jedusor: (axe murderer)
I wrote this parody as a potential idea for my team's WHO application video, and we never ended up using it. Posted for posterity:

What do you do with a B.A. in evil?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of study at how to be cruddy
Have earned me this useless degree
I can't go roll heads yet
'Cause I have no cred yet
The world is a villainous place
But somehow I can't shake
The feeling I might make
A dent in the human race


(original lyrics:
What do you do with a B.A. in English?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree
I can't pay the bills yet
'Cause I have no skills yet
The world is a big scary place
But somehow I can't shake
The feeling I might make
A difference to the human race
)
jedusor: (this is cool)
I was going to upload images today of the awesome logic puzzles Mike made me for my birthday, but then he did it instead, so now I don't have to. If you like that sort of thing, check 'em out. They're fantastic, especially considering the constraints and that they're the first two logic puzzles he's ever written.
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
WHO was lovely, but I can't tell you guys much about it, since it's going to be run again in the Bay Area in November. So here's the censored version of my photo set from the event, with a few of Carrie's photos mixed in. I've left out all my pictures of locations that were thematic for their corresponding puzzles. (A few of these are oddly sized because I cropped out spoilers.)

Pictures )
jedusor: (super-hyphen)
Sometimes Mike and I are sitting near each other, both minding our own business on our laptops, and Mike starts busting up laughing, and I look over at his screen to see nothing but a straight logic puzzle.

This happens hilariously often.

He insists that he's just laughing at amusing things that cross his mind while he's solving, but I can't help wondering if there's some punch line I'm missing in these Slitherlinks.

Hunt recap

Jan. 23rd, 2011 12:03 am
jedusor: (beginner's luck)
I knew going in that I wasn't going to dive into the MIT Mystery Hunt as wholeheartedly this year as I usually do. For one thing, I was remote. A lot of the appeal of Hunt for me lies in the camaraderie of it, the knowledge that everyone else in the room is also excited and driven enough about the event to forget about sleep and food and the outside world, and that energy just doesn't translate through Skype. For another thing, I just spent four years straight on winning or constructing teams, and I kind of needed a break.

So I wasn't expecting to devote my weekend entirely to Hunt in the first place, and then I got sick right before it started and ended up spending the weekend wrapped up in blankets on the couch with a box of tissues, which did not do much at all for my mental acuity. Still, I enjoyed myself, and I had a reasonably good remote solving experience (thanks in large part to the efforts of [livejournal.com profile] canadianpuzzler, who was our official remote wrangler).

The Hunt theme this year, as everyone still reading this probably already knows, was video games. The intro skit (YouTube video here) was fantastic, and dealt with the sound issue beautifully, although unfortunately not in a way helpful to future constructing teams. The Hunt was structured around five video game worlds, each containing separate rounds, which led to some entertaining discussion of "metametametas." The coin (for some Huntspace-specific definition of the word "coin") was a wooden Weighted Companion Cube with characters from each world on the sides. The thematic wrapup video was completely adorable.

I admit I was rooting for II&F to win this year. I spent some time in their HQ during the History Hunt last year, and was incredibly impressed by their organization and morale. (And I'm not just saying that because they dressed me up in the honorary-Dan-Katz duct tape sash and fed me.) Any team capable of winning a Hunt is probably capable of turning out Hunt-quality puzzles, but not every team has their shit together enough to handle editing and testsolving and logistics and communication and all the other work that goes into putting on a successful Hunt. However, Metaphysical Plant did a fantastic job on all that from what I can tell, and there's no reason to assume Codex won't.

Some scattered thoughts:

-The Achievements page was, IMO, the best new idea Plant implemented this year. I really hope some form of it is used in future Hunts.

-I'm disappointed to have missed out on the Events, which looked great. I would have liked to go to Insult Swordfighting, in particular.

-I had a giant gigglefit when my teammates decided that one of the answers had to be BACKSOLVE_ but couldn't work out the last letter, so they backsolved it.

-Recombination is a puzzle that I tried to write for the '08 Hunt, but ended up scrapping because it would be too hard for non-jugglers to determine siteswap heights. Seriously, that exact idea: I was going to present it as a video of a person doing siteswap patterns with different objects, and use the objects along with numbers on the screen for answer extraction. I definitely would have done the extraction mechanism differently, though. (ALLINCLAPC? The hell?)

-Good Vibrations was extremely amusing. I was surprised by the number I knew off the top of my head. I've, uh, read a lot of Savage Love.

