2032: "Word Puzzles"

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2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:06 pm UTC

Image
Title text: Eno's storied aria was once soloed by Judge Lance Ito on the alto oboe at Ohio's AirAsia Arena.

You air an argument? (9,3)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby evilspoons » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:13 pm UTC

I haven't got a friggin' clue on this one.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby rhhardin » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:20 pm UTC

Orro, master of wordplay, could solve it.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Sizik » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:27 pm UTC

Sounds like a Jeopardy answer.
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby wolfpurplemoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:53 pm UTC

I never got the hang of cryptic crossword clues, though my dad does them!

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:59 pm UTC

Well I went right to Explain XKCD on this one. Nothing there yet beyond the cartoon. There may or may not be a real puzzle hidden here, but I ain't spending any time looking for it ... knowing Randall's propensity for messing with his readers' heads.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:23 pm UTC

I think he's just messing with the Word Game Enthusiasts, like he says, and getting a "Toblerone-Rolo combo" out of it, as well.

Unless he's messing with non-enthusiasts to make them believe there's nothing in the Home of the dead chip. Get fifty inside, prompt! (7,4), when there's actually something. (I'm better, but not that brilliant either as you'll have seen, at setting them than solving them. Especially with no letters across!)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Tungsten » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:38 pm UTC

Panama!

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:42 pm UTC

Something something 'Starrett's Paranoia'.

Though whether this is intended to refer to Writer Vincent Starrett or Crossfit CEO and stand-up desk advocate Juliet Starrett, I cannot say.
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:58 pm UTC

I'm not sure what kind of people present each other with word puzzles without saying up front that they are puzzles, but it sounds like the setup to one of those elaborate puns, like the ones Pearls Before Swine does roughly every other Sunday.
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:00 pm UTC

I don't even understand the sense of the phrase "Word Puzzle" being used here. Like, I grok that it's some sort of puzzle involving words, but I don't know what there is to be solved, what a solution would look like, how one is supposed to proceed looking for one, or anything like that.

Can someone share an example of the type of word puzzle implied here and its solution?
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby hamjudo » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:01 pm UTC

Today's challenge: Create a puzzle based on today's comic.

Or, find and solve the puzzle Randal put there (if there is one).

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby pkcommando » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:17 pm UTC

Tungsten wrote:Panama!

That doesn't look like it will fit. It's 87 letters, starting with a 'J', and there's a 'Q' for the 85th, with an 'L' and an 'X' in the middle.
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:29 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I don't even understand the sense of the phrase "Word Puzzle" being used here. Like, I grok that it's some sort of puzzle involving words, but I don't know what there is to be solved, what a solution would look like, how one is supposed to proceed looking for one, or anything like that.

Can someone share an example of the type of word puzzle implied here and its solution?

From today's RL crossword: Vessels of the Royal Navy in America (4).
"Royal Navy" is used for the letters "RN", America (in this case) is "US". RN in US would be "URNS", which are… vessels.

That's an easy one. "Hunch about a piece of venison (6)" is probably "Haunch" ("Hunch" surrounds "a", the thing being then a cut of such meat) but might also be something to do with having a hunch about something, that is with six of the letters from "venison", or otherwise. I'm not yet sure, so it's only lightly pencilled in until I get some of the other clues maybe-solved to agree with it.

"Having the support of the board though too old to work (2,3,5)" is a crucial one.

There's often key words in a clue that often indicate an anagram of a following/preceding clue-word (mixed, tumbled, shuffle) or that a subset of some clue-words (part, cut), and the trick is to find those (if that's even what's in the clue!) and not get mixed up with the more direct clue-word ("vessels", above) that you easily might mistake for the anagram word while mistake part of the 'active DNA, junk DNA padding and enzymes' as the true target word.

