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6:00 PM
It's interesting that the other interpretation of "swapping the common letter with the other" seems to work for several of the clues
wry pout [trunch?] hacks ply eight site brisk
Trunch is a word btw
surely that can't be coincidence
but I don't see anything in particular to do with it right now
I just made it so when you swapped a created another word. Taking the new letter from each word gives the final answer
RUTHLESS is the final answer
Right, @Deusovi Recovered?
6:03 PM
Yeah. (I also just took two exams back-to-back, so that was fun.)
Because, I probably need to make an apology for raking up that topic.
how did they go?
Pretty well, I think! Made a very minor mistake on the mathematics exam (that I'm still kicking myself over), and I'm pretty confident on the comp. sci. one.
@Sid, it's not your fault! I'm angry at Rubio, not you
well done! what was the minor error in the mathematics one?
(feel free not to answer)
It was all my bad, and I do apologize.
6:05 PM
We had to integrate (√(x^2 + y^2))e^(x^2 + y^2)^(3/2) over a sector of a circle by converting to polar coordinates. Should've been the easiest question on the test, but I accidentally converted the exponent of e to r^(3/2) instead of r^3, which made it impossible.
@GarethMcCaughan I suppose I could have made the new words say something, maybe along the lines of 'you completed the puzzle!' or something. Maybe next time.
@Deusovi oops! Easy mistake to make, though.
@Deusovi if it gives you any comfort, I don't know a single thing you just said
I recognized "circle".
I know integrate :P
@Rubio Well, that too
6:06 PM
incidentally, are you familiar with the way you calculate the integral of exp(-x^2)?
Well apart from the actual eqation, circle and squares and indicies
;) actually I got most of that, but I'm too far along from having done this stuff to actually understand the math
(I ask because it's (a) rather cute and (b) closely related to that question)
@GarethMcCaughan Isn't there supposed to be some theorem for that?
6:07 PM
yeah, and I'm talking about how you prove the theorem
@Deusovi can an enumeration have punctuation where the anagram of it does not?
Sure, it can. Anagrams don't use punctuation.
I remember my Maths teacher blabbering something about that and then saying, "it's not in your syllabus. First, be thorough with what's in your syllabus".
you generally ignore punctuation when doing anagrams
@Deusovi Yay ^^
6:08 PM
but I can't escape the feeling that I've misunderstood the actual point of @dcfyj's question
yesterday, by dcfyj
Oh, I just thought of a very interesting cryptic puzzle. It'll probably take me a while to make it though.
@Sid so you want to integrate exp(-x^2) from -oo to +oo. The square of that will be the integral of exp(-x^2) exp(-y^2) over the whole of R^2. Now turn that into exp(-(x^2+y^2)), convert into polar coords, and notice that you end up with the integral of something that's obviously a derivative.
(So you can see without clicking)
If you haven't seen it before, you should do it because it's cute.
6:10 PM
Yes, mathematical proofs can be cute.
yeah, lots of things in mathematics are cute
(some are also acute, but that's different)
specially acute angles. It is a cute angle indeed
(although I believe "cute" and "acute" actually have the same etymology and maybe used to be the same word)
(that would make sense - they could both mean something to do with "small")
@BeastlyGerbil 1 "c" in acute
6:11 PM
yeah oops
I don't think smallness is actually the connection -- I think it's more to do with sharpness, and it's "cute" that used to mean something different.
Oh, really? Huh.
@BeastlyGerbil while you're fixing things, note that "specially" is a bit garbled there too.
My fingers are tired. Blame them :P
And again...
R^2 as in radius of a circle of Radius R?
6:12 PM
It apparently meant "clever" originally, and then was changed around 1834 to "pretty".
(According to Wikipedia, at least.)
@Sid R^2 as in the Cartesian product of the real numbers with themselves. (That is, the xy-plane.)
Yeah. Seems to have gone via schoolboy slang along the lines of "cunning" which at one time had very broad slangy use for assorted positive qualities.
You mean, RXR?
@Sid yes, what Deusovi said. Cartesian product of the real line with itself.
when you convert to polars, don't forget the "Jacobian" factor arising from the different areas of dx dy and dr dtheta.
There, I give up. Too much work..
I thought 'pitiable coder' was pretty nice too...
6:15 PM
@Sid it's like two minutes' work. But never mind; you don't have to do it if you don't want to!
@BeastlyGerbil yes, "pitiable coder" is nice.
@Sid yeah I don't like biology either
@GarethMcCaughan What's Jacobian Factor?
When you do a change of variables in an integral, you need a correcting factor that in one dimensions looks like d(old variable) / d(new variable).
In higher dimensions, it's something a bit more complicated; it has to be the ratio of (signed) areas/volumes of the infinitesimal regions you're adding up.
So e.g. you should think of dr d(theta) as being like a region of a circle obtained by letting r and theta both vary by a certain amount
and the actual area of that depends on what r is because the actual distance around the circumference corresponding to d(theta) depends on r
so integral [stuff] dx dy = integral [converted stuff] r dr dtheta
I said "Jacobian" because that area ratio is given by the determinant of the matrix describing the (local) linear relationship between d(new variables) and d(old variables), which is the matrix of partial derivatives, which is called the Jacobian.
(After the mathematician Jacobi.)
(Not to be confused with the Jacobeans, who are another kettle of fish entirely.)
(or the Jacobins, who are a different nother kettle of fish.)
So, basically what you are saying is, say, x=y^2. So, dx=2ydy. and dy= dx/2.x^1/2?
6:21 PM
The Jacobian is the equivalent of the "2y" there, but for higher dimensions.
Oh, we go to 2D and 3D?
Yep, multivariable calculus.
I would probably look into those later...
I am messing up routine maths stuff in classes. And The teacher is furious with me...
I hate being unsure of a puzzle piece...
How is a cryptic puzzle different from a cryptic clue?
6:29 PM
Hm? What do you mean by a "cryptic puzzle"?
Exactly. What does that mean?
"cryptic" often just means "difficult and obscure". If someone calls a puzzle cryptic they may just mean it's meant to be confusing.
Well, I can't answer your question if you don't define the terms.
20 mins ago, by dcfyj
yesterday, by dcfyj
Oh, I just thought of a very interesting cryptic puzzle. It'll probably take me a while to make it though.
6:30 PM
A cryptic crossword is a crossword that's much more confusing than (what was when cryptics started to appear) a standard crossword. It happens that a particular sort of cryptic clue became standard and is now what everyone means by "cryptic crossword".
@Sid :P
But that's a special case. Normally "cryptic" doesn't mean anything so specific.
(It comes from the Greek word for "hidden", by the way. Same as in "apocryphal" or "cryptosporidium".)
(Or "crypt".)
er, yeah
6:31 PM
Anyhow, in that circumstance, I just meant a cryptic clue puzzle
I don't always think of the simplest examples available, despite being a mathematician. (In mathematics you always look first for outright trivial examples. I obviously haven't internalized and universalized that habit quite enough.)
so, anyway, in this particular case @dcfyfj indicates that @Sid should understand the exact opposite of everything I said.
6:54 PM
Q: Geographical statistics

