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PuzzleDonkey4 - Are you up to the challenge?
December 1, 2004 12:11 AM   Subscribe

Arghhhhh!!! Aghhhhhhhh! Arghhhhhhh!!!

Cheats for PuzzleDonkey4 Available here
posted by willnot (55 comments total)

 
The dancing rabbit scares me.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:27 AM on December 1, 2004


Stuck on five. (I know, I know it is lame to ask for help).
posted by Jeff_Larson at 12:46 AM on December 1, 2004


I'm so horrible at puzzles. I tested well when I was a kid, but puzzles are my weakness. For #1, I tried "A mirror", "A pair of eyes", ... "A lack of moral conscience"... I dunno.
posted by blacklite at 1:02 AM on December 1, 2004


That's sadistic. There's no way I have time for this, so I took a quick peek at the cheats page, and one of the FPP posters said "currently stuck on puzzle #33". That's enough, just shoot me.
posted by JParker at 1:15 AM on December 1, 2004


I.... hate.... question... 3...... so.... much....
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:30 AM on December 1, 2004


It's 4 am and I'm staring at a blank text box. The answer won't come. You are trying to kill me. I know it. This is making me mental. Thanks
posted by joelf at 1:36 AM on December 1, 2004


Dammit. This isn't one of those fun puzzles.

(I tried "a mirror" for #1, too...)
posted by neckro23 at 1:41 AM on December 1, 2004


I'm not too thrilled that it assumes I know french. grrr
posted by jeblis at 1:41 AM on December 1, 2004


I consider something a good puzzle if I get a feeling of revelation after solving a puzzle, or if it forces me to bring a set of information to an interesting conclusion which makes a kind of perfect, immediately obvious sense in retrospect. Good riddles are rare because they're intricate and simple at the same time, like some small Victorian mechanism which determines the time of day based on a voltimeter of some kind. When I solved these, though, I just felt sad. It seemed so arbitrary.

Also, after I registered, it stopped recognizing my password. I hate you so much, puzzledonkey.

Good post, willnot.
posted by clockzero at 1:42 AM on December 1, 2004


only French I remember is something along the lines of, 'vous le vous ...' from a 70's disco tune, I can count to ten and can partially read the French side of cereal boxes.

*sigh* I'm sunk but being the masochist I am I'll probably go back ... heh
posted by squeak at 1:55 AM on December 1, 2004


Argh! You bastard willnot!

(I'm currently stuck on 7; the cheats page isn't really giving me any help at all..)
posted by salmacis at 2:20 AM on December 1, 2004


squeak: Then google. I had to use google for a later puzzle. It turned out to be a phrase which I'd never heard before. I got the first two words which gave me enough information to get the rest.
posted by salmacis at 2:22 AM on December 1, 2004


It seemed so arbitrary.

Completely agreed. These puzzles suck. They remind me of those tests with numerical patterns that don't give you enough data to go on, like -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 6 -- WHAT'S NEXT? unfortunately there are a number of correct answers. The challenge isn't so much figuring out the right answer as it is figuring out what they think the right answer is. Which isn't much fun at all.

For instance: Starts with A and is helpful looking up skirts. A Mirror. Alcohol. Oh, it's a dictionary. How clever. Except, you can't look up skirts, you can look up skirt. Singular.

This is about as much fun as "Guess what number I'm thinking of!"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:50 AM on December 1, 2004


Same subject, second question, more possible solutions that work fine:
"Do you have a Some day Delivery service? If so, please send six croissants..."

"Do you have a Sameday Delivery service? If not, please send six croissants..."
Both work within the parameters of the question. Neither answer is correct, évidemment.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:05 AM on December 1, 2004


CD, I don't agree with your criticisms. So far, I'm up to question 17 and the answers have all been obvious - once I worked out how to do them. For instance "disctionary" is a MUCH better answer than the ones you suggested. Equally, the clue is there for Q2 - it even tells you it's French.

I'm supposed to be getting work done today..
posted by salmacis at 6:21 AM on December 1, 2004


We hates it! We hates it forevah!
posted by PossumCowboy at 7:04 AM on December 1, 2004


What does #3 even MEAN? I'm staring at these funny pixels, and I'm colorblind, and I can't even begin to understand the QUESTION.

Yeesh...I'm way too dumb for this...
posted by JonahBlack at 8:04 AM on December 1, 2004


Q3 is a bastard. Imagine if you overlaid 3 letters using different coloured light..

