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12:19 AM
@PrinceNorthLæraðr nope, cuba is not a verb (although it is a surname in Cebuano)
 
0
Q: Decoding Morse Code

AnkokuChii . --.- .-.. ... -.-- --- --.. - -.-- ... .-.. .-. - .--. --- ... -.- The Riddle makers only said that it was a Two Step riddle, and The more you try the easier it gets. I've tried any route that could possibly translate the Morse, but nothing works. The Answers are always jumbled up and it's n...

 
@merrybot It's also Mr. Gooding, Jr.'s first name.
 
12:42 AM
I thought the surface-nouns-but-actual-verbs were more likely "damage" and "doctor", both of which look pretty anagrind-y to me.
It seems like "roll" has to be the surface-verb-but-actual-noun.
This is a bit disturbing because if it matters that "roll" is a noun then it can't be the thing being "damaged", which suggests that "without" or "side without" or something of the sort is being anagrammed, which somehow seems implausible.
If "roll" has to be a noun then it most likely goes with "from Cuba"; perhaps a "roll from Cuba" is a CIGAR, and if that's "around to" then perhaps we get something like CIGATOR which seems like it might be part of an Italian name or an Italian word for some sort of journalist.
But once again I am a bit discombobulated because it then seems like "doctor", if it's an anagrind, has to modify "James" or some portion of the clue beginning there, which seems to contradict the earlier hint that James is an actual living person.
So it seems clear that some of the assumptions I'm making here are rubbish.
Wikipedia has a page listing Italian journalists and none of them seems to have a (4,12) name, for what it's worth.
I also don't see any promising (4,12)s on it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giornalismo (which I'd thought might perhaps have some Italian terms denoting particular types of journalist). But I don't know Italian very well so you shouldn't trurst my judgement.
 
hey bobble!
 
hey matt!
 
12:58 AM
how's it going?
 
I am debating over whether it's worth it to edit a closed-for-attribution question just for tag cleanup
 
I got "most likely"
 
hm
interesting
it also said "most likely" to "is bobble very smart?"
which i agree with
 
I disagree. It should be "definitely"
 
1:06 AM
mhm
 
Depends what you're talking about. Shape-placement puzzles, yes. Reading body language, no.
 
hm
 
My top three questions (by votes) all are at +16. Seems a bit odd.
 
hmmmm
 
I also have 6 questions at +12
 
1:10 AM
that is ... strange
 
Why is that odd?
 
I would expect a different vote distribution
 
It doesn't follow Benford's law :P
 
ah yes, benford's law
i only know about that from vsauce
 
I realise John was joking, but: you only expect Benford's law to hold when you're dealing with numbers that span at least a couple of orders of magnitude.
(And a reasonable number of them.)
 
1:15 AM
right
 
 
1 hour later…
The genre I was planning to make has 3 puzzles already here... cries
 
oh no my puzzle that would fit this ftc probably won't be done in time
 
Would a puzzle type count if it's only ever appeared as half of a mashup?
 
I ruled out half-of-mashups because it feels to me like half is a significant portion of a puzzle, though it's somewhat arbitrary
(Do you have any example of genres that appeared in two-genre mashups only?)
 
4th attempt at finding a genre runs into a SINGLE puzzle, which is itself a variety version, posted by Deus in February.
 
2:54 AM
The link says that Palisade the same as Five Cells
 
but you can change the size of the cages, so I could make it size 10 or the like and then have it be a totally different puzzle :D
 
That said, it's actually not 100% clear where to cut the boundaries between genres, and how to search for existing puzzles when the genre has multiple names
 
(I'm flailing here looking for a puzzle genre that hasn't been posted before)
 
I'd say, let's just assume good faith and be permissive to that respect
 
I thought I had a valid genre, then I searched the 3rd name variation and found a single puzzle posted in 2017
... am I going to have to come up with a new grid-deduction genre?
 
