The Chatroom

A place for general discussions and social chat but not for posting puzzles.

Moderators: peter365, Balin, kalira, JenBurdoo, Tiger

The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:30 pm

Happy New Year, LTPF friends.

With a new year comes a new chatroom thread. Let's get it rolling.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:07 am

Happy New Year to all! :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby GalFisk » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:46 am

Happy new year! How did your year start?
Mine started with the cat bringing a mouse uninjured into our bedroom. After many attempts to corral it using a broom and sheets of cardboard, I managed to chase it into a slipper and carry it out.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:09 am

Happy new year to all my puzzle pals. Lets hope for a better 2017.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:26 pm

Happy new year to my fellow puzzlers! 2016 was a rocky and difficult year for me, but I hope that 2017 will treat me better. After a longish absence, I'm back at the LTPF, and I promise this won't be a one-month stint after which I disappear into darkness again. No, this time I'm here to stay. <3
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:39 pm

Good to hear, Doriana!

For myself, 2016 was a pretty good year, thankfully!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:35 am

Happy new year, LTP fans!

I'm on holiday in the tropical North. The weather is impeccable, but internet connectivity is pretty spasmodic.

This morning, I spent three quarters of an hour helping a family of tourists whose SUV had got stuck in the sand on Ninety Mile Beach. Later this afternoon, I found the same car stuck in a ditch an hour and a half North of our first rendezvous.

I briefly saw the welfare state through a conservative's eyes.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:46 am

Not a birthday, but an anniversary nonetheless: Mrs. WiZ and I have been married for 6 years today. We have had the house to ourselves, so we are taking advantage of this and spent all of yesterday baking, and all of today eating. Mmm.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Lynne » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:06 pm

I can get into the Chatroom here but I can't get to the active puzzles. It just takes me back to the old front page. Can anybody help. It certainly looked as though the DNS was down earlier.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:58 am

I had an email from Paul yesterday evening to say that he had his Tech guy working on the problem. It all seems to be working this morning so well done that man.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:11 am

Something I'm enjoying on the forum at the moment is the rather witty ways people are finding to mark their puzzle as solved. Keep it up folks.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:13 am

I'm sure people from Atlanta are feeling pretty deflated right now. Incredible game.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:18 pm

I agree on both counts! Atlanta is a young team, they'll have another chance.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:07 am

Balin will be very happy I'm sure. I don't think I've ever seen a quarter and a bit of sport where every little break went for one team. Not saying they were lucky , but there was probably 10 plays where even a slightly different outcome would have meant an Atlanta victory.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:27 pm

Oh I am very happy.

I went to the victory parade yesterday; never been to one before. It was crowded and freezing, and I loved it.
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Forgotten Puzzle

Postby trebor » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:27 am

I can't remember who posted it or what the title was, but does anyone remember a puzzle from, I think, last year (certainly before I joined) that was something along the lines of, "Brian is having a great day! He just got a promotion at work...." and then goes on to him being saved by a stranger from being hit by a car, and then later that day he kills the stranger, kills a vendor on his street, and then travels across the country and kills his boss. Am I losing my mind? Did that puzzle exist? And if so, what was it called? I would love to read through it, as I never saw the $poiler.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby RedWine » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:13 am

That puzzle definitely existed, I looked for it too and cannot find it. I'd also love to learn the solution!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby trebor » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:31 am

Thanks, RedWine! I thought maybe I was losing my mind. I remember reading a few posts in one day and coming back a while later to find that I couldn't find the thing! It was such a brilliant set-up, too! This has been an Earhart-level mystery for me ever since.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby RedWine » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:08 am

As far as I remember, it was Konnie's puzzle, "There is nothing wrong with a dark puzzle", or similar title. I'd love to know the solution.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:10 am

It's good to be back on here after a long hiatus. Was around somewhere in the 2003-2005 vein as Paradox, dropped off, came back in 2010-2011 as It_So_Happened, dropped off after having some kids and such, and back on again as Hobbsicle. I don't know why I change my username all the time, but so be it.

Doesn't seem quite as lively as the 2010-ish time, but glad it's still fairly active, and I see some old faces here, too. So I think I'll stick around, at least until 2018, when I'll have to take another 5-year break. Wouldn't want to break the pattern.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:55 am

Welcome back, I remember you as 'It so Happened' .

The board is very active at present but the chatroom a lot less so. Happy puzzling.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:16 am

I remember you also. Welcome back - hope you can stick around longer this time!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:50 pm

Welcome back!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:37 am

I don't know if this has already been discussed, but is there a way to move the chatroom to the active puzzles board (and maybe pin it there)? I remember people being a lot more active in the chatroom on the old forum, probably because it was more visible. :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:30 pm

I'm pretty sure we could do this but the difficulty would be that as puzzles get posted on the position of the chatroom would constantly change given that most recent posted on topics get brought to the top . I wouldn't have a problem with this but I'd like to hear other views. NIce idea.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:28 pm

So no sticky option to keep it at the top? It would be better there, but I'm not sure having it swimming around among the puzzles would work that well.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:36 pm

It looks like we're equipped with this functionality:

From faq.php#f3r6

Sticky topics within the forum appear below announcements and only on the first page. They are often quite important so you should read them whenever possible. As with announcements and global announcements, sticky topic permissions are granted by the board administrator.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:05 pm

Personally I think making it an "announcement" rather than a "sticky" is a better option. Making the Chatroom a global announcement thread would make it show up in each subsection of the forum at the top (see the xkcd forum for examples -- they have their forum rules thread and a thread about last year's forum migration that show up in every subforum you visit). Sticky-ing it would just make it stick to the top of the list of topics, but if we're set up anything like xkcd, announcement-ing it would separate it into its own area (always at top and noticeably distinct from the puzzle topics. This would be nice for time-sensitive things (setting up online meetups or picking the puzzle of the year, for example) as well, keeping them easy to see and access while not getting them mixed into the puzzles. You can set announcement threads to show up as announcements for only certain amounts of time, or forever until a mod un-announcements them. As a side note, I believe making it sticky requires it to be native to the subforum it is sticky in -- so the chatroom would have to reside natively in "Active Lateral Thinking Puzzles," whereas if it was an announcement thread it could reside natively where it already currently does (I think).

