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2:00 AM
Worldbuilding SE has the weirdest HNQ titles: Ideal large flightless bird(s) for domesticated* cattle
1 hour later…
3:08 AM
ugh, struggling with a crossword grid that's full of words that don't lend themselves to wordplay at all
instead of the crossword i should make a buzzfeed article like "40 words you'll never confuse with anything because they don't resemble any other words whatsoever"
did you already pull the initials trick too many times?
sort of, i've been trying to cut down on building the answers from just individual letters in general
which is something i used to way overuse
should really get into the habit of thinking about the clues while making the grid and not only afterwards
1 hour later…
4:29 AM
@Jafe just pretend they're weird Australian-English words that no one else knows
@msh210 <.< Oi! Some of us are right here ;p
I resemble that "weird" remark ;p
resemble or resent?
Resemble sounds right.
... well I could send it again, if you'd like?
5:06 AM
Quick yet fun cc that I made up: Beau head turned into cross after dock man solution to Stiv's puzzle (11)
1 hour later…
6:26 AM
not 100% sure what you're going for there, but the surface doesn't really make sense at all
7:20 AM
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica With my inside advantage(!), you're cluing PORTMANTEAU here (the answer to this puzzle of mine) with PORT MAN + (B->T)EAU. But I see what Deus means here - the definition part doesn't mesh with the wordplay, it just feels 'stuck on' to the end...
it's not just that, the wordplay also seems very meaningless
like, it's a grammatical phrase, but not something i could ever imagine anyone conceivably saying in a non-puzzle context
7:55 AM
8:13 AM
Q: Even odds from dice with single mark

fgrieuWe want to make a close equivalent of a fair coin throw, by throwing an N-sided fair dice T times. The catch: only one side is marked, by a colored disk on that side's center (like the traditional marking for one on a regular 6-sided dice). We want something that always makes a decision after T t...

5 hours later…
12:57 PM
Q: All bracket results from final places in tournament

Poultryghast32 players are participating in a tournament. It's a knockout tournament, so it looks a lot like march madness. You want to know how all the games went. The problem is that you only know the rankings of each team, and the brackets aren't published. You also know that #32 loses to #1, #31 loses to...

1:48 PM
Q: Monday Morning Cryptic Crossword

Jeremy DoverNothing special, just a cryptic crossword. Hope you enjoy! ACROSS 1 Small stones accent trail border (6) 4 Deceitful spouse breaks down and admits beginnings of cheating and infidelity (8) 10 Minnesota hockey player's explosive rant about short shift (5,4) 11 Fabled Cowboy Bill DuPree finally co...

2:19 PM
Q: Sudokus with additional constraints

Hauke ReddmannThis sudoku has only 4 leads, but a lot of additional constraints. For starters, I like to know a) where I can find more sudokus with additional constraints (not that urgent, I'm a good googler :-) and b) what is the "maximum minimum" distance of two equal numbers in a standard Sudoku? (I.e., can...

2 hours later…
4:32 PM
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica My attempt: Natalie's beau beginning to type first puzzle solution (11)
(You can replace "puzzle solution" with "solution to Stiv's puzzle" if you feel the current def is unfair)
Q: What is my son studying at school?

StivMy eight-year-old was recently given a homework assignment to create a small crossword puzzle that demonstrated what he'd learned while studying his class's History topic this term. So we put our heads together and did just that... When he handed in his work, the teacher read through the list of ...

Making cryptic clues isn't too hard once you learn the rules - making natural-sounding ones is where things get tough
It's always good to ask yourself after coming up with a CC: "Could I plausibly read or hear this sentence in some real-life context?" If certain parts sound wonky, esp in the wordplay, then you may want to try and find a different way to clue what you want
'course, the context can be as wacky as you want ;)
Ye, but not too wacky
Like I wouldn't expect any person's head to turn into a cross after hearing a port worker's solution to a puzzle
(Unless you're inhabiting the SCP world)
5:01 PM
@Sphinx Nice one. The answer (period of history) is already apparent after solving a few clues, but is nonetheless cool
5:53 PM
Q: Connect the dots to form a polygon

Bernardo Recamán Santosa) In each of these two grids of dots, 5 x 7 and 7 x 9, connect all the dots so as to form polygons of 35 and 63 sides respectively (two consecutive segments can therefore not be collinear as they would then merge two sides of the polygon). b) Is such a connection possible in any grid of n x (n...

Q: Fetching Alchemist IV

Joshua Bizley This is the fourth puzzle in the Fetching Alchemist series, and is another puzzle that is exclusive to Puzzling SE until solved. Interesting fact: In the game, the ship can move directly from any planet to any other planet. This isn't possible in picture format unfortunately, where roads are lim...

