« first day (2391 days earlier)      last day (90 days later) » 

12:00 AM
(or maybe someone is a 3D jigsaw fan)
3D jigsaw where?
do you mean the Hogwarts Lego set?
oh, I thought I recognized it as one of the Wrebbit 3D jigsaws.
Maybe it's actually a Lego set.
My dad family has giant Millennium Falcon, Ewok Village, and Hogwarts Lego sets, along with a bunch of smaller ones
We have a fair amount of Lego, but not sets that make particular things. Contrary to the usual gender stereotypes it's my wife and daughter who do almost all the Lego-making.
I usually end up making the Legos, but my dad likes looking at them afterwards
by the way, did I leave anything identifying in?
12:07 AM
I didn't spot anything.
sigh of relief
(And the places where you've censored things look as if you've censored them in a way that isn't readily reversible.)
you should also be able to see my mom's Winnie the Pooh ornaments
Bumping my question from a few days ago: if the theme of the FTC were variety crossword grids, and I made one puzzle about that BUT made it a component of one larger puzzle, is this larger puzzle valid as an entry for FTC, or only the subpuzzle?
(didn't see any answers so forgive me if I overlooked)
12:12 AM
@bobble ooh nice :)
@oAlt You'd need to ask in the FTC post if it qualifies or not. (For the current one, I explicitly allowed such kind of mashups).
@oAlt i'd say it's valid - i believe it's been done before, but i can't remember any examples off the top of my head
oh there was that "weird connect walls" entry that started as a masyu
and there was another (by ankoganit, iirc) that started as a connect wall and turned into something else
Q: What are these holes in my Connect Wall?

AnkoganitAn entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #42: Wordless Connecting Walls "Why on earth are there blank spaces in your connect wall?" "In my defense, you just asked me to make categories with four words in them; you never said how many categories." "It's a 4x4 grid! How many categories do you think...

that's the one!
connect-wall -> slitherlink -> cipher
12:26 AM
so yeah, that's fine by me at least - as long as part of it uses the theme, i'm not gonna complain if more is added on
I got an idea... aggh, I was going to work on a Lit question. Should probably do that first.
12:43 AM
@Bubbler ah, what I meant was something like variety crossword grid, PLUS (for example) a cipher, a language puzzle, and a maze, and all are combined into one puzzle
@bobble in this case though, one was supposed to solve it like a connect wall from the very start (well, after solving the cryptic clues) and doing so led to other types of puzzles
(Ah, mine doesn't say about combining with non-grid-deductions either)
but I'd personally allow them too
hmm ok (thanks for the inputs)
By the way, Deus and I solved the crazy quintuple-chimera Fillomino, which you can see in the chatroom
If there's a whole chain of comments that is No Longer Needed, should they each be flagged, only the last one, only the first one, or flag one with a custom flag?
either all of them or custom flag
12:59 AM
Another thing I've been wondering - when a comment flag comes up in the queue, do you see just the flag, or the whole chain of comments and the post in question?
we just see the flagged comment
thank you for providing this most definitely needed information
(i can show you what it looks like if you don't mind us sharing your recent comment flags)
sure, that's fine
this is what we see for comment flags
1:03 AM
what does the "1" in a blue box mean?
one person flagging
no problem! hope you enjoyed the peek behind the curtain into the (probably not very interesting) flag queue
Super Secret Mod Power Queue, you mean
and I have to leave now, so bye!
see ya!
3 hours later…
3:46 AM
Q: A colorful little Connect Wall

SciborgThis Connect Wall is pretty straightforward (?), but I thought it might be a fun mini-puzzle! Connect Wall rules: Divide these sixteen words into four groups based on something they have in common. You'll find that the four groups have something in common themselves. The words aren't in any parti...

4:34 AM
@Sciborg are you in need of some distraction?
Q: Day-in-the-sun chess

Paul PanzerInspired by this puzzle: Doubled Knights redux Let's make the following change to the rules of chess. Every piece can once per game (on its day in the sun) make a double move. Clarifications: Things allowed in the double move: walking in and out of check either by moving the king or by leaving a...

