Larry Hosken: New

It's #EnigMarch, and when dared to design a puzzle, I take the bait.

"All fishermen are liars." If someone tells you that they caught FriedrIch NietzScHe but had to let him go, they probably just caught a FISH and exaggerated the length.

If they say they caught…   they really caught a…
further reading _ ◯ _ _ _
their self _ _ ◯ _ _
Ludwig van Beethoven _ _ ◯ _
English composer _ _ _ _ _ _ ◯
federal government _ _ _ _ ◯

Who's been exaggerating? A commuter, a detective, a patient, a surfer, and a watcher.

The circled letters spell out a fine place to catch a reasonably-sized fish.

If you enjoy this puzzle and you haven't already tried Toddle, you should probably try Toddle.

Rot13'd answer:

GENVA   : pbzzhgre: shegure ernqvat
GUVRS   : qrgrpgvir : gurve frys
JNIR    : fhesre : Yhqjvt ina Orrgubira
TYVZCFR : jngpure : Ratyvfu pbzcbfre
SRIRE   : cngvrag : srqreny tbireazrag

Gur pvepyrq yrggref fcryy EVIRE.



Some weeks back, I saw a post on the New Bohemia Signs tumblr, a picture of art&artists, students in a sign-painting hand-lettering class.
smiling artists holding up hand-painted lettered signs

Beyond admiring the handiwork, I also was interested in the sign that said "Haight," since I live near Haight. Spelling out the Japanese phonetic characters カメレオン, I figured it was for a shop called Chameleon… which was confusing since I didn't know about any such Haight-area shop.

Then I forgot about it until my exercise walk this morning. Suddenly, a new shop appeared: カメレオン, at 1605 Haight.

locked-up storefront; you can see part of a hand-painted sign behind the bars

Sorry I didn't stick around to take a clearer picture; it was raining.



I asked the Chat-GPT4 system to write a three-paragraph bio of Lawrence "Larry" Hosken. The system produces plausible-but-wrong text, so if you ask it about stuff you don't know, it might fool you (since it sounds plausible). But if you ask it something you know about, you can remember that it's just a bloviator gone big-time.

Lawrence "Larry" Hosken is an experienced software engineer and technical writer with a passion for creating elegant solutions to complex problems. With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Larry has developed expertise in a wide range of programming languages and platforms, including Java, Python, and JavaScript. He has worked on projects for companies ranging from small startups to large corporations, and his technical skills are matched by his ability to communicate complex concepts in a clear and concise manner.

In addition to his technical work, Larry is also an accomplished writer and blogger. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including technology, science, and history, and his articles have been featured in a number of prominent publications. Larry's writing is characterized by his ability to distill complex information into accessible and engaging prose, making even the most esoteric topics interesting and understandable.

Larry is also an avid traveler and amateur photographer. He has visited over 30 countries and has a keen eye for capturing the beauty of the world around him through his camera lens. Whether he's exploring ancient ruins in Peru, hiking in the Swiss Alps, or admiring the architecture of Barcelona, Larry is always seeking new experiences and perspectives to inform his work as a software engineer and writer.

Thank you. Which thirty countries has he visited?

I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, I do not have access to personal information such as the list of countries visited by Lawrence "Larry" Hosken. My previous response was based solely on the information that could be inferred from his professional profile and online presence.

Coolio. What online info suggests he's visited 30 countries?

I apologize for any confusion my previous response may have caused. I have no information about Lawrence "Larry" Hosken's personal travel experiences or how many countries he has visited. My previous response was a hypothetical example of a biography that could be written based on the information available about an individual. Without access to reliable sources or more specific information, I cannot provide any details about Lawrence "Larry" Hosken's travels or personal life.

Alas. Thanks anyhow.

It's weird that it claims I have a "passion for creating elegant solutions to complex problems" but hasn't picked up on my true passion, enthusiastic burrito consumption. It's weird that it claims I have written articles featured in a number of prominent publications, when actual mentions of my name tend to be on obscure sites. "He has visited over 30 countries" was a darned strange hobby to make up; somehow, it hasn't figured out that my actual online presence is puzzlehunt-heavy.

Anyhow, I eagerly await future conversations with AIs when they explain why a heuristic process cancelled my health insurance, having determined that I lied about my travel history on the intake forms.



It's #EnigMarch, and I still respond to puzzle-design challenges, even if they seem really out there.

The spaces between these words seem OK but are supposed to be letters:

… with   red …
… but her …
… first and …
… the logical …
… her after …
… quick and …

Together, the letters form a word, a word for what you might perceive if there's a lot of space around you in a room.

