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12:13 AM
Left one bit of case-bashing in, but I couldn't figure out a shorter way... agh
12:42 AM
Q: Self-indulgent numbers

loopy waltLet's call a positive integer N self-indulgent of degree K>2 if for every positive integer k<K the following is true: More than half of the first k multiples N,2N,...,kN of N contain with multiplicity all the digits of N. So, if, for example, the digit 4 occurs three times in the decimal represen...

1 hour later…
1:54 AM
Q: Unusual 3x3 square

Dmitry KamenetskyCan you fill a 3x3 grid with every number from 1 to 9, such that the sum of numbers in the first row is equal to the sum of numbers in every 2x2 sub-grid? Can you find multiple solutions?

2:42 AM
Q: Perfect magic 4x4 square

Dmitry KamenetskyCan you fill a 4x4 grid with every number from 1 to 16, such that every row, every column and every 2x2 sub-grid of numbers sum to the same value?

2 hours later…
4:48 AM
@Sciborg for some reason, I couldn't talk to you on Discord, sorry for the pinging, but I want to tell you something, privately
2 hours later…
6:56 AM
@Stiv you looking for an extra layer in that crossword?
I was about to post an answer, but then noticed that you had commented ~20 minutes ago saying you were close - not sure if you also suspect the possibility of something deeper going on?
CC: Basketball's top NCAA player, at last - had impeccable finale! (4)
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica Thanks for the bounty on my escape room puzzle, btw, let's hope someone can come over and finish it off :)
(More HNQCCs coming soon, some with semi-plausible solutions...)
7:15 AM
no idea about who we're talking about but i think it's b a (e) r &lit. or b (e) a r &lit. :p
Your second interpretation is correct
i see!
Was hoping for a more exciting game, but they just dominated the whole time
(Don't know what I could've come up with if the other team won though...)
@HTM Your welcome, it just seemed that the solution was much cleverer than I thought, and it was a great puzzle :)
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica Oh, do you have an idea of the final solution?
7:21 AM
It probably has something to do with Amoz's solution so far, though I am far to spot it
Have you looked at the most recent hint?
Ooooh, black and white, might refer to the masyu
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica Spoilers!
Well, I guess since we're in chat it's kinda fine
But if you want to discuss potential ideas for the puzzle, you should probably do so in the comments of the post or in a separate chat room
7:28 AM
I commented on Stiv's answer, I'm wondering if it could refer to hint 2.5...
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica No comment on your comment, of course :)
I think it's time for another hint, I did exactly what I said in my comment, then took the letters that fall on the black spots
But they seemed completely random, plus, Stiv hasn't worked out the O part of the cipher
Be patient, it's not just you that's working on it
As for the ciphers, see hint 2
The fact that the author of the note is Red H. Erring is bothering me, perhaps the note is a red herring?
Stiv! We've been talking about HTM's escape room puzzle
Perhaps you can do what I said in my comment on your answer?
7:45 AM
@Deusovi Ha, yes I spent ages trying to work out if there was more to it (especially because of 46A - but then when I worked out what that was, I realised it was just likely to be straightforward). I have never heard of your answers for 5A and 6D (and Google failed me) but they look correct. I have two differences - they may be the ones you need to fix. Will comment on the post.
@Stiv See my posts with HTM above
Lol I was just gonna comment on Deus's answer to the crossword that they're probably using Google Sheets
@TakingNotes I just used Google Sheets! The grid was made by shading in cells, and just left of each column of clues was a left-aligned column that I filled answers into. (Also, I see what's going on with 37d now that Stiv's shared his answers... not sure how I missed that.) — Deusovi ♦ 52 secs ago
From my experience, Sheets (or Excel, or any generic spreadsheet program) is probably the most intuitive way of making and solving puzzles that involve grids, including crosswords and grid deduction puzzles
yep, it's where i do the majority of my constructing
7:50 AM
Might not have the most features, but it's quick and easy to set up
The power of Sheets
@Anonymus25-ReinstateMonica Hi. It seems talk of a 'cipher' is not the way to go after HTM's comments and further hints, and what I found was instead just a way to help identify the words that needed to go into the grid in the way that Amoz found. Still thinking off and on about what might be needed next - will post if anything useful strikes - still quite a few features of the puzzle to be uncovered!
(and solving)
5 hours later…
12:48 PM
Q: Cities and Countries : One matches and others don't

DrD"So here is a table of five cities and five countries", said Grandpa. "With my logic, one city is perfectly matched to the country in the same row. Other four are not. Can you rearrange those four cities so they are a perfect match with the countries?" He asked. I looked at the table. Did not ma...