I'm up to 20 and I think it won't take long.
posted by salmacis at 8:56 AM on December 1, 2004


Salmacis: Thanks.. your answer made way more sense than the hints in the second link
posted by JonahBlack at 9:58 AM on December 1, 2004


I right-clicked and selected the bugmenot extension, and lo — "quonsarsucks".
posted by rafter at 10:29 AM on December 1, 2004


These are so awesome.
posted by scottq at 10:55 AM on December 1, 2004


Q3 was excellent; very satisfying. I hope the others are as fun.
posted by painquale at 11:32 AM on December 1, 2004


#13 is the best I've played so far. I'm not even sure where to start on #16. I wonder how many of these there are?
posted by scottq at 1:02 PM on December 1, 2004


If you click on stats, you'll see that there are several people who have solved at least 99. That's probably the number.
posted by willnot at 1:06 PM on December 1, 2004


-------#13 Possible Spoilers ----





Last, Walk, On, Head, (Head) To, The, (Game or Clouds or Air or Sand or Ground)

I can't find a sentence, what am I missing?
posted by willnot at 1:36 PM on December 1, 2004


You're a sadistic bastard, willnot.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:58 PM on December 1, 2004


You're missing earth's satellite and earth's dominant species.
posted by salmacis at 3:00 PM on December 1, 2004


Oh, yeah. That makes much more sense. Thanks.
posted by willnot at 3:13 PM on December 1, 2004


I feel like a moron. I'm on six and I think I've just given up on the whole thing...
posted by Specklet at 4:06 PM on December 1, 2004


1.6 requires knowing British slang.
posted by linux at 4:20 PM on December 1, 2004


Ha! I'm British, and I didn't know that slang. That's where google came in.
posted by salmacis at 5:02 PM on December 1, 2004


Both work within the parameters of the question.

No, they don't. Re-read the question.

I'm stuck on 17. (Although I had to rely on many of the hints on the discussion board to get several of the others.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:41 PM on December 1, 2004


I'm still stuck on #3 & thinking of making a pot of coffee for the night. Admittedly, I felt mighty clever when I got #2, so this could take forever.
posted by soviet sleepover at 7:14 PM on December 1, 2004


DA - Yes, they do.

"you omitted a letter when you typed it, and I mistakenly thought that you'd mistyped one of the other letters instead"

If so / If not - Letter omitted: t, Letter mistyped: s

And what about the first question, which has a great deal of correct solutions? These puzzles seem to be answers in search of questions.

This is more my idea of a good puzzle:

A knight is trying to rescue a fair maiden. The maiden is trapped on a small, circular island surrounded by a moat filled with acid. The distance from the land to the island is 30 ft. The knight has two planks of wood, each 29 ft. long. How does he get across?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:48 PM on December 1, 2004


If so / If not - Letter omitted: t, Letter mistyped: s

But puzzledonkey meant to type "so." You can't get from "so" to "not" by omitting a letter, and changing another. If the intended message was "if not," and the baker read "if so," you would be right, but it's the other way around.

A knight is trying to rescue a fair maiden. The maiden is trapped on a small, circular island surrounded by a moat filled with acid. The distance from the land to the island is 30 ft. The knight has two planks of wood, each 29 ft. long. How does he get across?

He cuts the wood into several pieces and builds a small but seaworthy (or at least moatworthy) boat.

He ignores the wood entirely, and walks or swims across the moat. After all, not all acids are substances which will burn your skin off in a matter of minutes--or at all, for that matter.

He uses the wood as a crude shovel, and digs up the earth where he is, using it to fill in a path across the moat.

Now, what was that you were saying--that puzzles should only have one correct answer, otherwise it's just trying to guess which of several correct answers the puzzler intended?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:10 PM on December 1, 2004


Devils.. I think puzzledonkey meant to type something different than 'so...' because on Tuesday he asks about "Sameday delivery service" and FOUR days later (that part is important), he gets the delivery. Use babelfish if your French sucks as badly as mine!
posted by soviet sleepover at 8:57 PM on December 1, 2004


these things make me feel so stupid.

***********POSSIBLE SPOILER:************
For Q. 5







I know it isn't Dick...but I can't think of any other name...
posted by muddgirl at 9:36 PM on December 1, 2004


you're on the right track, muddgirl. look for a second pattern in the names. (i think i typed dick in five times before i tried to come up with another answer)

i'm up to 27 and really want to go to bed. but i just can't tear myself away.
posted by wallaby at 9:41 PM on December 1, 2004


Precisely my point, ss. I was explaining why CD's proposed alternate solution doesn't work.

muddgirl - look at it this way: there's an intermediate step you need to take into account:

M -> ____ -> Michael
N -> ____ -> Nicola
V -> ____ -> Victoria
D -> ____ -> ?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:15 PM on December 1, 2004


ah, ok, thanks wallaby and devilsadvocate. as i said, these just make me bang my head against the wall.
posted by muddgirl at 10:56 PM on December 1, 2004


thx salmacis, I have been. Once I figured out the answer for the 2nd question I rolled my eyes. I was focusing on the wrong thing. Up to #11 and I haven't torn all my hair out ... yet.
posted by squeak at 1:28 AM on December 2, 2004


Another difference between these puzzles and Civil Disobedience's is that half the battle is working out what the hell the puzzle is!
posted by salmacis at 2:55 AM on December 2, 2004


DA - I see your point with my exceptions, but you really only prove my point. When there's more than one solution, but you only get a "yes, Virginia, you are correct" or "NO! completely wrong!" it's pretty frustrating.

