Log in

No account? Create an account
Foggy's Journal
20 most recent entries

Date:2011-05-13 14:48
Subject:Shameless Request

From my wife Ana:

I don't know if you are a Dr. Who fan at all, but if you are, you're probably familiar with the TARDIS - it's the phone-booth looking thing that Dr. Who travels around in.

My old friend Brian Bull and his family have made one of their own (it's their version of a Wisconsin Ice Shanty) and they need votes in order to get on top of this contest.

They have just two days of voting left, and they're in a close race for first. I think the prize is a whole ton of Dr. Who videos and memorabilia, and this would be an amazing win for him and his family.

To vote, just click on the link below, click "like", and you're done. You don't have to have a Facebook page or anything like that. Anybody can vote.
http://www.facebook.com/l/b1e0b8MUOAAZ0HcCVWndNDQsc7g/www.wheresthetardis.com/entry/345. Sometimes the application will forward you to the main contest page for some odd reason. If that happens, just hit your browser's "back" arrow and it'll get you back to Brian's entry.

Also, if you have maybe 2-4 friends who you think would be willing to help, just forward them this email ... every vote helps, and trust me, this is for a great family!


post a comment

Date:2011-01-19 06:32

Instead of summarizing the weekend, which was spent with the fabulous Hathor, Toonhead, Eric Berlin and the rest of the Palindrome pussycats, I'm going to mention a few puzzles over the course weekend.

(I will also mention that this was a brilliantly designed hunt...but I do wish our team had gotten into round 3 faster).

Puzzles I Worked On:
* Two Heads Are Better Than One
* Rivalries
* The Least You Could Do Is Call Me
* Pipe Dream 2
* Good Times in the Casino
* Pointillisme
* The Mega Man Structure
* A Modern Palimpsest
* Charm School
* Crowds chant
* Hints with a Bit of Love
* Oratory
* Laureate
* A Representative Sampling
* The Baddest Man
* Plotlines
* Toto, I Have a Feeling...
* Study Materials
* The Higher They Climb

Let's talk puzzles, with spoilersCollapse )

Just so that it's clear: I really thought this was an amazing hunt, and every aspect of it, from the organization, points reward and wrap-up, really showed the amazing detail and the love they feel for the MIT Mystery Hunt.

19 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-10-23 16:17
Subject:P&A Cubs

One of the goals I had earlier this year never came to fruition, and that was standalone special issues of specific puzzle types. I think if it were by only job, it would be a piece of cake.

However, I am taking one positive step forward with the magazine, and that is offering the warmup puzzles separately. I'm thinking that for $1.00 even, the warm-up section (about 12-14 puzzles overall, plus a cover puzzle) would be a saleable item. The question is, for those of you who currently don't buy P&A, would you spend $1 on a 16-page puzzle sampler? (2 pages of answers, 1 letters page, 1 cover, 12 puzzle pages)

And for those of you do currently get P&A Magazine, do you do the warm-up puzzles? Do you have favorites? Non-favorites? Could be favorites if I did something slightly differently?

8 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-09-28 23:27
Subject:No Ordinary Family and Superhero Dramas

So Misfits of Science...er, No Ordinary Family premiered tonight. I tend to give any superhero series a lot of leeway, and there are a number of nice moments in the episode. Unlike Heroes, it would make sense that at least one person suddenly discovering their abilities would want to fight crime...and let's face it, all man-caves are really just superhero lairs without superheroes.

I don't see the series lasting more than a year though, unless they put something fresh or original in it...and do something interesting with the son (super-intelligent? really?)

post a comment

Date:2010-04-22 18:40
Subject:MUMS Day 2-4

Glanced briefly at Day 2 when it came out and aside from knocking out 2.3 in mere seconds, didn't really try the others. (I did recognize what 2.2 is about, but a much superior version of this puzzle exists.)

I spent a little time looking at Day 3 when it came out, and spent a fair amount of time with 3.1. I like the idea, but I think it's presented a little too open-ended for my tastes.