LevieuxToday I received a list of what looks like random letters and numbers, divided into 6 separate groups. I'm told they are some kind of geographical statistics. Can you figure out what it's about? And what are the missing numbers in Group 2? Group 1 GEM: $\{0.71,0.29,0.29,0.29,0.57,0.57,0....

7:11 PM
random cc popped into my head lol. not sure if it's valid.

Savior? I, ah, removed. Made mess. (4)
@GarethMcCaughan Group 1, GEECE - Greece, Group 2: Q should be Qatar, E B EMES - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Group 3: BSW - Botswana, MCC - Morocco
I believe they are divided by continents
So, first group is Europe, second group is Asia.
7:44 PM
I actually think Q is Iraq because "Iraq" has length 4.
@Sid "Boycott the trivialities" I took to mean "Ignore the small words", so dropped Her and Is
hehe I love HNQ
I love how the OP basically changed the whole answer post in a recent edit (I rejected, because no)
They didn't actually seem to change anything, just added a bunch of (seemingly) superfluous words
Some of the meanings seemed completely different to me
7:47 PM
let me guess, soha?
He's very edit happy
Either way
It strikes me that each of those phrases is essentially identical to what was implied/given in the answers, but I'm leaving it alone because I believe that while I don't find it helpful, it's plausible that someone might
(leaving it alone means not casting my OP supervote, I would have cast a standard rejection)
I'm kind of wondering why she didn't mark sid's answer as the correct one?
It's incredibly similar to yours
@Sconibulus It's your post she's trying to edit, do what you will.
7:51 PM
Q: The spy who confused me

