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Thread: Hello from Cambridge

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    Ingrid is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Ingrid is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default Hello from Cambridge

    Hi all,

    Apart from working on Logica's ATH each Christmas, I've never done any treasure hunting. It was a delightful surprise to find this community and information about all the puzzles currently ongoing!

    I'm finding it difficult to decide what to work on; I found 'The Professor's Journal' via tweleve and had just got up to speed when the game ended. So heartbreaking! I really liked the feel of that project. It had several things going for it, from my perspective as a neophyte...it was relatively new (so it didn't 'feel' like I'd have no hope at a solution), it was being regularly maintained, and I liked the narrative and production. Also, it felt like I could jump in and get started right away.

    One of my favourite aspects of Logica's ATH is the teamwork aspects...I like how it's designed so that people can pick away at different parts of it, and how people with different strengths and spheres of knowledge can contribute.

    If anyone has any recommendations on what might be a good way to distract myself from the disappointment of The Professor's Journal completion and the Logica ATH season coming to an end, I'd be eternally grateful! Ideally, I'm looking for something where I won't be too terribly disadvantaged if I come in late, and where there's still significant work to be done. (Also, the "treasures" tend to be hidden reasonably close to home, so travel isn't an issue!)

    Best wishes, all...and many thanks for hosting such an interesting and helpful site.

    Ingrid

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    pianoman's Avatar
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    Ingrid, Welcome!

    I am not sure which puzzle hunt to recommend, but I am excited to hear you are familiar with ATH, which we are currently working on as well. Are you in a group already for this year's puzzle?

    We seem to band some people together for ATH, MUMS, and CISRA puzzle competitions each year. There are also ongoing User created Puzzles that you are welcome to jump in and solve, or create your own as well!

    I came around to tweleve due to Secrets of the Alchemist Dar, but that hunt looks like it went bankrupt and is mostly defunct. Did you happen to work on Operation Sleeper Cell as well this year?

    Anyhow, welcome to Tweleve! I am sure you will find something to work on soon.

    Pianoman

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    suelough's Avatar
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    Welcome to Tweleve, Ingrid!
    Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

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    Molnar's Avatar
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    Welcome. One hunt that I'm considering after the Logica and MIT Mystery Hunts are over is The Tower by Graeme Whittle. It launched at the end of December. More info is available here. The prizes for this are a bit different from your standard fare, as they are artwork from the author, not cash or jewelry.

    I, too, wish that there were more mystery/puzzle competitions like The Professor's Journal. I enjoyed that one.
    WHRECVBBLSMCEYVIHTEOIZROMR

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    Ingrid is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Ingrid is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Hi again,

    Thanks for the warm welcome, all!

    Pianoman, I do already have a team for ATH this year, but I've never even heard of the other two, so would most definitely be up for joining in! Funny you should mention Operation Sleeper Cell, actually. I know one of the main developers/creators from ATH and so my partner and I found ourselves setting one of the puzzles for it. (It was the first and only puzzle setting we've done for an armchair treasure hunt type of endeavor. It was really great fun, although it required an infinite amount of time - and some serious use of Gutenberg and local book stores - to set!) I'd play-tested several of the other puzzles before release, so didn't actually participate.

    Molnar, thanks for the heads-up about The Tower. I hadn't heard of it before, but after a quick browse, it looks quite tempting. I've placed an order, though it looks like it may take a few days to print and post.... Much appreciated!

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    Molnar's Avatar
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    So are you going to tell us which one is your puzzle?

    From the sound of it, I would guess Bookshelf, and I agree that was likely a monumental task setting that puzzle. That cryptic had me going for a while, too!
    WHRECVBBLSMCEYVIHTEOIZROMR

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    Smile

    Welcome to Tweleve! always nice to have new people!
    I am thinking of dragging out the Secret again - I have it here somewhere

    but first - need to edit my NaNo musings for publication - then back to puzzling form the boonies of Kentucky~
    em - luanne

    imagination is the only weapon we have in the war against reality!

    success is simply getting up one more time than you fall

  8. #8
    Ingrid is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze Ingrid is an unknown quantity at this point
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    It was, indeed, a puzzle involving a bookshelf. We were interested in the idea of nesting a puzzle within a puzzle.... It turned out to be quite difficult to find books that fit our purposes that (a) were easy enough to find online in Gutenberg or Google books etc., or, at a stretch, in an actual library or bookstore, (b) had unambiguous beginnings (lots of books had prologues or introductions which made things a bit too ambiguous, we thought), and (c) were common enough to be on a standard book shelf. (There are a lot of strange, arbitrary things in Gutenberg...we wanted to choose recognisable authors and titles, where possible.)

