12:00 AM
Just like how it's a coincidence that the crown I happen to have looks like Bobble

2 hours later…
1:35 AM
To be fair, I'm fine with one user mentioning another user's name as long as 1) it's not excessive (I'm not sure how to define "excessive" yet but in general it shouldn't disturb), and 2a) they asked the other user for permission beforehand and 2b) that user agreed

How about things like the Deusovi Honeypots?

Was about to ask that too ahahah

i've said before that i'm fine with people using me for puzzle stories
(it was in my profile at one point iirc?)

ahh I see

i'm not so sure anymore, but i'm not super bothered by it

2:09 AM
Turns out I can't make an entry for FTC
I'm still chasing after requirement backlogs ;_; :'(

3 hours later…
5:19 AM
I got a working FTC crossword, with decent words, and it only took an hour of plugging different constraints into qat :D
(I gave myself so many constraints that my manual attempts were a bit impossible)

"only" an hour?
an hour is a long time

I beg to disagree

oh?

I'd take well more than an hour D:

that was my point

5:30 AM
oh I get it but

the "only" was sarcasm

the first five minutes were trying to figure out how qat worked, since I hadn't used it before

hooray!
oh nice

I meant compared to me taking like days to finish making a puzzle, an hour ain't long

have you seen qxw?

5:31 AM
I still have to clue it (though there are only four words, so shouldn't take more than a day or two)
@Deusovi I have now; just Googled it. Looks cool!

yay bobble learned how to use Qat

qxw is what i always use for making crosswords - it's so useful
wait
only four words?

(it's the same as "quinapalus" right)

working title: "This ain't your grandpa's word square"

quinapalus is the site that both qat and qxw are hosted on

5:33 AM
(variety twist on a word square)

qat is a word finder tool; qxw is a crossword constructor tool

I made it small for quicker construction and (hopefully) short & sweet solving

@bobble as a square, i appreciate that :P

@Deusovi ohh intrsting

looking forward to the word square twist!

5:36 AM
I'm also making it cryptic, because why not
though I probably won't need help on the clues this time? maybe?

maybe

2 hours later…
7:38 AM
maybe the still-alive new york mobster is james coonan
tried to link the wikipedia page but failed miserably

8:12 AM
congratulations on 100k @hexomino!

8:32 AM
@jafe Sorry, the James I chose really is famous, but "James" is too common a name. I shoulda worded the clue differently. But I have faith in you (plural).

0

I would like to ask for advice and help in solving the puzzles from the BreakTheCode competition. In room 5, the second puzzle is a picture of plants with symbols on the leaves. The room is called "Voynich" and the plant is from this manuscript, page 15. I tried the name by whom the manuscript is...

9:15 AM
@jafe congrats @hexomino :0

0

WARNING: I solved this puzzle and posted a solution below. I'm posting this more for muse. Hello! I don't know if anyone's enjoyed this puzzle on The New York Times website, but I find it rather fun. The rules published on the site are as follows: Connect letters to spell words Words must be at...

9:48 AM
0

The standard Slitherlink rules apply. However, first replace $A_1$, $A_2$, $B_1$, $B_2$, $C_1$, $C_2$, $D_1$, and $D_2$; such that the Slitherlink is uniquely solvable. Moreover, these equations must also be correct: $A_1 + A_2 = 0$ $B_1 + B_2 = 1$ $C_1 + C_2 = 2$ $D_1 + D_2 = 3$

@Sphinx Despite initial appearances, this is not the solution.

4 hours later…
1:27 PM
^ indeed

2:15 PM
@jafe @oAlt Thank you!

2 hours later…
3:50 PM
I notice that Deepthinker posts quite a few comments like this one:
Ah dammit could not think in a panic, once I found out you were working on it. — Prince Deepthinker 4 hours ago
Are these flag-worthy?
@Deusovi, since you're a mod
Another one:
Dang, I was still stuck on the braille part! — Prince Deepthinker Nov 18 at 10:32
In general, these comments are simply expressions that they were working on the puzzle and that someone else solved it first

nln at most.

4:26 PM
@Sciborg, more questions about how Screeny works: what does it think of tag formatting (, for example) in chat or in a site post?

4:44 PM
i'd imagine Screeny reads it as "tag, grid deduction" b/c the markdown is [tag:grid-deduction] ?

@bobble they seem chatty at best

3

Enclosure enclosing some music that’s acted. Another with snitch fore and aft is a note. A bird sound for every dinner extracted. Collaborate. Solve it. You’re done? Now upvote! The answer is a single English word.

Other bookkeeping: the excerpt & wiki don't mention anything about puzzles. Both would make more sense if from Literature.
> Wordplay is a form of wit in which the used words become the main subject of the work, primarily for the purpose of intended effect or amusement.
That's the excerpt, while the wiki simply lists examples of wordplay
I'm not sure how to rewrite that, but it definitely seems to need a rewrite

agreed

a hugh meyers puzzle appears

4:59 PM
@jafe - did you see my "pedantic addition" comment?

yeah
should i add it to the answer?

