« first day (2576 days earlier)      last day (145 days later) » 

3:35 AM
@MikeQ My puzzle is not chameleon. The extra block at the bottom is a hint
Now you are very close. You just have to write the letters in the second long string of yours in a bigger triangle - and that is what I intended all along
1 hour later…
4:41 AM
What is the best way I can confirm partials to others without changing my question?
And is rot13'ing comments desirable?
i've seen this chat used occasionally but comments are a better place imo as anyone can see them
Q: What is a StraightforWord™?

Parcly TaxelThis puzzle is based off the What is a Word™ series started by JLee If a word satisfies a certain property it is called a StraightforWord™. If not, it is called a Convoluted Word™. Here are some examples: Convoluted Words™ StraightforWords™ FORWARDS BACKWARDS FEW MANY DEAD LIVE LIVE...

And to explain what happened on the Jade Rabbit: some time ago I made scavenger hunts for some Pokémon site, and editing the questions (there were usually three of them) was not uncommon because of difficulty or users finding alts
A: Can we post semi-Interactive Puzzles

BobIn General Now that a couple of these types of puzzle have been posted its worth list the problems that have been foreseen and experienced. Bailey M noted "with only one question, you can only accept one answer" and that the correct "answers will be fairly scattered" Which have proved true. T...

I for one did that a bit more often than usual, because I often used the French and German names of Pokémon, moves, etc. in the questions
4:59 AM
if people find alternate solutions, that means your puzzle was not sufficiently unambiguous to lead to the solution you intended - you should have a very clear idea of not only the correct answer, but how the solver will figure out that that is the correct answer (and rule out equally-plausible alternatives)
@Deusovi I'll keep that in mind
The Pokémon site is, naturally, Pokémon Showdown
One type of question commonly found in the Showdown scavenger hunts is a question where you need to determine so-called parameters (combinations of attributes of Pokémon, like types and such) that give exactly some specified target Pokémon. This kind of question is prone to alt-finding, yet is common
6:04 AM
@ParclyTaxel Naturally.
6:22 AM
Anyone know of a sturdy FFT (fast Fourier transform) or variant online site? Soon as i find one it poofs. I have a self-affine function i'd like to link to and make into a puzzle.
It needs a playground.
Wolfram Alpha?
Will look.
So far, theory. I just want to plug in numbers. Looking further.
oh look it's a humn
(And, yes, i'm finding out how WA works.)
(clicking on everything)
Wolfram Alpha is a calculator with a simulacrum of natural language processing
6:31 AM
@JohnDvorak , now i now every word ever . . . "simulacrum"? Really. Thank you. Still at the tail of the dog.
. . .
Even Wolfram Alpha seems to know only the aperiodic self-affine functions (at surface). Digging deeper.
. . .
Couldn't find it. Think this is new: A spiky periodic self-affine (given a factor of 2pi as usual) function. "Periodic" means you can do an FFT. "Spiky" means delta functions. "Self-affine" means that it Fourier transforms to itself's format.
I wanted to present this as puzzle but know it would be blown out of the water.
It's a doozy!
. . .
(And, yes, i realisze that many of those terms look ambiguous. They are not.)
. . .
(And, admittedly, online i'm usually a buffoon. This time not.)
. . .
Should i make it into the worst-rated puzzle ever?: Come up with a family of delta-function periodic self Fourier affine functions . . .
]and sandbox, where i was going to practice tags, thinks i'm not logged in[
]when i go back brackets it's not a good sign[
(]not going to avenge, just going to see what's going on[)
8:10 AM
Q: 2x4 grid with distinct differences

Dmitry KamenetskyCan you place numbers from the range $[0,16]$ into a $2 \times 4$ grid such that all orthogonal pairwise differences are distinct? In other words, we want every pair of numbers that lie in the same row or in the same column to have a distinct difference. Good luck!

