(no subject)

*bats uselessly at idea*

This was going to be a full puzzle with one solution, but I'm getting so "meh."

The pentominoes are often labeled with the twelve letters FILNPTUVWXYZ. Can they be arranged in a loop so that the positive differences in alphabet position between consecutive letters are the numbers 1-12, in some order? For example, P can't be next to both F and Z, since it's separated from each by 10. Also, the alphabet will ideally not loop; F, for example, would be too far from Z.

If that's too easy, arrange them so taking every fifth letter gets the same result. If that's too hard, use any set of positive integers so that taking positive differences between consecutive entries results in everything 1-12, and so does taking those differences between entries five spaces apart.

Tuesday Teaser #46: Two Number Twisters

All right. I can do this.


1. Consider the equation N*N=N. If this were an alphametic or algebra problem, the N's would all represent the same thing, either 0 or 1. But they could all represent different numbers.

N is the 14th letter of the alphabet. N is also the symbol for nitrogen, which has the atomic number 7. And if you turn 2 sideways, it looks like N. So the equation can easily mean 2*7=14.
Can you find a similar product where every number is represented by the same two-letter word? As a hint, one of the numbers in my intended answer comes from turning the word upside-down, rather than sideways. What about other equations?

2. The ten ambigram digits have been pretty much canonized (or is "standardized" more accurate?), and this opens up a whole range of puzzle possibilities. You might be aware that 2178 is quadrupled when it's reversed. But what's the smallest number that is tripled when turned upside-down?

Spam, immortals, bats, ponies, and spam

"This week," phooey. Seems there's a type of spambot that preys particularly on deserted journals. Maybe I'm making that last part up, but hopefully, I can chase this bot away by posting.

And Another Thing is a good title for Who's-On-First-type conversations, as was noted with Up. As a book... well, it's OK. I found it a little lumpy in places, but I say that like I'm trying to repeat what a wine taster told me. You might want to reacquaint yourself with Mostly Harmless if it's been too long.

Also finally saw The Dark Knight Rises with my brother. Didn't really see many parallels to A Tale of Two Cities, nor did I look hard. There are a couple plot holes around certain mechanics, SO YEAH, SPOILERS.

Va gur cvg, jul wnf ab bar rire pyvzorq gurve ebcr bhg? Gung'f n euvat, ln xabj? Znlor vs gurer jrer bayl bar ebcr, nggnpurq gb gur svefg yrqtr va gur zvqqyr, gung jbhyq jbex. Nyfb, gurl gbgnyyl bireulcrq ubj qnex vg jbhyq or.

Naq rkvyr! Arire zvaq gung V fnj gung vg jnf vqragvpny gb gur qrngu fragrapr vzzrqvngryl, be gung ab bar xarj gb penjy ba nyy sbhef; jung vs fbzrbar znqr vg? Jul qvqa'g nalbar rira nfx jurgure gung jbhyq pbhag nf na rfpncr nggrzcg? Tenagrq, vs V jrer hayhpxl rabhtu gb or qenttrq gb bar bs gubfr frzgrapvat urnevatf, V'q snir qenttrq gur zbivr gb n penjy jrgu zl dhrfgvbaf, ohg fgvyy.

Gure ntnva, V yvxrq ubj rire gubhtu Ebova naq Gnyvn (jnvg, jub'f gung bgure bar?) jrer snveyl boivbhf, gur zbivr cynlrq pbl jvgu jub gurl jrer. Cyhf, Gnyin nyybjrq Ze. Abyna gb unir uvf rivy-jbzna pnxr naq rng vg gbb, serrvat hc Fryvan sbe n cebcre tnzr bs xngmr-haq-syrqreznhf. Cyhf Ebova'f erirny tbg va bar ernyyl cerggl ybbfr guernq ng gur raq.

N zber crefbany cbvag bs rawblzrag jnf gur obzo gvzre. Vg'f nyernql na npprcgnoyr oernx sebz ernyvgl gung bhe ntbavfgf jbhyq nyy xabj rknpgyl jura vg jbhyq qrgbangr. Ohg V hfhnyyl gel gb xrrc gvzr va zl urnq, naq vg'f znqqravat jura zl pybpx qbrfa'g zngpu gur svyz'f pybpx, juvpu vf nccebkvzngryl rirel fvatyr gvzr. Abyna xrcg zr unccl ol phggvat bar bs Onar'f fcrrpurf fb gung pbafrphgvir fubgf jrer boivbhfyl abg pbafrphgvir zbzragf. V fgvyy unq gur hetr gb pbhag, ohg V znantrq gb fubhg vg qbja. V qba'g rira xabj vs gur frpbaqf jrer gur jebat yratgu!

(And now I can watch MovieBob's review!)

All right, so... ponies. I'm pretty sure I'm not a brony, since I haven't forced myself to see more than three and a half episodes, but I was inevitably overexposed by vice of being a furry. And... well, I'm shoulder-deep in Haven't made an account for that, since that "would be silly," but I'm trying to write a crossover with Psych that also features several pony OC's. So yeah, I have no idea where to draw the line.

Puzzles Tuesday.

Trying too hard?

One of the things I've distracted myself with recently is I don't consider myself a brony, despite how much I follow the fandom, because I don't actually watch the show. It took me a while to call myself furry, but that doesn't have nearly such a clear cut-off.

Anyway, I want to tangent off that. One of the fics I saw was "Spike's Daring Do," which is actually described better in the summary than in the prologue. Spike is a young dragon in the show proper, Daring Do is a pegasus in a book series within the show, and Spike has somehow gotten into a Daring Do book and met her. Since only a prologue has gone up, there's no explanation and not much else.

