It’s another weekend, isn’t it.

I’m out of deep things to say. I don’t usually have deep things to say. Sorry to anybody who subscribed hoping for more things like the last post. This is basically going to be a personal stream of consciousness post. But it’s a stream with a long ancestry, since I apparently wrote 400 words about it in a WordPress draft four years ago. This was way back before I even started writing post drafts in Markdown on my computer instead of directly in WordPress, so I guess it must be an interesting topic.

Four years ago, Brian2012 was suddenly struck by how many of the people he knew were such serious gamers. But let’s go back even earlier, shall we?

A long long time ago, when I was in elementary school or so, my parents had some sort of reward system where I had to do productive things, like study or do chores or write diary entries or practice the piano or something, to earn time on the computer for games. “Gaming time” was a currency. I enjoyed saving up lots of thirty-minute increments and knowing I had the freedom to using them slowly.

That much I remember; the details of how it worked are very fuzzy and I’m not sure what I played in those thirty-minute increments either. I think there was Neopets and Runescape and Club Penguin. (My Neopets account still sees sporadic activity, because I get really really bored sometimes…)

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MUMS Puzzle Hunt 2013


So, I somehow managed to get 25 points all by myself in MUMS Puzzle Hunt 2013. Well, I pestered chaotic_iak a little with 3.3 Diagnosus (.html with animated .gif) but we still didn’t recognize all the Pokémon until hint 3, at which point Google sufficed for me.

This is nowhere near the top, but compared to the usual results of whatever AoPS team I form, it’s amazing. By far the best result of AoPS was on CiSRA in 2010 (46th with 58 points), before I discovered puzzle hunts in AoPS; unfortunately due to people getting older and the influx of younger and younger people to the fora, there are less possible teammates each year and they have less time, so here I am by myself. (Also I could have accepted an invitation from a guy in the some-form-of-Elephant team, but I figure if you can win two MUMS hunts in a row you don’t need any more people.)

All in all: Yay!

If you are a logic puzzler, you’ll probably be most interested in 2.2 Informatix (PDF), 3.4 Sokobus (.html with Unity embed, interactive), and 5.2 Psychoanalytix (PDF). Psychoanalytix is the most traditional logic puzzle on a grid, although you have to guess the rules (which are, however, provided in hint 2); Informatix is (I think) closest to completely logical. But you still have to figure out how to extract the answer yourself.

I should probably also mention 1.3 Cryptograf (PDF). I think this is the first puzzlehunt puzzle I’ve seen where I have an advantage in cultural knowledge! (I don’t count things like finite fields or Morse code as culture. Also, I’m guessing that I know more about Pokémon than the average person but less than the average puzzlehunter.)

(Wild House conversation appeared!)

Just saw this yesterday (which means it was recorded the day before) and almost forgot:

Taub: “He makes a living sending people to prison.”
Chase: “He’s not in prison, and it’s kind of hard to gas a guy unless you can seal him in a room first.”
House: “Which is why Arceus created the universe with three states of matter, and three hundred solid and liquid poisons that could cause his symptoms.”
Taub: “Arceus?”
House: “Look it up.”