Feb. 16th, 2012

rhu: (xword)
My post yesterday was an experiment to see how subtle a puzzle can be while still being detectable as a puzzle. ("Step 1: Solvers notice that there's something odd and deduce that there may be a puzzle lurking here....")

Cut for length and spoilers )

The lessons I'm taking away from this are these: (1) Being maximally subtle means that the constructor will leave out many people who would enjoy solving the puzzle if they knew one was there. (2) The surface cannot be empty fluff; people who don't notice that it's a puzzle have no reason not to expect it to be of the same quality and interest level as regular content.

One last note: I'm not sure either of these apply in contexts where people are told that there is a "hidden puzzle" somewhere --- whether that's in an issue of P&A magazine, or at the NPL convention.
rhu: (xword)
My post yesterday was an experiment to see how subtle a puzzle can be while still being detectable as a puzzle. ("Step 1: Solvers notice that there's something odd and deduce that there may be a puzzle lurking here....")

Cut for length and spoilers )

The lessons I'm taking away from this are these: (1) Being maximally subtle means that the constructor will leave out many people who would enjoy solving the puzzle if they knew one was there. (2) The surface cannot be empty fluff; people who don't notice that it's a puzzle have no reason not to expect it to be of the same quality and interest level as regular content.

One last note: I'm not sure either of these apply in contexts where people are told that there is a "hidden puzzle" somewhere --- whether that's in an issue of P&A magazine, or at the NPL convention.

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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