8:59 AM
@Stiv Yup, you got it! Well done.
@ParclyTaxel (I agree that your puzzle isn't a chameleon question just because you added a hint and then chang'ed the hint a bit.) If you want to confirm things in partial answers, best is probably to use comments on those answers. If what you're saying would be spoilery to someone who hasn't seen the content of the answer, ROT13 some or all of it; best practice is to put ROT13-ed stuff inside "rot13(...)" because some users use a browser plugin that recognizes that.
If there's much such stuff to confirm and it's spread across different answers, then I think it's better to edit the question, adding a spoiler block saying something like "The answers by X and Y have correctly determined the following: ...". I guess you were saying "without editing the question" because of MikeQ's complaint, but while I understand his annoyance I don't actually think there's anything wrong with edits of the sort you made.
(But if you were editing to rule out what were previously perfectly good answers -- which in this case you weren't, but your comment about "users finding alts" suggests that you might have that kind of edit in mind -- that would be considered bad form here; you should write your questions so as not to have unintended solutions in the first place, and it's not fair to penalize solvers for finding something you didn't think of.)
The word-lengths should probably have been in the puzzle to begin with, but since adding them didn't invalidate any existing valid answers or anything like that I don't think there was anything improper about adding them.
9:22 AM
@GarethMcCaughan Aha :) Time to think up a new clue then!
9:53 AM
CCCC: Top Russian team has head start (6)
10:40 AM
Q: Even and odd game variant

Hemant AgarwalYou are playing a game with your friend on a $7$x$7$ grid board. In every turn, you begin by putting a $0$ (zero) on any empty square on the board, and then your friend puts a $1$ (one) on a different empty square. The game ends when there is no empty square left i.e. all squares are marked with ...

11:35 AM
hm, the only russian teams i know are hockey teams and i have a feeling stiv wouldn't use one of those
ha, think i've got it
google knows there's a soccer team from st. petersburg named Zenit... and ZENIT+H_ means "top"!
(although surely the russian word and the english "zenith" are loanwords from the same source)
@Stiv ^
@Jafe Yep, that's the one :) I deliberately left out the exact sport because I like the surface reading as it is, because (IMHO) it lends itself to the imagery of the recent doping scandals (which weren't really that prominent in football/soccer)
11:53 AM
yeah i think it's better without... apparently there's also a volleyball team from kazan with the same name so it works that way as well
I also love that 'head start' is a phrase that could feasibly clue either H_ or S_!
i also like putting an obvious indicator at both ends
CCCC: Strong bodily smell accompanies man, leading to trash talk and foul language (1-5)
@Jafe F-BOMBS = F (strong) + BO (bodily smell) + M (man) + BS (trash talk) = foul language
12:09 PM
i've been keeping a backlog of cryptic clues that i want to use somewhere, and i have a theory about how such lists evolve
(looking to be the charles darwin of cryptic clue lists)
anyway, a clue backlock slowly evolves towards 100% "valid but boring" clues
because the invalid ones are thrown away and the good ones tend to be used first
12:37 PM
CCCC: You antiquated, second-class, disreputable chicken(!) (6)
(Exclamation mark in brackets purely to indicate that it's there for emphasis, not an &lit...)
12:52 PM
@Stiv this is YE + _L_ + LOW
1:29 PM
@Jafe It is indeed!
CCCC: North or South Central Pacific Islander (7)
2 hours later…
3:09 PM
@Jafe NAURUAN, palindrome?
What's the wordplay?
Whether the word is read "north or south", the word is still the same and is an example of a "central Pacific islander"
north or south, as in you can read it both upwards and downwards
Q: Adding rows of blanks

Admiral JotaI was looking at this short video, and it made me think of a puzzle. Let's say you have this set of equations: _ = N _ + _ = N _ + _ + _ = N _ + _ + _ + _ = N _ + _ + _ + _ + _ = N If every blank has to be filled in with a different positive integer, what's the smallest possible value for N? As ...