As far as I can tell, I don't have the rights to make anything sticky or announcement at the moment -- I'm guessing the other mods are in the same boat. Likely we'd have to ask Admin for those rights. (I'd also love to have the ability to delete banned people from our members list, but having just looked that up, that seems to be a right mods can't be given and is reserved solely for administrator accounts... :( )
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:21 am

Hi Kalira

This sounds great. I'd suggest you contact Paul and ask for whatever permissions you need to effect what sounds like a really good idea. I must admit this is not an area that I'm overly knowledgeable on .
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:08 pm

Hi puzzlers, do we still adhere to the age-old LTPF tradition of announcing our birthdays on the forum? In any case, it was my birthday yesterday, and I would appreciate some questions on my puzzles as a belated birthday present :D
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:52 pm

Well, then, happy belated birthday! :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:18 am

Happy just-after-your-birthday!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:08 pm

Hey mods, just letting you know to check your PMs when you get a chance (in case you don't have those notifications on/didn't notice)! :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Konnie » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:19 am

Hey, everyone. I'm back! I've had a lot going on in the past, and to be completely honest, kind of forgot how much I loved this site. I'll try to post new puzzles today if possible. :D
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:04 pm

Welcome back! :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:01 am

Ok, I'm just curious, and I think it would be interesting to know: for those of you who are able to consistently keep three puzzles going, no matter how quickly they get solved (Doriana and Balin, I'm looking at you), how many puzzles do you currently have queued up?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:26 am

Actually, right now I don't have any queued up. When I do come up with a good situation for a puzzle and I've got three running, I keep it in a Google Doc so I won't forget it. Recently, though, when a puzzle of mine has been solved, I try to think of a situation as quickly as I can (from something I've read, something I've watched, or something I just think up right there) and turn it into a puzzle statement without much forethought.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:38 pm

I usually have one puzzle lined up, sometimes two, but I don't write the puzzle ideas down anywhere. Sometimes I hit a dry spell, but lacrosse and my workplace have proven to be great sources for puzzles, so I just wait for the next funny thing to happen :D
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:36 pm

Welcome back, Konnie!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:14 pm

Hello, my name is WiZ, and I am suffering from puzzler's block.

*polite applause*
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:35 pm

Welcome to the club!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:03 am

Not only am I a long standing member of the club I'm this years President.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:16 pm

After having been on a roll for a couple of weeks, I'm also suffering from puzzler's block. You're not alone.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:15 am

I used to have a good fund of ideas based on historical incidents, but I've used them all up. Now I post quickly when an idea strikes so I don't forget it -- provided (unlike in the past) it actually could be a puzzle rather than just something unusual. I struggle with writing the opening statement, because there's a particular style of doing it to make the answer most satisfying - it has to BE a puzzle, rather than "This is something weird, but it really happened. Under what circumstances?" which is a good description of a lot of my attempts. So I post less often than I used to, and because I enjoy hosting puzzles better than solving them, I also participate less.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:59 am

I have always appreciated that you take that approach, Jen. Indeed, I try to do the same. This is why mine sometimes get solved in 5 posts :P
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:06 pm

I feel like there are multiple types of puzzles each with their own merits. The "This is something weird, but it really happened. Under what circumstances?" is a fine format, and can be successful, but I think there are other factors that determine just how satisfying. I enjoy seeing everyone's different styles, though there are perhaps some methods and styles that end up being more successful than others. I've been experimenting with different ones myself. It would be interesting to discuss the theory of good puzzle design more, though. Interesting to nerds like me, anyway.

On another note, we need some help getting these puzzles out of the forgotten depths of the bottom of the list. The latest few puzzles tend to get the most attention, while the others languish. I try to make it a habit to ask questions on at least one or two on the bottom of the list every couple of days or so, and it tends to make others notice them again as well.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:35 am

Happy Easter to those who are celebrating :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:05 pm

Happy Easter!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:12 pm

Happy Easter to all.

Hobbsicle (and others who may be curious): There were some good discussions on what makes a 'good' puzzle on the archived forum. I mentioned them in an earlier chatroom archive, but I will copy-paste the relevant bit again:

Consider this Chatroom archive from 2013, which deals with sources of inspiration and how these are converted from stories and explanations to puzzle questions and statements, and which elements are important to include or leave behind, and the sort of thought processes you want players of your puzzle to undergo in their quest to reach the solution: http://www.lateralpuzzles.com/discus/me ... 1364893979 (begin with Balin's post at 12:44 on January 25).

or this, which deals with the feasibility of hosting a 'classic style' puzzle on a forum populated by people specially trained to quell false assumptions in the first post, ask good, broad questions in the early stages, and apply creativity where required: http://www.lateralpuzzles.com/discus/me ... 1375437525 (begin with Beachbum's post at 6:05 on April 14).


I certainly have my own preferences when it comes to puzzles. A terse question that illustrates a contradiction or great unlikelihood, but providing enough detail that the host's answer strikes me as the most fitting explanation, rather than just one of many. For me, that is the most satisfying approach. However, given that we are a small forum (15-20 active users per week), we have a lot to lose from any infighting as to personal style, and I'm certainly not going to impose this taste on anyone else :)

Edit: Fixed links.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:34 am

Thanks, Wiz! Those were worth reading.

