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12:44 AM
I think I can make it today but after a few more hours
1 hour later…
2:08 AM
Q: Help me solve this old printed-out puzzle (possibly incomplete)

Michael WintersteinI recently discovered among some old papers a page that I'd printed out. I'm pretty certain it's a puzzle, but I don't have the answer for it and cannot guarantee that I have all the rules for it complete (see below). It consists of three columns of words. I'm reasonably sure that the spacing is ...

2:29 AM
Here's a table of the names of the famous people in the Placed Face Maze!
I genuinely hope that solving it only involves finding patterns of their names, since I know absolutely nothing about any of them :(
4th row, 3rd column: the picture is The Portrait of an Unknown Lady, which was painted by Hans Baldung. (So the famous person referred to by that picture might not be Hans Baldung)
3:26 AM
What about THERMOCOUPLE? It's a device found in machines. Possibly an accessory, esp. in planes. COUPLE is often of a plane or more likely train car. odds with mother is THERMO. At first or knucklehead might move thermo to the start (but why both?)... but that's where I don't know enough about cluing, or more likely it is just wrong.
pokes 3k-ers dupe?
3:40 AM
(The issue is that the close-reason boxes helpfully try to explain what the various close-reasons mean, and some of the explanations don't really match very well how things work here. In particular, all the Puzzling-specific reasons are treated as special cases of "off topic". Even if we had a close reason specially for "essential parts of the puzzle are off site", it would still show up as "off-topic" with a misleading message.) — Gareth McCaughan ♦ yesterday
@GarethMcCaughan "Even if we had a close reason specially for "essential parts of the puzzle are off site", it would still show up as "off-topic" with a misleading message." - we can fix that, to a certain extent, by using audience-specific custom close reasons. Ex. SciFi, Academia, Lit
I've been wondering if it's worth putting time into drafting texts for each reason, then posting a meta Q&As set so people can give feedback (as those sites did), and then poking a CM to push it through.
(I mean, we're at the max of custom close reasons, so we can't add one without losing one. But we can at least make our existing ones better, so they don't display as simply "off-topic")
1 hour later…
4:59 AM
@JerryDean I pointed to your partial answer for Stiv's face maze in the comment section of that puzzle; do tell me if you mind or not. :0
1 hour later…
6:14 AM
@JerryDean @oAlt For the record, all except the painting are correctly identified. There's a different Wikipedia page for that one. Also, to reassure you, I'm not a fan of data-trawling web pages for obscure information - you should now have enough to solve the puzzle :)
6:34 AM
Interesting, thanks for the heads-up :D
6:58 AM
(If you cannot identify the intended subject depicted in the painting at first, you should be able to do so retrospectively, considering you know all of the others...)
Q: Rubik's Cube: Corner stickers appear switched

saquintesSo my 8 year old son has a 3x3 rubik's cube. He's had it for months and solved it many times. He has accidentally (or purposefully) flipped corners, but we've always been able to flip them back and keep it solvable. But one day he showed it to me and one corner was "flipped" or modified in a wa...

1 hour later…
8:29 AM
@Amoz That's not my intended solution, I'm afraid.
I'll note by the way they I generally distinguish solution from answer in that I use the former to refer to the process and the latter to the result. So, for a cryptic clue, the solution is the breakdown into wordplay (with an explanation thereof) and definition, and the answer is what you put in the grid.
8:57 AM
@oAlt It's perfectly fine!
Edit: the painting should refer to: Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII.
Well, the Hans Baldung painting is exactly the same as the portrait of Catherine Howard! Seems like the Unknown Lady isn't so unknown after all...
Here's the updated table!
@oAlt Could you perhaps edit the link in your comments to this updated version? Thanks! :D
9:14 AM
re: fine: noted :D
re: updated version, i can't edit my comment anymore, but i can make a new comment. however, i'll wait for @Stiv 's judgment on the updated version first :0
@oAlt Alright!
9:37 AM
Q: 3D Tapa - Count to Five

athinRules of 3D Tapa: The grid is a 3-dimensional cubes, represented here by layers of cubes from top to bottom. Shade some cubes such that all shaded cubes form a single orthogonally (in 3-axis) connected region. In addition, no 1x2x2 or 2x1x2 or 2x2x1 cubes are completely shaded. Some cubes have c...