My Dad was taught how to do these, by a true expert. I've only learnt the principles, in turn, by casual remeniscences about the time he was in one of his first jobs and was being taught this during lunch breaks. If I pick up a paper in thr morning I'll generally do the Challenging sudoku in some time less than 10 minutes (not worth filling in the easy/medium ones), the regular crossword might take half an hour to get to the state of wondering if I should look up, the capital of some country, to break my block on another clue/confirm I've not gone wrong with it, but if I get even a half dozen of this more "word gamey" type of crossword's words then I'm happy.

(I only picked this paper up an hour ago, so I'm wondering what bird matches "T_U__N", knowing that it's probably a kick-myself moment when it clicks (TRU…? THU? TAU?), wondering if I have the correct letters for "Quotes (5)" being "_I_ES".. scratch that, just realised it's "CITES", and now that might help with the three remaining downs and one across in the standard crossword. But (apart from those already mentioned) I haven't done any of the more intellectual puzzle, to its side.)
Last edited by Soupspoon on Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:35 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Nazdar » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:32 pm UTC

But if you solve it, you'll inherit Randall's vast fortune!

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby ECK138 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:42 pm UTC

But if you solve it, you'll inherit Randall's vast fortune!


That could be interesting or not, depending if ended up with a bunch of 1950"s stars in a mad, mad, mad dash to Los Angeles, or a Mary-Sue retread of 80's pop culture.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Mjb » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:56 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(I only picked this paper up an hour ago, so I'm wondering what bird matches "T_U__N", knowing that it's probably a kick-myself moment when it clicks (TRU…? THU? TAU?), wondering if I have the correct letters for "Quotes (5)" being "_I_ES".. scratch that, just realised it's "CITES", and now that might help with the three remaining downs and one across in the standard crossword. But (apart from those already mentioned) I haven't done any of the more intellectual puzzle, to its side.)

Image

After hearing those, yes, it does feel like a crossword. From that most citable of sources:
In June 2009 Eno curated the Luminous Festival at Sydney Opera House

Fifty-fifty whether the "answer" lies in a search of the trivia of his life or the aforementioned word-hackery.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:31 pm UTC

Mjb wrote:Image

(Not showing as an image. Not sure if it's because it's a slightly off-standard image URL, or if it's because in the last couple of hours my (completely up-to-date browser, SFAIK) has started warning just about every¹ https as a "Privacy error" with NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM and refusing to let me see it anyway. Especially annoying as I've no need at all for security on that URI, but it won't let me http it.)

¹ Actually, poking away, it's only about half of them, now that I've poked some other places that default to https. You know what, though, this is probably better in another thread, after a bit of further checking.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Mjb » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:37 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Mjb wrote:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/-_panoramio_-_Basa_Roland.jpg/240px--_panoramio_-_Basa_Roland.jpg

(Not showing as an image. Not sure if it's because it's a slightly off-standard image URL, or if it's because in thr last couple of hours my (completely up-to-date browser, SFAIK) has started warning just about every https as a "Privacy error" with NET::ERR_CERT_WEAK_SIGNATURE_ALGORITHM and refusing to let me see it anyway. Especially annoying as I've no need at all for security on that URI, but it won't let me http it.)

Now that field is an underused source of obscure crossword hints.
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Old Bruce » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:49 pm UTC

ECK138 wrote:
But if you solve it, you'll inherit Randall's vast fortune!


That could be interesting or not, depending if ended up with a bunch of 1950"s stars in a mad, mad, mad dash to Los Angeles, or a Mary-Sue retread of 80's pop culture.

San Diego area to be the pedant which I can be at times. Santa Rosita State Park to be most accurate. Haven't a clue who Mary-Sue is. [sad-and-puzzled-face emoticon]

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:52 pm UTC

((I was wrong, apparently Chrome had an update available on the 7th, and I never noticed before I poked and prodded some more. Why it suddenly made things that worked four hours ago stop working two hours ago, I'm not quite sure. Picture is there now, though. Also a stupidly misleading/unuseful error message, might I say. Anyway, just ignore this, it just doesn't deserve a thread of its own now, however…))

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Reka » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:44 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:From today's RL crossword: Vessels of the Royal Navy in America (4).
"Royal Navy" is used for the letters "RN", America (in this case) is "US". RN in US would be "URNS", which are… vessels.