Generally, I agree with what you said. My favorite puzzle statements seem to have either seeming paradoxes or strange occurrences/behavior as their premise. Or at least have something especially intriguing about them to make the solvers want to know more. They also should have a solution that is satisfying given the statement, and seems to be the best solution. They are also at their cleverest when they instill a false assumption right off the bat, though, as was pointed out, there are some really obvious FA's that get discovered instantly with this crowd, so there's usually some subtlety required there.

I think there is sometimes a tendency (mostly I've been seeing this from the archives of years past) to strip too much information out of a puzzle statement to make it harder. For example, one of those posts you linked to by Liquizt showed his/her process for creating a puzzle. Starting with an interesting premise, they ended up with "The men are dressed erotically," which, in my opinion, was too stripped down, and could have been referring to pretty much anything. Part of what helps with the satisfying aspect is to give enough information to eliminate certain more mundane solutions. Even if their statement was, "The soldiers are dressed erotically", that would have improved it, I feel.

Example using a classic: "A man lies dead in the forest." That's not particularly intriguing. Could be he was taking a hike and had a heart attack.
"A man lies dead in the forest wearing scuba gear." Considerably more intriguing, though maybe it's a forest on an island and he got thrown by a big wave.
"A man lies dead in the forest wearing scuba gear, miles from any body of water." Now we're getting somewhere. If it's hard to immediately imagine a plausible solution, then that's preferable, in my mind. Actually, I'm not sure how satisfying that puzzle is anyway, because I'm not sure how possible that scenario is, but still, a good example of how more information makes it a better puzzle, ultimately, even though it makes it shorter to solve.

Those are some of my thoughts, anyway, though I've enjoyed puzzles that didn't really follow that particular set of guidelines, I've posted some that didn't follow it all that much, and even some memorable classics don't.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:24 pm

Excellent points, Hobbsicle.

By and large, I have no issues with steps one through four of Liquizt's approach (identifying the most salient lateral twist in an unusual situation, and refining a puzzle around this point). But step five bothers me; not least of all for the plethora of perfectly acceptable alternate solutions, but also for the fact that it's not at all clear just what explanation the statement is screaming out for.

His example is actually quite mild compared to some of the opening posts one could find here around the turn of the millennium. These were often in the vein of 'It was square', 'They were facing the wrong way', 'We trusted his judgment, and he did not let us down', 'Playing the sport resulted in my injury', 'As he sat on the bus, people started moving away from him'. All of which are perfectly acceptable, if annoyingly vague, submissions at face value. None of these present a contradiction or something that defies belief. This doesn't make me terribly motivated to unravel whatever mystery the host thinks it presents, especially as...

... the solutions were often entire news articles, several paragraphs long. Since the hosts would refuse to give anything away for free, the puzzlers often had to stop their questions and ask what else had to be determined. The host would then prompt them with an entirely new question that was entirely subsidiary to the puzzle statement, and bore no resemblance to it.

This tends not to happen nowadays, which is nice.

(One trap I find myself falling into from time to time is including a detail which serves only to eliminate an obvious line of questioning, but is conspicuous enough to prompt an entirely different line relating to it. In my puzzle Vincent, I stipulated that the teenage boy was deaf, as, without it, the puzzle question would lead one to naturally assume that his decision to stop the artwork and run was based on an audible cue. I then fielded several rounds of questions relating to his deafness. There's an early puzzle by Paul (from either Lateral Thinking Puzzlers or Challenging Lateral Thinking Puzzles, I forget which) about a deaf man who gets run over by a train on his morning jog. The first question in the clues section basically reads as: 'Q. Is his deafness relevant?' 'A. Yes, but only inasmuch as he couldn't hear the train coming. Forget I said anything, OK. Sheesh'.)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Admin » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:46 am

I had a great meeting with Jen Burdoo in Barnes and Noble, Pembroke Pines today. We discussed our favourite lateral thinking puzzles.

20170426_184933[1].jpg
20170426_184933[1].jpg (3.03 MiB) Viewed 12043 times
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:37 am

It would seem inserting photos is a little tricky - or maybe it's just my own settings? I see what looks like the left half of a very large image there...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:21 am

So, what were your favourite puzzles?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:34 am

The one of my own I'm most pleased with is "Honesty" from the old forum, about the Askari soldiers of German East Africa. I've always liked my very first puzzle, "A man spends several months patiently collecting used toilet paper," also about German East Africa, but it's another of my "weird incident but maybe not a proper puzzle statement" series. It's hard to choose just one, though, and I thought of quite a few others on the way home afterward, particularly Peter's Irish-border puzzles and Markobr's German apocryphal stories (Two I remember were about Frederick the Great, and "the shooting of Hornberg.") Oh, and there was the one about illiterate Bushmen in the Kalahari tapping on cell phones.

I read many "gotcha" puzzlers as a kid, especially in Martin Gardner books, and got more from Isaac Asimov mysteries. I heard the "cabin in the woods" one during an Outward Bound trip in Utah (had to figure it out on my own, though). The first "twenty questions" style puzzle I ever heard was over a campfire in Arkansas, and it was the lighthouse story.

How were you guys introduced to lateral thinking puzzles? What was the first you remember solving or telling?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:22 pm

It wasn't your settings, Jen. I edited Admin's post to place the attachment inline, which (essentially) makes it show up smaller, so it should be far more easily viewed now.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Doriana » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:45 pm

JenBurdoo wrote:How were you guys introduced to lateral thinking puzzles? What was the first you remember solving or telling?


