1:18 AM
@AncientSwordRage Obviously it's Late Dirt Fees. I get those all the time
You forget to return your dirt and bam
3

1 hour later…
2:22 AM
nobody is supposed to know about my late dirt fees
*nobody*

2 hours later…
4:39 AM
C4 hint: A letter appears twice in succession in the answer.
(But no, it's not "late dirt fees".)

2 hours later…
6:23 AM
@bobble The table of elements is complete. You can make your criticism when you can demonstrate extra elements have been found. — David 7 mins ago
the -
Do you even understand how "discovering elements" works? That table is not complete in any sense of the word. It holds currently-isolated elements, not all possible ones

0

It is known that a knight can visit every cell of a 8x8 chess board exactly once. Here we consider the same task for a chameleon chess piece. This piece begins as a knight, then it transforms into a bishop, then it transforms back to a knight, and so on transforming after every move. Note that as...

1 hour later…
7:38 AM
now, i have 2 ideas for a puzzle, yet i don't know what the puzzle will contain. hurrumph. Do you have some tips, Stiv?

8:13 AM
1

ðŸŸ¥ðŸŸ¥ðŸŸ¥ðŸŸ¥ðŸŸ¥ â¬›â¬› â¬œâ¬œâ¬œâ¬œ air pollution â¬œâ¬œâ¬œâ¬œ wildebeests â¬œâ¬œâ¬œâ¬œ bullets â¬œâ¬œâ¬œâ¬œ whine â¬œâ¬œâ¬œâ¬œ cozy Your final answer should be an appropriate image.

@Stevo guess Stiv didn't answer... back to the drawing board.

Well, Stiv might have other things to do. Breakfast, for example.

@MOehm ah, sorry, i was just getting annoyed that I couldn't come up with anything for my seasonal puzzle
(then Stiv was online so I asked him)

Ha, it was breakfast in fact!
I'm here now so...

ok so that was a bit embarrassing. (You saw nothing Stiv... absolutely nothing)

8:22 AM
What is your exact problem? It seems your ideas are not yet concrete enough. Do you have ideas for a theme, but don't know how to make a puzzle from it? Or do you have an idea for a puzzle but don't know how to make it "seasonal"?

@Stevo I would have three pieces of advice for you: (i) if your intended puzzle mechanism lends itself naturally to a theme, try using that (e.g. if your puzzle involves a map, can you make the quiz itself geography-based? Obviously if you puzzle is 'a crossword' then that doesn't lend itself to much... 'Black and white animals' perhaps?!)
(ii) If you're working on a seasonal puzzle, think about things relevant to the season - Christmas films, Christmas songs, objects involved in the celebration (tree, decorations, presents, Santa...), the religious side of the festival. Don't pick the first one you think of - think of a few first, then choose the one you think has the most mileage...

@MOehm So, I have an answer in mind and the flavour text I want to use, but for the actualy enigmatic puzzle I cannot come up with anything that would lead to the answer. On the other hand... starts looking at the puzzles with the most votes...

(iii) In general, if neither of the first two applies, use something that interests you. BUT also make sure it's not so niche nobody else will be into it. I often incorporate the Periodic Table into puzzles because I'm a big fan, and also lots of other people are familiar with it.
(These pointers generally apply to looking for a theme, note)

@Stiv and thats what really I need now, as I am in the first few stages...

Try combining (ii) and (iii) here - what is it about Christmas that you enjoy. Odds are this will also appeal to others. Start there :)

8:29 AM
@Stiv Thanks Stiv!

8:47 AM
So you have a beginning (flavour text) and an end (answer), but the "meat" in between, i.e. the puzzle proper is missing. Perhaps that's not such a good way to start. I think the puzzle, which you will play with and modify a lot, should come first. (It's okay to have an answer and flavour text in mind, but don't be afraid to scrap them when thay can't fit the puzzle.)

@MOehm I just scrapped my first answer :)

9:04 AM
Hehe. (But don't throw it away yet. You might still ba able to use it if your puzzle allows it. I just don't think that working towards one rigidly set answer is a good idea.)

9:14 AM
@MOehm I agree with this entirely. A good puzzle depends on its mechanism (note that my first point actually assumed there was already an 'intended puzzle mechanism'!). Theme is secondary, but adds a nice flourish. Mechanism is primary.
Of course, when faced with a seasonal challenge, theme is a big component.

@Stiv and thats the restriction I am brooding on.

I'm glad that a seasoned puzzle-maker agrees with my perspective from the ivory tower.

time to scribble on boxes, papers, and the pizzas themselves!

I guess you could use the anchovies as red herring substitute.
@Stiv And the challenge is to not make it look "tacked on": "Two of Santa's elfs are guarding the present depot; one will always lie and one will always tell the truth ..." -- now, aren't you excited about Christmas?
3

@MOehm Haha, totally... "Santa needs to get Rudolph, a carrot and a reindeer-eating abominable snowman across a river..."
5

9:28 AM
Very good puzzles...