I spent much more time with Day 4, and I have to say, I really liked a lot of what Day 4 offered. I solved both 4.1 and 4.5 with minimal difficulty (and really liked 4.1). I just finished 4.2 a few minutes ago, and of all the puzzles, this is probably my favorite. I was pretty convinced early on I would never get anywhere with it, but after changing my solving tactic, I started to make solid progress. Every step is nice and clean. My hats off to Corey Plover for this puzzle.

post a comment

Date:2010-04-19 08:38
Subject:MUMS Day 1

I'm not sure why I always try the MUMS puzzles...I always find some level of disappointment in them. I'll try this week to update my status with the puzzles each day of the hunt.

Day 1: 5 puzzles released. Solved 2 (and did quite like 1.5), can't solve another (1.1). I think I know how each of the other two work, I'm just not that eager to try. Won't say much beyond that for spoiler's sake.

P&A Magazine's weekend release appears to have got staggeringly better than issue 24's. A lot of people really seem to like Unctuous Weasel (which I expected) and Curmudgeon Seal (which I did not expect).

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-03-08 10:22
Subject:Nixing a Cover Idea...Your Gain!

I thought about doing this as the cover for the next issue but quickly changed my mind because I can't cover all 30 needed titles.

That's all the hint you'll get...each of the following books hint at one member of a group, either through its title or part of its story. In which group would you add Five People You Meet in Heaven?

Group 1: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Group 2: The Man in the Iron Mask, Richard III, Last of the Mohicans

Group 3: The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick

Group 4: Old Man and the Sea, Red Badge of Courage

Group 5: Treasure Island, Animal Farm

Group 6: Jack in the Beanstalk, Oliver Twist

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-02-01 09:15
Subject:Open by Andre Agassi

One goal this year was to start reading more: at least one book every two weeks. I'm not disclosing the first book because it was fodder for an upcoming acrostic. The second was Open by Andre Agassi. Most of the news surrounding the release of this book involved his confession that for awhile, he took crystal meth, and as a result tested positive for drugs.

That's a pretty small part of the book though, and most of the autobiography focuses on this general unhappiness that he's had in his life. His father's rigorous training when he was just a child was guaranteed to make him a) very good at tennis and b) really hate it. It got frustrating constantly reading how Agassi wanted to "reinvent" himself or "I'm really going to try to be good" this time...it comes off as whiny and petulant in the third part of the book.

I have to wonder how the people around him...his trainer Gil, coach Brad, life coach JP, advice give Perry, other advice giver and brother Philly (the list doesn't end there)...dealt with Agassi during his years in tennis. It's one thing to devote yourself to a career, but these people were asked to devote themselves to Agassi's career. Every time I read about him getting knocked out early in a tournament either on purpose or not caring, I wanted to throw the book at him.

I can't imagine being that much of a drain on other people. Everyone has their own dreams and ambitions, and I hope, I pray, that I never keep anyone from theirs while tanking on mine.

Despite this, I would recommend reading the book...the lack of quotes make some of the conversations a little difficult to follow, and the book took a lot longer than it should have to slog through, but it was worth reading.

post a comment

Date:2010-01-17 12:03
Subject:A Last Set of Rules, Really!

Just to bring this to an even dozen, here are the last rules I'll provide on puzzle construction.

10, 11, 12 o clock rockCollapse )

At least one person has mentioned that they would love to have a dialogue on the subject of rules, and I'm also open to it.

One idea I've been toying with for a while is creating a Puzzlepedia. Wikipedia, just dedicated to puzzles. It would list more in depth articles on puzzle types, puzzle figures, puzzle sources, how to create puzzles, and the like. I think people would derive benefit from it, but I'm not sure if enough people would contribute to it.

4 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-01-14 04:49
Subject:More Puzzle Standards

And now, the exciting conclusion...

Apparently, there are 9 rules, not 8, so here are 5-9.Collapse )

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-01-12 15:17
Subject:Some Thoughts On Puzzle Standards

With the last issue that just went, I've now written over 500 puzzles that have some sort of catch to them (mostly for the magazine but close to 50 for the Mystery Hunt, not counting metas, another 99 for the Puzzle Boat, and the rest for non P&A events like Intercoastal Altercations.)

That's a lot of puzzles. Needless to say, I think puzzles I've written in the last year are typically better than those that I wrote for the Puzzle Boat. More importantly, I've developed some rough guidelines for this style of puzzle.