I was first introduced to lateral thinking puzzles by this book that I somehow got my hands on as a kid. The book is about thinking techniques in general and only has a couple of lateral puzzle in it, mostly classics such as the Romeo and Juliet one, but the author nicely explains how to avoid common pitfalls and how to ask the right questions.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:25 pm

Liquizt's directions and Hobbsicle's refinement of them are actually quite useful, and I wish I'd had them years ago. They can definitely help me with selecting puzzles and statements.

Nimue's statements were always vague but intriguing, and I remember trying to imitate her style once or twice.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:10 pm

Nimue was one of the few who always clung resolutely to the 'classic' puzzle question format. Though a number of her puzzles were in the vein of 'I found out I had a scrund about x, and I bet you do, too', she would typically give enough information in the puzzle question to give us all something to go on.

Growing up, I would find a few of the classic lateral puzzles, such as the man in the elevator and the surgeon refusing to operate on their son, in joke books. The first reference I saw to the lateral puzzle as a codified concept was in the book Improve your Lateral Thinking: Puzzles to Challenge your Mind, by Paul and Des. It had been given to my (much) older brother as a Christmas present from my grandmother. Pre-teen me ended up enjoying it at least as much as he did. Perhaps it was my naivete, or perhaps it was that, at that point in the series, the puzzles in the book had struck an ideal balance between simplicity and difficulty, but I found the puzzle questions intriguingly implausible and the solutions satisfyingly terse, fitting and 'obvious'.

https://www.amazon.com/Improve-Your-Lat ... 0806913746

I'm not sure what my all-time favourite puzzle is. I think it's a toss-up between the deadly punchbowl and the man who knows what's in the closed box. My favourite puzzles to tell are the coconut millionaire and 'No, don't shoot me, John!', because people will guess every answer under the sun before twigging to the most obvious one. The best puzzle I've ever hosted on these forums is this one: http://www.lateralpuzzles.com/discus/me ... 1382453901

Idle thought: Perhaps we could have a Chatroom thread with Liquizt/Hobbsicle's puzzle construction tips in the OP. And any others that we might encounter and deem useful. I find the idea of pooling our knowledge in the interest of helping us all create better puzzles appealing. Maybe extend the thread to offer tips for playing puzzles, too (test assumptions, ask broad initial questions, be creative...)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:24 am

I don't remember exactly when I first heard of lateral thinking puzzles, but it may have first been in Boy Scouts, when some fellow scouts told a lot of the "dead guy lying in a field" ones. I was always into puzzles of all kinds as a kid, so I got one of the earlier Sloane books as a kid, and have been meticulously collecting them since. My wife has a couple of times made the suggestion that I get rid of them, but I assured her that no such thing would occur. We later realized she had the scrund that lateral thinking puzzle books were as common and disposal as Sudoku books or the sorts of logic puzzles you can get on the magazine racks at drugstores.

I joined the old forum somewhere around 2002 I believe, though the archive doesn't go back far enough for me to see my original puzzles, and I don't remember what they were off-hand.

Back on the topic of puzzle statements, I read one in the archives recently that was just this: "Nonabelian". That one gets top prize for most obscure puzzle statement as far as I'm concerned. I read through the solution and admittedly wondered, "Interesting...I wonder what that has to do with nonabelian..."
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:33 am

Hobbsicle wrote:I got one of the earlier Sloane books as a kid, and have been meticulously collecting them since. My wife has a couple of times made the suggestion that I get rid of them, but I assured her that no such thing would occur.


*Hi-5*
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:55 pm

I can't really remember my introduction to lateral puzzles. I do remember reading a few of the Paul/Des books as a kid, and I remember when and how I discovered the forum, but I can't pinpoint the first one I remember.
Although I probably had plenty of lateral classics and ideas cemented in my brain by Car Talk puzzlers.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:30 pm

God I miss Car Talk. I've gotten a lot there myself. Recently I work every six Sundays so I get a couple from Will Shortz on Weekend Edition Sunday morning.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:24 pm

Due to the current discussion, I'm modifying my puzzle "Assassination," to make the statement more intriguing and the objective clearer.

Original: A boy heeds the call of nature. A man dies.

Current: A boy heeds the call of nature. A man dies. Although he was well-guarded, his killer escapes. Explain.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:48 pm

Also, my "Man Rides Into Town on Friday" is struggling, possibly because (as in the past) it's pretty much done but I'm looking for greater specifics. I have trouble sometimes deciding what the solution should be, which dovetails, I think, with a good puzzle statement. I've had two occasions where someone got the right answer and I should have spoiled, but the puzzles kept going because they were thinking of a different but very similar incident. (Luckily, one of them was guessed at through a PM.) This may be a hazard of picking historical events to base puzzles around...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:02 pm

I like your revised statement, JenBurdoo. Gives a bit more to go on and is intriguing.

And yeah, historical ones can be hard, even though they can be really good, even some of the best. A lot of yours have tended to be historical, and I've really liked a lot of them. I recently stumbled across your "Honesty" puzzle, and that one was indeed very good.

I tried a historical one recently that I didn't feel was all that successful, "F for Effort", in part because, though the story is interesting, the lateral part was pretty easy to guess, and the rest just became filling in a lot of fairly dull details. It's hard for me to know sometimes which of the details are most relevant to the story and which are not, and when to spoil.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:28 pm

I think I'll stick to simply what I think looks and sounds best. I tend to drive myself crazy overthinking things otherwise!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:28 pm

REM recorded their best-selling single 'Everybody Hurts' in 1992. At the time, the world's population was 5.5 billion. That's 5.5 billion hurts.

