The death of the Buzzfeed crossword puzzle after less than a year leads FiveThirtyEight Senior Writer Oliver Roeder to survey the state of indie crosswords ("The Times is a Budweiser lager; the indies are small-batch saisons and IPAs."). [more inside]
After a near 5 year hiatus the diverse and devious puzzles of M have returned. As of yet, we don't know how frequently we'll be given our next challenge from the shadowy M. Previously puzzles were posted weekly, while further puzzles lurked within the seals. All the puzzles, prior to the interregnum are still up and waiting for you to have a crack at them.
"Below are sixty wee puzzles. I’ve tried to provide a heads-up where there’s a whisper of off rhyme or a slight shift of emphasis. The one consistent exception I’ve allowed to perfect rhyme is that at the center and fulcrum point of the puzzle, there may be a possessive “s.” The answer to “White whale’s home haircutting gizmo,” then, would be “Moby[’s] Flowbee.”" [more inside]
Here's a great new game: Find the ThingX among a sea of ThingYs... It began with a panda in a picture full of snowmen. Then a cat in a flock of owls. (YOLO: You Obviously Like Owls) Another panda, hidden among elephants (harder than you'd expect). More pandas among Star Wars Stormtroopers and Black Metal Rockers. Also, for Star Wars Fans and all movie lovers, one Oscar among dozens of C3POs. A literal Easter Egg among bunnies. Some puzzles like these are easier (and less creative) than others. And the latest and greatest: find a certain celebrity/candidate's hair in a pile of tribbles.
“At CodinGame, we believe that everyone should be able to discover the pleasure of coding. We are programmers at heart, and we know that code is a powerful tool to innovate and create. It's a matter of passion, but above all, it's fun. So we've imagined a platform which merges programming and video games.” [more inside]
The Revenge of Flash Friday - It's ALIVE! Anatomy Arcade "makes basic human anatomy come ALIVE through awesome free flash games, interactives and videos." There are two timed games: Whack-A-Bone and Poke-A-Muscle (both feature auto-playing music, but you can turn it off in PAM). For less stress, there are jigsaw puzzles to help you get familiar with the digestive system, skeletal system, muscular system, the brain, the eye and the heart. (Via everlasting blort)
A short game sheds light on government policy, corporate America and why no one likes to be wrong. [SLNYT]
"In keeping with James Joyce’s own love of lists, here’s a terribly subjective list of ten books published in this century that are in different ways as inventive as Ulysses was in 1922. These novels aren’t necessarily inspired by Ulysses, except insofar as it has affected every subsequent novel, but like Joyce’s masterpiece they challenge us in ways we never knew to expect. If nothing else, Bloomsday should remind us to pick up some books not despite their difficulty but because of it." (Electric Literature) [more inside]
Duke Nukem Forever. Earthbound and Donkey Kong 64 on Virtual Console. DnD RPGs and LucasArts adventure games on GOG.com. What an age we live in, in which vidya games we were once denied are suddenly no longer denied. And now, Chip's Challenge and its fabled sequel, classic puzzle games long thought permanently unrereleasable and unreleasable respectively due to copyright issues, have finally been released on Steam (and let's not forget its spiritual successor from during the drought, Chuck's Challenge 3D). But why stop there? Fans have created a bunch of free extra levels for the original game, including three epic collaborative level packs, and a free program (first version, newer version) capable of running them. The latter version also has a convenient bundle including all three level packs and an intro pack that serves as a tutorial. [more inside]
Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection "I wrote this collection because I thought there should be more small desktop toys available: little games you can pop up in a window and play for two or three minutes while you take a break from whatever else you were doing. And I was also annoyed that every time I found a good game on (say) Unix, it wasn't available the next time I was sitting at a Windows machine, or vice versa; so I arranged that everything in my personal puzzle collection will happily run on both those platforms and more." In addition to the desktop implementations available at the website, the collection is also available on Android and iOS.
0h n0 is a game of logical deduction where each dot in a grid can only exist in the same row or column as a certain number of like-colored dots. The game will give you specific pieces of information about how many like-colored dots a single dot can "see", and you must deduce the remaining grid of dots. It's from the same people who brought us the zen-like logic game 0h h1 (previously). [more inside]
Two men lie suffocated next to an igloo. A writer loses his concentration and dies. A sudden case of hiccups puts an old man in the hospital. What the hell is going on?
The list to follow is offered purely in a spirit of fun and education, and is not intended to be definitive. It concerns only the most basic physics concepts, and nothing electronic. No answers are offered. [more inside]
C puzzles - Dear visitor, Thanks for your interest in C programming. In this page, you will find a list of interesting C programming questions/puzzles. Not a huge list, but an interesting one.