3:49 PM
CCCC: Person in street, careful: moves essentially with audible foot! (5)
Ughhh dangit, it's almost an &lit... oh well the definition isn't satisfactory but it works
I should have more-than-double-checked, ugh. Anyway I'm off
any mods around?
4:07 PM
You could try posting it as a new question on the Puzzling site, and maybe people will answer it
4:25 PM
Rajorshi, you do realize that this is exactly the reason you were chat-banned in the first place, yes? Thus it isn't the best idea to return with the exact same behavior.
(Well also the unsolicited chat invites.)
I do not know what is wrong with me?
I am asking a question where I am getting stuck up with
I.. I give up.
@MikeQ ok
you can also google it. But if you understand the question, I'm not sure where or how you're stuck.
2 hours later…
6:35 PM
Q: Approximating the value of an algebraic number with sequences

Vassilis ParassidisLet's have the following sequence $18, 13, 82, 59, 374, 269, 1706, 1227, a_{n-1}, a_n$. What are the values of $a_{n-1}$ and $a_n$? Also the ratio $\frac {a_n}{a_{n-1}}$ approximates the particular algebraic number $\frac{a_n}{a_{n-1}}\approx \frac {x-\sqrt{z}}{w}$. What are the values of $x, z$ ...

7:02 PM
@ParclyTaxel math puzzles are allowed here, assuming they're "puzzly" enough. If you think it isn't puzzly enough, flag for closure with the math puzzle vs problem site-specific reason
7:18 PM
@bobble I don't have enough reputation here yet
@ParclyTaxel you have at least 15 reps, yes? Then you can flag.
That bumps the question into the Close queue so users with direct close-voting rights can look at it
Hmm. Must have conflated "flag" and "close"
On MSE where I have 84K+ rep the close votes outnumber the flags massively
The flag doesn't cast a vote, but it's a way for a lower-rep user to tell higher-rep users "hey, this might be a problem"
Once you get 3k reps then flags are automatically converted to votes
"Missing context or other details' easily accounts for 80% of closed questions over there
7:44 PM
I have devised what may be my least fun puzzle yet (at least story-wise)
Q: An airport authority's important message

Parcly TaxelA middle-aged man sat in a sofa in an air-conditioned room of an airport, staring at the officer facing him; the latter had her left hand on a small laptop. "I have a very important message for you, traveller," she began. "However, we heard that you are a puzzle lover, so we have encrypted the me...

1 hour later…
8:58 PM
Huh. That CCCC has a lot of words for a 5 letter clue
especially if it's an &lit
Hard to see how it could be an &lit.
5 hours ago, by oAlt
Ughhh dangit, it's almost an &lit... oh well the definition isn't satisfactory but it works
"almost" an &lit
Oh, I thought oAlt meant it's an &lit, just not quite a valid one.
Not sure if this works:
"careful" + V ("moVes essentially") + O (foot="owe" -> O with "audible" as homophone indicator) = "person in street"
since I don't see any promising ???VO words
9:13 PM
"foot"="owe"? (I'm familiar with "foot"="pay".)
My initial idea was that either only "Person" is the definition or "Person in Street" means we have to put a person within ST. If the phrase was a standalone definition, wouldn't it be more natural to be "person on street"
but to foot a bill is to pay it, not to owe it
ah, I see
"audible" isn't a homophone indicator
Conceivably "audible foot" is the definition and it clues ionic but I don't see how the wordplay would work.
@oAlt Solution to your CCCC is ST + (-car)E(-ful) + (-mo)V(-es) + (-audibl)E making STEVE, a person's name.
(and no, it isn't in any way an &lit so far as I can tell)
ah there we go
9:17 PM
Ah. The one I thought was the indicator was actually the fodder.
Nice one!
And with that, I go to sleep. Good [whatever time of the day it is for you folks]
au revoir
@Sid you, too
1 hour later…
10:48 PM
@GarethMcCaughan correct
@Dmihawk might you contribute an answer here? (As the canonical source of Density puzzles)
Basically was trying to make an &lit out of the first few lyrics of Queen's Another One Bites the Dust, seeing that STEVE had ST in it which can stand for "street", but failed miserably for a few reasons
1) "down street" doesn't mean "below ST", which was the main difficulty (that I was unable to solve) and I don't know if there are other suitable indicators
2) I thought that "Person in street [rest of wordplay]" seemed convenient, but in using it I completely forgot that I had to make an &lit
11:27 PM
@bobble just in a meeting, will answer afterwards :)

« first day (2576 days earlier)      last day (145 days later) »