8 Complicated Rules for Puzzling My Curious Solver, Part 1Collapse )

5-8 to come hopefully before the 2010 Mystery Hunt.

8 comments | post a comment

Date:2010-01-02 10:59
Subject:Really? 28 weeks ago? That's a long gap
Mood: contemplative

It's been 28 weeks since my last post, and that was just a slam against Buckaroo Bonzai. Yikes.

At the end of 2008, I couldn't wait until I kicked it out the door and welcomed 2009 with open arms. While 2009 wasn't a super year, it was a lot better than 2008. I have good hopes for 2010, and I have a number of major goals for the year.

These are not the resolutions you are looking forCollapse )

Happy New Year to everyone!

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2009-06-16 11:05
Subject:Boy That Buckaroo Banzai Is A Bad Movie

Last night I got to watch a movie in deserted theater, which was a neat experience. The movie was Drag Me Into Hell, which was excellent Sam Raimi work, if a bit too polished, and a waste of Justin Long in a non-comedic role. (I bet he auditioned for the Sam Rubin role...) Today I watched Targets, a movie that I inexplicably added to our Netflix list, and was reasonably impressed. It was Boris Karloff's last role AFAIK, and an interesting foretelling of highway snipers many years later.

I'm now trying to watch Buckaroo, and I just don't get the appeal. Setting aside the bad special effects, the movie is just a mess of people, making it difficult to remember which extra is who. Christopher Lloyd is awesome, but John Lithgow irritating, and Peter Weller's acting is clearly showing why he'd be picked to play the Robo half of Robocop.

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2009-06-13 15:13
Subject:P&A Magazine Sampler

After a number of readers making this suggestion, I decided to put together a P&A Sampler.
It contains brand new puzzles, only slightly easier and slightly smaller than most issues. The sample issue is free, and there's no need to register, just visit http://www.pandamagazine.com to download the PDF and start solving.


post a comment

Date:2009-05-25 18:39
Subject:Adventures in Minneapolis, Day I
Mood: happy

Bison sausage...and moreCollapse )

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2009-05-09 09:34
Subject:A Long Day

You know it'll be a long day when you have to put out a fire that your wife started because she a) turned the oven on and b) forgot to take out the napkin and wooden serving bowl from the night before.

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2009-04-27 20:51
Subject:Chuck and House

Just watched the season finale of Chuck, which has been on the verge of cancellation, being saddled with the sinking rock that is heroes. Chuck has been thoroughly enjoyable, the sort of light-hearted fare that can still entertain and still be more emotionally resonant than most of the other shows on TV. Season 2 ended the way that it should.

House on the other end is delving into the same territory that Grey's Anatomy was mired in: a ghost returning as a hallucination. Can we let Lost have the market on that?

post a comment

Date:2009-03-22 23:34
Subject:Melbourne Puzzle Hunt

Who's doing this? Is there a team I can join?

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2009-03-12 07:33

Finished Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted yesterday...I really liked the work, but wouldn't consider it his best stuff. Essentially, it's a series of otherwise unrelated short stories connected by a particularly disturbing narrative. The short story "Guts" had a rare reaction...I couldn't keep reading it because of what it was describing and I wanted to cover my eyes until I got to the end of the page. The other short stories were inventive, particularly Chef Assassin's, Miss America's and Miss Sneezy's.

The wife and I watched Watchmen last night. I was pretty livid by the end of it, and most of my lividity would probably come off as fanboy angst, but some of the littler, more detailed bits behind the cut.

The devil's in the details.Collapse )


post a comment

Date:2009-02-28 18:25
Subject:The Great Urban Race
Mood: exhausted

My wife and I today participated in the Great Urban Race (www.greaturbanrace.com), a city-specific race that involves puzzles with a small p and physical activities with a large P. Neither my wife and I knew what the exact makeup of the event would be, so I'm hoping this write-up helps.

A long description of the Great Urban RaceCollapse )

A lot of fun, and if it's in your city, try it. But be prepared for a day of physical effort with a little bit of puzzling thrown in.

2 comments | post a comment

my journal