3:03 AM
you don't have to
but you can if you want to
 
ahah! I went through a bunch of the puzzles in Wikipedia's list and found a genre. Now to figure out how to make one...
> Allen et al. [APWW18] defined the Nikoli gap to be the amount of time between the first publication of a Nikoli puzzle and a hardness result for that puzzle type
an absolutely wonderful definition I found in an article proving my planned puzzle genre NP-complete
 
0
Q: Three-and-Two (Santoitchi variant): Confused Knights

BubblerThree-and-Two is a variant of Santoitchi, where the shaded cells ("monominoes") are replaced by shaded dominoes. Rules: Shade some cells. The shaded cells should form dominoes (contiguous group of two cells), and the dominoes are not allowed to share an edge. Divide the unshaded cells into tromi...

 
3:18 AM
@Bubbler, what puzzle type in puzz.link will allow me to both shade cells and draw borders?
 
If you mean for Santoitchi, I'm using Paintarea though it's not perfect fit
Why not penpa though
 
I'm going with using my regular image editor
 
3:40 AM
1
Q: Sort 10 clock numbers

NickAn electronic clock shows hours and minutes: from 00:00 to 23:59. Sort the numbers 0, 1, ..., 9 according to the time of their presence on the clock board during the 24-hours. Edit For example, for the 1-minute time period of showing 14:44, you should count it as one minute of 1 and 4 each.

 
Okay, Bobble- I need tips
How to tie up hair with one hand?
 
on...
how good does the tie have to be?
 
Well, like a pony-ish tail
My hair is like meh long. Not that long but enough to get a short ponytail
 
(this is something I've actually done, when using the other hand to read a book)
 
Except- having one hand has been a struggle in tying my hair
Skills
 
3:42 AM
Okay, so (on the same side of your head that your hand is), trace along above & back down your ear, gathering up your hair in that hand
Anchor that using your thumb, holding it near your neck
 
Stretch the rest of your fingers and trace the same path along your other ear, gathering up the hair there. You should now have all your hair in your hand, though it won't be perfectly tight.
 
Now is a tricky bit - through a combination of twisting the hand around, re-adjusting your fingers, and twisting the hair tighter (to hold the parts you have together), you should be able to work the hair into a tighter hold
Then you should work a hair-tie that's on your hand's wrist over and around the hair, then pull tight. (I've always done this with my other hand, but maybe your stump can push the tie around?)
 
Geez
I'll let you know how it goes
 
3:47 AM
Again, tricky, but then the trouble is that you need the hair in a good hold and then pull the tie over
a possible modification could be to have the tie already over your wrist and around your fingers, then simple flexing could encourage it off your hand and onto the hair
this will make the earlier parts trickier (less freedom of movement) but the last part much easier
 
Furious struggling noises
 
I don't put my hair up often. The last time was for a concert over a year ago.
alternatively, I Googled "put up hair with one hand" and some YouTube videos came up
 
Currently trying to push hair against chair- not successful
Yeah I've tried to do them. A bit complicated
 
If you have enough hair ties, you can do Iterative solution: tie smaller locks of hair that are easy to grab, then tie those locks together, then tie those larger groups together, until all hair is in one tie
 
divide-and-conquer
 
3:57 AM
it will look weird with so many ties (unless you figure out some way to take the intermediate ones off), but hey! solution!
 
Oh btw I've always meant to ask- Bubbler what's your pronoun?
 
I'm fine with "he" or "they"
 
this concludes today's episode of bobble's hair tips
i'd draw a bobblecrown with hair but i'm terrible at drawing hair
 
I've been meaning to ask this for a while: let's take this fortnight's FTC as an example. If I make a variety crossword grid, but make it so that it is only a subpuzzle, only a component of a larger puzzle, is the whole puzzle valid as an entry to the FTC, or must I submit the subpuzzle itself for the entry to be valid?
also, "Doctor" in the C4 seems like a prime suspect for noun-that-must-be-read-as-a-verb, and it has to modify "around to" or "to" because you can't indirectly anagram James (based on the first hint, "James" stands for something else)
 
 
1 hour later…
5:19 AM
0
Q: Follow Suit Maze

Dmitry KamenetskyThis is not my puzzle, but I really wanted to share it. You can solve it interactively here. In this maze you jump horizontally or vertically to a new square (not necessarily adjacent) with the constraint that the symbol you land on must be different from either of the two previous symbols. Start...