I'm sorry, but that's just infuriatingly and disgustingly obtuse. (Not you, but that crossword so-called hint.) If I met such a non-clue in a crossword puzzle, I'd first, throw the book across the room, second, describe the author's questionable parentage and even more questionable intelligence at length in terms not suited for mixed company, and third, retrieve the book, find its receipt, and promptly demand a refund from whatever establishment I purchased it from.

(It'd be highly unlikely to be an actual newspaper, since I don't buy those anymore, which is fortunate, because throwing a few pages from a newspaper across the room is a singularly unsatisfying way to vent one's ire.)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby GlassHouses » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:08 pm UTC

Reka wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:From today's RL crossword: Vessels of the Royal Navy in America (4).
"Royal Navy" is used for the letters "RN", America (in this case) is "US". RN in US would be "URNS", which are… vessels.

I'm sorry, but that's just infuriatingly and disgustingly obtuse. (Not you, but that crossword so-called hint.) If I met such a non-clue in a crossword puzzle, I'd first, throw the book across the room, second, describe the author's questionable parentage and even more questionable intelligence at length in terms not suited for mixed company, and third, retrieve the book, find its receipt, and promptly demand a refund from whatever establishment I purchased it from.

The Dutch newspaper NRC has a crossword on Saturdays, the "scryptogram," in which every single damn clue is like that. When I first started trying to solve those, it felt like a huge accomplishment to just get a single one from a whole puzzle, and that would be after hours of racking my brain. I've never solved a whole puzzle on my own. People get together to solve them as a team! People call each other on the phone to pass on the clues that they managed to crack, and to brainstorm on the ones they didn't. It's madness, pure madness! :twisted:

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:25 pm UTC

At one time I came up with the idea to get a vanity license plate with a set of six random letters that meant nothing, just to screw with the head of whatever random person was behind me at a stoplight.

That evolved into wondering whether I could get a vanity plate with a sequence of letters and numbers that looked like a standard non-vanity plate. (During the 1974 gas crisis, I could have used the same plate on even days because the number was even, and on odd days because all vanity plates were treated as odd.)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:36 pm UTC

Reka wrote:I'm sorry, but that's just infuriatingly and disgustingly obtuse. (Not you, but that crossword so-called hint.) If I met such a non-clue in a crossword puzzle, I'd first, throw the book across the room, second, describe the author's questionable parentage and even more questionable intelligence at length in terms not suited for mixed company, and third, retrieve the book, find its receipt, and promptly demand a refund from whatever establishment I purchased it from.

Read this and learn more (that I didn't even know), then! Or throw your display across the room, maybe. :P

(I'm wondering if I ought to give the two answers to my own (spur of the moment, and thus inexpert) puzzles, so far given. Probably better that than try to give more!)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby duckshirt » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:56 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I don't even understand the sense of the phrase "Word Puzzle" being used here. Like, I grok that it's some sort of puzzle involving words, but I don't know what there is to be solved, what a solution would look like, how one is supposed to proceed looking for one, or anything like that.

Can someone share an example of the type of word puzzle implied here and its solution?


I'd like to know where to get started with cryptic crossword puzzles. I recently learned what they are, but if you don't recognize the format it's impossible to get anywhere.
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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Old Bruce » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:30 am UTC

Reka wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:...
... a singularly unsatisfying way to vent one's ire

Now there is a clue for the ages.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby orthogon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:20 am UTC

Old Bruce wrote:
Reka wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:...
... a singularly unsatisfying way to vent one's ire

Now there is a clue for the ages.

Let's see ... "way" could be "ST" (street) ... "one's" is probably "IS" ... "singularly" ought to indicate a word that's in the singular rather than the plural, but no obvious candidate ... "ire" is unusual: normally you'd see "anger" in the clue and "IRE" would be in the solution. Maybe "FURY"? But that would make the definition "a singularly unsatisfying way" ... a dead-end street, i.e. closed at one end? It would help to have the length of the solution...