I could use a distraction yes :p
did you see my Christmas tree?
Yes!!! It's super cute!
4:46 AM
you can see the barest hints that my family is nerdy
When I finish setting mine up, i will send a picture - still have to do some branch-fluffing and ornaments
Matt is going to lose it when he sees all my nerdy-ass Star Trek ornaments
ooh, Doodle Request: some bobblies trying to climb up to the top of a Christmas tree (obviously some of them are falling off)
on it
How has your day been? :D
mostly good, except that my sister had one of her "if you agree with me then you're not making choices for yourself, if you disagree then you're just being contrary" moods
ah yes, makes perfect sense
4:51 AM
and I got two cups of hot chocolate for making the tree
you may perhaps put some nerdy ornaments on the tree that the bobblies are climbing
We're doing both a family tree and our own trees this year, so i've been slowly setting up mine over the course of today. It's squished up next to my keyboard since my apartment is kinda small :p
our tree is half-blocking both the staircase and the entrance to mom's office, but oh well
There's no good place to put giant pine trees
4:56 AM
in the Hogwarts Great Hall
Correction: there's one good place to put giant pine trees
but it is a good place, you must admit
wistfully imagines what it's like to have floor space
we had floor space, then it was sacrificed to the bunnies
A worthy sacrifice :p
I'm putting little Santa hats on the bobblies
5:02 AM
this is a completely valid choice
Hmm, I think I'll make the Christmas tree lights rainbow too. I'm in a rainbow mood
you can show one at the top trying to stake a pride flag as the tree-topper
I'm in Step 1 of making an FTC sashigane - solve a bunch of other people's sashiganes to learn basic deductions and get break-in ideas
user image
here are the tree bobblies
5:21 AM
I think that one of them may need to go back to Tree-Climbing school
now, have you seen any more SHIELD since, um, yesterday?
Not yet :)
has Poofy been squishy?
Poofy is squishy and is still my Desk Buddy
would you do your homework in the Great Hall, in your dorm, in the house common room, in the library, outside, or in an empty classroom?
Is this one of those online Sorting quizzes? :p
Usually i get Hufflepuff
5:27 AM
no, random question sparked by the Great Hall Christmas tree stuff
Probably my dorm, that was usually where i did homework in college. But sometimes I would hang out in the basement of the library because nobody went down there and it was quiet
Although the Hogwarts library probably wouldn't be quiet, given all the ghosts and stuff
but Madame Pince
True, true
I feel like if you were at Hogwarts, you'd absolutely be Ravenclaw
You would tutor all the Slytherin kids in math and Dark Arts
and also campaign for therapy and wifi
Hey, Matt's here :D
5:39 AM
remind me never to eat pita chips
that is all
did you ever read the IT Wizard?
The IT Wizard?
oh wait it was The Setup Wizard
premise is that a Muggle IT guy is hired by Hogwarts to do IT stuff
and there is gayness if you read far enough in
5:41 AM
Even better
@Sciborg hell yes, I must see
for maximum effect, you have to read oldest first
@Sciborg this is amazing
I have a friend who reads like a hundred Tumblr series and webcomics, i'm gonna forward this to her
let's not forget badconlangingideas.tumblr.com
(for bad conlanging ideas)
5:49 AM
hmm, looks like they resumed the series for Hogwarts remote learning
(it stopped when they ran out of time a while back)
I also just realized i've run out of my favorite light green note paper, so future Doodles will have to be on dark green until i can get more :p
oh no!
we made too many Doodle Requests
No worries, i use it for tons of scribblings so it runs out a lot
I have like a pile of notepapers on my desk that are just random website passwords and reminders to do things i forgot :p
have you been solving any puzzles recently?
6:05 AM
@bobble interesting ritual. do you rip it up and put it on an altar?
we let it be covered by half-destroyed boxes and hay
@Sciborg pro tip: use the same password for absolutely everything, so you need to remember only one password. (kidding!!)
@msh210 of course, i see no problems with this :p
@bobble oh... so no midnight rituals involving candles?
sadly, no
6:07 AM
we only do midnight summoning rituals when we need to summon Deus
@bobble I am disappointed.
@Sciborg I must brush up on my theoviology
I plead forgiveness
@bobble you are forgiven, my daughter
go and sin no more
What shall I do in repentance?
The bunnies must be given cuddles, in accordance with the Scripture
6:13 AM
@Sciborg and treats
I shall give them two dried carrot treats apiece and pet them.
This pleases the Lord.
The only conceptual artist I know is On Kawara (whom I know only because he appeared in another puzzle). (Googling, of course, gets me more.)
(the C4)
6:17 AM
I don't imagine that "conceptual" and "artist" are two different parts of the clue. I don't know how the wordplay would work then... and "conceptual" doesn't have many synonyms, certainly not short ones. So I think we're looking for a conceptual artist (or a synonym of "conceptual artist").
I know pretty much nothing about art except what I researched for Jeremy Dover's art puzzle a little while ago
