Tags: puzzles

beartato phd

(no subject)

Did an "escape the room" thing with a few people from work that are actually in the city here. Was real fun, we almost escaped. A main thing we were missing was a clue that was revealed only if you disassembled a certain chair.
beartato phd

http://gurmeet.net/puzzles/

An awesome list of math/programming/thinky puzzles:
http://gurmeet.net/puzzles/

I rather liked this one: ("Perplexing Polynomials")
"Alice is allowed to choose an arbitrary polynomial p(x) of any degree with nonnegative integer coefficients. Bob can infer the coefficients of p(x) by only two evaluations as follows. He chooses a real number a and Alice communicates p(a) to him. He then chooses a real number b and Alice communicates p(b) to him."

Also: ("Average Salary")
"Four honest and hard-working computer engineers are sipping coffee at Starbucks. They wish to compute their average salary. However, nobody is willing to reveal an iota of information about his/her own salary to anybody else. How do they do it?"

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beartato phd

(no subject)

A very satisfying little flash puzzle game by the author of "Bump" is "Ending", which I only discovered just now despite it apparently being (as noted on that very page) its immediate predecessor technologically.

I like how it makes positional parity a valuable resource in several places: some puzzles would lose all force if you had a "wait" key that let time go by without moving the player.
beartato phd

(no subject)



Here is a thing I just made
. It is implemented in javascript, ugh. I tested it in firefox, ymmv if you use another browser.

I'm interested to see if people totally unfamiliar with logic find it sensible as a game. A big part of it, I suppose, whether you are familiar or not, is figuring out what each color of "bracket" does when you click on it. If you are confused, I recommend fiddling around even with the "easy" puzzles even after you beat them to see what things don't work as well as which things do.

But I've had this notion for a little while to play around with turning ordinary proof search into a little clickety puzzle game like this — sort of a more visual version of the incinerator subpuzzle from CMU's ICFP contest run a couple of years ago — and I'm happy to find that it wasn't so hard. I feel that tableaux-style proof search classical modal logic minimizes the number of interaction concepts in the game, despite my love for constructivism and sequent calculi.
beartato phd

(no subject)

Played part of the KGB puzzle hunt. High-quality puzzles this year. Got restless after a while, walked to squirrel hill, poked around at random little projects at Té. Should head home soon I suppose.
beartato phd

(no subject)

MS Puzzle Hunt: quite good puzzles this year. We got #4 among CMU, some sad low place among all schools. Man, dunno why we let mit and cornell and stanford kick our asses.
beartato phd

(no subject)

Pretty fun day. Our team (wjl, _tove, and _tove's friend Tiago from New Zealand) rocked the KGB puzzle hunt. I really want to think I'm not just saying this because we won, but I think it was quite well-designed and (I reckon probably) well-playtested. None of the puzzles, even including the ones we didn't solve, seemed really unfair or ridiculous or what-have-you after their solutions were revealed. Good job, to both the designers and our fellow puzzle-hunters. Especially to that team that actually solved the Blocks of Letters puzzle, damn.

Afterwards had some dinner with people, wherein I attempted (to appreciable modest success) to hone my skills of reading groen's mind and predicting which joke he will make/appreciate next.

Finally, saw "Big Fish" at Sherbrook. Hard to find fault with it. It seems somehow to be spiritual kin to the story in Baudolino, since it depends on the unreliable narrator's constant stream of bullshit stories being incredibly endearing and of the "oh man but I wish it were true" sort.
beartato phd

(no subject)

Went and did the KGB puzzle hunt after the proposal talk was over. It was considerably smaller than the big microsoft puzzle events, but still quite fun. I think our team got second place?
beartato phd

(no subject)

Had fun doing the ms puzzle competition today. None of the puzzles seemed to have any errors in them, only one was ever so slightly annoying, the outdoor run-around stuff was well-done, and their server never went down. Also we got 2nd place, which meant $50 Best Buy gift certificates for each member of the glorious Team Eating Buildings. It is as, how you say, woot. As traditional I got a little cranky near the end (and took it out mostly on wjl, which I regret, since he didn't at all deserve it) but apart from that I had a great time.