Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wired puzzle solved - apparently I was fifth...

Well, figured out what I needed to do at about 1pm yesterday, but wasn't able to actually DO it until 10:30pm. Once I finished, I did find out I was the 5th person to complete it... but now I have to figure out what to do with my spare time. :p

I would have gotten it much faster, I guess, but not knowing HOW well hidden everything was, I spent a lot of time on super-deeply layered clues that I guess weren't actually clues at all... ah, well.

However, I'm still not sure this was really the final end... I got the solution for the issues meta-puzzle, but there was more than one allusion to the fact that there might be 3 meta-puzzles in the issue, with a meta-meta puzzle on top of those... and I found a number of unsolved hints in the issue (or they SEEM to be.. maybe they are just me seeing things that aren't there)... but I'm still curious if there is more, and still looking. :)

I guess the guy who got first beat me (Steve Bavacqua) by days, though.. of course, I didn't really even get the mag until Apr 18th, and didn't look at it until the 19th, but still...



Monday, April 20, 2009

Wired puzzle

After hours of thought and examination, I finally got to the 'apparent' end of the Wired meta-puzzle... was an interesting puzzle, I enjoyed it... I still wonder if it really IS the end, as there are still a couple things that seem kind of hanging from my search, and I'm still thinking the solution to this meta-puzzle is only part of the solution to a greater meta-meta puzzle (which was even vaguely mentioned in the issue itself, though whether it was just defining or hinting at its actual existence, I can't really be sure)...

The final result was pretty cleverly hidden, completely in plain site... it actually felt very similiar to the color-coded puzzle near the end (p126), but on a much larger scale...

Now I'm sad it's over and I have to find new mysteries to puzzle out... unless... it's NOT over... *sigh* I wish I knew for sure before I invest billions of neuron-firings into the discovery. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wired magazine - the Mystery issue

The latest issue of Wired is a Mysteries and Puzzles issue, with guest editor J.J. Abrams. It is filled with a number of obvious puzzles, and articles about various mysteries, puzzles, and other related topics. It was a good read overall, but I'm obsessed with one particular aspect of it.

They stated quite a few times throughout that there were various clues hidden throughout the issue (one time saying there were 15), and that the issue itself was a meta puzzle of some sort. I've found a number of things that I think relate to that, and NOTHING about it on the 'net as a whole yet, and am wondering if I'm scanning WAY too deeply or not.

First and most obvious, there is a Lost-related page in the middle that looks like an ad at first glance, and doesn't SAY it's a puzzle... simply a page with some numbers on it, but a quick glance around shows the upper right corner has an image of a lottery ticket with the 4 8 15 16 23 42 numbers on it. The rest of the page has a series of numbers which might relate to any number of things, on which I have a ton of theories...

Numerous other things I've noticed might be clues, or might be me seeing patterns where there are none...

Also, quite a few odd things as well... for instance, at the bottom of the rants page, it says 'we no longer acccept rants at the phone number (67)24-552-8464, so don't call it."

Um, really? ok, that is an odd thing to say, and I'm almost sure it is some type of clue, or was just a tongue in cheek comment that has become a major red herring for me... :) But I DID call, not being able to resist, and of course, it's left to right not a valid number... 672 doesn't seem to be an area code in the US, it could be a country code and a valid number, but doesn't match any of the other non-us numbers at the front of the magazine, and it's inclusion as a number specifically not to call almost BEGS you to either call it, or otherwise make use of it....

Then there are the bright orange "START" blocks, of which there seem to be 10, with a black bar and an odd orange bit that starts at distance from the start that the last orange part ended, if it's size and/or position are at all relevant, I've not been able to grasp the meaning... and if they aren't, they've consumed a lot of brain power I could have spent elsewhere. :)

The obvious puzzles throughout are relatively easy to figure out, with a bit of thought, but think, if there is a meta-puzzle, or a meta-meta puzzle (which, btw, is listed as jargon in a Jargon sidebar, with a comment about Microsoft and MIT organizing meta-meta puzzle hunts.

The Test boxes with the 6 black boxes that are orange 1 at a time, except in the 2nd case, where 2&3 are both orange... this is the "how we rate" section, and you'll notice that some of the letters are ever so slightly emphasized... These letters, in order, are: "tvBranDshiftspaytwosteps" ... TV Brand shifts pay two steps? Does that make sense on its own, or possibly an anagram of something? OBVIOUSLY, though ,that is relevant in some way...

And the scattered appearance of the JJA puzzle logo, trying to find a pattern in that, too, but so far that is eluding me.... I really wish I knew if any of it was really this deep, or if I'm making it far more complex than intended... somehow, though, I don't think I am.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Sophia's first cold... there's one first we weren't really looking forward to, but just yesterday started to hit, and today we are starting to get the full taste of it... whee...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sophia's Lullaby

My father had decided to write Sophia a song around Christmas, and sent us the rough draft... it was just recorded at their house, and didn't have a lot of what would go into the final version, but Karen (and Sophia!) liked it, and she (Karen, not Sophia :) ) stuck it in a format where her family could enjoy it too. She translated it in Portuguese, as well as including the English lyrics, timed to a short slideshow.

Originally we did this in powerpoint 2007, which is the best version, but that only works for people who have MS Office 2007 installed... we then did a version in Powerpoint 97, which more people should be able to view, but couldn't figure out how to have it auto-open as a slideshow. Finally, we did 3 versions of different qualities in a video file (WMV, we were too lazy to take the time to do it in Pinnacle, where we could have used other formats).

So here they are, in the various forms, in order of quality (highest on top):

Sophia's Lullaby (powerpoint 2007 - 11.5MB)
Sophia's Lullaby (Powerpoint 97 - 20.6MB)
Sophia's Lullaby (WMV Full size - 20.9MB)
Sophia's Lullaby (WMV Medium size - 12.3MB)
Sophia's Lullaby (WMV Small size - 2.7MB)

Sophia's Lullaby (MP3, no video - 5.7MB)
Sohpia's Lullaby (lyrics, English 2KB)

Technically, they are all "Sophie's Lullaby", but I kept typing the A (it's not a shortcut in writing, just in speech I just realized. :) )

New pictures

Just FYI to anyone who actually happens to watch this space (that I never remember to update): Just put the latest pics and movies up on flickr, here:

2008-03-08 photo dump