The Peg Solitaire Army is a problem spun off from a classic recreation, and yet another example of the golden ratio turning up where you least expect it. If you want to look at the game more deeply, George Bell's solitaire pages are the ne plus ultra: There's more about the solitaire army (and variants), ... [more inside]
Chesscademy is a chess teaching website modelled on Codecademy. As such, it gives a sequence of short puzzles and exercises which help you build up knowledge of everything from how the pieces move to the intricacies of positional play. Sections of each 'course' are introduced by a short video. It's like a well-written chess book with interactive diagrams!
DataGenetics is "a technology consultancy specializing in unlocking the value stored in large databases" and which runs an interesting blog. [more inside]
Visual Patterns. Here are the first few steps. What's the equation?
This tech demo video from Pillow Castle Games (of Carnegie Mellon) showcases an innovative first person puzzler using the optical illusion of forced perspective.
Produce the number 2014 without any numbers in your source code ☠ Write a program that always outputs “2012” - even if it's modified! ☠ Obfuscated Hello World ☠ Print your code backwards - reverse quine ☠ Shortest code to print a smiley face ☠ Write the shortest program that generates the most compiler warnings and errors [more inside]
They told me this was the Transformer. The Hodge-Podge Transformer, en route to the Ossuary. I don't understand what any of that means. I wish I could go to the Ossuary. The place of bones. That sounds simple and quiet, unlike this terrible place. [more inside]
The regular polygons have been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude/tte to construct the regular polygons with nothing but a virtual compass and straightedge? [more inside]
Puzzle World is a repository of puzzle awesomeness. In includes types of puzzles (including a great selection of burr puzzles), puzzle designers, a staggering index of puzzles, and a plethora of puzzling resources. For the most committed puzzle pursuer, Puzzle World also hosts a digital reprint of Stewart Coffin's seminal work The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections (previously). Bonus: sliding block puzzles!
[Henry] Hook has come to be known as the Marquis de Sade of the puzzle world: a brilliant and oddly beloved misanthrope, administering exquisite torture through dozens of puzzle books and syndicated crosswords.
The Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection, given to Indiana University in 2006, is now online, with images and descriptions of some 24,000 puzzles, from an 18th century Japanese puzzle to nearly 300 kinds of Rubik's Cubes. [more inside]
Watch me SOLVE a 20x20x20 cube! Step 1 is to solve all of the centers, step 2 is to solve all of the edges, and step 3 is to solve the cube as if it were a rubik's cube (3x3x3).
Derek Crozier was an idiosyncratic crossword setter who, under the pseudonym Crosaire, ran the Irish Times cryptic crossword singlehandedly for almost 70 years. He died in April 2010 at the age of 92, having compiled over 14000 daily crosswords. The last puzzle completed before his death, number 14605, runs in today's Irish Times. [more inside]
Marina Abramovic's 2010 MoMA exhibit, "The Artist Is Present" (previously) meets 1980s Sierra adventure games. (No word yet on whether the game has made anyone cry.) Thoughts from the creator.
In the spirit of taking things too far, here is a fully functional 5-dimensional analogue of Rubik's cube.
It's a bag for oranges, sad oranges that weep for Spring, denying their fruitness, only to sour and wilt. Or maybe a container for socks. It could be a metaphor for soft tender moist eager buttons...
The Deutsches Technikmuseum has many interesting exhibits, some of which are puzzling... [more inside]
"Looking at the world through via Google Earth offers striking images of the diversity of our planet and the impact that humans have had on it. Today's entry is a puzzle. We're challenging you to figure out where in the world each of the images below is taken. (You'll find answers and links at the bottom of the entry.) North is not always up in these pictures, and, apart from a bit of contrast, they are unaltered images provided by Google and its mapping partners. So I invite you to open up Google Earth (or Google Maps), have a look at the images below, and dive in. Good luck!"
It is quite likely this is the coolest desk in the world! (Well, even if that's hyperbole, there are lots of other beautiful puzzles and woodworks in Kagen Schaefer's gallery, including some of his award winners from the annual Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition.)
92 years young, the delightful Raymond Smullyan is a mathematician, logician, magician, concert pianist, and Taoist philosopher - who also pioneered retrograde chess problems.
Tolia Demidov presents browser experiments, illusions, puzzles, and... fun.
Linguistics Challenge Puzzles! (Difficulty ranging from green circles to double black diamonds...Friday fun for all!) [more inside]
"Gary Foshee, a collector and designer of puzzles from Issaquah near Seattle walked to the lectern to present his talk. It consisted of the following three sentences: "I have two children. One is a boy born on a Tuesday. What is the probability I have two boys?"" [more inside]
Easy AI with Python. High school-level introduction to a few artificial intelligence concepts, with relatively short open source Python code snippets. [more inside]