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1:30 AM
Thank you @bobble for pushing this forward; the FAQ and the textual revisions look good. This post has been featured (thanks Gareth) for greater visibility and additional community feedback. After a suitable period for further input, I believe we should be in a good place to ask the CMs to make the new texts live. — Rubio ♦ Nov 23 at 7:40
Your regular reminder that we're still in said "period for further input"
4 hours later…
5:30 AM
(1) Yes, the first letter of hunter is H. (2) I hope that "forest" isn't used as an anagram indocator here -- "hunter close to" could be the fodder; it has an H. :)
5:42 AM
fun fact: in australia they say "a H" (pronounced "haitch")
which sounds weird when you first hear it but it actually makes more sense as a name for the letter than "aitch"
My English friends do that, too. It always sounds a bit strange to me, even if having an h sound in the name of the letter makes sense.
i suppose "aitch" has the h sound from "hour" :P
PSE advent calendar goes live today, can't wait to see what people have come up with
2 hours later…
7:23 AM
I saw Msh's profile and got excited because I thought I saw Deus
Fwiw, 13-letter MIT Mystery Hunt contestants this past year were corticolumbus, IgnoreTheBees, jjscienceclub, lilbluesclues, PlatypusFound, redmokbluemok, sisterraucous, stickymittens, and TeamConundrum.
Surprisingly few of them start with an H.
Not sure about the "surprisingly". :-)
Surprising in that they made your list. But have some points for effort. :)
Ah, I see. No, I was merely pointing out the dead end.
7:29 AM
(Your Hollingworth suggestion doesn't look so bad in that light.)
There's HERNE the Hunter, which could be the beginning of the answer, but I got nothing.
it's fun to watch people solving your puzzles because sometimes you get those "wish i had thought of that" moments
like a while back i posted a puzzle where the task was identifying a place that's home to "gingers" (the trick being that they were actually orangutans, not people)
the person who solved it initially thought it referred to gingers the plants
which still bothers me because it would have been so much more clever
@Jafe LOL mood I can relate
8:10 AM
@PrinceNorthLæraðr . . . and then you were disappointed to realize it was me. I do tend to have that effect on people.
@msh210 Well not disappointed, but not deus :(
I miss deus
Fair enough. :-)
And he is active on-site (or was, last I checked). I wonder why not here.
8:26 AM
I thought maybe "Hunter close" refers to a place that a hunter hides. But apparently that's called a blind, not a close.
(Just mentioning even dumb and obviously incorrect ideas I've had in case it helps someone.)
It helps narrow down the vast problem space. (13-letter words atarting with H, at the moment.)
@Jafe I'm feeling sure this is HOLLYWOODISED (possibly with a Z instead of an S) = HOLLY (Hunter) + WOOD (forest) + somehow getting ISED/IZED from 'sign now', but I can't quite suss the last part of the wordplay... Anyone want to take that one?
@Stiv sign could be zed (a letter), but then whence I?
8:41 AM
Whence indeed
(also it has to follow I)
Nice find, @Stiv .
Even if it turns out to be incorrect.
Ah! It's HOLLYWOODLAND = HOLLY (Hunter) + WOODLAND, def: sign now shortened. The iconic Hollywood sign used to say "Hollywoodland".
@MOehm ding ding ding!
Oh, of course! Very nice :)
8:45 AM
it was a pleasure watching your minds at work
Well, Stiv made the eye-opening discovery.
Happy to be the bridesmaid on this one - probably ought to focus on getting the Advent Calendar puzzle out rather than writing a cryptic!
@Jafe thank yu dr Strauss
CCCC: Hunter god of the Aztecs could be a clue for octal (8)
9:01 AM
@MOehm Mixcoatl, of course. (Thank you, Google.)
@msh210 Yep.
CCCC: Ben-Hur, e.g., is humor, including a laugh-fest (10)
TIL i have been watching ben-hur all wrong
9:29 AM
@Jafe ahhh, lets see, time to steal a few people's ideas. Though I bet when the first puzzle goes out I'm fast asleep in a bed.
10:14 AM
nope, still nothing.
10:51 AM
@msh210 CH (A RIOT) EER
@MOehm yes, indeed!
Who exactly is Ben-Hur?
a charioteer
from the movie of the same name
(several movies, actually)
(I'm a millenial so please excuse me)
Millenials are pretty old these days, I think you mean zoomer :)
10:58 AM
Yeah, these epic sandal movies are even older than lolcats.
@LukasRotter Ummm, I'm 13
Barely within the age limits
CCCC: Curiously dig Ben-Hur in Fringe location (9)
Zoomer, then, at least according to Wikipedia
Definitely no millennial then - we're the 1981-1995ish bracket :)
de-"bruh!"-ing *
What? That's not the answer? sigh Back to the drawing board.
maybe Edinburgh* then?
11:11 AM
Definitely Edinburgh
unless it really is de-bruh-ing. Let's see what M Oehm says.
Q: PSE Advent Calendar 2021 (Day 1): La laa laaaaaa laa la Christmas