dcfyj"Sir! We just got a message from our undercover agent.", tones a private. "Well, what does it say?", replies the general. "We're not sure, sir. It doesn't make any sense.", answers the private. Looking at you the general hands you this message. "Figure it out!", he shouts. RECORD = 3532919...

There it is, good job sphinx, only took you a few minutes.
Looks interesting, although it seems every part of it is a cryptic clue, along with steganographic instructions
Bet the 'record' part are the enumerations
It's possible I made it too hard, time will tell
Be sure however, that the enumerations are there.
Chaotic Tranship helix has to be an anagram of 'tranship helix'. I can see 'sphinx' in there
(in the missive, not necessarily the specific location you mentioned)
7:56 PM
I think I got something!
Hmm, I might hit 10k tomorrow
I won't :P
Posted answer
That was cool!
No idea what next though... As the answer so far says, too much work
@dcfyj oh sorry
Is that the 'final' answer?
8:01 PM
It was an avenue I hadn't expected
And I skipped out the bit too that?
Your last spoiler is the final answer, you skipped from the beginning straight to the end, hahaha
I was busy imagining a sighted train
Okay, so I have to solve the other cryptics now...
Yup, and as I said, the enumerations are there.
8:04 PM
Oh ok
I edited to clarify I skipped to the end
I saw and still think it's funny
I remember Deus did the same to me on SYW
It was annoying but funny
I really wasn't expecting that. Apparently I shouldn't have put the helix in there.
...so the spy resigned due to laziness?
8:07 PM
I have no idea about the other cryptics btw
@Sconibulus I just saw sid's message and thought it was perfect since I didn't need to post some random conspicuous message myself :P
@BeastlyGerbil Remember, both tags are important.
oh yeah stegaography...
the downside is @Sid can ruin your puzzle at a moment's notice
I wonder what stop means?
@Sconibulus Thankfully I picked sid's message and not Arbitrary Kangaroo's
8:10 PM
it would have been so ironic if Sid solved this
I was kind of hoping he would :P
hey, our icons are similar and often get confused, thats good enough right? :P
We'll roll with that :P
I'm bad at remembering icons, when people change their names I'm confused for a long time
blind train, braille?
8:13 PM
I'm guessing you're thinking "out loud"?
I cna translate train to braille easily enough
doesn't look like anything though
blind train probably means 'tran'
Why do I get the feeling that you'll be finding the enumerations last?
I can't fing them
expressed in communique = muniq = munich?
muniq->munich wouldn't be legal without some sort of indicator I don't think
8:16 PM
well the accent makes it sound like that
also, I just figured that one out :)
What one?
Oh, going to post a partial?
only if I find something more in the next five minutes or so
otherwise I'll just post it here and let you steal it
If he has the solution to another cryptic, I've a feeling you'll be solving the puzzle as a whole, rather quickly
8:19 PM
ahh, yeah, I got it :)
Found the enumerations?
nope :)
Do you mind if I add your answers in mine?
lol, all three solved without find the enumeration for either of the last two
"...so I think we're just missing Steganography."

