Puzzalot

Stuff about, you know, puzzles

Yearly Archives: 2010

Sparkly carbon detractors

When I was a kid, I watched a documentary on PBS with my grandfather about the diamond trade. I saw that miners were kept separated from their wives for months at a time, were treated like animals, and caged at night. I heard how the money made from the trade fueled terrible wars. I learned […]

Pics from BANG 23, Ghost Patrol BANG, and Odd Man Out

I’ve been delaying posting photos for a while. The problem was that my webhost had made some changes that rendered my old copy of Gallery unable to load photo batches. I played around with the new, sleeker version, but it would always drop about half the uploads. Additionally, I’d wanted to find an easy way […]

Pronouncing the GNUs

The end of our team name is sometimes pronounced wrong. It’s “guh-news”, similar to how the GNU Project is pronounced, not “news”. This has been born out in both the audiobook and TV movie version of Going Postal, from where our name comes. It’s a big deal! Okay, it’s not and I really don’t care […]

The 30% Rule: A Lazy Data Analysis of DASH 2

For reasons I can’t remember, I decided to revisit the solve times from DASH 2. Since they weren’t in an easy spreadsheet form, I decided to narrow it down to just Palo Alto. I figured sixty teams would be enough of a sample. First, I compared the average solve time vs. the “par” time used […]

Forgotten Puzzle Element #12

While there may be ten more aspects to what makes a good puzzle hunt puzzle, there was a twelfth that I wanted to add to the list that completely slipped my mind. 12. Activity – Whether there is some physical activity required either to acquire the clue, or whether one is needed to solve the […]

What makes a good puzzle hunt puzzle?

Recently, I’ve been trying to come to grips with what makes a good puzzle hunt puzzle (PHP?). After examining my tastes, and what they do and don’t have in common with other people, I think that writing a definitive guide to what makes a good puzzle is all but impossible. I have, however, come to […]

Blind to the Problem

I’ve been going over Ian’s 2010 GC Summit Talk recently for various reasons. One thing he brought up is the fact that puzzle hunt puzzles have built up a few conventions that while providing quick entry for experienced puzzles, limits both the puzzle writer and newer entries into the field. From his talk: You all […]

A BANG-less Alcatraz

A few years ago, I wondered idly if a BANG themed on The Rock was plausible and shot off an email to the National Parks Service. While recently trying to find some old emails, I came across the response, which pretty much had put the idea to rest. Dear Scott, Thanks for your inquiry regarding […]

Ghost Patrol BANG Deja Vu

The Smoking GNU didn’t make the cut for the upcoming Ghost Patrol BANG, which sold out its 50 spots in less than fifteen minutes, which was about when Jonathan tried to register. So maybe we can get in on the playtest and have the weather turn out tons better than during the actual event? I […]