ETA: (spoilered for solution)
Soupspoon wrote:Home of the dead chip. Get fifty inside, prompt! (7,4)

Spoiler:
CRYPT+IC C(L)UE.
No definition part, which is OK here on the basis that the context provides an overall clue.
Still working on the other one - don't tell me yet.


I had been led to believe that the cryptic crossword as featured in UK broadsheets was a uniquely British thing and unknown in the US, which suggests that Randall must be thinking of a slightly different type of "word game". For anyone wanting to get started, I learned to do them during work coffee breaks. They're a nice thing to do socially, because different people tend to like different types of clue (there are four or five distinct types: anagram, build-up, "in-the-clue", "cryptic", ...). There are quite a lot of "standard" things to learn, e.g. "study"="CON", "actor"="TREE", which must be based on English as she were spoke sometime in the early 20th century and/or famous people and events of the era.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:10 am UTC

orthogon wrote:[ETA: (spoilered for solution)

Aye. And it was intended as a whole-self self-definition, in lieu, but might not have gotten past Ximenes's rules of style that I've read so much more about since composing it.

The OP one has a definition, I think one could appreciate, but it was concocted in a rush so maybe you'll not find it the breeze I imagined it at the time. (If I'd have taken ten minutes instead of five to compose it, it would have been worded slightly differently. But to tell you the differences would probably give it up entirely.)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Kizarvexis » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:25 pm UTC

I have a similar issue with a song. I just have the feeling that there is a deeper meaning to the lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUQDzj6R3p4

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:34 pm UTC

New thought, new post.

It's occurred to me just now that a cryptic crossword is very much like a clever joke. Indeed, I often¹ give a chuckle (or a groan!) when the payoff comes into my head. Compared with standard clues. "Bird (6)". Oh goody. Let me run through all the birds I know. Compared with "Sounds like a pair may flip this creature."²

Maybe there's elitism to it. Imagine you went into a topical comedy show and the guy on stage was saying something like "He who is like the second Regent of Westphalia… Does he not pour his drink into the wrong cup?"³ and the established audience starts rolling in the aisles at the astute observational comedy, but you're still trying to work out who is being said to do what.

Those who 'get the joke' feel elitist, and the joke-teller who can claim to have only the elitest of audiences 'get' their jokes can consider themselves the epitome of elite that dictates who the elite are who make them so. Which obviously makes everyone else mad.

(And what Randall is (allegedly) doing is Markov-chaining some likely phrases that Nerd Snipe that kind of audience. 'We' can laugh at the intelligentsia as they struggle to work out why we're laughing. Or nerd-sniper-sniping. Still not sure!)


¹ More so when I (eventually) work it out myself than when it's explained to me.
² I don't claim this as a very good clue, but it's not bad for me!
³ Don't even bother looking for an answer to this one.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:46 pm UTC

Reka wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:From today's RL crossword: Vessels of the Royal Navy in America (4).
"Royal Navy" is used for the letters "RN", America (in this case) is "US". RN in US would be "URNS", which are… vessels.

I'm sorry, but that's just infuriatingly and disgustingly obtuse. (Not you, but that crossword so-called hint.) If I met such a non-clue in a crossword puzzle, I'd first, throw the book across the room, second, describe the author's questionable parentage and even more questionable intelligence at length in terms not suited for mixed company, and third, retrieve the book, find its receipt, and promptly demand a refund from whatever establishment I purchased it from.

(It'd be highly unlikely to be an actual newspaper, since I don't buy those anymore, which is fortunate, because throwing a few pages from a newspaper across the room is a singularly unsatisfying way to vent one's ire.)

Reminiscent of the clues on the old UK show 3.2.1.