9:55 AM
question: are people who cannot use imgur still able to upload images (just that they can't be seen afterward), or not at all?
Q: King Albert VII

oAltThis is a themed cryptic crossword, with six answers following the theme. For further instructions and details, scroll past the crossword and clues. ACROSS 1. Without everyone, head off in area where nature thrives (6) 6. Defense one's intruding in one country (5) 7. Pythagoras calculated porti...

10:44 AM
@oAlt That's the one :)
11:42 AM
Q: Almost interplanetary travel

JafeThis is part 8 of the puzzle series that started at Living the traveller's dream. Each part is solvable on its own. Dear Puzzling, How have you been?. My trip is going really well. Even though you did not hear from me last week, I can assure you that I have been keeping busy as always. Please ...

11:55 AM
Is "[phrase containing hidden letters] stuffed" an acceptable clue for the hidden letters?
(Writing some cryptic clues now, as "practice")
"stuffed with" for sure... wouldn't just "stuffed" be the other way around?
as in, X stuffed Y would mean X inside Y
"chaise longue stuffed" -> ELO?
Or would I have to use another word?
I saw "served" being used for this purpose in puzzling.stackexchange.com/a/98567/75318, but it was deemed too far from the intended meaning
(Small tidbits you served (4) -> ITSY)
(and what if it's combined with another clue, like "chaise longue stuffed north -> ELON)
and i answer without reading the question, nvm me
"chaise longue stuffed with north gate" -> _ELO_+N+GATE"?
12:14 PM
That's fine except for the chaise longue stuffed part. As far as I know, it's a rule that hidden word clues should clue the whole word, so in this case cluing ELO as a hidden word BUT having ELO as just a fragment of the answer is invalid D:
@oAlt Cryptic Clue Guide says: "This clue type (hidden word) can be combined with others, but typically is not." So I suppose it is uncommon, but not entirely outlawed
Because one of the clues I've written is of this form
@bobble Only, as you say, to some extent. For instance, puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/110651/… is the most recent closed question. The first thing the this-question-is-closed box says is "Closed. This question is off-topic". Even though that isn't, in fact, what's wrong with it.
If you're a high-rep user or the person who originally asked the question, you can see the further explanation that says "This looks like a puzzle you found elsewhere", etc. But the first thing it says is that the question is off-topic. (And lower-rep users who aren't the OP never see the further explanation at all.)
@ParclyTaxel I agree with @oAlt - that's a rule I usually work to myself. I think if it were to be combined with others, it would probably be to clue a fairly long part of a composite word, rather than just a short letter string like 'ELO'. e.g. to clue the 'WHITE' in WHITEBOARD, perhaps, However, in general, re the kinds of words you might do this for in this regard, there are usually better or alternative ways to clue them than resorting to this.
@ParclyTaxel that's true, but one has to keep in mind how many possibilities the partial hidden word portion of the clue yields, and how it contributes to the whole clue's fairness: for example, it wouldn't exactly be nice to have "Part of dinner course" as a hidden word clue because that could yield ERC, NERC, ERCO, RCO, RC, RCOU, etc. It's hard for me to expound further since I'm typing on mobile, but I hope you got the gist.
Aha, the "clue I've written of this form" is a composite word. So "chu-hi llama hidden billy" could fairly clue HILLBILLY?
12:29 PM
Yes, that could work. (However, again, it's personally not my type of cluing)
@oAlt (and speaking of mobile, ugh it's so inconvenient to solve Jafe's crossword (or any crossword for that matter) on mobile. But in the end, I guess I could still solve on my own, so no loss)
yeah it's murder to do a crossword on mobile, you're constantly switching screens
1 hour later…
2:07 PM
hehe just reading it actually
Q: Cryptics from the perspective of an American satirist

Parcly TaxelOne segment of a certain satirical TV series began like this: Good evening everyone. Today I'm going to rant about cryptic clues and cryptic crosswords – not our type, of course. Some say that Mike Pence is so interested in them that he neglects official business. A message displayed beside him...

