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Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - January 2006 » [woubit] Never did run smooth « Previous Next »

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Archive through December 22, 2005Lynne22 12-22-05  12:30 am
Archive through December 24, 2005Tommy Petersson22 12-24-05  12:17 pm
Archive through December 24, 2005John Morahan22 12-24-05  7:08 pm
Archive through December 24, 2005David Burn22 12-24-05  8:15 pm
Archive through December 24, 2005David Burn22 12-24-05  11:45 pm
Archive through December 25, 2005Simon Downham22 12-25-05  1:45 am
Archive through December 27, 2005Simon Downham22 12-27-05  11:33 am
Archive through December 28, 2005Tommy Petersson22 12-28-05  4:39 pm
Archive through December 28, 2005Simon Downham22 12-28-05  7:13 pm
Archive through December 29, 2005Simon Downham22 12-29-05  5:59 pm
Archive through December 31, 2005Lynne22 12-31-05  12:17 am
Archive through December 31, 2005Simon Downham22 12-31-05  9:52 pm
Archive through January 01, 2006Mosquito22 1-01-06  3:30 am
Archive through January 01, 2006Dena Elbling22 1-01-06  5:37 pm
Archive through January 01, 2006David Burn22 1-01-06  11:24 pm
Archive through January 02, 2006Simon Downham22 1-02-06  10:25 am
Archive through January 02, 2006Sara DeNunzio22 1-02-06  6:13 pm
Archive through January 02, 2006Johanna22 1-02-06  9:43 pm
Archive through January 03, 2006Simon Downham22 1-03-06  12:45 am
Archive through January 04, 2006Simon Downham22 1-04-06  6:18 am
Archive through January 05, 2006Simon Downham22 1-05-06  12:30 am
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Author Message
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 12:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Simon Downham (Beroean) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 12:30 am:

Tra La This particularly rapid unintellgible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.
Tony (E20)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's the end of any thoughts of "milking" then ... I don't think Daisy would appreciate those tiny frozen hands!
Jens Weber (Sundowner)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know whether this is of any help but I noticed that in most of the operas some sort of unlucky love is involved .. eight beauties a-wilting?
No, even better: eight lads a-jilting (their lass..)
or, maybe: eight maids a-bilking?

Anyway, I got the impression that we have to discard three of the eleven operas. (165 ways to do that)

But we'll have to hurry up. Soon the twelve nights are over, and then, so I'm afraid, the doorkeeper will close the gate that was made especially for you in front of your eyes.
Tony (E20)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The CD doesn't contain any extracts from The Mikado does it? That could at least have given us 37.5% of the required maids ...

Are the opera extracts all performed in their original language?

Try playing the whole CD to the doorkeeper and determine which extracts from particular operas result in any flicker of a response ...
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Tony (E20) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:37 am:

That's the end of any thoughts of "milking" then ... I don't think Daisy would appreciate those tiny frozen hands! I don't expect she would :)

By Jens Weber (Sundowner) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:44 am:

I don't know whether this is of any help but I noticed that in most of the operas some sort of unlucky love is involved .. eight beauties a-wilting? No - this time, you are actually looking for eight milkmaids.
No, even better: eight lads a-jilting (their lass..) so not this
or, maybe: eight maids a-bilking? or this

Anyway, I got the impression that we have to discard three of the eleven operas. (165 ways to do that) In fact, you need to retain three of the eleven operas. Of course, there are 165 ways to do that also - but only one way to do it such that they contain the maids you need :)

But we'll have to hurry up. Soon the twelve nights are over, and then, so I'm afraid, the doorkeeper will close the gate that was made especially for you in front of your eyes. Indeed - time is fleeting, madness takes its toll...
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, I think we can figure this out from first principles...

La Boheme apparently features a milkmaid. So does Patience. Le Nozze di Figaro features a maid of a non-milk variety. Thus ends my knowledge of opera. I'd google the rest if I didn't have real work to do.