For the uninitiated, they gave out several cryptic clues to various prizes and you had to discard them one by one and hope you weren't left with the booby prize.
On discarding the prize, or claiming the one at the end, the host would rip through the cryptic clue at speed, making it almost impossible to follow, and the prize would be something almost unrelated to the first read through of the clue.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:52 pm UTC

One of 3-2-1's amazing clues explained by Ted Rogers: (Dusty Bin is the booby prize of a new dustbin)

A wishbone brought on by Sonny Hayes came with the clue "Take one that never changes, add a pub and a precious stone, bring them all up-to-date, and now, you're on your own.", which the contestants rejected hoping it referred to Dusty Bin. Rogers' explanation of the clue was: "'Take one that never changes', well, that could be Dusty Bin which of course is where you might throw a wishbone. 'Add a pub and a precious stone', well, that doesn't point to Dusty. 'Bring them all up-to-date, and now you're on your own.'. Well, what about the wishbone? Sonny said 'a large wishbone', so what might a large wishbone come from? Something larger than a chicken. Turkey, maybe? Now, 'one that never changes.' is a constant, a pub can also be an inn, there's a lot of precious stones but how many go with 'constant inn'? How about opal? Yes, Constantinople, up to date, the pride of Turkey, you've rejected a 3–2–1 holiday!".

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby orthogon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:23 pm UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:On discarding the prize, or claiming the one at the end, the host would rip through the cryptic clue at speed, making it almost impossible to follow, and the prize would be something almost unrelated to the first read through of the clue.

The thing is, cryptic crosswords can be solved. The steps in the explanation might seem outrageous to the uninitiated, but provided the setter is following the rules, a regular solver will accept, given the solution, that the clue is valid. But rules there are: for example, an element of the clue must represent an element of the solution in the same part of speech (and, where applicable, in the same number, person or tense). I'm very cross if a setter ignores such rules.

Being unrelated to the first reading of the clue is absolutely normal; indeed, it's almost a rule in itself. I'll often discard a proposed solution if it seems to fit the surface reading of the clue too well.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby pernishus » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:28 pm UTC

Old Bruce wrote:
ECK138 wrote:
But if you solve it, you'll inherit Randall's vast fortune!


That could be interesting or not, depending if ended up with a bunch of 1950"s stars in a mad, mad, mad dash to Los Angeles, or a Mary-Sue retread of 80's pop culture.

San Diego area to be the pedant which I can be at times. Santa Rosita State Park to be most accurate. Haven't a clue who Mary-Sue is. [sad-and-puzzled-face emoticon]


A Mary-Sue character is a sci-fi trope where a female character inexplicably has the abilities required to overcome a series of extremely difficult and unrelated obstacles. Some people have said Rey may be a Mary-Sue character. The male equivalent is called a Marty-Sue, which some people have accused Captain Kirk of being. There is an argument over whether the Mary-Sue label is just a sexist dog whistle for people who don't like strong female characters.

The reference here is presumably to Art3mis from RPO.

Perhaps if you solve the puzzle, you get Randall's vast fortune and the off-switch for the internet ;-)

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby ThirdParty » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:37 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I had been led to believe that the cryptic crossword as featured in UK broadsheets was a uniquely British thing and unknown in the US, which suggests that Randall must be thinking of a slightly different type of "word game".

Well, crosswords here in the U.S. do frequently have puns. To give a simple example, I remember a clue from a New York Times puzzle last week that read something like: "Is the stopover between Belfast and Liverpool a peninsula? [15 total letters]".

hamjudo wrote:Today's challenge: Create a puzzle based on today's comic.

I've thought of an ancient source of harp music which might be composed by the enthusiastic opposite of a female opera star after the start of one's post-live era. [5 letters]

I've also thought of an au pair which you could produce from a popular tourist slogan if nothing divided you and your heart. [5 letters]

Finally, I've thought of something that might be a code for Brian Eno; it can be constructed by taking the most frequently-occurring parts of each of the above answers, followed by what both answers have in common with an aria. [3 letters]

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:05 pm UTC

The advantage of "straight" crossword clues is that they're direct and to the point, but it's often ambiguous whether you've got the intended answer until you've got sufficient cross-checks in place, and if you don't know the answer, there's nothing you can do about it except look it up somewhere. Examples would be "Bird (6)", "Capital of Uruguay (10)".