Depends whether you think it's relevant enough, since it is just a random thing I threw into the flavortext

5:17 PM
@bobble Write "3.45 + 4.25 = 7.70" with two digits after the decimal point.

pedantic addition ... oh come on /s

@msh210 That's how significant figures work for science (says the pedantic nerd)

added

technically, it's not a note, it's a sign above the door.
(pedantic nerd retreats further into the corner)

pedantry is ok

5:23 PM
xkcd.com/1475

there's an xkcd for everything

@bobble flagging as "no longer needed" seems fine by me

this chat message has me thinking about what a Tekunube might be if such a puzzle existed
also xkcd.com/1429/

5:39 PM
???
how is that relevant

abandoned the first idea for the chain puzzle finale that used a real world map... i'm going to try to incorporate an actual risk map (or close enough) instead

Take as much time as you need!

6:07 PM
A question was posted as an answer, one that could be easily answered with a single link. Should the "answer" be answered in comments? I think no, right?

No
Don't reward bad behavior if you don't want it repeated

6:31 PM
0

A secret person hid three rolls of paper under my bed First roll: you'll find my country only if you solve this puzzle '3rd of 2, 1st of 2, 2nd of 6, 3rd of 2, 1st of 3, 3rd of 2' Second roll: you'll find my province only if you solve this puzzle '17th, 21st, 5th, 2nd, 5th, 3rd' Third roll: you'l...

6:55 PM
hm, wondering if
10

I'm a fan of sudoku, nonogram, and other various grid logic puzzles. I really liked to see something like this and this. But to post such a puzzle (or a solution to such a puzzle), I need to draw them. And I want them to be nice to see and use. How do you draw such puzzles (and partial solutions)...

should be migrated to main
it's a question about puzzle creation, so it seems perfectly on-topic

I agree with this

@bobble mhm

7:30 PM
I'm having trouble figuring out interesting ways to cryptic-clue the FTC word-square words
Regular clues won't really work, because the gimmick means that at least two (maybe three) exact words will probably be required to figure out what's happening with the grid.

why does that mean regular clues won't work?
if the clues are precise enough it'll work

Perhaps? I'm just worried that the "ahah!" moment will be too much, seeing as I have no test solver besides myself.

fair enough

I'll see if I can come up with specific enough regular clues to satisfy myself.
in The Reading Room, Nov 1 at 23:09, by bobble
> After 60 days, migrations can only be performed by Stack Exchange employees. These are performed only in very, very rare procedural cases and are usually not done on request.
So even if we want to migrate, we can't by ourselves

7:45 PM
huh yep
wait, looks like i can?

unless it's been less than 60 days?
did I do my math wrong

it has just barely been less than 60, i believe

So any migration would have to be Very Soon

yeah, within a day or two
eh probably worth just keeping it on meta - we might have a duplicate-ish question on the main site at some point, but we can just link to the meta one in answers there

Would it be worth adding a link to the meta post in the excerpt or wiki?

7:55 PM
excerpt probably not, wiki maybe, though i don't think very many people read the wiki
(i always forget tag wikis exist at all)

8:06 PM
Okay, got some decently specific non-cryptic clues for the variety word square. I'll let them sit for a bit before posting.

8:20 PM
excited to see the final product!

C4 hint: Two surface nouns must be read as verbs, and one surface verb must be read as a noun.

8:49 PM
fake C4 hint: all surface words must be read in the voice of marlon brando from the godfather
3

9:13 PM
@jafe LOL
Time for my second round of "Jedi At Last"....

It's a fun one. Good luck!

Thanks!
Hm, its 5D seems to have an ambiguity: two possible solutions. Though I suspect only one of them is in the puzzle setters' dictionary.

I only thought of one solution to that one, for what it's worth, and it turned out to be the right one. (To the clue itself; I'm not talking about the subsequent modification.)

I'm referring to the modified version.
The second letter can be U (which I assume was intended) or R. Or maybe I have it wrong completely.

9:29 PM
Ah. Well, obviously how many options there are for that depends a bit on what other things you've entered already. The first possibility I thought of for the modification turned out to be wrong, the second one right.

@Mithical Will you be?

If you're thinking of a possibility with a tripled letter, I think you can safely ignore that.

@GarethMcCaughan I am indeed.

For me, that one doesn't count as just adding a sound at the start.

Really? You pronounce it differently from the word with a U?

9:31 PM
Yup.

hm, they're the same for me
but i do believe the one with a tripled letter is wrong - it likely would've been mentioned in the "altered answers include..." section

For me, the tripled-letter one is pronounced with the tongue distinctly further up in the mouth.

@Deusovi good point
@GarethMcCaughan Interesting.