Ha! That sparks quite a different line of creativity. `:)`

Why not make a slitherlink puzzle with the answer a pine tree?

(I can already see a parallel advent calender for puzzlers who didn't behave this year.)

@Stevo Now that is how puzzle ideas are born. You might struggle without diagonal lines in a slitherlink, but that is exactly the kind of thought process that often leads me to create a new puzzle...
"Can I achieve this...?"

Perhaps a "tritherlink" with triangular cells can help you with the shape? (But perhaps such a puzzle doesn't really work. Dunno.)

9:35 AM
It is possible to use non-square grids for a slitherlink...

@Stiv or, to continue the chain, Santa put elf statues under 2 boxes, and a christmas present under another box. You choose this box, and Santa reveals an elf. What shall you do?
*not Monty Hall
Oh wait, I just had a crazy idea that includes my passion for gymnastics as well!

9:53 AM

Aha, thanks. So the problem isn't the triangles, but that a slitherlink for a un-slithery shape like a pine tree is probably boring. Well, Stevo could always use the regular square ones with a reindeer-sweater pattern ("knitterlink").

@MOehm lol
16 mins ago, by Stevo
Oh wait, I just had a crazy idea that includes my passion for gymnastics as well!
but of course, I found another idea

Wait, you are doing a Christmas sweater with Aerobics exercises instead of reindeer?

reindeer doing gymnastics, obviously

actually, no. But that would have been a fun idea

10:02 AM
re: c4, a "feed rate" could perhaps be related to a decrease in pressure but afaict neither of "(silt|list|slit) feed rate" is a thing

oh wait. nvm, Rudolph's doing gymnastics now.
Dancing through the snow, Flipping and turning, over fields he goes, all the while laughing
*best poems in 2021
1st idea didn't through ... so now its take 2
*unintentional rhyme

@MOehm You might want to explicitly write the word 'TULIP' in the text of your answer to yesterday's puzzle. I was about to write a comment to the second poster just now saying 'this answer adds nothing to the accepted answer' but technically you haven't actually spelled out the answer for those who can't make out the diagram! :)

@Stiv Hm, yeah, perhaps. Initially, I just wanted to post "The hidden word is" and the image in a spolier block, but SE's enforcement of a minimum character count made me add the explanation. (For what it's worth, the word TULIP is in the image's alt text.)

well, I've got to go to bed, so cya in the afternoon! (or night, for that matter)

Creative dreams!

10:19 AM
@Jafe LITS, maybe?

@msh210 is it SALT FREE DIET*? Where the definition obviously refers to lower blood pressure

Ooh, that's nice

Ah, 100% not using phone after close pc for goodnight
Goodnight.

10:56 AM
@Ankoganit yep!

Yay :)
CCCC: Essence of history: amidst cries of pain, leader of dominion finally won land (5,4)

Nicely found. I was afraid I'd need to supply letters.

Funny how I found that: I was thinking of water pressure and was wondering if salt-free tide is a thing (since salt tide is), and Google autocorrected my search

@Ankoganit TOUCH DOWN (land) = (-his)T(-ory) + OUCH + D(-ominion) + OW + (-wo)N

@Stiv correct!

11:00 AM
@Stiv oh, nice

Lovely surface :)

Thanks :)

@Ankoganit :-)

@bobble â€” The latest few elements are pretty iffy anyway; they take a tremendous amount of energy to be created artificially, then they decay away completely within seconds. Who's going to going to spend so much money building another giant machine to create a tiny unstable atom of a "new element" that just messes up nice looking table? (I know someone probably will eventually) — Elements in Space 4 hours ago
lets start funding finding element 119

In honour of PSE, we could call it Conundrum. (But good luck finding a good symbol that's still free.)

11:13 AM
Superheavy elements, also known as transactinide elements, transactinides, or super-heavy elements, are the chemical elements with atomic numbers greater than 103. The superheavy elements are immediately beyond the actinides in the periodic table; the heaviest actinide is lawrencium (atomic number 103). By definition, superheavy elements are also transuranic elements, i.e. having atomic numbers greater than that of uranium (92). Glenn T. Seaborg first proposed the actinide concept, which led to the acceptance of the actinide series. He also proposed a transactinide series ranging from element 104...
Ununennium, also known as eka-francium or element 119, is the hypothetical chemical element with symbol Uue and atomic number 119. Ununennium and Uue are the temporary systematic IUPAC name and symbol respectively, which are used until the element is discovered, confirmed, and a permanent name is decided upon. In the periodic table of the elements, it is expected to be an s-block element, an alkali metal, and the first element in the eighth period. It is the lightest element that has not yet been synthesized. An attempt to synthesize the element is ongoing at RIKEN in Japan, and another is planned...

Yes, yes, everyone can join in on that unun-something nomenclature. The deal is to find a real name for a then real element.

