Archive for January, 2013

My Brain is Crying

I decided to do the M.I.T. Mystery Hunt this year! It’s a giant hunt where you get into teams (my team, Central Services, had like 50 people, others had 100 I think) and solve puzzles all weekend. Doug is really into this hunt; he’s done it every year forever. I like puzzles’ I thought “why not”? I had done some other puzzle hunts with him last year, though those were smaller and more local.

Argh, my brain hurts. The hunt last all weekend; Doug got us a hotel room in Kendall Sq (the Kendall Hotel— so nice!!!), but he only slept Saturday during the day for a few hours. He did overnights so there would be people solving puzzles 24 hours a day. I worked on about 10 or 12 different puzzles. There were about 200 (?) altogether. Only one puzzle I worked on got finished (the one I spent about 10 hours on total; in addition to Doug’s 11-12 hours + two other guys each putting in about as long + a few others who came and went).

I worked on this one crossword puzzle one– there were 3 crossword grids, and each had two sets of clues for the across and down. I was working on it with two other people. After about 1/2 hour, I gave up and went home. It was Sunday afternoon, and since I had been in charge of tea (I brought an electric kettle, cups, 50 billion different kinds of tea from the house + some loaner reusable mugs, sugar, honey etc.) and had to schlep it all home on the train, I opted to leave.

THANK GOD I DID!!! I just read the answers to that puzzle. Each puzzle had to be filled in twice, once for each set of answers. Each set of answers was in a different language, including Latin, French, anglicized Russian and Japanese and Spanish.

So, the answer to

12. God of leading sheep backwards


12. NAP (Pan is the god of sheep)

OK, that one is semi sort of kind of figure-out-able. But…

20. A thousand twisted monkeys turn a noxious atmosphere’s As to Is


20. MIISMI (Anagram of M SIMII, 1000 monkeys, or MIASMA with A->I)

ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I’m so glad I left when I did and didn’t try to figure out this puzzle; there’s no way I would have ever figured it out in 1,000,000,000 years! My brain is sobbing just looking at the answers! I actually got irrationally angry looking at the answers. I mean…

Of course the answer to

4. Some people can procrastinate this long


4. MESYATSAMI / месяцами



24. Ark clam (archaic)


24. 蚶 KISA (archaic way to say 赤貝 AKAGAI)

That’s beyond a challenge. My brain is yelling “THAT’S BULLSHIT!!!” rather than “whoa, how clever.” I’m not sure which it is. If next year is like this, I may go back to Arisia (Sci-Fi convention that’s held the same weekend; roommates and everyone else I know goes to it).

January 25, 2013 at 3:22 am 1 comment

Maybe I should Stop Reading the News

Dear oppressed (and “oppressed”) people,

The next person or group to compare their struggle to the Civil Rights movement is going to get a giant bitch slap from me. If you don’t have to use separate drinking fountains, shut up. You’re not finding your loved ones hanging from trees. You don’t have to sit at the back of the bus and have your kids go to crappier schools just by virtue of whatever sets you apart. Nobody is burning crosses in your front yard.

This goes for groups on the left as well as the right! (I’m looking at you, animal rights people!)

Ditto for comparing whoever you don’t like to Hitler. Your perceived enemy is not putting people in concentration camps and gassing them. STFU. He/she is not crowding you into filthy, disease-ridden ghettos in preparation for shipping you off in boxcars packed past capacity with bodies, dead and alive, to go to be used for medical experiments or to work you to death.

There’s plenty of inequality to go around, just come up with some original rhetoric, OK? I’m all about hyperbole– I love it so much I would marry it if I could. However, bringing up these tired comparisons again and again just diminishes the seriousness of your problem and shows an extreme ignorance of history. It also makes light of horrible events that should never be made light of.

Sincerely yours,
Deez Nutz

January 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm 1 comment


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