But could you specify which bits of the eleven operas are included on this CD?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 11:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Tony (E20) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:48 am:

The CD doesn't contain any extracts from The Mikado does it? No, but... That could at least have given us 37.5% of the required maids ... ...well, the three little maids from school did not go in for manual labour. However...

Are the opera extracts all performed in their original language? Yes.

Try playing the whole CD to the doorkeeper and determine which extracts from particular operas result in any flicker of a response ... Very well, but on your own head be it...

The strains of "Der fliegende Holländer" fill the air. At once, the room is full of doorkeepers. "We told you", the fifth one says. "If you play anything resembling Wagner, the consequences are going to be dire. But you wouldn't listen..."

I hurriedly turn the music off. The doorkeepers, who have been advancing towards me in menacing fashion, appear to relent. "All right", the fifth one says. "But don't do it again. If that's music, I'm a Dutchman."
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 11:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:55 am:

No, I think we can figure this out from first principles... I am relieved to hear it :)

La Boheme apparently features a milkmaid The chorus of La Bohème in fact includes six milkmaids So does Patience and Patience is a milkmaid Le Nozze di Figaro features a maid of a non-milk variety and Figaro contains no milkmaids at all Thus ends my knowledge of opera. Well, perhaps Richard Shindell will write one some day. I'd google the rest if I didn't have real work to do.

But could you specify which bits of the eleven operas are included on this CD? The spinning chorus from Der Fliegende Holländer, (I'm sure Rumpelstiltskin would like that one if only the doorkeepers would let him listen to it), "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, "Nessun dorma" from Turandot, "When Frederic was a little boy" from The Pirates of Penzance, "Non piu andrai" from Le Nozze di Figaro, "Morgenlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein" from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, "Love is a plaintive song" from Patience, "Gli angui di inferno" from The Magic Flute, "Ritorna vincitor" from Aida, the slaves' chorus from Nabucco, and "Ma se m'è forza perderti per sempre" from Un Ballo in Maschera.
Jens Weber (Sundowner)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 1:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not an expert, but perhaps we might sort out some of the mentioned arias:
- "Nessun dorma" is sung, as far as I know, by a Prince, who can only hardly be described as maid
- "When Frederic was a little boy" is sung by his nurse .. well, she could be a maid, but I'm not sure whether she was milking at any time
- "Non piu andrai" is sung by Mr. Figaro (?)
- Flute Magic does not contain any milkwives
- "Ritorna vincitor" does not sound very milky either
- though among the slaves of Nabucco might have been some maids, I can hardly imagine them being milking while singing this song
Taking into account that La Boheme and Patience are used up already, the following arias are remaining:
- The spinning chorus from Der Fliegende Holländer
- "Morgenlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein" from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
- "Ma se m'è forza perderti per sempre" from Un Ballo in Maschera

So we've a one-in-three chance to get it right.
Still taking into account that two of these three are qualified rubbish by the doorkeepers, only one is left -- how do you think? Is it worth a try?
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 2:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In "When Frederic was a little lad" (not boy), Ruth describes herself as a "maid of all work". That ought to include milking, I'd say.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Jens Weber (Sundowner) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 01:41 pm:


I'm not an expert, but perhaps we might sort out some of the mentioned arias: I think they have already been sorted out - see below :)
- "Nessun dorma" is sung, as far as I know, by a Prince, who can only hardly be described as maid
- "When Frederic was a little boy" is sung by his nurse .. well, she could be a maid, but I'm not sure whether she was milking at any time
- "Non piu andrai" is sung by Mr. Figaro (?)
- Flute Magic does not contain any milkwives
- "Ritorna vincitor" does not sound very milky either
- though among the slaves of Nabucco might have been some maids, I can hardly imagine them being milking while singing this song
Taking into account that La Boheme and Patience are used up already, the following arias are remaining:
- The spinning chorus from Der Fliegende Holländer
- "Morgenlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein" from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
- "Ma se m'è forza perderti per sempre" from Un Ballo in Maschera

So we've a one-in-three chance to get it right.
Still taking into account that two of these three are qualified rubbish by the doorkeepers, only one is left -- how do you think? Is it worth a try?