CCCC: Find love in American girl - in other words: a keeper! (6)

@Stiv G(O)AL+IE

@Ankoganit Bingo

CCCC: Essentially specialized language, with a bit of terminology! (5)

11:37 AM
@Ankoganit Is this DLANG? We have _D LANG_ but also an &lit! with D (Essentially specialized language) + LANG(-uage) (a bit of terminology)
(I may have described that very clumsily...)

It's kinda scary how closely that fits, though

No worries. I couldn't quite make it all work sweetly together...

Is it too late to pretend it was an intended Schrödinger clue all along? :P

11:53 AM
ARGOT almost works as an &lit: essentially speciAlized, R & Go are programming languages (the problem is, the clue says "language"), with a bit of Terminology

I'll refrain from commenting

It's ARGOT all right, but (j)ARGO(n) + T(erminology) and &lit.

Yes!
I didn't feel great about the indirect letter extraction, but putting jargon as it is felt too easy
Over to you, @MOehm

I think that's okay. Anagrams are the exception, because there are so many ways to scramble a word.

Ah, good to know

12:02 PM
@MOehm ahh

@msh210 Yes. Thanks for the (involuntary) leg up. `:)`

My pleasure. :-)

1:00 PM
CCCC: Retired without right after playing for Rams? (6)

1:27 PM
Well, "retired without" is obviously CAMPED (slept outside), so now the question is the wordplay.

1:41 PM
-1

The image is a little bit confusing. But the pattern is supposed to be 2 > 4 > 6 > 8 > 10 (the answer) > 12 circles This one really had me scratching my head. I noticed that the bottom circle of each column is only completely filled or completely empty. What puzzles me is the fact that a column ...

2:06 PM
0

I found this IQ test (http://free.ultimaiq.net/nse.htm) and can't seem to solve question 18 and 19: Q18: 120, 10, 3, ?, ? Q19: 41, 23, 61, ?

1 hour later…
3:22 PM
4

See the original HERE Video games - Trivia vs Wordplay - one more time: Here are twenty crossword clues that describe twenty video games. Solve them if you'd like! Or, if you treat each clue as cryptic wordplay (without a def), you'll find a different video game is the answer for each clue. When...

3 hours later…
6:43 PM
0

My question is to solve a very basic problem related to the allocation of slots. Say there are 20 teams with 10 persons in each team. I have 150 open slots every day (5 days a week) for those 20 teams but I cannot accommodate 200 arrivals every day. But, I need to accommodate everyone in the tea...

7:33 PM
@MOehm RETIRED without R, after anagramming, for DIETER
That was a really tough one. So many possible indicators!

@msh210 Yes!

CCCC: Maybe from Monte Carlo simulation's third running (for example), a figure results, inconsonant with uplift (10)

(It wasn't really intended to be tough. I wanted to make a silly follow-up to your diet clue, but couldn't really make it work. Jafe seems to like sports teams and the LA Rams in particular, so I decided to use that particular Dieter.)
Hm. My Monte Carlo simulation starts well, but it gets a bit too randomized towards the end.

7:51 PM
@msh210 _ â€‹â€‹â€‹Mâ€‹â€‹â€‹ _ + ON + E.G. + A + SQ (square) + _ â€‹â€‹Uâ€‹â€‹â€‹ _ â€‹Eâ€‹â€‹ _ (results, without consonants and uplifted)
idk why the formatting was being so weird
nice clue tho! took me a while to determine that "monte carlo simulation" wasn't a unit

Probably because of the underscores.

that seemed to be it yeah

Same with asterisks. Sometimes it works, even if you have more than one, and sometimes it doesn't. Perhaps it also checks whether they are at the beginning or end of a word.

@juicifer yep! well done
@juicifer thanks

I couldn't see figure = square = sq and tried to remove ar from square.

8:00 PM
CCCC: Silence pack animal to catch some Z's (6)
@MOehm the only reason I got to it at all was because I had "monega" and I had already been looking at "inconsonant with uplift" meaning "remove consonants and reverse" which gave "ue" from "results"
it took me a second to figure out why "figure" meant "sq"

@juicifer mu(zz)le

yup!

CCCC: Some frozen figures (from a couple of New England states) take advantage of the beginning of Spring (8)

1 hour later…
9:35 PM
@msh210 is this RI + CT + USE + S_?

10:07 PM
@juicifer it is indeed!

CCCC: A band bearing artists' initials! (4)

ABBA, inits. &lit.

it sure is

10:22 PM
CCCC: Korvatunturi native hugs wintertime host (5)

that's right

CCCC: Deep-fried ball of lentils, yam, kale, or eggplant: key starters (7)

surely OLYKOEK (inits) can't be a word

surely not

10:36 PM

oh. oops.

"Dutch settlers brought olykoek ("oil(y) cake") to New York ..."

I believe the term is used in English, too.