1:34 PM
"spring forward, fall back" is nicely memorisable... finnish doesn't have such convenient names of seasons so our rule is "shift towards midsummer"
that rule also works in australia, as long as one remembers to use the southern hemisphere summer and not the other one :P
2 hours later…
3:13 PM
Q: Folding a piece of paper with numbers in sequence

ThomasLDivide a rectangular sheet of paper with a side length of 2 × 4 into eight 1 x 1 unit squares and label them as shown in the sketch. Then fold the sheet of paper along the boundaries of the square so that you get a square stack of paper with the squares on top of each other in the order of their...

3:37 PM
Q: Winning strategy in game

RighterContext: I played this game at one point (and lost) and now I'm wondering whether it was possible to win or not. We have a hexagonal board like this: I'm defining the following terms: Each hexagon is called a piece. A wall is a border of the board. There are four walls- left, right, top and bot...

Q: Totally not spam; don't delete me

Voldemort's WrathThanks for registering for our super-not-spam mailing list! We'll let you unsubscribe if you can find a super-special password! Here are the criteria for the password: Matches the following regex expression: \w.\w\w Includes 3 digits, 1 special character/symbol, and 4 letters Contains the letter...

^^ Slightly concerned I've just done someone's homework for them.
1 hour later…
4:54 PM
Ha! My automatic table converter paid off. 6 more edits and I will join bobble and Rand in the exclusive club of the archeologists - The 3rd rarest badge on Puzzling :P
Granted, I cheated my way into it
*3rd rarest non-tag badge
5:12 PM
What are the other two?
Don't come joinin' our club, then we'd be as common as the Legendary folk. Wait...
Oh, there's another 1-award badge, but it's deprecated: Tumbleweed
(another edit: not sure what's going on with me today, the second badge isn't actually for the same question...)
@bobble what a legend
Speaking of legends, the real [unsung hero] here at PSE is gnat. Not a single post, but the highest amount of votes casted. They are all upvotes.
6:05 PM
Mar 30 at 0:07, by bobble
Oh, and a bonus synonym for meta: and have the exact same excerpts and wikis. Probably should be the mother tag
Should I open a meta specifically about this, or can it just go through?
no need for a meta post there - i'd be very surprised if anyone objected
and i took a quick look at the questions using the tags, and there didn't seem to be any distinction there either
Another meta synonym could be under - does that need a meta post?
And then apparently my answer to this question is too vauge, and I'm not sure why. Also, why am I spending so much brain energy on meta?
1 hour later…
7:38 PM
CCCC hints: 1. The fifth letter is E.
@bobble Because "I'm so meta even this acronym"
OK, for some reason the links aren't formatting properly for me, so I'll just do them one by one:
Q: Alignment in Forest

JeT I'm not super comfortable (yet) with forest. I have a problem with the alignment of nodes. Where am I wrong? \documentclass[border=2mm]{standalone} \usepackage{forest} \begin{document} \begin{forest} box/.style={rounded corners, draw=gray!50, fill=orange!20, font...

Alignment in Forest (3)
Q: Calculation of a series

AligatorIt seems that we have: $$\sum_{n\geq 1} \frac{2^n}{3^{2^{n-1}}+1}=1.$$ Please, how can one prove it?

Calculation of a series (3 or 9)
Q: curved perspective

Ned ReifIn Inkscape, I am trying to recreate the illusion of corrugated metal on an airplane wing (such as on a Douglas TBD Devastator, if that information helps). The wing is curved, of course. I am trying to get parallel boxes with rounded ends (representing the raised metal) to fit into a trapezoid wi...