montanan is an american, and that's On eaten by M'tanan, a fish in a south african mythology i just invented
Yeah, for "American" I think we need either a state demonym, like @jafe said, or a country demonym (using "American" broadly to refer to the Americas), or a term describing a Native American nation.
a flawless solve
6:21 AM
(respectively, Montanan, Bolivian, Cherokee, for example)
Now I'm wondering if "eaten by" means that "fish" is a container indicator and wraps around "American conceptual artist"? (or just "conceptual artist")
can't be around "American conceptual artist" unless it's &lit... and I highly doubt it's &lit
but yeah that seems likely (and is in fact what @jafe proposed above); an alternative is that "by" means concatenation
the first google hit i get for "conceptual artist" is Sol LeWitt... SOL seems like it could be a usable substring
(also, hi everyone)
Hello :)
I had to plead forgiveness from msh210
6:26 AM
@jafe huomenta
hehe nice
bye everyone
yoko ono is a pretty famous conceptual artist
american could clue a city demonym like Angeleno as well
If we take "conceptual artist" to be "ON", as in "On Kawara," that could be part of the wordplay?
Or "SOL" as in "Sol LeWitt", either one
6:41 AM
yeah it could be either of those inside some word for fish
or it could be just a name of an artist, with "conceptual" as a separate part... although i don't know any short synonyms for "conceptual" off the top of my head
there are so many words for "fish"
yeah, there's like 20 words for "fish" that come immediately to mind
could even be just a synonym for "eaten" and then a word for fish, with "american conceptual artist" as the def
Could also be that
like dined + gar making Din Edgar, the famous fake conceptual artist
That could be it
I mean, not that literal solution, but that could be the idea
6:44 AM
just made up din edgar, just to be clear :)
but eaten does have some usable synonyms i think
Right, I was excited because that is a very plausible idea for the wordplay, not at the mighty Din Edgar :p
Alternatively, what if "American conceptual" is the def...? i.e. an American ideal or something
seems kinda wonky though
i don't see it... conceptual can only be an adjective, right?
6:52 AM
so the answer would have to be an adjective too
I'm kinda just grasping at random straws at the moment
It just feels like the surface of "American conceptual artist" is some kind of trick
no official u.s. state demonym or native american group included in the u.s. census apparently contains SOL or ONO
There goes that idea, then
yeah if "american conceptual artist" was the def it could just as easily have been "artist eaten by fish"
still possible, of course, but less likely imo
ON could be useful for sure
Arizonan has ON and is 8 letters
No fish called "arizan" that i can find, though
6:56 AM
so arizan must be a fish... come on google
@jafe magic 8 ball says: Don't count on it.
Or maybe something like "national" or "regional", but there are no fish called "natial" or "regial"
to angle is to fish, and angeleno almost contains that but not quite
"colonial" maybe, but again, "colial" isn't a fish...
next conceptual artist with a usable name: Ian Burn
7:03 AM
i like "IAN" being part of this
i get the feeling we've gone off the intended path by now
yeah maybe "conceptual artist" for Ian would be too specific... it's not like you see the name ian and are like "oh yes, the australian artist from the 70s"
i feel like this is gonna be another "old saw" clue where the answer is incredibly wild and not at all what we expected
those are the best clues
i'm gonna go down a two-day rabbit hole of learning about conceptual art and then it will turn out to be like, a clue for amoebas or something
or it's a word like piscephagized meaning "eaten by fish"
think i mixed up latin and greek there but oh well
7:21 AM
@jafe right
@Sciborg don't blame Gareth for old saws. He wouldn't do that.
By the way, I figured out (a while back, just never mentioned) what exactly was wrong with that clue.
next up in conceptual artists: Tracey Emin
The problem was that it was a so-called definition by example. You don't clue MAN by "John Major": you need to use "John Major, for example".
eyy jafe is back
what clue are we talking about
@msh210 more so that john major could mean anything aside from man
7:23 AM
Same with "an old saw ends like this" -- it's an example, so you need to say "an old saw perhaps ends like this". I think that latter would be perfectly fine.
wait, EMIN eaten by SOLE is SEMINOLE, a native american
@jafe there you go
nicely found
@oAlt so what?
and we learned about conceptual artists in the progress!
(i think i tripped up on my english) i meant that it's not just the problem that cluing "John Major" is insufficient, but that John Major could also clue other things aside from man. for all we know, the answer could be "scientist", "pastor", "artist", "toilet", etc
like other, tighter definitions-by-example for "man" could have been used
8:17 AM
hi athin :0
Hey oAlt, uh, I actually accidentally clicked this chat instead of meta haha ><
(I'm that kind of person who is actually.. too embarrassed to show up in a chat, so.. I think I may leave pretty soon ahahah)
Q: Norinori: QR-Code-ish