StivThis puzzle is part of the Puzzling StackExchange Advent Calendar 2021. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation. ...la laaa laaa laaa la la: TASK: An odd number of related things (greater than 50) have been hidden horizontally, vertically and diagonally...

I'm too old to know about de-bruh-ing, you zoomers.
It's Edinburgh, of course.
@msh210 Your turn.
CCCC: Wine, cheese sent up to Mr. Gershwin (7)
@msh210 MADEIRA = EDAM< + IRA
11:21 AM
@Stiv yep!
Nice way to link wine and cheese in a clue
thanks :-)
(prediction: there are exactly 77 terms in Stiv's wordsearch)
or inb4, as some generation or other says
@msh210 I have absolutely no idea why you might think that...
...then I guess I'm wrong
CCCC: Perception of French wine having less umami, no dregs (6)
11:37 AM
@Stiv vi(_s _i _o)n
nice surface
Some entries are gold.
> 'You are the love of my life' - possibly a way of flattering a young person and creating an emotional bond with them
@msh210 Yes, and thanks :)
I know what's meant, but without context this looks like aliens trying to figure out human language
My next C4 is the last of a sequence. I hereby offer 500 reputation points as bounty to whoever first posts (in this room) an explanation of the sequence. If the full explanation is offered in parts by more than one person, the bounty will be shared. The decision of winner(s) is mine alone and final. The bounty is also subject to my finding a bountyable post by that person on a site that I have enough rep on, which I don't find offensive.
CCCC: Cuban government official sources cigars (8)
11:45 AM
For the sake of fairness I present: msh210's C4s
Don't you need to go and have a look how your Advent Calendar post fares, Stiv?
@AncientSwordRage even better (perhaps) is with the answers (but this is only the last several, not the complete sequnce)
I'm guessing you won't be telling us at which point the sequence began?
@Stiv not yet, at least
@MOehm Hey, are you trying to distract me here by any chance? I'll have you know I am more than capable of distracting myself, thank you very much ;-)
(plus I really need to get on with my work... eeee...)
11:52 AM
i'm in dire need of the rep, bass just passed me on the all-time board
so no one better post any cubing, game theory or maths questions for a while if i'm going to have a fighting chance
Cheroots maybe? Def Cigars, Sources = ROOTS, but Che (guevara) doesn't really fit, maybe C(uba) + HE somehow
@Stiv Hehe, I can relate, both with being easlily distracted and with needing to get on with my work. Funny how a (1*) always looks more important than a yellow envelope in my office inbox.
@LukasRotter um... I'll say you got it. Che Guevara was indeed a government official in Cuba
Yeah, but the the government?
@msh210 true, I hadn't gotten to piecing them together yet
is there an easy way?
11:55 AM
I dunno. I'll shut my mouth before msh210 decides otherwise :)
@LukasRotter sorry?
@AncientSwordRage sure, update the spreadsheet :-)
@msh210 ahh my one weakness, the work firewall
( I have several, but I'm not telling all of them at once! )
July 2020, ouch
@LukasRotter Che Guevara was a real-life official of the actual government of Cuba.
11:59 AM
among many other things
Well, yes.
that guy did not have a boring life
@Jafe "May you live in interesting times"
Yes. My problem is that I don't see how "A government" can clue anything but a synonym of the system known as such.
@LukasRotter I meant "Cuban government official" as a unit, cluing CHE
12:03 PM
The whole phrase "Cuban government official" clues CHE.
@msh210 beat me to it
Okay, guys, I'll send you all on a paper chase: Notice how msh210 introduced the notation of linking to Gareth's C4 explanation. Do you think that is a coincidence?
yeah, well :) Guess I should read things twice, even if I kinda fluked them
@MOehm I did not notice anything
12:08 PM
Neither did I -- at first glance :)
Wouldnt mind if you split the bounty with ancientswordrage, just for the sheer denseness Ive just displayed
Sorry, m oehm
the bounty's for figuring out the sequence, no?
@Jafe yeah... am confused
I need to take a nap
@msh210 Seems you're in good company with your hypothesis...!
12:12 PM
@Stiv very good company
@MOehm Is this just another of your little distractions? Underhand tactics on display...! ;-)
Just one question: Is the "Old saw" clue part of the sequence?
@Anonymus25 lol, no
Oh, thank god
Or else, the sequence would be complicated
12:16 PM
For 500 bounty I suspect the sequence may already be quite complicated...
Q: Find the rectangle of the minimum area!