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 02:10 pm:


In "When Frederic was a little lad" (not boy) that depends to an extent on which edition you have, Ruth describes herself as a "maid of all work". That ought to include milking, I'd say. And so would I - well done :)

I edit the CD to eliminate all the operas without any milkmaids in them, and present it to the doorkeeper, who shows me into...
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 6:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A room? With a doorkeeper? Or a field with a troll? Or something else entirely?
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 6:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm still unsure what it was that we gave to the last doorkeeper. Was it eight maidens lilting or eight maids a milking or something different?
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 8:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, there was a lot of confusion over lilting and wilting so I guess it was eight milkmaids weltering ;-)
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 06:31 pm:

A room? With a doorkeeper? Or a field with a troll? Or something else entirely? This is a ballroom. A slow waltz is being played by a small orchestra, and various couples are dancing. Nothing else of note appears visible at the moment.

By Simon Downham (Beroean) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 06:52 pm:

I'm still unsure what it was that we gave to the last doorkeeper. Was it eight maidens lilting or eight maids a milking or something different? We actually gave the doorkeeper (the voices of) eight milkmaids, but if you prefer, they could have been lilting, wilting...

By Lynne (Lynne) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 08:04 pm:


Well, there was a lot of confusion over lilting and wilting so I guess it was eight milkmaids weltering ;-) ...or weltering
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How many couples are there dancing? Anyone you recognise? Anything unusual about any of them?

Is there any exit visible? Any idea to whom we have to present the next gift?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 09:43 pm:

How many couples are there dancing? Eight Anyone you recognise? No Anything unusual about any of them? Apart from the fact that they are dancing, which is of course a perversion, I can discern nothing remarkable about their outward appearance.

Is there any exit visible? The ballroom is large and dimly lit. But at the far end of the room I can just about make out a door. I cannot see whether it is guarded as yet, and my efforts to cross the room are being frustrated by the dancers, who keep getting in my way. It is almost as though they were doing it on purpose. Any idea to whom we have to present the next gift? Not at present, I am afraid.
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Can't you go around the edge of the room?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 9:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 09:53 pm:

Can't you go around the edge of the room? Yes, but so can they. I don't think there's a rule that says you have to dance in the middle of a ballroom. Or if there is, these people seem unaware of it.
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aahhh - to dance to the sound of a slow Wagner Waltz! Seems like you're in deep trouble. Only eight couples dancing, you have to find a lady to make it nine...

OK, if there's nothing unusual to report - report the usual (on your way to the faraway door). Is there anything for the people to eat and drink?
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's quite normal to see ladies dancing together if there are not enough dancing men to go around. 7 mixed couples and a pair of ladies. Is this the case here?
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It seems strange that eight couples in a large ballroom - dancing slowly, no less - would keep running into you as you try to cross, even if they were doing it on purpose. But I will suspend disbelief long enough to suggest that these dancers themselves are the ones to whom we need to present the present, so that using the ladies as the present probably won't work.

Beyond that, I don't know. There's wine (plain and fancy), but I don't know where you'd get such a thing.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 11:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Tommy Petersson (Tommyp) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:43 pm:

Aahhh - to dance to the sound of a slow Wagner Waltz! Seems like you're in deep trouble. Only eight couples dancing, you have to find a lady to make it nine... By "couples" I mean two people. In these enlightened times, any number of women from 0 to 16 may be involved in eight couples.

OK, if there's nothing unusual to report - report the usual (on your way to the faraway door). Getting to the farway door appears to be something of a problem at the moment. Is there anything for the people to eat and drink? There is a bar on one side of the ballroom, and my access to this does not seem to be impeded.