Given that there are 1 million Hz in a MHz, Everybody Hz would have been 5500MHz, far beyond the computational capacity of any device available at the time.

REM were truly ahead of their time.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Mon May 01, 2017 6:22 pm

A year earlier, U2 released a song called "Mysterious Ways", which is an apt description of the manner in which Wiz's mind works.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Mon May 01, 2017 8:37 pm

On the subject of my writing strange things, I logged in to Facebook this morning to discover that I had won the 2017 Lyttle Lytton contest, a worldwide writer's challenge to write the worst possible opening sentence to a book.

Scroll down to the red sentence to see my effort (and the adjudicator's very thorough exegesis), or just enjoy the swathe of hilarious runners-up in its entirety.

http://adamcadre.ac/17lyttle.html
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Tue May 02, 2017 2:23 pm

That was a great read (the whole page), WiZ! Congrats on your win, and thanks for the link. And I love the breakdown of your entry and how ridiculous a concept it would be to have that universe be a thing.

*looks around surreptitiously and turns to page 312*
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Tue May 02, 2017 5:36 pm

Can I try one?

"I've got a little tip for you," said the old gray lady, as she pushed the knife deeper into Jehoshaphat's nostril."
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Tue May 02, 2017 9:29 pm

That's pretty good - you have the funny name and inherently funny body part to do the comedic heavy lifting, and the blandness of the description of the villain (who by rights is more interesting by virtue of her demographics) makes the whole thing quite naff. And the is-it-or-isn't-it-a-terrible-pun of the opening statement is distracting.

Also, everyone chooses Erotic Man.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Wed May 03, 2017 6:30 pm

Thanks for the compliment, it's not as good as your winner, but hey it's a first try.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Thu May 04, 2017 11:10 pm

That is hilarious. Congrats WiZ!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Fri May 12, 2017 3:25 am

Good for you, Wiz! I've always admired Adam Cadre for his writing; he's something of a renaissance man with a variety of great stuff, and it's awesome that he picked your sentence.

On my own account, the library just received two of the four LTP books I ordered - Remarkable and Mathematical Lateral Thinking Puzzles. I've already spotted a few Martin Gardner standards in the latter; it should be great for challenging kids and teens this summer.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Sun May 14, 2017 5:30 pm

Here's another question about your thoughts on setting puzzles. After how long do you provide hints, and how much do you add when doing so? Right now, I think it's the nature of the board and new posts leapfrogging old. All three of my puzzles have actually had some very constructive questions recently and one is close to solution, but no one's asked about them in 3-5 days. How do you hint without giving too much away? Do you pick something major to jumpstart the puzzle? Or state outright something that the solvers have been creeping towards? (Qs: "Is it on Earth? in Europe? Western Europe? France? Germany? Spain?" A: "It's London."
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Mon May 15, 2017 3:00 am

Just got back from a nice little weekend vacation with the family, and looking forward to doing some more puzzling here soon.

JenBurdoo, as for your question, I've wondered a little about that myself. I think your recent recaps look good, and hopefully will kickstart things. I'm looking forward to working on them some more when I have a bit more time over the next couple of days.

The few hints I've been leaving lately haven't really revealed anything, but more highlighted which piece of known information should be further explored. That way, there is a direction given without technically giving away any actual information (although even a direction is "giving away" something, I suppose). I'm not sure that approach always works, and it might depend on the puzzle, but I don't like it much when something is flat-out revealed. Except sometimes in the case you mentioned last, where you reveal a particular piece of info we've been narrowing down just to save the effort.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby JenBurdoo » Mon May 15, 2017 7:35 pm

Hobbsicle, my third puzzle (the Friday one) is near finished, so I don't know what clue to give without giving the solution away. I'm thinking of just "putting it to bed," as Admin recently put it.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby biograd » Wed May 31, 2017 2:02 am

The current puzzle with the Youtube playlist as the statement reminded me of this, and some of you might be interested (Balin in particular comes to mind EDIT: WiZ too, now that I have read his comment about "everybody hurts" above). Recently I heard a song called "In Cold Blood" by the band Alt-J. Of course, as soon as I heard the band name I wondered what the keyboard shortcut Alt-J does, if anything. I hadn't heard of it, and on my PC it does nothing, but I thought maybe it's something like "Jump" in some video game. Also, when hearing the song, I figured that the snippet of binary code at the beginning probably isn't arbitrary.

Then I found this:
https://genius.com/11586394
Apparently both seem to involve the Greek letter ∆. It's kind of a lateral puzzle in a song (but much too obscure and conjectured to make an actual puzzle about).
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby biograd » Wed May 31, 2017 2:47 am

By the way, I just looked through the article about the Lyttle Lytton Contest. It really would be fun to have a "choose your adventure" book where the path you take is determined by anagramming words.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Wed May 31, 2017 10:46 pm

The possibilities would certainly be numerous for some enemies.

456. You wend your way down into the gravelly pit, and find yourself staring into the thousand gleaming eyes of a GIANT SPIDER. Will you raise your mighty battle axe and set about SPREADING IT (turn to 789), slash at it with your sleeping draught-laced dagger with a SEDATING RIP (turn to 798), poison it with INTREPID GAS (turn to 879) unleash your army of TRAINED PIGS (turn to 897), get it drunk with your finest bottles of PIRATED GINS (turn to 978) or try to reach a peaceful resolution through educating your foe with some sweet READING TIPS (turn to 987)?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:22 am

Yes, I only object to you winning that contest because I would really want to read that book. Bravo!
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Dream types!

