That Puzzle Guy's Blog Nil nisi avocamentum


Shining moment

Last weekend was a very successful puzzle-hunting one! The biggest thrill came on Saturday, when the League of Extraordinary Puzzlemen achieved an unlikely victory in the Berkeley Mystery Hunt! We were certain triumph would elude us when we took an unsettlingly long time on a meta, but we arrived at the final challenge with just one team leading us by mere minutes. Even then, it seemed to be a long shot. Fortunately, that puzzle was a meatball right down the heart of the plate. Yup, it was a crossword. There was a twist, of course, but with the whole team shouting out answers, it was quickly defeated; I barely ever stopped writing! We raced down to CAL 9000, a robot that wasn't willing to let Berkeley puzzler Ankur Mehta graduate and leave it behind. Using information our grid, we set up a series of mirrors, then aimed a laser through all of them to activate an interface, which accepted the puzzle's final answer. A very cool final puzzle, and a most exciting win for our team. My compatriots were kind enough to let me keep the big awesome coin and it's made a nice addition to the wall just outside my door.

The next day, I also enjoyed Lumber Party at the Octothorpean website. My teammates were unavailable, but I was able to take down the whole thing, including one backsolve, in about an hour on my own. Looking forward to more on this site!

Looking over to Kickstarter, Roger Wolff's cryptic crossword project is in its final days, and he's thrown in a hell of an enticement to help get it over the finish line. For just a $10 addition to your pledge, you can get a giant block cryptic for your wall! That's way better than some other giant crossword snoozefest. Do it!

In exciting, mysterious, creepy, possible-ARG news, something strange is going on at the Pronunciation Book channel on YouTube. After years of short, innocuous guides to American pronunciation of various words and names, the series has begun an unnerving 77-day countdown, giving us only opaque sentences and telling us that "something is going to happen." Theories abound as to what we're facing here; popular ideas involve promotions for Half-Life 3 and Halo 5 and a new Battlestar Galactica. I'll refrain from speculation, but I'll be watching with great interest, hoping for a cool ARG!

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