Category Archives: Uncategorized

American Crossword Puzzle Tournament 2015: The Re-Re-Re-Re-Rematch

Not all that long ago, if you were to make a “David vs. Goliath” metaphor at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, there would have been no question who you intended for the role of Goliath. Tyler Hinman won the tournament for the first time in 2005, at the age of 20 years old, and then […]
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Metapuzzles Galore!

These past few years, I have made one or two practice metapuzzles for my Mystery Hunt team to solve. This year I went a little nuts, creating eight metapuzzles themed to the works of Mr. William Shakespeare. You can access the set of puzzles here. Because the best part of solving metapuzzles is cracking them […]
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Under the Sea: Mystery Hunt 2015

One of my favorite parts of the MIT Mystery Hunt occurs hours before the event begins. I wake up, shower, shave, get dressed, and leave my hotel. I walk down Ames Street and enter building 66, one of MIT’s many buildings, which are linked together via a numbering system I cannot even pretend to comprehend. […]
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Wrapping up Spaghetti

James McTeague rocked both games of Spaghetti this week, in each case imposing astonishing order on what was supposed to be wanton randomness. On day one, he figured out how to get binary numbers, and from there a word, out of the given words. Yesterday he went one better and took the patterns of consonants […]
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A Second Helping of Spaghetti

As has been previously noted, there are two ways you can go when solving a round of Spaghetti: Surprisingly simple, or gloriously wacky. Yesterday we saw plenty of both. James McTeague received the most votes by making us wonder if this wasn’t an actual metapuzzle instead of a bunch of random words: He observed that […]
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Spaghetti!

At the MIT Mystery Hunt, which begins this Friday, solvers will spend a lot of time staring at lists of words. Each list may seem like a random assortment (FLEMINGS, DOGHOUSE, READING, DUCHIES, UNSHORN…), but in fact each list has been carefully put together to be a puzzle. (Hey! You can change two letters in […]
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47

46 was pretty good, all in all. I finished a new book, or possibly finished two new books, depending on how you look at it. (The second was technically finished in 2013 but was rewritten substantially over the past year.) I’m hopeful that one or both will find homes before I write a blog post […]
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The ongoing protest

I’m a white guy who turned the news off last night at about 11:00 p.m. — because I could — and went to sleep in my house in my peaceful suburban neighborhood. So I understand that my opinion on anything related to Ferguson means absolutely diddly-squat. Which does not prevent me from having said opinion, […]
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Woodworking 101

Holy crap, people — I did something HANDY. Doorknobs come in a standard size: They are made to fit holes with a 2 1/8″ diameter. The hole in my daughter’s bedroom door was, inexplicably, just 2″. It needed to be expanded by an eighth of an inch before the new doorknob could be installed. Here’s […]
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How to enjoy a National Puzzlers’ League convention

1. Get there on Wednesday, so that you can go to the picnic. Over the years, this has become the true start of the annual NPL convention, though officially the con doesn’t get going until Thursday evening. This year the variable weather in the host city — Portland, Maine — forced the picnic indoors, and […]
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