As for my puzzle, the acid eats through the wood. The "earth" is concrete. Now take your clever and see what you can do with it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:10 AM on December 2, 2004


Whoops, that was a compound thought I should have split:

"but you really only prove my point" was in reference to the multitude of solutions you suggested for the riddle I stated. Sorry for any confusion.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:11 AM on December 2, 2004


As for my puzzle, the acid eats through the wood. The "earth" is concrete. Now take your clever and see what you can do with it.

The answer to your puzzle is "giraffe."

See, it would be a novice mistake to take your question at face value. Just as you correctly object to number sequence puzzles on the grounds that any finite sequence of numbers can be fitted to a polynomial, cryptography teaches us that any message can code for any other message. I knew better than to take your question for what it may appear to mean at first glance. Instead, I decrypted your message and found its true meaning, "What is the tallest living mammal?"

Yes, of course I'm being facetious, both with this answer and my previous answers to your puzzle. My point is that there is a "best" answer to both the donkeypuzzle puzzles and to your puzzle, and just because there's no objective way to absolutely determine which of several correct answers is "best," doesn't mean that all solutions are equally good.

"What number comes next? 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, __" Yes, any number can work there, since any finite series of numbers can be fitted to a polynomial. In that sense, every number is a correct answer. But you deny human sensibility if you argue that every number is an equally good answer to this puzzle. My point is that there are an infinite number of technically correct answers to any puzzle, and if you don't like puzzles with multiple possible answers, then you don't like puzzles, period.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:12 AM on December 2, 2004


What DA did was that he showed that for pretty much every puzzle, there's an opimal solution and several (many?) sub-optimal solution. Just as your "solutions" to the first two Puzzle Donkey problems were sub-optimal so DA's was to yours.

You might have had a point if you'd come up with an answer that was better than Puzzle Donkey's.
posted by salmacis at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2004


Instead, I decrypted your message and found its true meaning, "What is the tallest living mammal?"

Haha... that's a very convincing argument. I guess my problem is with the threshold. While some answers are more convoluted than others (aka, pick the "best" answer), most people have a cut-off level of absurdity, which is of course completely personal and arbitrary. But look at the sheer number of people who suggested "A Mirror." To which we're told, "No, be more clever." OK, so we try something else. And keep trying until we either get it, or get sick of it. Perhaps the real problem is the method of answering -- I've occasionally heard solutions to puzzles or riddles that were completely non-intuitive and pure genius; even if the answer is not the one I'm looking for, they still get full credit for being right. A form textbox doesn't offer subjective analysis.

Fun discussion.

Oh, and the (best) solution to the "maiden surrounded by acid" is that you lay the planks in a T shape.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2004


Yeah, I think I'd generally agree with that. In order to be a good puzzle, the best answer needs to be significanly better than the second-best answer. ("Best," "significantly better than," and "second-best" all in some intuitive, undefinable way, of course) In fact, I might even agree that puzzle 1.1 is a bit weak in this respect: "dictionary" or "a dictionary" (both are accepted) are better than "a mirror," I still think, but I'm not sure that they're much better.

Douglas Hofstadter touches on this in [at least] one of his books--I don't remember which one[s] off-hand--in talking about artificial intelligence. "abc is to abd as mno is to ?" "mnp", almost everyone agrees. Now, "abc is to abd as xyz is to ?" There's no clear best answer here; suggested answers include "xyz", "xya", and "wyz". (Some computer geeks might suggest "xy{", I imagine.) Why, out of the many possible "correct" answers for the first one, is there nearly universal agreement on "mnp", but there is no agreement on the second? It's a hard question for AI researchers.

Oh, and the (best) solution to the "maiden surrounded by acid" is that you lay the planks in a T shape.

I gathered as much. But I thought it would illustrate my point better if I didn't include the best solution among my suggested solutions.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:51 AM on December 2, 2004


Hmm, major synchronicity going on here.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:47 AM on December 2, 2004


help on #10, Movable Type? -s, or -ed, or neither? i feel stupid.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:41 PM on December 2, 2004


Well, if you were under the hot sun, what affliction could possibly affect you?
posted by salmacis at 4:38 PM on December 2, 2004


Hmm, major synchronicity going on here.

Woah! Spooky!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:53 PM on December 2, 2004


sunburn. heatstroke. sweat. thirst. dehydration.

now you've got me thinking it's aff-

i can't believe it's not b/lazes.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:12 PM on December 2, 2004


mrgrimm - those words look pretty good, now think about what letter you could remove from any of those to totally reverse the meaning of the word.
posted by willnot at 6:18 PM on December 2, 2004


thanks. ugh. bad one.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:21 PM on December 2, 2004


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