 Alice MalinovaFind the rectangle of the minimum area that can be divided into five rectangles such that the lengths of all their sides are different natural numbers. I found a 11x11 rectangle such that when we divide it, we get five rectangles and the areas are 1x9, 2x8, 3x6, 4x7, 5x10. The question is whether...

I think I've seen this on PSE, no?
Oh btw, @Stiv, I know this isn't the PSE Advent Chatroom, but you made one HELL OF A WORDSEARCH. I found like, 7 words. Not even close...
The difficulty definitely lies in not knowing what words you're actually looking for. If you can spot patterns in the ones you've found you should be able to make some deductions that help you find others... But to spot patterns in those you might need to work out the theme first...
(I wanted to create what I hoped would be a difficult wordsearch. I hope that it still remains a fun one too though...)
@Stiv Not necessarily. I just decided to offer a bounty and, since I don't really care about my rep, and to encourage participation, made it a big one.
If someone wants to take the next CC, go ahead.
12:23 PM
what, me?
You're saying it's open?
It's @LukasRotter 's but apparently he's abdicating.
OK then
@Stiv Underhand, me? I'm playing with open cards here.
The frustrating thing is... there is a part of me that's now itching to know if there's anything in what you said... itch itch itch itch itch itch itch itch...
Well, hovering over the links in the PSE search results shows that they are all the same, but ... there's an on and off pattern, since some of them don't have links. (But, for what it's worth, I don't think that the answer is hidden there.)
12:39 PM
Alternatively, it might turn out that all the answers begin with the letters that spell out Deusovi's entire Cryptic Clue Guide...
Oh, I think I have just seen something. I just hope I don't have to go 50 clues back ...
You know what, I think I've just seen exactly the same as you...
CCCC: Game insect displaying courage (8)
Because the sequence hidden by @msh210 is that his last 50 clues begin with the first 3 letters of US state capitals, in alphabetical order by state!
The last ones are CHEyenne, MADison, CHArleston, OLYmpia, RIChmond...
Yes, Salt-free diet and Olykook are the giveaways.
12:44 PM
which correspond to Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, Virginia...
I love that this got snuck in entirely under the radar - very satisfying :)
@Stiv yep, that's part of it!
And it starts with Montevideo / Montgomery, AL. Neyt one is Junket / Juneau, AK.
What's the difference between a black star and a white star on chat?
'Part' - oh!
@ParclyTaxel goodies and baddies
The non-matching letters spell out the Declaration of Independence!
12:48 PM
@MOehm lol
Not on purpose.
@MOehm I just had palpitations
Well, the clue for MADEIRA starts with WI and Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. But I hope that's coincidence.
@MOehm it is
Phew. I started to count the offsets of the state postal code in the hope that it would encode some secret message in AZ26.
I suspect at least @MOehm has already seen the other part of the pattern... but no one's mentioned it.
12:52 PM
Well, the lengths or enumerations of the answers and the state capitals also match.
OH! I've just spotted it, but will leave it for someone else...
^ that
@MOehm yes! That's it.
A lovely set of constraints :)
@ParclyTaxel The white stars are pinned to the starboard by a moderator or room owner. The black are starred by anyone. Both expire after a time, but I don't know whether the times are the same. But the white can be pushed off the starboard only by other white ones, whereas the black can be pushed off by white or black ones.
@Stiv Thanks. :-)
Now to find a coupla answers to bounty....
Even the individual word letter counts too - SALT LAKE CITY = SALT FREE DIET and SANTA JR = SANTA FE, for example...
12:55 PM
(That's how I got onto the pattern: I saw that Salt-free diet and Salt Lake City were a good match and wanted to make another silly remark -- you'll all have noticed that I'm in a silly mood today. Then I say Olykook.)
@Stiv yep!
@ParclyTaxel pinned but not stared by anybody
The more I look, the more I see. Very impressive.
Had the Pennsylvanians chosen Philadelphia as capital, they'd have saved us a lot of grief.
Very pleasing that the first word of the whole run of clues is 'Capital' as well... And we end with celebratory 'cigars'!
12:58 PM
@Stiv "cigars" was unintentional. ("capital" was not.)
I now see how you were able to make remarks like 'you've solved my last 3 CCCC's'... That is one organised spreadsheet.
@Stiv heh yeah, I'm somewhat obsessive-compulsive sometimes....
"Organized" is the word you want.
that's amazing
I must admit that the third word in my CCCC could be better
1:09 PM
Game insect better courage (8)
no, more like
CCCC: Game insect going after courage (8)
in that case i think it's valor + ant
Valorant Champions begins in Berlin in a few hours!
1:25 PM
@MOehm um, sure :-)
CCCC: Chess player's strong desire to capture queen – new champion provided by Dubai finale? (3,14)
Ian Nepomniachtchi
care to elaborate?
umm, Ian + ne (champion)* + tchi... (still working it out)
Just sniped as typing :)
1:39 PM
The enumeration gave it away
Whoaaa, did my message just double?
no no
i see it only once
yeah that's right
@Jafe It did at my place then got deleted, wtf happened there
internet problems? dunno
that clue was one of those that almost worked as an &lit but not quite
1:43 PM
Now watch, the next C4 is going to be MAGNUS CARLSEN
CCCC: Pony's right number of arguments (6)
@ParclyTaxel R + ARITY
Oh wowwww
CCCC: Exposed carpet? Sounds like something wanted by the News (3 4)
1:53 PM
@juicifer NEW DRUG = sounds like 'NUDE RUG'
2:08 PM
CCCC: Duke of Edinburgh gives negative report about me in old letter (11)
Q: My prefix rids sinning