athinThis is an entry for Fortnightly Topic Challenge #44: Introduce a new grid deduction genre to the community. Here is a standard Norinori puzzle. Rules of Norinori: Shade exactly two cells in each bordered region. Each shaded cell must be orthogonally adjacent to exactly one other shaded cell, m...

8:57 AM
@athin that's fine. i was like that (and i think i still am sometimes when there are too many people in the group that i'm not close to) too
pretty sure i lurked for weeks or months before saying anything here
9:12 AM
I didn't. I'm pretty sure I popped in and just started talking, which is the total opposite to me in real life
Usenet & listserv netiquette is to lurk awhile before posting to get a feel for the group. Dunno that that's true for chat in general, for SE chat in particular, or for this lair in more particular.
You can't go too wrong taking cues from the other people chatting.
Right. I suppose a good policy is: lurking is necessary for chat too, but for a shorter timespan than on Usenet or listservs.
(And for SE chat in particular, which has history, checking that history can serve in lieu of lurking.)
9:21 AM
(I'm not saying I always follow these guidelines, incidentally.)
9:40 AM
Question for MODS (and wider community): Do we really need every tag wiki excerpt to contain a warning that general questions are off-topic but can be asked on a different site on the SE network? While this is useful info for the body of a tag wiki this seems excessive for the little stub that gives you info about what the tag actually is about, rather than what it's not...
The prolific tag wiki editing currently going on by a particular user does not seem like it's actually useful, and instead is now cluttering what were intended to be short little informative stubs.
(That's how it seems to me anyway)
(Specifically talking about the tag wiki excerpts here, in case that's not clear...)
10:30 AM
Q: Progressive Matrix question - lines, squares and circles

user71981I found a free logical reasoning test which consisted of 10 questions. I managed to solve all the other questions correctly except for the last one: I could not find a pattern of how the squares and circles. I could only find one in the lines which is that the lines would move up as the sequence...

11:18 AM
Re my comments above, am also interested in views from other users (not just mods). I've Rejected several of these tag wiki excerpt edits today for 'no improvement whatsoever'... If consensus suggests these are genuinely useful alterations to the excerpts then I will revert to Skipping them (I cannot bring myself to Approve them).
12:04 PM
@jafe Yup, you got it. Well done!
12:46 PM
CCCC: Temperamental battalion's leader absent from soldier entombment (9)
had to look up "battalion" several times because it just looks wrong regardless of how many times i've checked that that's how it's spelt
my instinct is to write one T and two L's every time
It always looks wrong to me however many Ts and Ls.
1:06 PM
hi bubbler
1:58 PM
@jafe MERC + (-b)URIAL?
2:18 PM
Q: Open the curtains

SlowMagicOpen the curtains to reveal some words of wisdom: ┏━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┳━┓ ┃.┃.┃C┃O┃N┃D┃U┃C┃I┃V┃E┃.┃.┃.┃.┃.┃ ┣━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━┫ ┃.┃.┃.┃.┃O┃V┃E┃R┃E┃A┃T┃.┃.┃.┃.┃.┃ ┣━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━┫ ┃.┃.┃.┃.┃.┃.┃.┃F┃A┃T┃H┃E┃R┃.┃.┃.┃ ┣━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━╋━┫ ┃....

Q: Dragon summoning spell

SlowMagicI was in my local library looking for the fifth volume in the series Bauxite Production and Processing, when I noticed a stairwell door was slightly ajar. Curious, I slipped through the door and down the stairs, down into the stacks. Who knew the library had so many fascinating books in their st...

@oAlt that's right
feeling both confident and unsure about this one
CCCC: Clipped prompt: it's translated live, perhaps (11)
ugh, frick me. i'm doubting myself more over this ;_;
yeah, i might have to drop that one. would anyone be willing to confirm my doubts through onetimesecret?
2:38 PM
@oAlt I'd rather try to figure it out. :-)
. . . I think.
that's fine if you really wanna do it
it's just that there's a small but crucial technicality i overlooked :'(
@oAlt I'm no expert, but I can take a look via ots if you want
torn between leaking to ots versus letting it stand for a while now that at least one person is interested in solving it (and inevitably finding what is wrong with my clue)
on second thought i might let it stand for a while instead?
Sure, up to you
2:54 PM
"a small but crucial technicality" . . . he omitted a noun
@msh210 there is one possible interpretation of this that aligns with what i'm thinking right now, though we might not be thinking the same thing
3:09 PM
Q: What's the sixth word?

msh210There's an integer n>0 such that subtracting n (where A=1, …, and Z=26) from some (more than one) of the letters in word #1 yields word #2. Replacing the first plosive in word #3 by a fricative and the first vowel by a syllabic approximant yields word #5. Replacing thunder with war in word #5 yie...