Curved perspective (4)
First and third are a bit iffy, the second one is alright but not that great
Actually, the third might be OK, just have to solicit opinions on my proposed solution
8:09 PM
@HTM removed from HNQ by means of closing
Well, as long as it appeared on the HNQ page at any point in time, it's fine by me
8:51 PM
Q: monastic nerd takes a leave from seclusion into the profane world

daximISTR the science-fiction novel or short story is younger than 20 years old. The material was definitely published in English and I was reading a digital copy on the Web. Start of the story goes like: monastic nerd takes a leave from seclusion into the profane world, is in awe of the strangeness o...

@HTM Here's another :)
@Stiv Ey, I had that exact one on my list!
Possible CC parsing: def "monastic" = remove ("nerd" - A) from "seclusion" and put into the middle of (WORLD)*
Or perhaps it's: def "the profane world" = "seclusion" - ("monastic nerd" - A)
Some steps I just took:
- see new post by a new user, with a title entirely focused on difficulty
- click in, expecting to edit title to more accurately reflect puzzle
- disappointed when the question is asking for recommendations/opinions (for puzzles with logical answers that look easy but are hard)
- downvote and VTC
@bobble Huh, I know which question you're talking about, but I can't seem to find it anymore
Oh, there it is, nvm
Difficulty is definitely subjective, but just because a question is asking for a recommendation doesn't mean it's automatically off topic
Maybe if the OP specified why they wanted such a puzzle it would be much more answerable
"looks easy" is opinion-based, "is difficult" is opinion-based, "simple looking" is opinion-based
Q: A question about puzzle books

BmyGuestI think the community at P.SE is an excellent crowd when one wants to find out good resources for puzzles (/riddles/...). However, as the site policy is rather strict on opinion based questions (which therefore don't have a valid answer), I'm wondering if the following question category would be ...

9:06 PM
@bobble Yeah, but asking for a puzzle recommendation as long as context is provide isn't as far as I can tell
We can take some kinds of recommendations; they're tagged and must have very clear criteria
I'll add a comment asking for clarification
(refer to the comments there and this main-meta question for how recommendations can work - it's not how this question is currently written)
Closing is meant to prevent answers to a question in its current, not-good state. While the question is closed we can work with the asker to improve it, make it more answerable, etc. while making sure no poor answers can be made to the current not-good state. Once the community is satisfied that the question is good it can be reopened. Therefore it's important to close quickly and also help askers in the comments so that if they work with us their question can be reopened
BTW there's precedence for these kinds of questions being on-topic:
Q: What are some examples of "cheat-proof" trivia questions?

ParseltongueI'm planning on running a Zoom trivia tournament with monetary prizes and am trying to avoid any concern about cheating to preserve competitive integrity. What are some types of questions that are more-or-less "cheat-proof?" (that is, they can't trivially be Googled within the time-limit... about...

And I VTC'ed that
9:13 PM
As long as the proper terms are defined, I think we're OK
Look at all the terrible answers
my goodness, I hated all the terrible answers
I agree with Bass here:
For the close-voters: This is an example of the rare "relevant, on-topic question that doesn't fit the Stack Exchange format". When this happens, we would do well to realise that the fault lies in the site design, not the question. After all, it is the good questions that are important; the guidelines and rules are only tools for making good questions more frequent. — Bass Nov 17 '20 at 16:45
so many people just blasting off their half-formed ideas with no back-up or explanation
@bobble Then we address those answers
But the question itself isn't the problem, as far as I can tell
At least that one had some clear criteria that was somewhat addressable. This one doesn't
9:15 PM
And so we'll try to get that criteria from the OP :)
Oh, looks like I forgot to actually downvote the terrible answers there
Q: Simple looking but really difficult puzzle

TheMazeProI am looking for a simple looking puzzle. I want it to look so simple that if someone looks at it they think it would take 5 seconds. I want the puzzle to have a logical answer not some technicality. The puzzle still needs to be really hard.

