New: Zine Report: Wired 17.05 (May 2009)

I picked up the latest issue of Wired. A bunch of famous puzzlers made puzzles for it. There's, like, hidden puzzles inside. I didn't make it very far. There's a lot of stuff in Wired magazine. You can get tired of looking for hidden stuff. Ooh, look, there's some bold letters here, they spell out a message. Hey, these ads look fake. But there's just so much to slog through. Do I want to read an article about the Kryptos statue? I've read some about that statue. Do I want to read an article that introduces it, one that assumes I know nothing?

I got bored. I took a break from hunting, started idly riffling pages. My eyes fell on this snippet

Skip to the next article. You certainly could--you could skip the whole magazine.

It was a sign. I put it down went on to other things.

There was good stuff in the magazine. I enjoyed the puzzles that I saw! Thank you for making them! And there was a Clive Thompson article about ARGs and group-solving puzzles that quoted Jonathan Blow. Hooray for quoting Jonathan Blow. I also noticed a welcome lack. I noticed the lack of the crap that made me stop reading Wired years ago. The glowing reviews of unaffordable audio equipment--they're gone! Maybe Wired has turned into a worthwhile magazine. Maybe I shouldn't have looked at Loganbill so funny when he said he wanted to work there.

Still, though. Too much work to hunt through the whole darned thing looking for puzzles. I guess I could let Clive Thompson's article convince me it would be fun to look for other people on the internet. And we could shard up the magazine, each person searching one section for hidden stuff! And we could say "Look me made a communities!" and all collaborate around the magazine and... and...

To heck with it. I've got a new issue of Giant Robot. And I already watched J.J. Abrams talk about his $&#*ing mystery box on his TED video, and it wasn't that interesting then. On to the next zine.

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Posted 2009-04-29

 Dan said...

They have some systems to indicate which pages contain puzzles (and how many) within a particular series (I think each series has a meta, and then there's a meta-meta). So that helps. Even so, I think it's probably best done as a group-solve. I haven't solved enough to say whether it's actually worth doing so, but other people report that it's not too bad.

Anyway, even within any given page, there's definitely a whole lot of potential "data". As I perused it, I was ruminating over how in the puzzle hunt tradition we try to eliminate red herring data streams as much as possible, but this magazine is totally swimming in them. Not sure if I don't like that just because it's not the type of challenge I'm used to, or if it's fundamentally less satisfying, or what.

29 April, 2009 20:59