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03 July 2009 @ 12:18 am
Friday Puzzle #4  
My current puzzling fascination is Frnk Lng's Vwllss Crsswrds. I must say it is taking up a fair bit of my time nowadays as I'm on a bit of a (self-imposed) break from writing/solving logic puzzles. I'm tempted to get some experience writing them myself - I know I will have a super tough time getting the wide-open fills Frank does, but it seems an interesting tapestry for cute themes and the power of onelook.com to come together. Maybe I'll do that for a future week.

This week, I'm recycling a puzzle I wrote last year for some friends that could fit into a Puzzle Hunt somewhere, but where fresher ideas have now pushed this one aside. It fits into that favored category of puzzles that went missing from the USPC this year, the word search. As with most Hunt puzzles, there are a set of steps to perform that will lead to a single-word answer. For those that just want to know a little more what to do, I'll eventually put the rules in the comments below.

jangler_npl on July 3rd, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Is the answer (rot-13'd) zbagnan?
motris motris on July 3rd, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
yep. well done.
cyrebjr cyrebjr on July 3rd, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
Here are the remaining letters from each 2x3 section.

 UT|SAR|  E|A  |   | U
_  |   |   |   | AS|A _
 S |   |  U|  U| TE|
_UE|  T| RA| EA| U |R _
 UA|  S| T |TSR|  U|E
_  | A |A U| U |   |  _
  E|  A| AU| T | EU|A S
_ A|   |T R|  A|  R|T U
  U|  E|UAR| US|U  |U T
A T|  R|E  |   | A |  E
E U|A S|   |   |  A|R U
motris motris on July 3rd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Full Instructions:

This puzzle is a combination of a "pencilmark" sudoku (really a latin square here) and a word search. Notice each 2x3 box contains all 6 letters (A,E,R,S,T,U) initially in some order. First, eliminate the bad letters by solving the word search. At any point (but certainly when all words are eliminated) you can attempt to complete a latin square such that the letters A,E,R,S,T,U appear just once in each row and column and each letter only appears in a box where it is still a possible candidate. Then, look around the grid for a message to clue your answer.
cyrebjr: Ambigram cyrebjr on July 3rd, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
It occurs to me that someone who went for the pencil-marks step first would encounter SEURAT in column 5. Just as well, then, that they went for the Connect Four puzzle.
(Anonymous) on July 3rd, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
Not the solution, but a response.
I was hoping the answer would be TREASURE, but I only found it in an arrangement that was no more convincing than the word UTERUS that I found in another arrangement.

Speaking of which, has anyone done a crosswordsearch, where all the
words to be found are broken up and arranged in cross form, e.g
REAT and TESTS share a letter E in the grid and are at 90 degrees
orientation? Perhaps this idea is ready to be set.

Gerhard Paseman, 2009.07.03
cyrebjr cyrebjr on July 10th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Not the solution, but a response.
This seems good in theory, but it would take some clever maneuvering to make finding those words interesting.

I think there's a Crisscross (where you put words across and down into a grid from a list) that had as its word list the first and last names of a bunch of celebrities, and each firs/last name pair was required to cross in the grid. I don't think I solved it, since the names were all five letters.

How would the solver determine where the word breaks were?
(Anonymous) on July 11th, 2009 09:15 am (UTC)
Re: Not the solution, but a response.
The breaks are part of the challenge, but since it is a cross-
and not a T-word puzzle, there would be few combinations. In
reattests, for example, rea would be part of the first part, and
sts part of the second part, so there are at most 4 choices. If
rea or reat is the first part, the second part shares an e. The
other two choices must share an internal t. There would be fewer
possibilities for shorter words, of course.

You could also determine word breaks by shape, declaring that
the two pieces have lengths differing by at most one letter.
Those with more varied experience than mine can suggest other
conditions which might appeal to solvers, e.g. crosses do not
touch, not even diagonally.

Maybe a pentomino version would be more appealing, where one
places the shapes according to constraints and then reads the
words off the shapes (or off remaining letters)?

Gerhard Paseman, 2009.07.11