Rot13'd explanation and answer: Rnpu ebj unf gjb jbeqf; vafregvat n (ubcrshyyl boivbhf) yrggre orgjrra n cnve sbezf n arj ybat jbeq. jvgu erq: jvguRerq. ohg ure: ohgPure. svefg naq: svefgUnaq. gur ybtvpny: gurBybtvpny. ure nsgre: ureRnsgre. dhvpx naq: dhvpxFnaq. Gbtrgure, gur nqqrq yrggref fcryy RPUBRF



It's #EnigMarch, and I respond to a puzzle design challenge, even if it can be a pain. So here's a puzzle:

Waayaahtanwa chief, as described by foreigner, maybe: _ _ _ _ _   _ _ ◯
King's game console: _ _ _ _ _   _ ◯ _
Majestic plural, key to this puzzle's gimmick: _ _ _ _ _   ◯ _
Main songwriter of Hoola Bandoola Band, if crowned: _ _ _ _ _   _ _ ◯ _ _
King Louis' assent: _ _ _ _ _   _ _ ◯
King's rollercoaster proclamation: _ _ _ _ _   ◯ _ _ _ !
King pointing out cute smol thing: _ _ _ _ _   _ ◯ _
Mother of Crown Prince Munhyo, for short: _ _ _ _ _   _ ◯

The circled letters name someone (in?)famous for not respecting governments.

Rot13'd explanation and answer: Rnpu pyhr uvagf ng fbzr cuenfr bs gur sbez Eblny fbzrguvat-gung-fbhaqf-yvxr-"jr". Jvgubhg gur "eblny"f, jr unir: Jnnlnnugnajn puvrs, nf qrfpevorq ol sbervtare, znlor: JRN. Xvat'f tnzr pbafbyr: JVV. Znwrfgvp cyheny: JR. Znva fbatjevgre bs Ubbyn Onaqbbyn Onaq, vs pebjarq: JVRUR. Xvat Ybhvf' nffrag: BHV. Xvat'f ebyyrepbnfgre cebpynzngvba: JURR! Xvat cbvagvat bhg phgr fzby guvat: JRR. Zbgure bs Pebja Cevapr Zhaulb, sbe fubeg: HV. Gur pvepyrq yrggref fcryy gur anzr Nv Jrvjrv.



It's still #EnigMarch and when I hold the internet up to my ear, I think it's telling me to write a puzzle, so here you go:


If you're flummoxed and want a nudge, consider the title of this awesome book:

woman holding white sea shell near her ear

Rot13'd explanation and notes:

Guvf chmmyr hfrf gur anzrf bs gur yrggref: n, orr, prr, qrr, rgp. Rnpu bs gur tvira jbeqf vf n yrggre-anzr jvgu gjb rkgen yrggref qebccrq va.

Y ryy furyy
L jl  jvyl
A ra  rira
L jl  fjnl
E ne  lrne
Q qrr Nqryr
F rff grfgf
X xnl xnlnx
L jl  jnil
A ra  zrna
L jl  njnl
E ne  pner
Q qrr qrafr

Vqragvslvat gur yrggre anzrf naq yvfgvat gur anzrq yrggref lvryqf gur nafjre: YLALEQ FXLALEQ



It's #EnigMarch, and when dared to create a puzzle, I do.
two pieces of graph paper with letters in the squares. one has been labeled 'hidden message'; the other 'key (needs cuts)'

To find today's hidden message, you will need to cut out a stencil from the key-card. Which letters to cut out? The ones that form the cryptic-clued word:

Medium request: a panel with holes cut out (4)

Putting the key-stencil on top of the hidden-message card, making sure all edges coincide, should block the "noise" and let the message (16 characters total) show through. The message: another way to block the noise.

ROT13'd explanation and answer:

Svefg, fbyir gur pelcgvp pyhr. Zrqvhz vf Z. Gb erdhrfg vf gb nfx. Z+NFX znxrf ZNFX.
Va gur xrl-pneq phg bhg gur yrggref N X Z F. Ynl gur xrl-pneq bire gur uvqqra zrffntr pneq. Gurer ner sbhe bevragngvbaf va juvpu gur xrl-pneq'f rqtrf pbvapvqr jvgu gur zrffntr-pneq'f rqtrf. Va rnpu bs gurfr, sbhe yrggref fubhyq fubj guebhtu gur ubyrf va gur xrl pneq.
Gbtrgure, gur fvkgrra yrggref fcryy gur nafjre: FRYRPGVIR URNEVAT



It is #EnigMarch and when dared to design a puzzle, I still make space in my schedule.

crossword grid

1. Runway pavement
7. Get new loan from S&L, perhaps
11. Who might sell you a pedigree pup
13. Makes equal
15. Deadlock
16. Mattress maker
17. Salt-and-pepper look, but for horses
18. Wrapped-and-draped clothing
20. Roman ruler, e.g., Romulus
21. Not wet
22. Standard encumberance state used in discussing the airspeed velocity of a swallow
23. Before
24. Genetic strand
25. Beau Geste author
27. Vim and _____
30. Ebony and _____
31. Concurred
33. Body of water
34. One in Oaxaca
35. Salt, Geneva, Silver, Placid, and Ricki
37. IRL periodical
40. Thick woolen cloth used for outer clothing.
41. "I agree with this prayer"
42. Tastiest part of a cotton plant if you're a weevil
43. Neptune's oyster fork
45. Civilian military, ideally well-regulated
47. Touch or smell
48. Dog breed popular with hunters and perhaps C programmers
49. Ownership document
50. Upcoming Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Christmas action movie