This is confusing (as someone without knowledge of the crossword in question) and also fascinating. It's as if you all are speaking in some sort of code.

Producing a somewhat lower pitch (by about two semitones, I think) on the vowel, if you can call it a vowel.

9:33 PM
math.uchicago.edu/~wald/jediatlast.pdf (the crossword in question)

It's a fun crossword, but be warned it's quite challenging.

those are some complicated instructions

kevin wald, aka ucaoimhu, writes variety cryptics with a ton of densely-packed gimmicks that usually have some pretty mind-blowing moments in them

They are. (Fairly typical for that setter, at least if the others of his I've looked at are representative)

i'd say that's about average length

9:36 PM
@msh210 yes, I haven't heard any turkey updates though

@Mithical Nice! I imagine you won't be back until Fri though anyway?
How's the training going? (You're still in training, I assume?)
@Deusovi Nice of them to let their alumni maintain sites. My department does not (or, at least, did not, at the time of my graduation).

@msh210 Done with basic training... I'm now at my new base, waiting to start training for my position. In the meantime I've basically been loaned to פיקוד העורף and have been helping hand out COVID regulation flyers. Should be home tomorrow early afternoon.
I've actually been sleeping at home most nights - tonight's an exception (I'm on base).

@Mithical ah, that sounds boring. But boring is good.
@Mithical oh nice

:)

(For the others: פיקוד העורף, literally "nape command" but generally translated "homefront command", is the division of the army that directly helps civilians in times of war (or, as you see, other events).)

9:42 PM
1

Unlike on other Stack Exchange sites, questions posted in Puzzling Stack Exchange very commonly receive answers where the authors of the answers aren't 100% sure that their solution is correct, as even if they gave great answers, the intended solution (which, on PSE, is classified as the "correct"...

here's some puzzles from him with even longer instructions:
https://www.fleetingimage.com/wij/xyzzy/xeimhu-aug-2002.pdf
http://www.math.uchicago.edu/~wald/con17a.pdf
http://www.math.uchicago.edu/~wald/con15a.pdf
(note the second and third both say "part 1" -- those are each the first in a three-part set)

dear... goodness...

all good puzzles! but there's a lot to go through

I've only every solved one cryptic crossword (one of the beginner ones you shared in chat), and that was with some cheating. I got no chance there.

9:51 PM
for comparison, here's a shorter one

In "Jedi At Last", generally, I'm finding the down clues much harder than the across. I have most of the latter but only a handful of the former, so far.

word square posted - I erred on the side of making it easier, so it'll probably fall soon

huh, interesting - the Down clues are the normal ones

@Deusovi I don't know: maybe I'm wired to alter clues more readily than to alter lights.

... yep, fastest solve for any of my puzzles
did I make it too easy?

10:02 PM
@bobble nice one

Was it fun/satisfying at least? @Deusovi?

yep, it was fun!
not super difficult, but it helped that i'm very familiar with that type of gimmick. still an enjoyable solve

Thanks! Now I have something to point to if anyone asks for an easy crossword by me.

3

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #43: Variety Crossword Grids This is a regular word square: C A R D A R E A R E A D D A R T As you can see, the words read the same across and down. Now I have a word square for you to solve. Here are the clues, in top-to-bottom/left-to-right order: Hold ...

10:31 PM
@Deusovi I think maybe he made the across clues easier (except for the additions) because of the additions. I mean -- there are two down clues that I actually know the answers (post-modification and, I strongly suspect, pre-) to but nonetheless can't figure out the wordplay of!

that's very possible! i've done similar gimmicks before and have tried to balance difficulty like that

10:45 PM
Not sure how I missed that typo - thanks Deus!

no problem!

0

Let's have the following fractions. $\frac{752}{375} + \frac{754}{376}+ \frac{756}{377} + \frac{758}{378}+ \frac{760}{379} \approx 10*(\frac{5}{375}+1)^{1/5}$ $\frac{752}{375}+ \frac{754}{376}+ \frac{756}{377}+ \frac{758}{378}+ \frac{760}{379}+ \frac{762}{380} \approx 12*(\frac{6}{375}+1)^{1/6}$...

^ that one

@msh210 For what it's worth, I found the downs easier than the acrosses.

Speak of the devil

11:20 PM
Anyone down for a round of Codenames?

sure? you'd need to get the room unfrozen

Right. But I'm trying to see if anyone here wants to play first
Okay, I'm sure someone already noticed this, but I believe the "side" and "damage" need to be verbs and "roll" is supposed to be a noun

I can't parse the surface reading of the clue, so I'm not entirely sure what is a surface noun or surface verb

well, no other nouns in the sentence can really be verbs, and no other verb could be a noun
Unless "Cuba" is a verb I don't know about
"roll" has to read as a "surface verb" in order for it to grammatically make sense
It's NY I think, because of New York
Or maybe New York mobster-actor-journalist from Italy is the def

(I gave up the C4 long ago)