But Rainbow Dash, fan of the Daring Do series, has located and started reading this book, and that got me thinking. What if Dash read partway through the book, and then started reading a previous chapter? Books are usually static, as are their characters' timelines as a whole, but... well, there have been cartoon episodes where characters get stuck in their TVs, and changing the channel leaves them on the screen.

This prompted the following game idea, which I have no intention of fleshing out myself: the player reads a book-like object, possibly illustrated, with one character whose sense of time follows that of the reader. (Can this be implied/discovered without the reader or character knowing the mechanism going in?) The reader can help the character achieve his aim, presumably escaping the story, by going back and rereading passages where the character needs to act differently, once the character knows this change needs to be made.

Actually, this is similar to Daniel Merlin Goodbrey's hypercomic app "A Duck Has An Adventure." Not having played it, I don't know how big the changes are, but I can guess with near certainty that it's both good and very different from what I'm describing. His comic uses branching and intersecting timelines; my idea uses nonlinear traversal of a linear structure.

Change of topic! Any of you have a kernel of a pun stuck in your head for years, but no setup available? I finally found the perfect setting for one such pun this morning, thus: Do performances of The Vagina Monologues tend to have a lot of ovary acting? Granted, it could be calibrated better in the spoken word. Mom suggested asking whether the actors [...] could be accused of ovary acting.

Photobucket seems to have turned mobile-only. This affects me less than I thought it would, because the site shrank all the preview pictures, but the image code here on LiveJournal is leaving them full-size. Still, I had started considering moving the images over to Flickr, where this sort of thing hasn't happened yet.

Okay, let's see what this week brings.

Remembering to write

Typical. I get a writing project going, hit a wall, and refuse to go back and change it. Also relevant, I don't know what the final message was going to be in "Vandal, Part 3." You'd think I would learn to outline such a project, or at least come up with a fair ending, before committing to a story like that, but noooo. Instead, I abandoned my blog for months because I had a half-finished entry sitting on the update page and no way to fully finish it. Well, for now, that's over. I'm going to update this thing with non-masterpieces and get in some dang practice.
  • Current Music
    Caravan Palace, "Rock It For Me"
  • Tags

"Vandal," Part One

I've been getting back to reading proper paper books lately. I'm reading some Borges that I picked up from the library while I was looking for Asprin. (I was looking for "MYTH Inc. Link," but I'm hopeful "Dragons Wild" will be a good read.) I picked up this book, "Ficciones," first because it stood out as being small and battered, and second because Jorge Luis Borges is an author I've heard good things about, particularly his sideways exploration of paradoxical thinking. I had actually read a short essay titled "I Am Not Borges," where the speaker describes himself as a passive observer of Borges's activities, although he wasn't sure who was writing the essay. (I'd suggest Borges was ghostwriting.)

If I'm writing even more loquaciously than usual, it's probably spillover from Borges's style (or at least the translated version, which I guess is likely to maintain the original paragraphs), but of course part of it will be making up for not posting for a long time. I'm sure I will avoid his frequent use of grammatically correct double-negatives, where he negates a negative word. (Sorry, but I can't find an example immediately. It occurs just often enough to annoy me, so YMMV.)

The book has some short stories, but is composed mostly of essays about certain works of fiction, including some authors' entire bodies of work. The unifying theme of these fictions is that they're fictitious. That is to say, Borges is writing about books that don't exist.

Naturally, this means the essays are also short stories. I wonder if this applies to other, non-fiction essays. After all, many of the best short stories are structured to explore an idea. In "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote," he sits us down and carefully explains the concept of a book being duplicated by another author without direct copying. (This Menard character explained in correspondence with the author that having read "Don Quixote" long ago, he had about as much an idea of the end product as had the original author.) But I digress.
Collapse )
I see that I've been writing this entry for two or three days now. Since this the point in the story where I lost interest in "Vandal" for a month, I may as well split this into multiple entries. I will link to the next part right here.
  • Current Music
    Of Monsters and Men, "Little Talks"
  • Tags

song: "He accidentally a year!"

Well, not me. Kevin Pease, here, although really only six months. Two months for me, albeit during construction of a puzzle hunt. Still, kind of silly for a guy with so many ideas--why a periodically-dusty blog?

About the title, though... my memory of a reference to a Borges-original language without verbs. Or without nouns, actually? The Wikipedia article on the relevant book. A brief reference in the plot summary, but enough for my enticement. Maybe a checkout from the library.

Hopefully, a non-top-secret puzzle tomorrow.
  • Current Music
    The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"
  • Tags

Tupler Die

Had a puzzle idea for yesterday. Didn't get it drawn and up because... I couldn't think of a name? Maybe it could go into the Hunt? I don't know, I just have excuses. Here's a different puzzle.

Backgammon has five dice: two for each player (though it can be played with a single pair of dice) and a "doubler die." The doubler die is used for scoring over multiple games, but what you need to know here is that the numbers on its faces are 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. So 2^1 through 2^6.

1. Take a large doubler die with its numbers written small enough for this task to make sense. Write some more digits so the faces display, in some order, the positive integers x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, and 6x. Minimize x.
2. Take a large standard die with small writing instead of pips. So 1-6 are written on the faces. Add digits so the faces display the positive integers y, y^2, y^3, y^4, y^5, and y^6. Minimize y.

(Tricks optional.)
  • Current Music
    Meat Loaf, "Let Me Sleep On It"
  • Tags
Order, Chaos, Ambigram

An ambigram you can't see?

Take a six-letter word, convert it to Braille, and write it in two rows of three letters. You'll notice this forms a 6x6 array of dots. Is there a starting word such that turning this array 90 degrees results in another word?

Braille and other codes can be found here (enlarged Braille in lower right). A 180-degree rotation doesn't work, since only T and X match themselves and only R and W match each other.

(Program solutions welcome.)