KylaI thought of this riddle with my sister. Feedback is appreciated. My prefix rids sinning. My suffix is swimming. My infix is cheeky. And where I live its weedy. Who am I?

2:33 PM
hm. A negative report or an old letter can be a philippic. And to give such a report can be to philippize. And the duke is Philip. But I still don't see a solution.
Duke of Edinburgh ?= DOFE?
Oh, it's Philippians (an old epistle), as Philip + pans about I
^ @Stiv
2:51 PM
and here i've been looking at words starting with "charles"
Mixing up the Prince of Edinburgh and the Duke of Wales could have unfortunate consequences for the topology of Great Britain.
@GarethMcCaughan well, he's both, now
erm, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales
@msh210 Yup!
oh, so he is
(obviously the PoE/DoW thing was a joke, but I had genuinely not been aware that Chazza had inherited the DoE title)
@GarethMcCaughan vastly changes the cruciverbal outlook
not my best work, but:
CCCC: Makeover show that aired before a 1957 war movie narrated by the Rev. Spooner (5,3)
3:15 PM
could it be QUEER EYE, a spoonerism of "ri'er kwai"?
@Jafe I don't think that quite accounts for every word in the clue....
(There's one in particular that it doesn't.)
"rats" is not the word it doesn't account for.
I need to skedaddle but assume @Jafe or someone will find the answer very soon. Go ahead and take the next one when you do.
3:58 PM
@Jafe that would be ~(kwi'er rai) not (kwier ai) s owe need to drop an R
5 hours later…
8:47 PM
Q: Confusing Crossword

LOTGPWhat Notable Object is the Following Crossword Cluing? Across: 1. Clattering or banging, for example 4. Has never been done before 6. Fiery pit 8. Exam answer 10. Very cream of the crop 14. Don't lose this while traveling 15. Fruit or vegetable quality 16. To use as an alternative 18. Imme...

Q: Help Alice and Bob divide up their finances

C8H10N4O2Our friends Alice and Bob must separate their finances. They divide up the first 18 items as follows. Alice Bob Apartment House Fee Owe Purchase Sell Money Income Lease Borrow Debt Loan Tax Buy Collateral Lend Renter Boarder They're left with these 8 items to divide. ...

1 hour later…
10:05 PM
Q: How can the princess escape the prince?

NathanielThis is the story of the sister of the princess in this puzzle. I will shamelessly copy-paste some parts of this post. I have no reference to give for this version as I adapted a Computer Science problem I once saw on paper. In a big castle lives a princess. The princess sleeps in a different be...


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