 
5:48 AM
@oAlt that's plausible... could also be "side", like "to side with someone"
a sandwich from cuba is apparently called a medianoche but not sure if it's a "roll"
 
mm
 
doctor as an anagram indicator should come before the fodder, no?
 
seems more grammatically correct that way, yes
 
oh frick that is true
 
doctor could be DR or MD or MEDIC or something
 
5:56 AM
yeah
 
Random reminder to vote on topic challenge suggestions
 
6:51 AM
letter hints added to the cryptic
new mobster candidate: james gallo
a lot of mobsters have last names that could form part of an italian person's name
who would have guessed
 
thanks mobsters for having such convenient names 😎
 
 
1 hour later…
8:18 AM
only one upvote before jafe gets 60k :0
 
 
1 hour later…
9:34 AM
this seems to be rare
the starboard has messages made by only two people
 
How so? I see jafe, bobble, North, Stiv
 
oh interesting
i only see msh210 and jafe
seems not everyone sees the same then
 
Looks like the screen size issue
 
hmmm, never mind-- i think
yeah screen size
my bad
 
 
1 hour later…
11:07 AM
0
Q: Car registration similarity

Dmitry KamenetskyIn my city, car registration plates contain 3 numbers (0 to 9) and 3 letters (A to Z). Today I've noticed that my neighbour's car has the same registration as my car except for one character. Should I be surprised by this? In other words, what is the probability of this happening for two randomly...

 
 
1 hour later…
12:09 PM
@oAlt Besides which, there is no anagrind in this clue. (That's C4 hint #3. Links to #1 and #2 so I can unstar them so as to reduce starboard clutter.)
(The hints are coming fast and furious because this is, IMO, a hard clue. (Then again, I've been wrong before -- in both directions -- about my clues' respective difficulty levels.))
 
12:22 PM
(oh, it seems that what I have said before has been said by Gareth before as well lol)
12 hours ago, by Gareth McCaughan
I thought the surface-nouns-but-actual-verbs were more likely "damage" and "doctor", both of which look pretty anagrind-y to me.
12 hours ago, by Gareth McCaughan
But once again I am a bit discombobulated because it then seems like "doctor", if it's an anagrind, has to modify "James" or some portion of the clue beginning there, which seems to contradict the earlier hint that James is an actual living person.
hahaha why did i not notice
 
12:47 PM
0
Q: Although it's colors are somewhat celestial

haarigertrollHalf comes from a battery, half comes from a mollusc. Split it asymmetrically and it does what you would expect burning brimstone to do!

 
 
1 hour later…
2:06 PM
promising mobster: James Ida
two theories why wikipedia's list of italian journalists doesn't have anyone matching (4,12)
the def could in fact be at the start -- e.g. "on the side" clueing something like "only occasionally"?
or maybe we could even be looking for someone from e.g. Italy, Texas?
 
(just driving by from the troll chatroom and leaving again) those are both possible yeah
no, wait, that should be "the 'the troll' chatroom"
 
2:21 PM
glad you corrected the "the 'the troll' chatroom" comment
 
0
Q: Can someone help me with this questions?

LostsoulasideWe can arrange short sticks to make grid of squares, as in the 3 x 3 example of the figure below, which requires 24 sticks. How many sticks are required to make a 151 x 143 grid of squares? Only enter a number. It's a problem puzzle and I'm stuck. thanks

 
@jafe I read that as a cryptic clue at first.
 
I also wondered whether "journalist" = "person who keeps a journal" = "diarist" but I didn't find any (4,12) in Wikipedia's "Category: Italian diarists" (gods, I love Wikipedia) or "List of diarists" or "Category: Italian memoirists".
rather than a mobster we might want a mobster-actor such as James CAAN (who is still alive)
 
ah mobster-actor, i like that
 
2:43 PM
wassup guys
 
2:53 PM
Four-letter Italian given names: ALDO CIRO DINO ENZO EZIO GIAN GINO HUGO IVAN MILO NICO NINO PIER TONI VITO / ARIA DINA ETTA IRMA LARA LINA LISA NINA OLGA PINA RITA ROSA TINA ZITA. Haven't found any obvious journalists from Italy with 12-letter surnames among their number.
(But I could easily have missed some.)
 
wh- a
what is this
 
why, this is hell, nor am I out of it
2
 
i mean what is this? CCCC?
 
3:11 PM
and welcome back, omega krypton :D
 
thanks :)
 
:D
 
puzzle incoming
 
yayyy
 
Good luck all
 
3:16 PM
0
Q: Coming back with a 4D Crossword!