Yup, that would be the enumerations lol
was it supposed to be the letter counts? Because I get 10/7 rather than 9/7
8:23 PM
So enumerations are 10 and 7
10/7 are the correct numbers
whats the stop bit too?
transcript is 10 letters and message is 7 letters
oh, I just don't know how to count :)
8:24 PM
@BeastlyGerbil The STOPs were just stops. (think telegram)
STOP is because it's a telegram, represents end of sentence
I think
yeah, wondering if it was part of the puzzle
Well we worked backwards from the answer to find the start :P
Nope, they were just there
lol, yup
I hope it makes sense how to build the address from the three ccs
Also, building CCs and requiring a certain word count is pretty annoying lol
8:26 PM
I can't quite figure out whether everyone has worked out where the enumerations were hidden, though dcfyj has just given it away
I'm guessing the answer is yes, Sconibulus figured it out, but above he wrote "letter counts" where he meant "word counts".
I'm surprised no one told me off for posting my homework here :D (and that no-one's made progress either)
It's already in Beastly's answer
which is unfortunate because letter counts just are what enumerations are.
oh, I haven't seen the latest version of Beastly's answer
fair enough
I wouldn't just give away information, that's no fun :P
yeah, I just messed it up because I was typing while thinking ahead
8:28 PM
@boboquack Time to find your post to tell you off :P
@dcfyj quick q: was the message supposed to be transcript message the shpinx's lair ot transcript message location (locale) the sphinx's lair?
I was thinking that word count was a very common steganographic means, but clearly I was wrong >.<
First letter of words is more common IMO
word counts are in the top five, certainly
Q: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a comet!

boboquackUmmm... this is a little embarrassing, but I need a bit of help with my homework... I got a riddle from English class, which I have no clue where to start deciphering: Air I miss, comet I be, Round, with a tail at the back. Or is there? No, you may hear... Up I would still be missed, u...

8:29 PM
True, but I've seen the other used on this site as well
word counts, letter counts, first letters (sentence or word) and last letters are probably the top four
@BeastlyGerbil (Message Locale) (Chaotic Transship Helix)
Oh, also random-seeming typefaces
I don't know if Message Locale is a fair def for The Sphinx's Lair :)
8:31 PM
"Chat room"
it would be a fair def for Chat Roomn
And if it's not a valid CC, well it doesn't have an enumeration :P
I think leaving it as a def-less wordplay is probably better than claiming it as a Cryptic
@Sconibulus and @dcfyj Community wiki to be accepted?
@BeastlyGerbil I decided a while back to wait ~24 hours before accepting answers. Gives people plenty of time to see the question and its answers
8:34 PM
yeah I usually do the same
It's up to you if you want to wiki it.
@Sconibulus ^ ?
You grabbed the final answer on your own, why not leave it
well I got the final answer, you solved the middle...
Really you both solve 50%
You solved a cryptic and the final answer, he solved the other two cryptics
8:40 PM
2 v 2
Round 1. FIGHT!
tbh I want @Sconibulus to get 10k, so maybe accept his?
I'll get 15k hopefully soon, but thats not as big as 10k
Q: Tips for doing steganographic puzzles

boboquackSconibulus - The Sphinx's Lair 20:30 9/2/17 'word counts, letter counts, first letters (sentence or word) and last letters are probably the top four' So what are the top, say 10, techniques in doing steganographic puzzles?

