might be a bit sucky, given COVID and all. which is a bummer

@bobble looks horrible. But then again I prefer economics to history anyday :P

@Deusovi i believe that is the first time i've seen deus do a :P

@Sciborg still unsure whether first year or so of uni will be virtual or on campus. Students over here know very little about our future sadly

Yeah :( that really sucks.
Being on the campus was the best part of my first year at college, i'm sad that new college students now might not get to experience it

6:41 PM
if it makes you feel any better, non-students (and, well, soon-to-be-non-students-possibly) also don't know much about their futures

looks mournfully at inbox of job rejections

Very true, doubt job security anywhere is very high right now
I'm still in lockdown for around 3 months more as well which isn't the best

Aw :(
but hey, you'll have the Lair to talk to!

@Sciborg ...and I see this when I get back from another rejection...

And plenty of free time to work on some puzzles :P

6:44 PM
@Sid perfectn't timing!

@Sid the feels are real, man

ah yes, my script now has a reason to work here

?? what is that

Ooooh rainbow gerbil

....i don't have a rainbow name? ;-;

6:45 PM
@Sciborg 6th interview that I have been rejected in, in the past 5 months.

@matt it's called Rainbow ROs

My mental health is going to take a beating tbh. Arrgh.

@Mithical i see

You get it done on time north? :P

@Sid :(

6:46 PM
It hurts
I had a good cry after the first few
Just gotta pick yourself back up and keep trying

@Sciborg Particularly the last two for me because I clearly choked in the interview. Knew the answers and messed up.
anyway, I am here to take my mind away from Real-life stuff. So, let's see the CCCC.

Feel that. The coding interviews are the worst, writing code under pressure makes me crack hard sometimes.

the only candy bar I can think of that's (4, 4) is BABE RUTH

Didn't even know that was a candy bar, won't lie

a funny alternative would be treating "candy" as a verb, so MAKE HARD

6:48 PM
@Sciborg I am not a programmer, hehe.(Well, not the guy looking for software jobs, that is).

but I don't see any wordplay

@Sid Ahh, okay. I've been mostly doing software interviews, but interviews in general for any field suck :p

Copper has to be "CU", right?

Unless its referencing a police officer

could also be a reference to the coin

6:51 PM
o/
I finished my DBQ barely on time
My submission page actually wouldn't load, but thankfully my friend let me use his laptop turn it in

certain other people have concluded that DBQs are torture devices

I turned it in with less than a minute left before the submission window closed
@bobble DBQ honestly isn't too bad

that's what I was saying ><

@PrinceNorthLæraðr cutting it rather tight, don't you think
:P

@Mithical Not my fault SCHOOL WIFI was being a btch

6:54 PM
fair

@bobble MARS BARS?
:P
But DBQs are honestly not that bad

@PrinceNorthLæraðr no, it's clearly MILK YWAY

@matt Oh, duh

:p

Here's my thinking for the parsing
Candy around CU (copper)
That parsing is inside AM

6:57 PM
wait what's the word?

...

using your fancy new RO powers I see

I'm not sure. I like to make the parsing first

@ThePuzzlingPlatypus we are trying to brainstorm what the CCCC could possibly be.

6:58 PM
@Mithical You invited me to tash. Are you trying to send a message? :P

I am of no help there

@bobble I believe in getting an early start

Feel free to join in. Any particular ideas?

@PrinceNorthLæraðr yes, that the gallery trash appears to have died

00:00 - 19:0019:00 - 23:00