1. Old Ford auto
2. Protective clothing
3. Make good on a debt
4. Average
5. They pay for your "free" websites
6. Maker of small airplanes
7. How new doctors learn how hospitals work
8. Really big-scale sci-fi MMORPG
9. First female vice-presidential nominee representing a major American political party: Geraldine _______
10. Number that doesn't need a decimal point
12. Number that might or might not need a decimal point
14. State of Germany which I assume was famous for having sacks on sacks on sacks of coins or something
19. Sharp knock
22. They Might Be Giants song: (I was thinking of an) _________ Thing
24. Surname when you don't know the name
26. Between Pa. and Ky. in the USA
27. Secure storage places
28. Paid no attention
29. High school freshman year
32. Oroville or Three Gorges
33. Elder
36. AFL player, Bob Dole's running mate, Housing Secretary Jack ____
37. "You have to go out, but you don't have to come back," for example
38. Sigourney Weaver horror flick
39. Harsh light
42. Tie up tightly
44. Stupid
46. Sir Mix-a-Lot can't do it

ROT13'd explanation and answer and an upside-down solution grid:

Guvf pebffjbeq hfrf n tvzzvpx: QRA svgf va n fdhner.

Npebff: 1. GNEZNP, 7. ERSV, 11. OERRQRE, 13. RIRAF, 15. VZCNFFR, 16. FREGN, 17. EBNA, 18. FNEV, 20. ERK, 21. QEL, 22. HAYN(QRA), 23. NTB, 24. QAN, 25. CPJERA, 27. IVTBE, 30. VIBEL, 31. NTERRQ, 33. FRN, 34. HAN, 35. YNXRF, 37. ZNT, 40. YB(QRA), 41. NZRA, 42. OBYY, 43. GEV(QRA)G, 45. ZVYVGVN, 47. FRAFR, 48. CBVAGRE, 49. QRRQ, 50. ERQBAR.

Qbja: 1. GOVEQ, 2. NEZBE, 3. ERCNL, 4. ZRNA, 5. NQF, 6. PRFFAN, 7. ERFV(QRA)PVRF, 8. RIR, 9. SREENEB, 10. VAGRTRE, 12. ERNY, 14. FNKBAL, 19. ENC, 22. HAERYNGRQ, 24. QBR, 26. JIN, 27. INHYGF, 28. VTABERQ, 29. TEN(QRA)VAR, 32. QNZ, 33. FRAVBE, 36. XRZC, 37. ZBGGB, 38. NYVRA, 39. TYNER, 42. OVAQ, 44. (QRA)FR, 46. YVR.

upside-down filled in crossword grid

Gur pvepyrq tevq fdhnerf fcryy bhg PB(QRA)NZR, PBQR ANZR



Happy π Day! It's still #EnigMarch and so I took a moment to respond to a challenge by putting together a puzzle:

Already-published book, revised:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _
ESP:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _
Something to watch on a stopwatch:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _
USA law for well-ordered militias:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
If one plateful wasn't enough:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Burglary:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _
Worthy of the silver medal:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _
Meal important to Hobbits:   _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Using a letter from each answer above yields the answer: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Explanation and answer ROT13'd:

Rnpu pyhr'f nafjre vf n cuenfr gung tbrf FRPBAQ fbzrguvat.

Nyernql-choyvfurq obbx, erivfrq: FRPBAQ RQVGVBA. RFC: FRPBAQ FVTUG. Fbzrguvat gb jngpu ba n fgbcjngpu: FRPBAQ UNAQ. HFN ynj sbe jryy-beqrerq zvyvgvnf: FRPBAQ NZRAQZRAG. Vs bar cyngrshy jnfa'g rabhtu: FRPBAQ URYCVAT. Ohetynel: FRPBAQ FGBEL WBO. Jbegul bs gur fvyire zrqny: FRPBAQ ORFG. Zrny vzcbegnag gb Uboovgf: FRPBAQ OERNXSNFG.

Gb trg gur svany nafjre, lbh arrq n yrggre sebz rnpu pyhr-nafjre. Juvpu yrggre? Gur FRPBAQ yrggre bs gur FRPBAQ jbeq. Chggvat gurfr gbtrgure fcryyf QVNZRGRE.



Oh hey neat, the then-CEO of my last job is in the news. Headline: "Unpleasant millionaire insists on bothering women sitting next to him on planes" oh uhm hrm




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