Omega KryptonThis puzzle is part of the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #43: Variety Crossword Grids. The clues are in random order. The Blank Grid Across Nevertheless Expected to happen Sign of distress Lid or cover Take a chance K-pop group Web of skin Down Large, round container Take in deep breaths 12 to 1...

 
4:06 PM
1
Q: Another coin weighing puzzle, now including shifty coins!

AndrewYou are, as you have been many times before, in some place that has a balance scale and 12 coins. One of these coins, however, is shifty -- as soon as you "finish" a weighing by taking the coins off the scale, it changes its weight! (This transition cannot be seen but you know that it happens) It...

 
4:32 PM
Good night
(Won't hurt to declare formally a farewell for the night once in a while so yeah)
 
'night!
 
:D
 
I will make a (small) confession: my FTC word square was intentional HNQ bait. Easy, simple puzzle with an interesting twist, an eye-catching title -> quick answer, quick upvotes, HNQ here I come!
and it worked, so there
 
Gasp
How could you do such a thing?
 
It's now joined my other +16 puzzles :D
 
Sid
5:04 PM
@GarethMcCaughan ...that is a very extensive list
 
@JeremyDover, is there a reason you have your chat parent user set to Math.SE and not Puzzling?
 
Because I have no idea what any of those words mean.
OK, 10 seconds of research let me fix it. My first SE account was on math, so most things default to that.
 
one less click for me to navigate from chat to your Puzzling profile
 
Avi
5:20 PM
A congress of crows
A conspiracy of ravens
A wisdom of owls
A flamboyance of flamingos
A party of peacocks
A raft of penguins
all of these are real things, apparently
 
a clash of kings, a storm of swords...
 
I thought it was a murder of crows? Think someone (jafe?) very cleverly used that in a cryptic not too long ago.
 
Avi
yes, these are some of the less common ones
 
@bobble SHAME
yeah "murder of crows" is the most well-known one of that variety i think
 
Hey, you get upvotes by being the short & sweet answer!
Not that you need more rep...
 
Sid
5:23 PM
@Avi huh. There must definitely be some cryptics waiting to be made on these.
 
Avi
more common would be "A parliament of owls", "An unkindness of ravens", "A murder of crows", "An ostentation of peacocks", "A colony/waddle of penguins"
but frankly you could probably put any noun before them
 
Sid
I had heard of the "Wisdom of Owls" but not "Parliament of Owls".
 
"an Avi of circles"
 
Sid
Both of those things sound contradictory to each other though.
 
Avi
heh
 
5:24 PM
George Clinton and Parliament Owladelic?
 
For many animals, particularly domesticated ones, there are specific names for males, females, young, and groups. The best-known source of many English words used for collective groupings of animals is The Book of Saint Albans, an essay on hunting published in 1486 and attributed to Juliana Berners. Most terms used here may be found in common dictionaries and general information web sites. == Generic terms == The terms in this table apply to many or all taxa in a particular biological family, class, or clade. == Terms by species or taxon == == Usage of collective nouns == Merriam-Webster writes...
there's a bunch here
 
Avi
@bobble "a circle of Avis"
 
"a bobble of crowns"
 
Avi
heh
a crown of bobbles
A Deus o' vis
3
 
5:45 PM
0
Q: Use only πs to get e

zixuanI am taking this puzzle from inspiration from the Four Fours to get Pi puzzle. The puzzle rules are just slightly different. Here are the rules: You are trying to get as close to e as possible with only πs used as real numbers in the approximations, and with the following allowed operations: Si...

 
@Sphinx dear goodness, a "puzzle" that admits it's a modified version of an question, and tries to cover that up by "allowing" proofs of optimality in answers. Proofs that I don't think are possible, seeing as any number of pis and operations may be used.
 
Well, I've given an answer with a sort of optimality proof in it...
 
true, but looking at it you're saying that there is no upper bound
@OmegaKrypton, I've added your FTC entry to the meta answer which collects links to all the puzzles
 
6:04 PM
@bobble ah thanks!!
and the code block is rolled back for a reason I could not disclose for now
 
Fair. I blanket-edit any not-obviously-necessary code formatting and MathJax out
 
@bobble Strange that the answer score is divided both by the number of functions used and by the number of pis used.
 
