Puzzle 47 / Fillomino [LITS + Walls]

CLICKBAIT PERSONALITY TEST THAT YOU CAN DO WITHOUT SOLVING THE PUZZLE: What do you see in the puzzle image below? I have my own thoughts but I won’t bias you by posting them yet. Sound out your thoughts in the comments below! (I don’t expect this to work but I’d love to be proven wrong)

Okay so apparently how puzzles work is I go nearly a year without posting one and then when I post a terrible one, I feel guilty and obligated to post a legitimate one soon after. Testsolved by chaotic_iak.

This is a Fillomino (write a number in every empty cell so that every group of cells with the same number that is connected through its edges has that number of cells) where each tetromino has had their 4s replaced by one of L, I, T, or S describing their shape, and they obey the rules of LITS — they can touch if they are not congruent, they must all be connected, and their squares cannot form a 2×2 block. In addition, cells separated by a thick border may not contain the same number or letter.

See my Puzzle 36 or chao’s Puzzle 36 (I only noticed this coincidence today, it’s quite amazing) or FFF 6 for prior LITS Fillominoes and links to more, and my puzzle 43 for a prior Fillomino Walls mutant with links to other Walls.

fillomino-lits-walls

Bugs

First there was the form that silently exploded when opened in two tabs, then there was the guestbook that stayed XSS-vulnerable for I don’t even know how many weeks, then there was the form submission system whose form submission system for the user to report errors kept reporting an error itself (and still isn’t done with its job), then there was the pointed refusal of a certain API to serve up any polls, then there was the sneaky two-factor authentication that pretended to work until the last moment when it died in a sea of redirects.

(also I was sick the past few days, if that counts)

And now apparently WordPress’s link with Facebook secretly breaks without telling you in the new interface?

Edit: Yay it works

Edit 2: And now yet another site fails to give me a secure connection, leaving me unable to do anything.

Puzzle 46 / Fillomino [LITS + Extra Region + Walls + Anti-Walls + Inequality + Tapa + Masyu]

5:27 PM phenomist: do you use gridderface to make pretty puzzles?

5:52 PM phenomist: actually nvm excel is probably easier lol

Okay I’m sorry this is a horrible puzzle where the rules don’t make sense and I didn’t even get it testsolved. I just wanted an image to concisely demonstrate the capabilities of gridderface, my puzzle marking and creation program, for the project homepage, after somebody expressed interest in using the program to write a puzzle. Then I got tremendously carried away.

fillomino-gf

Hints:

  • L, I, T, S are comparable, but not in that order.
  • The Tapa clue isn’t part of any polyomino.
  • The Masyu clue restricts the borders around three intersections, including itself.
  • (Is there a name for Fillominoes with the opposite of walls?)

Other than that, you’ll have to figure out the rules yourself (partly because I am lazy and partly because if I listed the rules it would probably take longer to read and understand them than to apply them to the puzzle…)

Anyway, this post is actually to say that it is now possible to use the Scala reboot of gridderface without spending forever to attempt to install Scala, because I figured out how to make .jar file releases. It’s probably still hard to use but who knows?

Because it’s a full rewrite, the version is back to 0.2 unlike the old 0.5. As I noted earlier, the code base was horrible.

By the way here is the Heyawake phenomist eventually made.

Okay back to homework (and agonizing over which college to go to).

X + Y (movie)

On Wednesday I got to see a special screening of the film X + Y. You know, the one about the autistic boy who goes to compete in the IMO. You can watch the trailer if you haven’t already.

Disclosure: the ticket was free, courtesy of my math teacher (who appears at 1:06–1:07 in the trailer) having helped the filming process. (I visited once and got to look at some of the cool equipment. Also, far away from everything, one of the director assistants sort of interviewed me. That is the full extent of my contribution, okay?) Except I was also sick with a cold so I might have been kind of miserable. Also I didn’t really have dinner that day, and we got home really late so I had to stay up even later doing homework. So those are the extent of my biases.

I guess this is a review of sorts.