-I described The Baddest Man to my older brother, who, like me, grew up reading the books. His immediate reaction was, "WHAT? They SPOILED THEM? Why would they do that?" (I got a similar complaint from a team in '08 about my puzzle Hack Writer.)

-They got Randall Munroe to write an xkcd strip for Unlikely Situations. *sigh* I'll always have Trudeau.

Here's our quote board, as far as I can tell (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ertchin for clarifying some of the words I couldn't make out):

"This isn't Vegas--you can't be drunk by 10am."
"I can't have Dancing Spear Guy and Blooper Nanny adjacent."
"That's the answer to everything--lick it."
"What's the potato doing?"
"Oh! That's a canonical Grawlix?"
"Just type 'bowtied dork' into Google and see what comes up."
"In the sociology Hunt, you only get credit for solving the hipster meta if no one else has solved it first."
"Mmm... congealy."
"Fancy a spot of death?"
"Finally I made a quote which wasn't fraught with sexual innuendo."
"They were eaten by a female obstacle."
"Or perhaps The Knack's ode to Nikoli: 'My Shikaku'."
"Projectyl's working on it--it's practically solved."
"It's all right... I'm not naked."
"No one wants to know about your love snake."
"I need a stuffed animal biologist."
"BING? What is this crap? I'm changing it."
"If you want to win my heart and earn my monogrammed handkerchief or whatever the fuck, solve this puzzle for me."
(on hearing all of our spaceship explanations) "Well... yeah..."
"The next time you chuckleheads open twenty puzzles at once, I quit." (Note: This was said by Dart, which makes the quote exponentially funnier if you know Dart and can picture him saying the word "chucklehead.")
"Do you know what you have been thwacked with?" "The Corn of Grammatical Justice."

At SNAP

Oct. 31st, 2010 01:12 pm
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
Dude walking by, to friend: I don't like ducks.
Me: Tyler doesn't like ducks.
Slik: He doesn't?
Me: They played the Sharks recently, according to his Twitter.
Slik: Ah. Yeah, I don't like ducks either, for the same reason. Although... I don't quite have Tyler's level of allegiance.
Me: Tyler doesn't so much have allegiance as...
Slik: Yeah.
TK: As what?
Slik: Let me put it like this. Say you like donuts. And the guy next door to you, he likes donuts too. So you're like, hey, that's cool, we both like donuts! But he's got a house made out of donuts.
TK: Ah. That's what happened with me and the Red Sox. Everyone else liked donuts a little too much.
jedusor: (beginner's luck)
So, Hunt is over.

I have a few things to say about it. )
jedusor: (beginner's luck)
This was just sent to all Mystery Hunt teams. If you haven't gotten it by e-mail, you may want to make sure to pass it along to the rest of your team. Feel free to link to this post.

Hunt )

There was a lot of discussion about this among our team before we decided to go ahead with it. I'll post more about that decision after the Hunt. In the meantime, I really hope this goes well. Good luck to everyone participating, do your best to resist the temptation to listen beforehand, and see you Friday!
jedusor: (puzzle police)
An NPL friend and former Hunt teammate of mine, Eric Berlin, is hosting a week-long "puzzle party" on various blogs to promote his new children's book, The Potato Chip Puzzles. You can win a copy of the book or the grand prize, which the website says is "every single one of G.P. Putnam's Sons Spring 2009 children's and YA books, plus advance reading copies of numerous Fall 2009 books."

I just did today's puzzle, the first of the week, and it's definitely easy enough that those of you I've scared away from puzzling with cryptic crosswords and Mystery Hunt links should click through and give it a shot. You never know, you could win a shit-ton of kid lit!

More details about the puzzle contest can be found here, along with links to the blogs that will be posting the rest of the puzzles over the upcoming week. Check it out.
jedusor: (puzzle police)
The BCPT was today!

I got up at eight (eight! on a Sunday morning!) and got a cab to the train station, since the buses don't run that early on weekends. My cab driver was very interested in the crossword shoes I was wearing and my similarly-patterned bag, and told me all about this movie he'd seen called "Wordplay." He also informed me that driving a cab is like playing poker, Scrabble, and Stratego all at the same time.

The tournament was fun. I didn't register as a competitor, but they let noncompetitors have the puzzles too. They were NYT puzzles from the next couple of weeks. Willz was the special guest--I tried to catch him before things got going, but he wasn't around, and he was too busy signing autographs afterward for more than a quick hug and greeting. He told some amusing stories about his various crossword experiences, and played a few word games with the audience between puzzles.