Postby biograd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:55 pm

In my "Not Yiddish" puzzle, I said there are a number of other dream types that I think should have names. One was already mentioned as a guess--a dream that contains a fake awakening, that precedes the actual awakening. SurfingPikachu said that "inception" was already a term for that. Here are some others:

--A set of dreams that take place in the same "universe", in other words even if they are not recurring dreams in the sense that the same plot happens each time, there are clearly places and/or people in common. Something like "dreaquels" is the best I can come up with for this.
--Going along with this, a place that exists only in dreams, but in many of them, should have a name.
--A dream in which an earthshattering revelation occurs that is a big deal "in-universe" but that, upon full waking, one realizes would be weird to tell people in real life. As an example, suppose that in a dream there is music that repeatedly starts from nowhere out of the trees in a forest. At some point in the dream you discover that there are bands made of squirrels that play little guitars up in the branches. As you are waking up, you can't wait to tell all your friends that you have discovered the squirrel bands, but then when you are fully awake, you realize that they wouldn't even know what mysterious music you're talking about, much less care where it comes from. This is particularly interesting when it is coupled with an "inception" and/or a recurring dream, such that the current dream answers a mystery from several dreams ago, or you tell people about the revelation while pseudo-awake.

Anybody have good names for these, or other kinds of dreams that they want names for?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:16 pm

Sigh. Apparently it's our day for spammers. I have deleted close to 100 spam posts today, 70! of them in a single thread in "Solved" from a single spammer. Thanks, dude. It probably would have been more, but I recognized a recent patterned spammer name and banned them before they posted anything, lol. I have locked Galfisk's "X marks the spot" puzzle for now as it seems to be a very popular target for them. If you really need to say something on a puzzle that ended two years ago, well, let a mod know.

I really do need to contact Admin. If today happens again, the forum could become unusable.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:09 am

I hadn't been on in a week or so (good to see you again Kalira), but I'd had a couple days of massive spammage, and I still don't have the ability to ban such spammers.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:26 pm

Balin, until we can get you that ability, if you could PM me the spammer names whenever you delete spam, I will go in afterward and ban them. I've tried to check the mod logs behind you since I knew you couldn't ban, but it's possible to miss some, especially if they've gotten pushed out by other mod actions.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Admin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:01 pm

Balin,

Would you like to be promoted to Moderator? Then you can ban the infiltrators when spotted.

regards

Paul
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:12 am

HI everyone , I see the battle against spam goes on. I think the key to victory is not to approve the user in the first place as the spam user names are fairly generic and easy to spot.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:15 am

On another note i should explain my absence from the forum in recent weeks. I've had a bit of a tough time of it lately as 6 weeks ago I had a bad fall and broke my right shoulder in two places. My orthopedic guy reliably informs me that the shoulder is about as painful a place to break something as there is and I can definitely back up this opinion. Just returned to work this morning and feeling pretty stiff and sore but otherwise well.

My shoulder woes were put into perspective by the tragic death a few weeks ago of my first cousin Alison who lost her life in a motorcycle accident. She was only 25 and her immediate and extended family are devastated by her passing. Alison's dad is my mother's brother and also my godfather. Her funeral was as traumatic an event as I've ever witnessed and not something i'd ever wish to go through again.

Anyway I'm back now and promise to raise my spirits and get back to being that REM obsessed, sport watching, Guinness drinking Irishman that's been hanging around this forum for a decade or more.

I've really missed you, my lateral family.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:30 pm

Sorry to hear about your many trials, Peter, but great to see you here again.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby trebor » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:27 am

I haven't interacted with you much, Peter, but I send you my condolences over the death of your cousin and my hope for a full recovery regarding your shoulder.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Grip » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:56 pm

I'd like to offer my condolences too.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Admin » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:20 am

Hi Peter,

Sorry to hear of your troubles.

What patterns are you seeing in spammers names please?

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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:22 am

Thank you all .

From what I can tell they fall into two main categories.

The first is the purely nonsense name like 'wgjlkjdqgh' which are easy to spot.

The other ones I've noticed are a man's name followed by a random two or three letter word e.g Vincentimp or Ronaldgem. I've a mail this morning for a WaylonGe which I'm sure is a spammer.

Oh and anything ending 'how' japedhow etc.

Balin had a theory that most of them seemed to have 10 letters but I'm not sure if that's always the case.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:33 pm

Peter, I'm so sorry for the loss of your cousin. It's horrible when someone passes away that young. I send my best wishes for your family. And I hope you are recovering from your injury as well as you can. No more falling down!

On the subject of spammers, I don't necessarily think we need to stop them before they get here, because as much of a pattern as we see in names, there is always a possibility it's actually some guy named Ronald who just really wanted to use RonaldJam (or whatever) as a screen name (exceptions obviously to be made for clear patterns we've noticed in those who have previously attempted to actually post spam on the forum, like the _apedhow series, though I will note that they've stopped appearing for the last while). There should be automatable ways that the board can prevent people from posting with links in their first X number of posts -- I have seen it in action on another forum (forums.xkcd.com).

--deleted a bunch of stuff here when it became clear it was getting far too long and really just needed to be sent to Admin himself in another setting--
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:00 am

A few things.

First, so sorry to hear about your loss, Peter. I will keep the family in my thoughts and prayers. And welcome back - I hope your healing goes well.

Second, thanks Admin for the promotion. My apologies for not getting to your earlier post.

Third, the three spammers I've seen today have been FirstnameShortletterstring, although Shortletterstring is not a short letter string at all. The ones that are nonsense usually are between 8-10 letters in name, and the nonsense itself is usually a sign it's a spammer.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:00 pm

I had a look at the member list, and I think the only two potential false positives among people who have >1 posts are markobr and jondahr, and both of those are only 7 letters.