too broad ^
Whichever answer I accept you'll both need to agree on and it will need the whole puzzle. I'm not overfond of accepting answers that only have a piece.
Also opinion based, in my opinion :P
8:44 PM
Ah A beautiful round rep number
I have 14'700 rep
So I should downvote something, right?
Lol "closed as too broad". That's not what I voted for!
Wow, that got hammered fast
Anyhow, you two (@BeastlyGerbil @Sconibulus ) haven't agreed on who's getting the tick
8:47 PM
@dcfyj What did you vote for out of curiosity?
Sorry! I had to pick one, and both seemed good.
What I said earlier, primarily opinion based.
@Deusovi It's fine, I just thought it was funny that it said I voted for too broad.
By the way, did you see the last CC I put up?
Yeah, it always does that - whatever the majority answer is.
Yeah, but I only briefly glanced at it
What if there's a tie?
Ah ok.
I'm always interested in your opinion about CCs I post :P
No idea. I think it takes the last one?
8:50 PM
@dcfyj Yes we did, we both said "Not me!" :)
hmm I never said that?
I don't see that boboquack's question about steganography was delete-worthy. It's not all that different from, say, Deusovi's (rightly) much-upvoted question + answer about cryptic crossword clues.
@Sconibulus That's not what I'd call an agreeance.
I said I wanted to give it to you to help for 10k
It cited unreliable sources
8:51 PM
@Sconibulus What did?
I mean yes, it's pretty broad, but so is "tell me everything that can happen in a cryptic crossword clue".
Think he meant I
Mine's not "tell me everything that can happen". It just asks about the basic structure of a cryptic clue, and I went overboard with the answer.
@GarethMcCaughan I'd say because he answered his own question (Deusovi that is) it made it not too broad
@BeastlyGerbil yeah, you wanted to give it to me, I wanted to give it to you; so I paraphrased
8:52 PM
@dcfyj I don't think broadness should depend on who answers.
@dcfyj I was referring to boboquack's question
Also, CCs have very specific rules, unlike steganography
me spouting a thing in chat is very unreliable
Lol, but you did so much research before you posted that :P
Hmm, I think I know where you can buy a bridge...
8:54 PM
Every one of my messages is peer-reviewed before being posted.
Really? that's rather extensive
Mine are peer-reviewed after posting, unless you guys are ignoring me again
what if you want to post a quick answer?
Then I get peers who are really fast at reviewing. :P
Looks over @Deusovi's shoulder, no don't type that
8:57 PM
@Deusovi so who reviewed the comment you posted in answer to this question? :P
Dcfyj did, see?
And that one
I don't even remember where you live lol
I'm just going to keep doing that for every comment you post now :P
9:01 PM
@GarethMcCaughan could you explain here please?
@Jan about the chemicryptics? sure
Thanks mate :)
I'm here too if you need anything explained
so the idea is that each clue divides into (1) a word and (2) anagram fodder. The anagram fodder yields the name of a chemical element, which you turn into its symbol; it is always a two-letter symbol. Then the word and the element symbol have one letter in common, and the letter you need is the other letter of the element symbol.
I'm here too if you need any snarky comments
9:03 PM
Ah the one that they don't have in common?
So for the first one we have (1) WAY and (2) ORGAN yielding ARGON yielding Ar. The common letter is A; the other letter of Ar is R.
Snarky comments are always appreciated
I thought it meant take every other letter of the symbols. Which if you alternate them happen to spell "Authless"
Yup. That's coincidence.
For TECHNETIUM Tc both T and C are in both words
9:05 PM
Glad to see deus' CC still stands. Was feeling stupid yesterday when I couldn't get it after he implied it was a quick easy one.
Oh no sorry sorry
as I take it you've now noticed, no T in CRUNCH :-).
@Jan if thats true there is a mistake, I chose words which didn't have both as that would arose confusion over which to swap
No no I messed up, it's correct
Still waiting on those snarky comments tho
Bah. Write 'em yourself. :P
9:10 PM
I thought I just did
Thanks for the explanation Gareth!
Oh and welcome to puzzling @Jan
Thanks, it seems most of this stuff goes way over my head though :)
Sometimes i just read everyone's comments as snarky and sarcastic... "Thanks for the explanation Gareth!"
I think that would've qualified as a self burn
I find if you put 'geez' om the end of any sentence it becomes sarcastic and souns like your fed up
9:13 PM
If I imply that the explanation was stupid, then how stupid am I for needing it?
The answer is very
just very? :P
In case you didn't understand that
No no, more like VERY
I'm losing track of who's being sarcastic now
@BeastlyGerbil Save the refu!
9:16 PM
Alright @Alconja thats enough. geez. :P
well night all! I'll be around at 4AM GMT though, so my night is going to shorter than usual
I'll be like @Rubio :P
random sleep hours? hehe
Ahhhh.... work fascinates me, I could stare at it for hours.
Does doing it fascinate you?
9:26 PM
@Rubio want some more then?
Jan 21 at 22:22, by Alconja
@incesterror21 You can work for me. The only thing lower than my expectations is the pay!
9:42 PM
My goal is to completely wall myself in with stacks of unfinished work. So I'll have a defensive barrier already in place when managers come looking for my head. :)
Q: Capture the flag

Aric FowlerI just looked at Should we disallow "capture the flag" puzzles where the user has to install software? If the source code of the program is given as text in the question, is it acceptable to post these sorts of puzzle on the site? Users would then need to copy and paste the code, however they ca...

Q: My Uncle's inheritance

FrodCubeIt seems to be really common these days, but I too have a mysterious uncle that recently passed away. As all good uncles do, he was into puzzles and enigmas. After his death I have inherited his house, a really big manor far from the city. Today I decided to go there to check it out. It took me...


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