The big advantages of cryptic clues are that there are multiple lines of attack, so if you don't know one aspect, you can still solve the clue as a whole (from time to time, I've come across clues where the answer is an obscure word I don't know, but I've been able to construct the word from the rest of the clue - or sometimes you come up with a word that fits, but you can't see how it's constructed). It's also a lot more common to know you've found the correct answer to a clue. Examples "One hears a couple may give the bird (6)", "I saw a hill? Capital! (10)".

It's also fairly standard (though not universal) here in the UK for multi-word answers to be broken down - "Ruby sign of engagement is fake (3,7)"- rather than just total number of letters given (in some cases, letter count is even omitted entirely). Hyphenated words are also generally indicated, though other punctuation is not.

A rare type of clue that I occasionally see is the reverse clue, where the answer is the instructions, and the clue is the result of following them - an extreme example: "E (13)"

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:37 pm UTC

Case in point, today on the Quick puzzle "Stratagem (4)" with a P and L as the first two characters was definitely 'PLAN' (highlight the space to reveal?), which fits the clue well. Except that I needed "Mountain Pass (3)" to cross its middle character as the third character of this one, and that one's definitely what it is, and doesn't orovide the right letter for the first guess of the (4). So, now our four-lettered word is obviously PLOT. Maybe, because it's not quite a stratagem. But, regardless, that didn't help at all with the shares-last-letter perpendicular of "Room for manoeuvre (6)" that was "L_E_A_" which only became clear when I realised it would have been PLOY. (And, if I'd not yet got the Pass one, for some reason, it could conceivably have been assumed to be PLAY, and maybe other things I haven't yet had to think as possibilities.)

Over on the Cryptic puzzle, though, "Sounds like one who listens to the Goddess (4)" was much more satisfyingly answered (HERA), especially when the last-char-upon-last-char perpendicular cross-referenced "Part of Nassau radiates a particular atmosphere (4)" (AURA). And I'm happy with my answer to "Don't reveal the sources of leather (4)" (HIDE) even though I have no clue about the two intersections in that one. Though right now I'm still trying to justify my answer to "Rocket an astronomical distance from the Earth (6)" (¿PARSEC?) because it answers one possible definition I can extract from the clue but doesn't seem to be an answer to the rest of it. I suspect I'll instead discover "LY", "PS" or (probably) "AU" is what that bit provides, in maybe naming a rocket.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby orthogon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:53 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The advantage of "straight" crossword clues is that they're direct and to the point, but it's often ambiguous whether you've got the intended answer until you've got sufficient cross-checks in place, and if you don't know the answer, there's nothing you can do about it except look it up somewhere. Examples would be "Bird (6)", "Capital of Uruguay (10)".

I grew up doing concise crosswords (i.e. straight crosswords with short clues), and once I grasped the principle of cryptic clues, my best way in was to consider each "end" in turn as a concise clue and apply my normal thought processes. Over time I got better at approaching the problem from the other end.

That NY Times crossword is quite a thing. The grids used for British crosswords are much sparser - it's impressive that they can even fill those dense grids, though there's clearly a greater use of abbreviations, names and foreign words. The Peninsular clue could probably be a British cryptic clue almost unmodified (it's missing a definition part, but that's often done for a themed puzzle, provided a warning is given in the instructions.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Postby 6161 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:44 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Case in point, today on the Quick puzzle "Stratagem (4)" with a P and L as the first two characters was definitely 'PLAN' (highlight the space to reveal?), which fits the clue well. Except that I needed "Mountain Pass (3)" to cross its middle character as the third character of this one, and that one's definitely what it is...


...which is GAP, so what was the problem?


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