July 4th, 2004

tangrams

Room puzzles

Crimson Room and Viridian Room (http://www.fasco-csc.com/) are EVIL! They're Flash puzzles where you're stuck in a room and you have to figure out how to get out. Basically you click around to look around the room, find objects, take them, figure out how to use them, and so on. They're hard; I had to google for hints.

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greycycle

Spy vs. Spy on TV!

Saw a cool commercial earlier today, for Mountain Dew; it had Spy vs. Spy, from Mad Magazine, in it!

White Spy puts a Mt. Dew vending machine in place on a city corner. Black Spy stops to buy a soda from it. Meanwhile, White Spy hovers above him in a helicopter, intending to pummel him with a boxing glove on a spring from a hatch under the helicopter. But Black Spy has a spring under his hat, which deflects the boxing glove back up to hit White Spy! Then Black Spy presses a button on the vending machine... which causes a spring-loaded section of sidewalk to catapult him into the wall!... and then dispense a can of Mt. Dew.

The commercial was filmed in black-and-white live action with costumes and props that give it the "live-action cartoon" look of certain segments of MTV's Liquid Television from way back when, such as Dogboy or that one with the two hillbilly mechanics, the title of which I forget.

Anyway... cool! I wonder how many more of these there are.
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toys, Cube

Crimson & Viridian Rooms: Just noticed something...

I just noticed something about those room puzzles. In Crimson Room, one of the objects you find is a CD case, but it never gets used in the puzzle. But in Viridian Room, you start out with a CD case in your inventory. It must be the one from the Crimson Room!
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    that dramatic music in Crimson when you find an object
ever-changing constant

Paradoxical Synonym Chains

I read about this fun little game in a magazine once a long time ago. The object is to pick a pair of words with opposite meanings, and connect them with a chain of words, as short as possible, in which every word is a synonym of the one that comes before it.

These work by making use of double meanings and shifts in shades of meaning. The one I remember from that old magazine article connects safe with unsafe in six words:

safe - undamaged - untarnished - polished - slippery - unsafe
Explanations:
An object that's been through a calamity is safe if it's undamaged.
A reputation is undamaged if it's untarnished.
A metal surface is untarnished if it's polished.
If a stone is polished, it's slippery.
If a floor is slippery, it's unsafe.

All the rest in this post are ones I've come up with.

naked - unadorned - unembellished - honest - decent - clothed
If a person is naked, he's unadorned.
If an object is unadorned, it's unembellished.
If a story is unembellished, it's honest.
If a person is honest, he's decent.
A person's body is decent if it's clothed.

young - inexperienced - ineffectual - weak - feeble - senile - old
If a person is young, he's inexperienced.
If an employee is inexperienced, he may be ineffectual.
If a method is ineffectual, it's weak.
If an attempt is weak, it's feeble.
A person is feeble if he's senile; he's also old.

Young/old can also be linked by a much shorter chain:

young - green - rotten - old
If wood is young, it's green.
If meat is green, it's rotten, and indeed old.

More, in descending order of length:

true - straight - even - horizontal - lying - false
intelligent - witty - funny - silly - stupid - unintelligent
awake - alert - thinking - hoping - dreaming - asleep
large - inflated - stretched - thin - meager - small
tidy - fussy - whiny - selfish - inconsiderate - messy
serious - insistent - loud - bright-colored - whimsical - playful
create - make - do - execute - kill - destroy
fast - tight - restricted - burdened - retarded - slow
happy - overjoyed - emotional - distraught - unhappy
happy - complacent - jaded - bored - unhappy
perfect - finished - ruined - broken - imperfect
hard - dense - stupid - simple - easy
strong - smelly - rotten - old - weak
good - delicious - tempting - sinful - evil
inert - useless - broken - unstable - explosive
alive - breathing - outgassing - putrefying - dead
hot - angry - hateful - heartless - cold
left - remaining - prevailing - accepted - right
visible - obvious - clear - transparent - invisible
normal - typical - characteristic - peculiar - weird
same - repeated - redone - different

It's possible to form some chains in just three words by making use of a bridging word that has two self-contradictory meanings:

clean - dusted - dirty
attached - clipped - detached

And finally, here's one that uses several associations of varying degrees of political incorrectness to work:

black - urban - sophisticated - civilized - white
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