By Lynne (Lynne) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:52 pm:

It's quite normal to see ladies dancing together if there are not enough dancing men to go around. 7 mixed couples and a pair of ladies. Is this the case here? Well, judging only by the way they are dressed, one would say that there are eight men and eight women dancing. But some of the ones in gowns look a bit butch to me.

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 10:59 pm:

It seems strange that eight couples in a large ballroom - dancing slowly, no less I said that the music was a slow waltz. I did not say that the couples were dancing slowly. In fact, they seem to match their pace pretty much to mine, so that if I try to dash round them, they dance faster to get in my way. - would keep running into you as you try to cross, even if they were doing it on purpose. But I will suspend disbelief long enough to suggest that these dancers themselves are the ones to whom we need to present the present, It may be so. My efforts to engage any of them in conversation have so far proved futile - they do not respond when I say "Excuse me" or "Please get out of my way" or anything more peremptory. so that using the ladies as the present probably won't work.

Beyond that, I don't know. There's wine (plain and fancy), but I don't know where you'd get such a thing. See above...
Johanna (Buzzard)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 11:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can't believe the bar isn't a red herring, because otherwise you wouldn't have said that there was nothing else of note when you first entered the room. But ask what kinds of wine they have got anyway.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 11:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Johanna (Buzzard) on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 11:24 pm:

I can't believe the bar isn't a red herring Well, I am glad to see that your suspension of disbelief now extends to believing that a bar is in fact a fish because otherwise you wouldn't have said that there was nothing else of note when you first entered the room What I said was that nothing else of note appeared visible at the moment. The light is dim here, the room is large, and there are a lot of people who keep getting in my way. It may be that I will be able to see other things at a later stage. But ask what kinds of wine they have got anyway. They have red wine and white wine of various kinds, and a Tavel rosé. They have beer and spirits, sparkling and still water, and some organic quince juice.
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 5:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Any punch there? Any ladles?

The couples are blocking your way.... Nine dancers advancing?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 5:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Lynne (Lynne) on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 05:24 pm:

Any punch there? The barman tells me that if I would like some punch, he can make some for me. Any ladles? Not behind the bar - although cocktails are also available...

The couples are blocking your way.... Nine dancers advancing? Good thinking, but I am not sure how I am going to persuade any of them to accompany me to the exit - they seem firmly convinced that I should be going in the other direction altogether.
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 10:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That was ladles not ladies btw

Are there any people there apart from the bar staff who are not dancing?
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 11:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Lynne (Lynne) on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 10:59 pm:

That was ladles not ladies btw I am sorry :( If I want punch, the barman will serve it from a ladle - but he doesn't have nine of them.

Are there any people there apart from the bar staff who are not dancing? There are people playing in the orchestra to which the others are dancing.
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 1:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, it is now January 7th. And just as it is considered bad luck to leave Christmas decorations hanging beyond the twelfth day of Christmas, so (as Sundowner suggests) I will not leave this puzzle here any longer.

For the curious, seven of the dancers in this room were sane, but nine of them were mad. What you needed to do was borrow a metronome from the orchestra and hypnotize the insane ones, thus (a) enabling you to get out of the dancers' way and (b) walk to the exit accompanied by nine crazies trancing.

Then, you would have been able to hatch the snake eggs and train the infant serpents to operate the computer keyboard in order to provide the tenth doorkeeper with ten vipers typing.

After that, a screwdriver and an assembly of the people who have barred your way thus far would have led to eleven doors a-keeping. And I had not decided what would happen in the twelfth room - perhaps I never will.

Thanks very much to everyone who took part :)
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 8:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would've loved to have cracked the ten vipers typing but now I shall never know if I was up to it ;-)

Highly Entertaining!
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 9:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aw, sorry to see the end of this - it was great fun, thanks!
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You could have run it locally in Sweden - here's Christmas 20 days long...
David Burn (Woubit)
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 10:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, next year I will set a Swedish Christmas puzzle :) My apologies for curtailing this one, but it had started to compete with the British Museum for archive space. Once again, thanks everyone, and...

***** SPOILER *****

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