6:52 PM
It does seem rather obvious, yes.
I mean arbitrary, not obvious, sorry
my brain is made of meat and makes a lot of mistakes
@Deusovi Do you have any more idea than I do of why Ucaoimhu's Thanksgiving crossword has the weird half-bars at top right? It must be related to the fact that that's where the only asymmetry is, but it seems like maybe there's some clever joke I'm missing. Solving the crossword doesn't reveal anything that makes it any clearer to me. I suspect I'm being dim.
 
which one?
ahh i see what you mean by the "half bars"
i suspect that's just an accidental inclusion from that one bar being added in - it looks like it was drawn with two white bumps on either end
 
7:33 PM
@hexomino Welcome to the 100k club :-)
Sadly we were all too late to get the once-prized SE swag packs for six-figure-rep users. But at least now you have a visible rep figure that only changes every thousand.
 
Happy Thanksgiving to all y'all Americans :P
 
'Murica
 
'Murica, baby!
 
8:08 PM
'murica
 
8:29 PM
@Randal'Thor Cheers
 
@Randal'Thor I also got a nice email
 
Do you get emails only when you pass 100k?
 
@PrinceNorthLæraðr I generally get email updates but this was a particularly congratulatory one.
 
8:39 PM
1
Q: Doubled Knights redux

QuuxplusoneConsider this Martin Gardner/Raymond Smullyan puzzle just asked by Favst over on Chess.SE (Source: The Colossal Book of Puzzles and Games, problem A.12 "Doubled Knights"): ... Assume that a game is played with the new rule that a knight can on a single turn move twice. [I.e., both players' both ...

 
8:54 PM
Why do all of Msh's C4 take so long to solve?
 
because we keep slacking around
let's get cracking, people
:P
 
yeah, c'mon people
There's Robert De Niro, who plays James Burke in Goodfellas
 
@jafe what should we use for cracking?
 
I doubt that's the answer but he has 4 letters?
 
we need one 4-letter word and one 12-letter one, though
 
8:59 PM
Ugh
 
@bobble eggs
 
can we egg msh210?
 
let's throw some old saws at him as well
 
capo di tutti i capi. If we merge it into two words it becomes capo dituttiicapi which is 4,12 :P
The DeCavalcante crime family is an Italian-American organized crime family that operates mainly in northern New Jersey, particularly in Elizabeth, New Jersey; Newark, New Jersey, and the surrounding areas in North Jersey, and is part of the nationwide criminal network known as the American Mafia. It operates on the opposite side of the Hudson River from the Five Families of New York, but it maintains strong relations with many of them, as well as with the Philadelphia crime family and the Patriarca crime family of New England. Its illicit activities include bookmaking, cement and construction...
Had 12 letters and a guy named James Gallo
I don't know
 
9:12 PM
@bobble so long as you don't injure him
 
someone help North, he's falling into an msh210 cryptic-clue Google hole...
 
nobody comes out of there without encyclopedic knowledge of new york's crime families
shudders
 
oh no
are we doomed?
 
No way "mobster" can be part of the def unless it extends all the way to the end of the clue, so at least "mobster-actor-journalist from Italy". Maybe there are some mobster-actor-journalists from Italy (perhaps Silvio Berlusconi might be considered an example, kinda?) but I suspect the def is a smaller fraction of the clue.
 
@GarethMcCaughan Unless "mobster" is the end of the def. (Kidding.)
 
9:22 PM
Maybe the def is "on the side"?
 
@msh210 Ha!
 
but then parsing "without" as wordplay is difficult
 
I have resorted to looking through the Wikipedia page of Italian journalists
 
without can be WO
 
@bobble :-)
 
Avi
9:24 PM
@GarethMcCaughan I'm guessing that the def is actor-journalist from Italy
 
or "without damage" something like INTACT
 
Avi
New York mobster would be the other part
 
i wouldn't rule out "mobster-actor" as a unit
 
@Avi That (or just "journalist from Italy") is my leading hypothesis too, though my failure to find any journalists from Italy with (4,12) names isn't encouraging. (I haven't tried super-hard, but I have tried.)
@jafe Agreed; "James, a New York mobster-actor" could be CAAN, for instance.
 