Fake Edit: I thought that spambots didn't use numbers, but seeing we've got Daisy221 in there, I guess Peter365 would be a false positive as well :)
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:02 pm

FWIW, Daisy221 is not on the ban list, which means that account has never attempted to post spam. In fact, the vast majority of the 0-post club has never attempted to post spam or created spam links in their profile, etc. In my opinion, I don't think we need to go around banning for no offense or preventing people from joining just because there's a possibility that spammers might get in (it is entirely possible nobody was actually suggesting this and I'm just reading too much into things). Obvious exceptions to be made for clearly defined patterns (as in *apedhow case) or objectively offensive usernames.

Look at a site like the xkcd forums and check out their members list. The sheer number of accounts that have 0 posts and often look like alphabet soup -- clearly these are not contributing members of society, but they are not prevented from joining, as it costs the mods nothing to simply allow them to join. They just stop the spam before it gets posted by having
  • an "a mod must approve your first (few) post(s)" rule where the software auto-drops it into a queue for the mods to check,
  • a filter that auto-rejects posts in the "mod must approve" queue that have specific words (usually brand names) or links, and
  • a prohibition in the forum that won't allow people to do multiple things like enter a website in their profile, create signatures, PM multiple people, or have links in their posts until they have 5 posts under their belt.
This is all stated clearly up front in "forum rules" posts stickied on each section of the forum, so real people should be able to manage their first several posts without screwing up (though in practice, there are still scads of people whose first post includes something along the lines of "I don't know why, but I wasn't able to post this with my link to blahblahblah which contributes to my point"). The expanded/explained rules posts that follow that first post are, IMO very well fleshed out.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Admin » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:05 pm

Hi Moderators,

I have changed the permissions so that newly registered users need moderator approval for first few posts. I am not sure how long it lasts or how exactly it works but lets try the new permissions and see if it cuts out spam. Please let me know how you find it.

All the best

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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:32 am

Not wanting the chatroom to go a month without a post..........
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:39 am

You barely beat the deadline. Well done.

Actually I'm hitting a bout of puzzle's block. Not fun.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:11 pm

Hey LTPF folks. Had to take a break for a while there. I've been busy working on starting something you might be interested in. It's called Brain Drop, and it's a podcast (as well as website/blog/social media) all about puzzles: word puzzles, logic, math, games, paradoxes, mysteries, and yes, lateral thinking.

From time to time, I may ask to share some of your puzzles, if you'd be alright with that. Particularly the "quickies", although they're often not exactly considered a badge of honor here on the forum, would be great for the format, since I need things people can pretty much solve on their own. Any suggestions for puzzles you've seen and liked (or made) that would fit that category would be awesome.

Probably won't be ready to launch the podcast until early next year, but I'm sharing puzzles a couple of times a week on a Facebook page if anyone's interested in that. Link is HERE
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:56 pm

I have liked your page, Hobbsicle, and please consider this advance permission for you to post any of my puzzles should you so desire (I do seem to have a special aptitude for 'quickies', as it were).
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:31 pm

As have I.

And I finally figured out that dang marble puzzle.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:43 pm

Since I've just broken my rule about not acknowledging that the people of this forum exist outside of this forum, I have sent you a friend request.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:15 pm

I've liked your page Hobbsicle. Sounds like a great idea although Facebook groups do attract their share of trolls so you may have to do some modding.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:40 pm

Thanks for the support, all. Yeah, I imagine trolls could certainly be an issue. I've never had a page large enough to attract them much at this point, but we'll see how it goes.

And many thanks for the permissions, WiZ. I definitely have some of yours in mind to share at some point. I may have to use your excellent recent puzzle around this time next year when I reach that age as well...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:44 pm

Thanks for the support, all. Yeah, I imagine trolls could certainly be an issue. I've never had a page large enough to attract them much at this point, but we'll see how it goes.

And many thanks for the permissions, WiZ. I definitely have some of yours in mind to share at some point. I may have to use your excellent recent puzzle around this time next year when I reach that age as well...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:41 pm

You are most welcome, Hobbsicle.

I was able to solve that marble puzzle once I twigged you applied the same method to traversing the ice caves in early Pokemon games...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:04 pm

It all comes down to Pokemon and video games in the end. And to think our mothers said we were wasting our lives. We sure showed them!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Konnie » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:57 am

Hey guys, trying to find a specific puzzle from the site, or the video it's based on. I dont recall all the details, but a guy murdered his neighbor. While being interviewed for tv (just as a neighbor, as they'd just started investigating it as a missing persons) the reporter says something about the cops finding the body I think. You see the guys brain basically implode as he realizes he's screwed.
Anyone remember? I feel like Wiz posted it, but I could be wrong.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:22 pm

Found it. The puzzle is "Karmageddon" by IrishElk. The video (which is a couple posts below the spoiler in that puzzle) is here.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Konnie » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:32 pm

Thanks! I appreciate it :) I just really wanted to show someone the video, but couldn't remember it for the life of me.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 am

Quite similar to this video , although there's no gotcha moment in this one it's still very chilling to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/t8bUJBwKxU4
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:48 pm

I'm not sure how to describe what I felt watching that video. It was like second-hand embarrassment, but a thousand times stronger. I imagine the Germans have a word for it.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby kalira » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:56 pm

Just a friendly reminder -- please remember to edit your first post to somehow note it as spoiled when the puzzle has been solved (no issues with the punny spoiler messages!). There have been several puzzles in the past few months that didn't and were not moved to Solved in a timely manner. Also, it's nice to let someone know it's solved before they go in, in case they were following along. That way they don't accidentally scroll all the way down and spoiler themselves without meaning to! Thanks!!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:32 pm

Hey, LTPFanatics.

