Oct 032012
 

You people are crazy. You know that, right? The things you guys are coming up with based on nothing at all is just astounding to me. Todd Etter, again with the most-liked comment, continues to connect the five random words to a geographical location. (You know you’re dealing with a smart person when he feels the need to impose an additional restriction to a game that is already pretty much impossible.) Jangler had my personal favorite response, and you gotta be impressed by Ucaiomhu as well.

The dictionary we’re using, by the way, is not 11C but rather The New Merriam-Webster Dictionary, with 60,000 entries. In case you’re wondering why we’re not getting much obscurity in these randomly generated words.

Today’s words are:

CELSIUS
MIXTURE
CONTRARY
BETEL NUT
REGNANT

Good luck!

(FYI, unless there is fervent demand that this game continue indefinitely, I think we’ll take a small break after this week, and then make it an occasional, not-daily thing. I don’t want to burn out a good idea with overuse.)

  10 Responses to “Spaghetti #3”

  1. I don’t have it yet, but I have a hunch that it’ll be IRAN-contra(ry).

       0 likes

  2. The answer seems to be AMPERSAND. All words are either 7 or 8 letters, suggesting a conversion to 8-bit binary using vowels=0 and consonants=1. (No word starts with a vowel, indicating that leading 0′s are omitted.)

    This produces:
    01011001
    01011010
    10111010
    10101101
    01011011

    These five answers of course correspond to the first five binary numbers, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101. Looking down the first column (00110), we see that in this matrix is encoded a sixth word.

    The remaining 7 columns of bits can be translated via ASCII as

    Y Z : – [

    The YZ… indicates the end of the alphabet, and the “sad face” indicates that it’s “missing” a remaining last letter. Since the AMPERSAND was once that 27th letter of the alphabet, that is the one being clued.

       6 likes

  3. The answer CONTRARY holds the key to this meta: we’re supposed to look at things backwards. Each answer contains a word of three or more letters backwards:

    ISLE
    RUT
    ART
    TUN*
    ANGER

    The first letters of these hidden words, when arranged alphabetically by the original answer, spell TIARA.

    * Although LET also appears backwards in BETEL NUT and is more common, TUN appears first when reading backwards, so we will choose TUN over LET**

    ** I originally picked LET and thought that sorting the answers in reverse alphabetical order would give ARIAL, which is not quite the font used in this blog. But then I realized that I had swapped CELSIUS/ISLE and CONTRARY/ART.

       5 likes

  4. Nathan is right that CONTRARY is key to interpreting this meta. Each of the other four overlaps neatly with the name of a star that is the brightest, or alpha, star in its constellation:

    CelsIUS -> SirIUS (Alpha Canis Majoris)
    mixTURe -> ArcTURus (Alpha Bootes)
    BETEL nut -> BETELgeuse (Alpha Orionis)
    REGnant -> REGulus (Alpha Leonis)

    (This is clued because the answers are in order by the brightness of the stars in question – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brightest_stars)

    If you put these in reverse (contrary) alphabetical order and read down the diagonal, you get the answer, SETT. You also get the same answer if you read the last letters of the original words, interestingly.

       11 likes

  5. Each word contains a three-letter sequence which is either the last name of a famous person, or a homophone of the last name of a famous person:

    CELSIUS Ernie ELS
    MIXTURE Tom MIX
    CONTRARY Genghis KHAN ("CON")
    BETEL NUT William TELL ("TEL")
    REGNANT Adam ANT

    Alphabetizing by the first letter of the words — except in the case of CONTRARY, which of course must be alphabetized by its LAST letter — gives

    BETEL NUT William TELL
    CELSIUS Ernie ELS
    MIXTURE Tom MIX
    REGNANT Adam ANT
    YRARTNOC Genghis KHAN

    Reading down the first letters of the first names gives “WE TAG” which suggests the answer GRAFFITISTS

    But Eric was careful in his flavortext to emphasize “YOU” — so the answer must be a more contemporary group of people who tag, i.e. BLOGGERS

       1 likes

  6. The answer is ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA. The proof of this is left as an exercise for the reader.

       6 likes

  7. Whoosh, this one was almost too easy.

    The alphabet scores of each word (A=1, B=2, etc) are:

    CELSIUS = 88
    MIXTURE = 110
    CONTRARY = 114
    BETEL NUT = 99
    REGNANT = 79

    The differences, in order, are 22, 4, 15, 20 = VDOT, the acronym for the Virginia Department of Transportation (as used frequently on their site). I especially like how the final answer is back-clued by the fact that the solution words transpose to:

    U CURT ASTON MARTIN, LEXUS, BENTLEY, RIG CENTER

    indeed, confirming that we in fact want the acronym VDOT (and not the long form) by telling us to use the “curt” name.

       1 likes

  8. Three of these words contain a trio of letters in an ABA pattern (CONTRARY, BETEL NUT, REGNANT), each in a different position; striking out the letters in the remaining words (CELSIUS and MIXTURE) in the positions of the centers of the trios yields two real words: CESS and MITE. CESS is phonetically in an ABA pattern; striking out the sounds in MITE at the positions of the edges of this trio yields the long i sound. And the one word in an ABA pattern pronounced as a long i is EYE.

       7 likes

  9. Just wanted to mention: this solving-things-that-are-clearly-not-puzzles thing? Projectyl does this all the time. He solved my hand the other day. (Correctly.)

       0 likes

  10. What was the answer?

       0 likes

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