After the tournament, a gang of mostly NPLers went out for food and rowdy socialization. After that, a smaller group (Ucaoimhu, La Do La Li/Ti, Will, and I) went to a little cafe for dessert and coffee. Uc watched the rest of us co-solve the cryptic he wrote for the tournament, and then we chatted until the place closed. It was my first time meeting Will, who placed second at the tournament, and he seemed like a really neat guy. Uc and La accompanied me to South Station, and we did flats from the March Enigma until my eleven o'clock train.

Hurray for puzzles! I want to start doing the NYT every day again, except that I've kind of already done tomorrow's. Maybe I'll work through some more Crasswords instead.
jedusor: (billy heart)
1. Ucaoimhu wrote an AWESOME cryptic crossword based on my weird-ass dream.

2. [livejournal.com profile] vito_excalibur wrote an AWESOME poem dedicated to Randall Munroe and entitled "I Fucked Your Mom."

Give them a hand, for they win at life.
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Hey, admission to the Boston Crossword Puzzle Tournament on April 5th is free for non-competitors. I'm totally there. Who else is going?
jedusor: (puzzle police)
I haven't posted about this because everyone who knows Will already knows about it, but it occurs to me that I might have friends who aren't involved in the puzzle community but might be interested in the fact that someone I know appeared on The Simpsons last week. The episode is "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words," and you can watch it here. Will shows up right at the end.
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Remember a while back I posted about Hashiwokakero and molecular structure? I e-mailed the professor of the course, the one with the random Monty Python pictures in his slide shows, telling him about my epiphany and linking him to the game. I asked him today if he'd gotten the e-mail, and he said (in his awesome British accent), "I did, yes! It's, er, a bit habit-forming."
jedusor: (badass geek)
I had an epiphany in biology today: molecular structure is just a bunch of little games of Hashiwokakero.

This is easy.
jedusor: (riverdancing)
That video of Tyler is the top featured video on YouTube! That makes the second time there's been a top YouTube vid of someone I know (the first being the one about Andrew/Murdoch's beatboxing career as Kid Beyond).

I have the coolest friends in the universe.

Shoutouts

Feb. 29th, 2008 11:17 pm
jedusor: (you win)
Knock 'em dead, [livejournal.com profile] rpipuzzleguy! Sorry to the rest of you who also have a shot at the title- normally I'd cheer on the one everyone knows is going to win soon or the one who should have won already instead of the reigning champ, but I gotta root for my T-bone. (I'm talking about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, if any of you non-puzzley folks are confused.)

Good luck with the marathon, [livejournal.com profile] shoutingboy, and I hope your preferred stylist is available in the morning so you can look fabulous at the finish line!

And get well soon, [livejournal.com profile] chalepa_ta_kala, [livejournal.com profile] jelliclekat, [livejournal.com profile] zephyrofgod, and anyone else who is currently ailing. The plague appears to have swept my flist. Drink lots of fluids and make sure you're getting lots of vitamin C and that sort of thing, okay?
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Last night, I dreamed that I was doing the runaround for a Mystery Hunt, and I missed a cross-country flight. No, not to get to the runaround- that flight was the first step of the runaround. I blame Rhu's kids and Trip.

Speaking of Nationwide Hunt, anyone have any good stories about how your team solved that one?

(x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] mystery_hunt)
jedusor: (puzzle police)
Puzzles )

The Hunt itself )

Shitty stuff that happened )

Awesome stuff that happened )

Thank you so much to everyone involved! In particular, Eric deserves recognition for his astonishing feat of event organization. Fuldu, Zebraboy, and Trip, thank you so much for pushing on through when there wasn't a leader, and for the innumerable sacrifices you've made for the team. Debby and Sofiya, thank you for handling the computer stuff. Hathor, thank you for taking charge of all the theatrics and scripts, and also for dealing with suspect e-mails on top of everything else you were doing. Ucaoimhu, thank you for your puzzle-constructing prolificacy, and for coming up with and developing the theme. Katatak, thank you for being our MIT person and getting funding and room reservations and all that together. Everyone on Palindrome, thank you for the various contributions you've made to making this Hunt happen, despite its apparent determination to make all our lives difficult. And thank you to all the solvers for staying optimistic and having a good time despite all the reasons you had to bitch.

By the way, did anyone get a decent picture of me in the cop outfit? I meant to have someone take one so I could update my Puzzle Police icon, but it slipped my mind.

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