There we go.
@bobble Hehe, glad I brought it up then
Ah, I'd quibble with your edit of - I think the OP isn't looking to make a puzzle but instead looking for existing puzzles which fit their criteria
Hence why I suggested above
9:20 PM
Well, it could be both if you like it
> A question about the creation and development of puzzles. Not to be used for requesting the creation of a puzzle
doesn't apply if they're looking for existing puzzles
Well, as the question stands, we don't know that for sure, so if you'd like to change the tag then go ahead, but it's the OP's decision to make
True. Probably best to hold off further edits until they clarify further
(this discussion is feeling kinda familiar actually...)
Hi samm82!
9:23 PM
yesterday, by HTM
We'd have to seek clarification on what the OP means then - if they're just wondering if it can be done, or if they want specific examples of how it can be used
We just had a similar thing occur yesterday lol
that one at least started off with clearer criteria
If this kind of discussion happens enough, it would be worth opening a meta to hash out how we feel about it as a site, not just as the limited crowd of chatters
Perhaps - we'll see if these questions become more common or if they're just one-off occurrences
@bobble Hey! Poppin in to see if anyone has cracked the CCCC - looks like no dice so far lol
You can try cracking the HNQ CCs :)
@samm82 Hopefully it won't take a full week to figure out like my last one...
9:29 PM
Personally, I wouldn't mind some more non-puzzle content (by which I mean non-"solve this" challenge questions) here. I have some puzzle-creation stuff already, and it's nice for the variety.
In fact, I believe puzzle creation was basically the goal of Puzzling when it first started out
It was only later that puzzles themselves became on-topic
Yep, then there was an Epic War for the Future Of The Site
Man, I love me some internet drama :)
Dec 11 '16 at 18:01, by Rand al'Thor
You young'uns weren't here for the Great Puzzling War.
I've only been on for like a year but I'm super glad it ended up being a place to make/share/solve puzzles lol
9:32 PM
You make nice cryptics! :D
We also had a Great Sandbox Incident
@bobble Why thank you! It's definitely been hit-or-miss for me as far as fairness, but overall I've learned a lot, and I'm genuinely proud of some of my newer ones :)
If anyone wants some meta reading, this is The Question that marked a turning point in the Great Puzzling War.
@HTM Curved perspective (4): rot13(FXRJ = qqrs: pheirq = fxrj, n fxrj va n fgbel vf vgf crefcrpgvir)
@samm82 Oh, that fits pretty well actually - I had a different word in mind though, so looks like it's not as good as I thought it was
@HTM oh yikes - you hate to see it XD
9:39 PM
Hey, I didn't say these CCs would be entirely correct anyway :)
Just trying to make them work
@HTM call it a Schrödinger
Nah, that's a cop-out, I want pure, unadulterated Ximenean constructs!
@HTM True true - I thought about cooking up a HNQ CC a while ago and very quickly gave up after realizing how hard it was lol
BTW the solution I intended for "Curved perspective (4)" was BENT as a ddef
Though SKEW definitely works better for it
seems there's a grammar problem?
"curved" = "skewed"
9:45 PM
@bobble "Skew" itself can be an adjective
As in a "skew angle"
yup ^ a Google of "define skew" gave "crooked" as a definition of "skew", so I figured "curved" would also work
may I file a complaint against the English language
I also considered SLANT for a (5), but "curved" and "slant" aren't that synonymous with each other
although now that I say that, skew = curved seems like a bit of a stretch, although I guess that's par for the course of the HNQCCs
@HTM yeah I think that would be a mismatch, where "curved" = "slanted"
chat mini challenge - make a Ximenean CC of the form "A(n) <adjective> connect wall"
9:48 PM
@samm82 "Slant" can also be an adjective meaning "sloped"
welp - nvm then lol
Yeah, words are weird like that
The issue there is I don't usually think of a slanted object as being curvy
10:05 PM
Q: Originally not a movie

Prim3numbahCan you tell what movie this image represents? (the answer is a 5-letter noun)

^ Add a question mark and this would almost work for NOVEL, barring the part of speech mismatch (bonus points for being a 5-letter noun)
@samm82 Oh god, what have I done
> @booble yes, edited
the perils of having a username that starts with a bunch of bs and an o, I guess?
10:11 PM
@bobble I'd be very surprised if that's the first time that's happened lol
11:08 PM
Q: Ongoing not-exactly-contests

Gareth McCaughanWe already have a policy on questions from ongoing competitions. This meta question is about them; its accepted answer proposes borrowing the policy used on math.SE, which basically says that if a question comes from some sort of contest, AND the contest is still going on, AND the contest has a ...


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