Avi
ah
 
9:27 PM
i kind of don't see the need to put "new york" in the clue if that is the case, but it's definitely plausible
LUCA AN... something?
 
Avi
AL capone comes to mind
 
Luigia Lollobrigida (born 4 July 1927), known as Gina Lollobrigida, is an Italian actress and photojournalist. She was one of the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and early 1960s, a period in which she was an international sex symbol. As her film career slowed, she established a second career as a photojournalist. In the 1970s, she achieved a scoop by gaining access to Fidel Castro for an exclusive interview. She has continued as an active supporter of Italian and Italian American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2008, she received the NIAF...
^Possibly? Has 4,12
 
Avi
ooh
 
Also Fidel Castro was the former prime minister of Cuba, just saying
Probably coincidence but still
 
so it was james ida
 
9:36 PM
Oh, I was right?
 
to doctor is to rig
 
roll from cuba must be bollo, then?
 
Avi
rollo?
 
9:36 PM
Bollo is a bun, popular in Latin America, made from corn, yuca or potato. Variations are eaten in Colombian cuisine, Cuban cuisine ( Tamal de maíz solamente ) and Panamanian cuisine. Corn and yuca bollos are an indigenous food of the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Panama, where they are boiled in leaves. This preparation is similar to the humita of the Andes, the hallaquita of Venezuela and the pamonha of Brazil.In Colombia, bollos are sold by street vendors along the Colombian coast, as well as in stores and supermarkets. They are primarily served for breakfast as an accompaniment with cheese...
 
Avi
aha
 
how is on the side without damage = GINAL?
ah, (-mar)GINAL
 
Ooh
Who gets the c4?
 
Avi
jafe
 
Avi
9:38 PM
to sum it up, (-mar)GINAL + BOLLO< + RIG + IDA
 
Yay, my Googling skills actually worked! @bobble the CC Google-hole paid off
 
this time
 
hehe
 
Avi
some sick final solves in the cryptic cluebulence puzzle
and then I guess all that has to be done is arranging the grid
 
nice, i hadn't noticed
 
9:49 PM
I'm a bit miffed I couldn't figure out the parsing. Darn
Are we waiting for msh to confirm?
 
yes, @msh210, jafe + North got your C4
 
Damn it, I looked for Cuban rolls of the edible kind, but it never occurred to me that they might not be a kind of bread :-).
 
10:09 PM
@bobble They certainly did. Well done.
@PrinceNorthLæraðr For some reason she does not appear in the Italian-journalist category or list on English Wikipedia.
 
Weird
I had to look up "italian actor journalists"
 
@jafe It was an attempt to limit the space of Jameses.
 
"the space of Jameses"
 
Not, by the way, any of your quadriliteral Italian names, @GarethMcCaughan, perhaps because it wasn't her legal or given name.
 
Hmm, indeed not.
It seems like it's not at all a common Italian name, and most instances of it are derived from Gina Lollobrigida.
 
10:15 PM
CCCC: Sphinx's home flipped after off-topic [visual]? (9)
 
@jafe TOPIC* + LAIR< = PICTORIAL
 
that's correct
 
I was looking for AZIG<
 
CCCC: Fight, fight-bird! (7)
not the best but what I had on hand
 
10:22 PM
SPAR+ROW
 
correct
 
Dammit, now I have to write one :(
 
you could pass it off to someone else
 
@bobble nice
 
Thanks :D
Also, msh210's C4's stuff should be unpinned
 
10:29 PM
CCCC: Terrifying amputation (blood), left permanent impression (7)
Hopefully that's legal
 
@Mithical SCARy RED
 
Aye
 
aaaaaaand it's back to msh210
 
10:53 PM
which means another super impossible cccc
 
11:05 PM
ooh quick c4's
@jafe nice surface
 
11:23 PM
@Avi yep, seems so - just edited them into my answer and finished it off
 
@Deusovi Shucks. I was trying to solve the grid, but then my mom asked me to trim the tree outside
 
0
Q: Most ways to uncheck the king

thesilicanHere's my attempt at a chess puzzle Your task is to construct a legal chess position where: It is black's turn to move Black is in check Black has the greatest number of different legal moves possible (A legal chess position is a position reachable during a normal game of chess) For example: H...

 

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