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2:06 AM
Q: Vowelburgerâ„¢ Downtown Brown

Rewan DemontayInspired by Avi's Vowelburgerâ„¢ Riddle here Business has been slow this past year. As such, we've decided to create and market a whole new burger for faithful customers. May I remind you, we still hold our grudge against the court. We had to get this one in through a loophole. Single, Meat, Do...

3 hours later…
4:58 AM
I just realized maybe I shouldn't have posted a meta question right before going off to sleep
Deleted it for now, will undelete when I wake up and can respond to answers/comments
7 hours later…
11:32 AM
Q: Fetching Alchemist, Excavation I

Joshua Bizley This is a puzzle in the Fetching Alchemist series. It has been generated especially for Puzzling Stack Exchange. Please note that, in my opinion, imperfect solutions should be up-voted so long as they work and are lower than previous guesses. This makes them useful, since they inform other playe...

3 hours later…
2:33 PM
Q: What should we do with old [open-ended] puzzles?

bobbleOpen-ended puzzles are off-topic The above-linked question ended: With that being said, I hereby propose that we lock the "good" open-ended puzzles for their historical significance and close the rest. Perhaps getting rid of the "open-ended" tag would be in order as well? That didn't happen. We...

2 hours later…
4:56 PM
@HTM any chance of a C4 hint, please?
CCCC hints: 1. Knowledge of ancient history may be useful.
@msh210 see above
5:19 PM
@HTM thanks
5:55 PM
Q: Help, what is this cipher?

Ibra KMy friend sent me this cipher: etsitsiduamuqmuessenon,tsesumissep"omaet"orpdouqmuiterpteangamecovtivamalcxete She also said it roughly decodes to: And I screamed for whatever its worth, 'I love you!' Ain't that the worst thing you've ever heard? How is this cipher created? How would I be able to ...

6:14 PM
@Sphinx I hope their friend isn't mad that someone on the Internet helped them crack her cipher :P
(That is, if there even is a friend in the first place)
@HTM ouch
@HTM presses X
(To be clear, if the OP or their friend happen to read this, the reason why I say that is because PSE gets quite a few of these kinds of cipher that were "sent by a friend" when in reality it's actually stolen from a book or website or, in the worst case, a competition)
(And I'm fairly certain that question is not of that type, which is why I went ahead and answered it)
(Also, welcome to PSE! Hope you stay here for a while longer :) )
6:42 PM
@HTM I mean, that friend could have stolen it and sent it to the OP
"A friend of my friend found this cipher"... hmm, not as catchy I think
1 hour later…
7:44 PM
So, I am trying to work out whether my Fetching Alchemist puzzles count as out-of-scope open-ended puzzles due to the following unofficial definition of the "optimization" tag as written by Deusovi: puzzling.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6617/…
"These should have a provably best answer (ideally, not one that needs heavy programming or mathematics to prove, in the same way that we currently don't want puzzles that require heavy programming or mathematics to solve). Answers should come with justification of why they are optimal; an answer without this is not a full answer, but more of a comment."
FA puzzles require programming to prove, I wouldn't call it heavy programming but you would either need my Unity project or to write your own version of it to prove the solution.
So the question is, are they acceptable as optimization puzzles or not
> AOPISH clocks in at 59. I think that's as good as you're going to get. C isn't workable because it's just too expensive to get both the blood and the rattles. Trying to go to Q for the brewing almost works, but taking the trail the other way is slightly faster. Getting the rattles at B and going for H almost works, but there's no easily accessible sage.
I just grabbed a random explanation from one of the answers
In my mind, this is fine. Every realistic other path can be considered and discarded with simple reasons in a single paragraph
Ok thanks
But I'm not good with this kind of puzzle, maybe see what other people think
I haven't looked too much into your puzzles, but based on that explanation it seems fine - there's a fairly small set of paths to check, and you can reasonably justify your answer
Compare to, say, "What's the largest Fibonacci number you can make with the digits 1-9 and the four basic operations once each?". That type of question would really have no clear way to show optimality: and it would end up being a "what's the best you can do" question rather than a puzzle with a singular final answer and a 'nice' way to arrive at that answer.
(it should be noted that what I copied above is the entire explanation)
7:58 PM
Here's the latest answer
Let's start off with



We can only pick up Shae from A or E. If we don't visit A, then the closest place we can get Shae's hammer is G and the closest fossil is I - that's way too much distance for a single objective.
Starting at A means we only have to cross the map one way.
From there, its only a matter of getting two Energy Potions and another Lantern and dropping them off, then backtracking to the Fossil.
formatting isn't translate to this chat
the 73 answer is struck out
their second try was correct
this shows how there is a reasoning involved, and there is an "end", but it is also possible to not know you have arrived at the end
and really, the only way answerers can be sure they have is that I confirm it, people aren't going to write their own programs
Yeah, just looked at the puzzle and that seems fine to me - you can pretty effectively cut down the possibility space, and then brute-force the rest by hand. That pruning might not be 100% rigorous, but it looks like it's easy to see that certain paths definitely can't work
ok great
Just a note: if an answer said something like "the optimal path is HGIEYKD, for a score of X" but has no justification, that's a bad answer. Poke them in comments to explain why they have an optimal answer.
2 hours later…
9:45 PM
Q: Discussion: Should Puzzling SE help set Play SE in motion?

Joshua BizleyI have a concept for a Stack Exchange similar to Puzzling, but much more casual, and it doesn't really have a home. I am wondering if Puzzling SE would be a good community to get it off the ground with. If not, just leave a couple of down-votes and I'll get the idea. The Play Stack Exchange would...

10:19 PM
Q: The world is brutal and cold

risky mysteriesSteal my prefix and perform a sacrifice. Steal my suffix and venture all over ice. Steal my infix and a shove from fatality. Steal my whole and forget a part of me.

1 hour later…
11:31 PM
Q: Another Sequence of Sequences

Bernardo Recamán SantosExamine the following seven sequences of numbers: 1 11 21 1112 3112 211213 312213 What are the next seven sequences of numbers? What is the hundreth sequnece in the series? Puzzle by the late Argentinian puzzler Jaime Poniachik. Source: https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Bernardo-Recam%C3%A1n/dp/0486842...


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