@GarethMcCaughan that's what I'm saying we can fix! For any site-specific reason, we can display a better explanation than "off-topic" to all viewers, even low-rep/anonymous ones. The SciFi question I linked says "This question was closed for seeking recommendations or open-ended lists. It is currently not accepting answers." for me, a person without an account
Oh! I thought that wasn't possible. (Maybe it used not to be but is now.) That seems like it's worth a look.
It requires writing a meta post for each reason (though all posts can be answers under one Q), gaining consensus on the text we want to use, then applying [status-review] to get CM intervention
See the Sci Fi meta post I linked, for example
2:15 PM
That would help a lot with newer users understanding the close reasons, and knowing what to improve to reopen it.
I only know about this from being part of the process on Lit; you could ask Rand if you need more details, he spearheaded the Lit and SciFi metas
Any custom close reason will still generate a generic "off-topic" banner, but the explanation should be in the comments so that's less bad.
@Stiv is there a way to talk to someone in private without making so many comments and clicking "move this to chat"?
@ParclyTaxel go to their chat profile and click to make a room for you and them
"start a new room with this user"
To my knowledge, that will auto-invite them, and it's semi-private (though anyone else could pop in and talk)
found the button
3:06 PM
Hmm, @Stiv I did say I would be giving a hint, but I'm not sure what hint I should be giving. Instead, I shall ask you what you want to know re: 9D. (I think you'd do this anyway, but saying this for good measure: reminder to rot13 just in case there's something that may be spoiled hehe)
3:17 PM
@ParclyTaxel Nothing very unfair in any of those clues, though for one of them the accompanying text made me expect "printer's devilry" when in fact the clue was normal :-).
And... you got it all right :D
I had Twenty Øne Piløts and Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada on my initial list, but they were too long
@oAlt I guess that my parsing of the clue involves words meaning 'dish with sweet filling' and 'plate'. However, given the very small letter set (ILUSON) I can't think of anything made of these letters that fits either definition. I'm guessing that 'out' suggests we're going to remove a substring from one of the words, presumably 'plate', but I'm just not spotting it. Is the 'dish with sweet filling' a clue towards one word - and is that dish commonly eaten in English-speaking countries?
:000 will respond in a short while
I was quite afraid of suffering the wrath of Desuovi pointing out things violating the cryptic crossword conventions
The clue for which I was asking around before I posted my question was Band will eat hogs stuffed with uncorked vermouth (12)
Which is _L EAT H_ + _ERMOUTH but I was told that cluing a non-word as a hidden word is unfair
3:36 PM
yeah, that would have been pretty bad
Is this truly open-ended, or can we safely assume that the 4-letter solution is optimal?
@Stiv rot13 Svefg fragrapr lbhe thrff vf pbeerpg. Guveq fragrapr: lrf, "cyngr" urer vf gur zvahraq. Sbhegu fragrapr: 1) lrf, "qvfu jvgu fjrrg svyyvat" pyhrf bayl bar jbeq. 2) er: qvfu pbzzbayl rngra: ...znlor? Abg ernyyl fher gou, ohg jung V nz zber pregnva nobhg vf gung vg'f nyfb rawblrq ol pbhagevrf jub qba'g unir n znwbevgl bs gurve crbcyr fcrnxvat Ratyvfu. (Naq nf n obahf, V'yy fnl gung vg'f zber bs na hzoeryyn grez guna n grez sbe n fcrpvsvp sbbq, vs gung znxrf frafr.)
(sorry took a while)
I'm dumb. I CV'ed this as open-ended because it sure seemed so... then right after voting saw the note that the max score was 12. It's still closeable as hilariously time-sensitive, but it ain't open-ended
4:01 PM
Ill-defined problem:
Q: Replace asterisks with correct digits: $\star\star\star\star\star\,5 \;\times\; \star\star\star\star\,3 \;=\; \star\star\star\star\star\,5$

SimonDJust encountered the following equation: $$\star\star\star\star\star\,5 \;\times\; \star\star\star\star\,3 \;=\; \star\star\star\star\star\,5$$ Could asterisks here be replaced with proper digits so that this equation be correct? From my point of view it's not possible.

4 hours later…
7:59 PM
Q: Hidden message in rap text: "Yo Gandhi, Dupe Bounce!"

Lukas RotterA rapper released a teaser for his upcoming track, claiming it's some deep stuff. Here's the image he uploaded, which appear to be part of the lyrics: It appears to be saying "YO GANDHI DUPE BOUNCE" in some sort of weird 3x3 typeface. I don't know what a "dupe bounce" is (some kind of dance?), w...


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