As a brief creative exercise, I've taken the 30 nominations for last year's Puzzel of the Year and stitched together a Word document with the questions, answers and a clues section, which was fun. I've set it out in a vaguely similar vein to Paul's books, although there weren't enough puzzles to justify categorising them.

If you're interested in a copy, PM me with your e-mail address, or send a request to wellingtao at gmail.

Cheers!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:28 am

PM sent. Great idea!
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:28 pm

Everyone who has requested a copy thus far has been sent one.

I really enjoyed writing the clues section. I'd volunteer to write it for Paul's next book, but only if I were sent an advanced reading copy with questions and answers so my friends and I could still have our biennial Lateral Drinking evening.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:09 am

And rather depressingly we are fast approaching Puzzle of the Year time again. Hope everyone is keeping a list of their favs.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:54 pm

Hi all , still a lot of spammers out there folks

Here's just a few of the 'new users' that have come up for approval recently
'Direct Lender Loans'
'Personal Loans'
'Charming Ladies'

What could possibly go wrong?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:45 pm

Pretty sure I started a POTY2017 list and then forgot to keep it updated. I'll be making a trip through the solved section soon...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:06 pm

I will have to set some time aside to go through everything. For now, I was having a look at the number of puzzles.

Last year, there were 343 solved puzzles. In the last 12 months, there have been 341. We are tracking for a similar result to last year's, but I should point out that we did have a small flurry of activity in the last 3 months of 2016. I can't guarantee that this will happen again, because I've been looking at the activity dating back to 2010, and there's just bugger all in the way of seasonal trends: Oct-Dec last year yielded over 100 puzzles, but barely 50 in 2015 (which had a fairly similar overall number of puzzles posted).

We've had 20 unique users post in the last week. I'm quite enormously fond of this forum, but I do sometimes wish it was a little bigger, so I could be more confident that it would self-sustain.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:51 am

Couldn't agree more WiZ, while I like the intimacy of this forum and I partuclarly love that it doesn't attract trolls and bullies, I do worry about it's long term sustainability. We're not getting many new users and I'm wondering if our anti spam protection is in fact making it difficult for new members to get active.

To keep this forum fresh i'd have hoped we'd attract 1 or 2 new members every week but we're miles of that at the moment.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:48 am

And a lot of those 20 have been here for aaaaaages. I've been a member of this forum for more than half my life. Crikey.

You raise a good point about our forum culture. I note how unequivocally welcoming and encouraging we are to newcomers now; a stark contrast to how we were a decade or so ago towards someone who might blunder in and post a slough of classics and not even fill out their profile so as to include their favourite tree.

Why, yes, I was a part of this problem.

Edit: When looking through past solved puzzles for the sake of discourse analysis, I read, Peter, that you used to sing 'At my most beautiful' to you daughter to get her to sleep, which made me go :3
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:51 am

Poor child is still receiving counselling :lol:
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:58 pm

At a book sale last week I found a CD of "Up," so I may have listened to that song this morning...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby irishelk » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:33 pm

Last night I literally had a nightmare that I had answered a question incorrectly on one of my puzzles, and led the poor questioners on a wild goose chase.

I remember the exact question. There were animals involved, and early in the puzzle someone asked:
Are the animals human? Dolphins? Whales?
And I had answered no, but they were whales. I woke up still embarrassed at my dream-mistake.

Best/worst LTPF-related dream you've had?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:27 pm

I once had a prophetic dream that I would wake up to an inbox full of spoilers for a puzzle that I thought was frightfully clever.

See this thread for details: http://www.lateralpuzzles.com/discus/me ... 1382632728

I think this holds the record for the most earlispoilored WiZ puzzle, and potentially non-classic puzzle ever.

I have dreamed that I was inside one of the puzzles in Paul's books. Not a lethal lateral, fortunately, but I did end up with a slap in the face from a young Greek woman.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:16 am

I remember that one with great fondness WiZ . Your growing sense of dismay at each correct PM really made me laugh (sorry).

I've had the 'We all meet up and everyone is way cleverer than I, so I can't join in the conversation and spend the day sitting by myself in the corner getting drunk while occasionally slurring ''How about those Patriots''' dream.

I can laugh because we've all had this one, haven't we :? ?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Hobbsicle » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:00 pm

I believe I've had dreams where something really important is going on, but I can't really deal with it, because I'm trying to finish posting on the forum. Or maybe that wasn't a dream...
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby Balin » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:58 pm

Now I'm the guy in the corner, because I know I've had dreams involving the forum but can't remember any of 'em.

So... how 'bout them Patriots?
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:59 pm

Look at these REM fans vying to be the man in the corner. I predict a fight.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:43 pm

Any other Taskmaster fans out there on the forum? I see a lot of ourselves in the show: people approaching a bizarre challenge using applied lateral logic, some of which is ingenious and rewarded, and some of which is basic lunacy and greeted with a burst of palpable scorn from the setter of the challenge. In either event, hilarious, entertaining, and often strangely enlightening.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:53 am

I must give it a go as I have to admit I've been avoiding it because I'm not a big fan of Greg Davis.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:53 am

I must give it a go as I have to admit I've been avoiding it because I'm not a big fan of Greg Davis.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby WiZ » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:19 pm

Well, the prophecy has come true, and I am celebrating my thirty second birthday today. I have drafted a small spreadsheet so I can inflict this terrible pun on colleages, friends, family and Facebook acquaintances with minimal overlap.
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Re: The Chatroom

Postby peter365 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:29 am

Belated birthday wishes to you WiZ . I saw your Facebook post, nice to see a lateral puzzle getting an airing in the 'real world'.
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