    Then, once we had the titles, it took infinite amounts of time arranging the photograph (the books kept falling!), getting the lighting 'just so' (so that the spaces between the groups of books were visible), and GIMP-ing the image to get all the titles/authors on the books so that it looked...well, if not exactly realistic, at least passable.

    It was also very difficult to judge the difficulty - whether it would be too easy or too hard, whether this type of puzzle was 'old hat' to experienced puzzlers, whether (and how) we should give extra hints or clues.

    The whole experience gave me a new respect for those who construct much more elaborate puzzles and hunts.... The setting wasn't easy and the polish took just as much time and attention - and we were just trying to do a single puzzle, with very modest production values!

  9. #9
    Bytes and Peaces's Avatar
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    Default Well, if you really don't want to leave home . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Ingrid View Post

    One of my favourite aspects of Logica's ATH is the teamwork aspects...

    If anyone has any recommendations on what might be a good way to distract myself from the disappointment of The Professor's Journal completion and the Logica ATH season coming to an end, I'd be eternally grateful! Ideally, I'm looking for something where I won't be too terribly disadvantaged if I come in late, and where there's still significant work to be done. (Also, the "treasures" tend to be hidden reasonably close to home, so travel isn't an issue!)

    Ingrid
    How about electronic geocaching?

    I was kicking around the thought that we are already close to, and the points you have mentioned about teamwork, specialization skills, and not being too terribly disadvantaged when you come in late.

    So what about having a game where email accounts are set up on the internet -- similar to physical letterboxing -- but to get in, you have to figure out the password, then leaving a letter explaining what you did to get there (right or wrong).

    This is pretty self-selecting, because the puzzles that hint at the passwords could be located on a private site with referees, who time you when you come in and pick up you puzzle, to when you actually hit the solve. Also, if you are dealing with an email account, you could then say even finding the right email log-in is part of the challenge. The accounts could be on private servers, and once you hit a particular number of winnners, like the great race or the Toure de France, you have the winner for the day, but you know -- also like musical chairs, the next leg on the challenge will automatically cut out a certain percentage of the participants remaining -- who are still on a timere whenever they pick up their puzzle.

    So, participants can get all the help they want, but only those through the door who have lefgt their names are real participants. Should players chose foolishly, and outsiders wander in, in would be pretty easy to find out who double-crossed who and tried to just jump in your private Tour de France -- whethor or not they tried to give an answer.

    Prizes/recognition could be given out for various email hits, best explanation, best expanation that makes sense, best wimpering excuse of why you really didn't get the answer from someone else even though you couldn't come up with anything orginal to say on your own, and the casual "What would you do to improve this experience and help us mess your mind up more?" As an afterthought, the boards might even be publically posted for the daily betting experience of (though online gambling is discouraged in most states) of "I really don't think your collage can beat my tech lab but if either of us can take down that snot-nosed puzzle freak, it's all good."

    And, of course, the ultimate prize, could be something stupid we all really want -- like copious amounts of cash to blow at our favorite bookstore, or electronic candyshop like thinkgeek.com.

    I mean, really, what else do worthy individuals like myself have to do at 3 am as things compile that I really have no interest in, other than to say, "Thank God -- it's done! Pass the caffiene."

    And, sooner or later, some worthy individuals who may have stomped a poor fool like me, and gone on to greater things and higher places on the boards, may actually have to slink in to a certain electronic cafe, and say, "look dude, the physics problem that lead me to the math password was total easy, but let's face it . . . I need you to tell me how this Herman Melvil refernce fits in."

    Ahhhhh . . . the possiblities . . .

    Thoughts?
    Where’s my pencil? No! The one with the eraser ...

  10. #10
    stvwz's Avatar
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    Welcome Ingrid!

    Maranatha is coming up on its 3rd anniversary and it is not any closer to a solve, and the publishers claim is that it only takes a day to find the answer (if you knew where to look).

    Good luck and best wishes

    Steve

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