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Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1655
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 7:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A young man reading a book reads the same paragraph several times in the course of an afternoon. The paragraph is not particularly interesting or important, and he understands it perfectly. When he reads it for the 10th time, he lets out a cry of frustration and throws the book across the room. Why?

Attached: Standard caveat about early spoliers.doc
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1656
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 7:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Puzzle title reveals no useful information other than my lack of proof-reading skills at 8:50 in the morning
Doriana (Doriana)
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Username: Doriana

Post Number: 754
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 7:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the book fiction? non-fiction? Relevant?
Does he read the book for leisure? for school? for work?
Redwine (Redwine)
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Username: Redwine

Post Number: 1743
Registered: 10-2013
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 7:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the book a piece of literature? Is it an encyclopedia? A dictionary? A manual?

Is it important that it was 10th time the man read the paragraph? Would the puzzle work if it was 11th time? 9th time?

Is the man looking for a particular information?

Does the man have to read the paragraph?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1657
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Doriana:

Is the book fiction? yes non-fiction? no Relevant? yes
Does he read the book for leisure? yes for school? for work? no to others

Redwine:

Is the book a piece of literature? yes Is it an encyclopedia? A dictionary? A manual? no to rest

Is it important that it was 10th time the man read the paragraph? no Would the puzzle work if it was 11th time? 9th time? yes in both cases - it's just a question of his level of patience

Is the man looking for a particular information? yes, explore

Does the man have to read the paragraph? no-one's forcing him to read it, but he can't merely skip it, either
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Username: Ixoye724

Post Number: 4398
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does he feel compelled to read it?
Is he reading a part of the book that is supposed to be important? Entertaining?
Is it relevant to know how far into the book the paragraph appears? Is it the opening paragraph of the book? The final paragraph? In between?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1658
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does he feel compelled to read it? no, it's more than that
Is he reading a part of the book that is supposed to be important? yope or yesish Entertaining? no
Is it relevant to know how far into the book the paragraph appears? Yesish, FAs lurking Is it the opening paragraph of the book? no The final paragraph? no In between? yes
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Username: Ixoye724

Post Number: 4399
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the paragraph actually part of the book? Or something written on the front or back of the book, or on the book jacket?
Is this a "classic" book that he's reading? One by a well-known author?
Is the exact book title relevant?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1659
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the paragraph actually part of the book? yes Or something written on the front or back of the book, or on the book jacket? no
Is this a "classic" book that he's reading? no One by a well-known author? well-known in certain circles. Pinpointing the specific book is not necessary
Is the exact book title relevant? no
Doriana (Doriana)
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Username: Doriana

Post Number: 755
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it some kind of "choose your own adventure" book?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1660
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it some kind of "choose your own adventure" book? yes!
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Username: Ixoye724

Post Number: 4400
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So does he keep hitting "dead ends"?
Redwine (Redwine)
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Username: Redwine

Post Number: 1745
Registered: 10-2013
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the book written in foreign language? Did the man got lost in the plot of the book?
Does the relevant paragraph of the book contain words only?
Redwine (Redwine)
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Username: Redwine

Post Number: 1746
Registered: 10-2013
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What is "choose your own adventure" book?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1661
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ixoye724:

So does he keep hitting "dead ends"? No, although close. He's unlikely to reach the same dead end 10 times in one sitting

Redwine:

Is the book written in foreign language? no Did the man got lost in the plot of the book? no
Does the relevant paragraph of the book contain words only? yes
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Username: Ixoye724

Post Number: 4401
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Then is he not pleased with any of the endings that he gets to? Or can he not get to any of the ends because he's already at a point where it doesn't matter what he chooses, he can't complete the adventure?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1662
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What is "choose your own adventure" book? They're written in the second person, to make the reader the protagonist in the book. Instead of progressing in a linear fashion, the reader is given choices as to what the character does next. If the character is at a crossroads, it might ask:

If you want to go east towards the shining city of Chestwick, turn to page 98.
If you want to go west towards the forboding forest of Finklefonk, turn to page 27.

And you would flip to the appropriate page and keep reading the story from there.
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1663
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Then is he not pleased with any of the endings that he gets to? Or can he not get to any of the ends because he's already at a point where it doesn't matter what he chooses, he can't complete the adventure? this

***** SPOILER *****

He's reading a Fighting Fantasy Gamebook (although any choose-your-own-adventure book with a password or inventory system would work). He keeps reaching the paragraph that asks him if he has a password or item necessary to progress in the story, and, whichever path he chooses, he just can't find it, and knows his adventure will soon come to an end.


Congratulations to you all, especially Ixoye for turning us to paragraph 400.
Ixoye724 (Ixoye724)
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Username: Ixoye724

Post Number: 4402
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great puzzle! I was never a big fan of those books as a kid (when they were popular), because I always seemed to find the dead-ends. I would end up going page-to-page to see what the actual endings were if you made the right choices all the way through. The old DOS based computer games like Zork and Planetfall were just as bad, because you could play for hours thinking you've made the right choices, only to find that the game can't be completed because of something you failed to do (or did by accident) earlier, and it was better to just start all over again unless you had a tape recorder patched in to your computer and wanted to wait while the game was saved. Ah the 80's...
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1664
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 8:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

TVTropes did a pretty good analysis of this and created a scale to measure the cruelty of videogames and gamebooks based on criteria such as the ability to make choices that render the games unwinnable, whether or not it alerts you that you have made such a choice, and how far down the garden path it proceeds to lead you before you realise that victory is impossible (if at all).

Based on those criteria, I think it designated the text adventure The Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy as the cruellest ever. Which I am inclined to agree with.
Jenburdoo (Jenburdoo)
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Username: Jenburdoo

Post Number: 5165
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 1:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I remember that game. Never did manage to catch that dang Babelfish.
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Username: Wizardofnz

Post Number: 1665
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 1:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By virtue of even encountering the Babelfish, you've probably progressed further than most.
Biograd (Biograd)
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Username: Biograd

Post Number: 112
Registered: 9-2013
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 5:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I guess those were the original latventures.

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