@JeremyDover Your 'Office park' grid puzzle looks fantastic! And (although I've loved seeing the new grid-deduction types so far this fortnight) I'm glad to see someone devising something new as well, as I was debating doing just that myself - it's an encouragement to sit down and do it some time!
I have a great idea that I really hope I have the time to pull off - a puzzle where the only given puzzle text is the rules of the grid-deduction genre, no actual grid to solve, and then you have to extract a puzzle from the rule-text.
Any progress on the cryptic-clues?
oh, sorry - had too much to do yesterday. I can finish them up by tonight for sure.
Alright. Thanks!
3:24 PM
Thanks Stiv! Don't know if it's really new or not, but once I started working it out, even this pretty easy example still had some interesting deduction in it.
Q: Office Park: A Grid Deduction Puzzle

Jeremy DoverThis is an entry for Fortnightly Topic Challenge #44: Introduce a new grid deduction genre to the community I had an idea for what I think is a new grid deduction puzzle which has some aspects of Statue Park and some from Skyscrapers, so Office Park seems a good temporary name. It may well have a...

3:52 PM
@JeremyDover I must be misunderstanding something in the Office Park rules because it seems obviously impossible. How can you place any V piece if (1) nothing is allowed to overhang but (2) pieces aren't allowed to touch?
@GarethMcCaughan: Maybe I didn't describe the pieces well. The piece descriptions are the number of cubelets in each stack looking down from the top. So a V is an L-triomino of cubes, with a 4th cube on one of the arms.
@msh210, @Sciborg: I'm sure you'll be pleased to know I have completed my penance.
4:10 PM
@JeremyDover Oh, no, the problem isn't that you didn't describe it right, it's that I'm an idiot and imagined it wrong. Sorry.
@GarethMcCaughan: I'm already imagining a Frank Lloyd Wright variant where cantilevers are allowed, so you're not an idiot...just visionary :-)
Interesting that "clipped" and "prompt" can actually mean very similar things
Both meaning "short"
I have a sneaking suspicion it might be SCINTILLANT
I'm not a 100% sure how to get the wordplay to work though
(running outta data so I might suddenly not talk)
4:23 PM
But I think "it's translated" is a literal indicator that it's a translation
I had to check my school's website because I forgot when class started over break D:
"Live" meaning that it's sparks, sparkles, etc.
Clipped I think might be SCINTILLA, but NT?
@bobble bless you
@oAlt What is that reaction? Was I right? (actually don't answer that)
Tight lips indeed
4:27 PM
The SCINTILLA meaning "short" and SCINTILLANT seems too coincidental though
so you need to massage "it's translated live, perhaps" into = NT?
@oAlt The answer is SCINTILLA(+NT), where NT is a neurotransmitter, which is a prompt of a sort #greatc4solutions
you forgot the "n" in "scin"
indeed (not) correct
4:42 PM
any one want to take bets on how long my econ teacher will rant about Cox?
Cox? Like the internet service provider?
How long do they usually complain?
he's tangented for an entire class several times
How long are your class periods?
4:44 PM
hour? I think?
Hm, I'm going to bet 45 miniutes
oh wait he changed to a rant about how politicians aren't following COVID regulations
now rant about Gray's Anatomy???
I've forgotten how strange this is
Like the TV show?
Or the book?
TV show, and I might have spelled it wrong
dang, bobble, you've got one weird teacher
4:51 PM
Not seeing the connection with Econ but ok
that's the point
Nov 9 at 17:04, by Sciborg
typical econ class: supply-demand chains, productivity, finance
your class, apparently: "every law is enforced by the barrel of a gun..." *drags on weed pipe*
Yeah that explains it
as a plus, I had time to finish all of North's cryptic clues - they will be landing in your inbox soon
in whose inbox?
4:54 PM
@bobble Ey! Thank you!
why hello there...
Nov 9 at 16:59, by Sciborg
I've actually learned a bunch from this econ class - almost entirely from the homework lecture videos
also, my school has decided:
1. cameras always on, else you are absent
2. respond when asked stuff, else you are absent
in other words, the entire school is using spanish's attendance system
5:41 PM
Q: Plus-sized amoeba escapes

CireoAs an extension to @WhatsUp 's question here, the rules of which are included below, with the following differences: In one of the squares, there lives an amoeba (marked as a circle in the following pictures). In some of the squares, there are amoebas (marked as green/yellow in the following pi...


« first day (2391 days earlier)      last day (90 days later) »