The most important thing I have to say is this: X + Y is not a film primarily about math competitions or the IMO. It is a film about love, about autism, about accepting people who are different, about conquering your own psychological demons, about gender and family and cultural roles. But mostly about love. The film gets big novelty bonus points for a reasonably authentic look at the high school mathematics olympiad scene, but if you go watch this as a former contestant looking to relive some vicarious moments of glory and triumph through hard mathematical work and thinking, I’m pretty sure you’ll be disappointed. None of the main character’s important character development moments are related to becoming better at math. The IMO is largely a well-researched and extensively utilized plot device. (This is one of the acceptable usages of the word “utilize”, okay? Dear classmates: please stop using it as a seven-letter synonym for “use”.)

Continue reading

Thoughts at Midnight

These are the thoughts that sometimes keep me awake at night.

These are things I don’t want to think about. These are things I’ve spent hours thinking about, never productively. They are worrying, but unlike typical worries in my life, it is fundamentally impractical to take steps to resolve or mitigate them, after which I may rest assured that I’ve done my best. The reason is that they also happen to be either untestable/unfalsifiable or only testable if one incurs absurd and irreversible costs, mainly dying.

Sometimes I explain them away to myself successfully and move on. Sometimes I read what I’ve written and think about these thoughts and do the cognitive equivalent of looking at them funny, as I’m expecting most readers to feel if they get that far — why would anybody be bothered, or afraid, or soul-crushingly panicked about these things? Life is so busy, there are literally more than sixty-four items on my HabitRPG to-do list, and besides, there are so many serious global issues humanity is actually facing right now, and people who are actually deprived of basic rights and resources and have to struggle to stay alive. How can I possibly be bothered by these absurd remote thoughts?

But I know that other times I do feel those emotions exactly. And if I stare just right, I can feel those emotions bubbling beneath the surface in me. Sometimes I can’t explain the issues away to myself, and a deep soul-sucking pang grows in my stomach. I’m irrational — I’m afraid of some of these thoughts — and I have submitted to the fact that there are some edges of my irrationality that would not be worth the effort to fix if just not thinking about them is better.

Sometimes these thoughts make me wish I were not so rational. Sometimes they even make me wish I were religious; it would be easier if (I believed) consciousness were, somehow, special. I suspect if I tried really hard, I could make myself believe something like that sincerely. But I think that’s a betrayal of myself I’m not willing to take. I think there are better ways to remain happy.

I want to maximize happiness. Thinking about more general moral principles will help with that, but the remoteness of these particular thoughts is such that I doubt I’ll ever have to make a choice that would benefit from me having thought about them. At least, I think the chance is small enough to not be worth the negative utility spent thinking about them.

So: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

But I feel frustrated: not thinking about something just doesn’t seem like a solution. I don’t know how to come to terms with just how irrational happiness fundamentally is. And I still can’t resist thinking about them sometimes…

Continue reading

2015 MIT Mystery Hunt (spoiler-free version)

Well, it’s been over a week, which is a long time for blog posts to be delayed after the event they’re documenting in probably all of the world except my blog. So.

I guess this post should start with a bit of background. I’ve been puzzlehunting for… wow, three and a half years now. I was introduced to puzzlehunts from AoPS, when some fellow members got together a team for CiSRA 2011, and I think I’ve participated to some degree in every known internet Australian puzzlehunt since.

But as for my experience with the MIT Mystery Hunt in particular, I sort of hunted with a decidedly uncompetitive AoPS team in 2012 (I think we solved one puzzle exactly), but my serious hunting career began when dzaefn recruited me into the Random team (then Random Thymes) for the 2013 hunt (and I did blog obliquely about it). We didn’t win (and I actually didn’t participate that much because I was traveling with family) but the next year (as One Fish Two Fish Random Fish Blue Fish (1f-2f-17f-255f (I am evidently in a parentheses mood today because as you’ve probably noticed, the amount and depth of parentheses in this sentence are positively alarming (lol)))) we won.

And I do have a half-written post about that which will never get posted (and I also didn’t participate that much, because my family was moving that weekend) but okay, let’s just drop any semblance of chronological coherence on this blog and dump a short version of the list of puzzles and parts towards which I contributed solving, as I wrote them down one year ago:

Continue reading