6:10 PM
Looking through cryptic single letter indicators, I found fellow = F - anyone know why? It looks like fellow is an academic title, but I can't find any source for the reason it can be abbreviated as "F". Is this a Britishism?
it might be? lots of cryptic abbreviations on large lists are britishisms, or just generally obscure / not really commonly used
Apparently it's a thing in medical associations.
(among others)
Seems pretty obscure to me... is it too obscure?
6:36 PM
It's common as part of a longer abbreviation ("FACOG" for example) but I don't recall seeing it alone.
@LukasRotter I saw your comment on my excavation puzzle - would you (and/or anyone else working on it for that matter) like a hint on it?
I wouldn't mind if that puzzle was dug up to the front page again.
Heh, I see what you did there :)
OK, I'll look through the comments and see what might be most helpful to you all
CC question: Could UNCERTAIN clue "removal of a synonym of CERTAIN"? Even if that's legal I doubt it's the way to go in the current C4, just curious.
@LukasRotter Hint added! I will say to you specifically that this puzzle is not meant to be a 3D word search, though word searches do prominently feature in the intended mechanism
6:51 PM
...What the heck, lemme start a bounty also
7:09 PM
hm, let me dig up my notes (no pun intended)
The [knowledge] tag scares me in this context...
I had done a single "dig" but hadn't gotten anywhere from there
@LukasRotter Don't worry too much about that, the knowledge should be fairly well-known, and if you aren't familiar, you'll be able to find what you need with a quick Google search
That's what I wanted to hear :) I was unironically thinking about reading up on specific excavation processes like stratification and somehow map that onto a grid of letters...
Oh, no, that's not what I intended at all
7:19 PM
Yeah, that was just my desparation :)
"Answer is a thematic phrase." [word] tag. Which one is wrong?
Oh, a phrase in this context is "a set of words"
I can edit that to make it clear
Oh wow, I'm dumb. I never even thought of what I think Deus suggested above... I was so fixated on a strict one layer by one layer basis...
that explains the substrings as well... I want to hit myself
Ooh, progress! :D
like MESOSPHERE that suddenly appears in layer 2 & 3
7:30 PM
sure, but why dig those? the place i was digging was the upper right corner, because it's the only place that matches one of our plans
and there's no H in the right place at all, on any layer?
Gosh, I hope I didn't mess up anything with this puzzle - I remember double-checking my work after making it and I think it worked out properly, but that was a year and a half ago and I'm not so sure anymore
Lemme do it myself then...
should be second cell down in the middle column, but there's no H there
and i'd also expect the proposed MESOSPHERE's cuts to be at digging boundaries, but the bottom one isn't - it's one cell too far left/right
7:56 PM
OK, I just did the puzzle myself, and everything still works, phew
@Deusovi The plans might not be immediately useful, but there's a way to make them useful
@HTM I've just had a VERY promising opening. Amazing how a year and a half later things can suddenly become clearer...!
Good to know! Now, hopefully it won't take that long for me to finish off that Easter egg hunt...
8:25 PM
BTW if any of you make any progress with the puzzle, I won't be able to see your answers until tomorrow around this time, so don't panic if I don't respond in a while
8:55 PM
I handled Gimp wrong, nevermind :)
weird coincidence...
Darnit, I've successfully found the first 3 now that I know what needs to be done, but while I can see where the 4th and 5th ones should be I can't get there! There doesn't seem to be a piece suitable for my next dig. Which likely means I've got a transcription error somewhere in my workings... And I don't have the eyes for this tonight! Going to have to leave it there for now I reckon, sadly...
the second one doesn't start with W, by any chance? Because I'm starting to hallucinate random words now.
my best guess so far was "Dig the areas that the word you've found is contained in" (as if the word was valuable material you want to extract), but that also doesn't seem to work.
9:11 PM
No, it's not W
Q: Advanced Fetching Alchemist I

Joshua Bizley This follows the same rules as previous Fetching Alchemist puzzles, except you choose where you start, and you may now return to your starting place after leaving it. How to Play You are looking for the shortest possible path that allows you to complete all the quests. You choose where you star...

It's weird how layer #2 teases you with two substrings of the thematic word MANTLE in the same place. Probably a coincidence, though
9:27 PM
Indeed, quite a lot of red herrings in this one! I've managed to get all the way to the lowest layer now, assuming that either there's a typo or I've made a transcription error that I really can't spot... Just to suss this thematic phrase, I reckon...
In case you didn't see, HTM clarified that it's a set of words rather than a sentence. So I guess once you found all words and hit the bedrock (assuming what you've done is actually extracting words), the puzzle is solved?
Ah, okay. Well, I'm checking for one last one, just in case there's something hidden in the end product. But I'll post what I've got shortly if I can't find it...
Q: How would you approach solving a code / cypher like this?

Hyakuten(some letters from below are removed as I would like to do the actual solving of this myself, but the grid is a total of 39 rows & 19 columns = moreso looking for guidance on how to approach this) U2, D4, L32, | 2,5 5,5,5 | GDTB 1,2,3,4 TGCCFYSDXLENMZYPOAS TUYXEVLLJRMEAUQDUER SLNDJCTZRUEEASACXGL ...

9:55 PM
10 messages moved to ­Trash
Q: Toroidal Pipes Puzzle: T's and Bulbs Only

FeryllA continuation in the Pipes puzzle series. Problem statement for nerds: Let $G(N)$ denote the graph consisting of cardinally adjacently linked lattice points on an $n \times n$ toroidal grid. For which $N$ does there exist a spanning tree of $G(N)$ in which every vertex has degree $1$ or $3$? On ...

10:09 PM
Okay, I've posted my answer. I feel like I may have missed something but I can't spot what it might be for the life of me!
10:27 PM
okay, that's an evil red herring in the first step then
that the same piece can be found in the top right corner
Yes, I got hooked on that for a while! There are also a few others that appear in the raw grids too.
(though not in their end-jigsaw positions)
yeah, but that one being in the first step (before it's confirmed that you can dig in other places) makes it actively distracting
And that's why it's taken a year and a half for me to make any real progress here, despite looking at it regularly! :)
ah, i see how to finish off the puzzle
10:44 PM
Argh, I literally just shut down my laptop for the night! Is there much more to do?
nope, not much more at all
you assemble the pieces you excavated, not the layers beneath them
(working on doing that right now)
Darn it - one for the morning then!
here's the result - feel free to edit that into your answer
11:15 PM
@Deusovi Sorry bout that, I shoulda been more careful when constructing this. Hope it was alright nonetheless!
Also wow, y'all work fast
I thought it would take at least a couple of days to crack it, let alone a few hours

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