Saturday, April 24, 2021

Review of Puzzle Five from the A.C.P.T. - by Horace

Hello Puzzling Friends! .... Puzzler Friends? Puzzle Partners? Puzzple? Pzuzzpzpzzz...

It's Horace here with a review of everyone's favorite punishment, Puzzle Five! But first, a pop quiz - How are Dr. Fill and I alike? Well, I'll tell you. We both failed to complete Puzzle Five error-free. I'd argue as well that neither of us fully understood the theme while we solved. And how are we different? Well, I at least understood part of the theme. When MANNEQUIN (Crazed) was forced into my grid through crosses, I recognized that "manneq" sounded like "manic," and there was a point during my solve, after I had gotten CENTAUR (Aroma) and ZEBU (Zorro's symbol), that I considered taking the time to figure out what the "in" "or" and "bu" parts were doing ... but then I thought "If I can just get a few more crosses on the right-hand side of the puzzle, maybe I won't need to figure it out."...

Another way that Dr. Fill and I are different is that it ended up making one error, apparently, and it finished the rest (correctly) quickly enough to score 2055 points on the puzzle. I ended up with 60 errors, finished two seconds over the time limit, and scored 620 points. So .... 

And yet another way we're different is that today is my 28th wedding anniversary, and right now I'm sitting in a rocking chair on my front porch, my wife is next to me, and we're enjoying a lovely Barolo while listening to Patrizio Buanne sing "Luna Mezzo Mare" through the magic of the Internets. What's ol' Dr. Fill doing now, huh? Sitting alone in its metal box!

But that sounds bitter, doesn't it? And really, I'm not. In fact, I'm one who actually roots for Dr. Fill. Am I really rooting for Matt Ginsberg? I don't know, but I've loved computer programs ever since I took a BASIC course at the college where my father taught while I was still in Junior High. We wrote programs that used punch cards. True fact. Things have come a long way since then, and if Mr. Ginsberg can someday make it so that Dr. Fill can finish any puzzle in less than a minute, well then don't we all win?

Honestly, I'm a little surprised Dr. Fill made a mistake on this one, because there were no non-words in the grid. But then, there were several misleading clues ...

So to sum up. Difficult. Several people, Colum and Frannie included, ended up finishing and/or understanding more of the theme than I did. So why am I the one writing the review? (and on my anniversary?!?) well, ... I don't really know. I guess that's just the kind of dedicated blogger I am ... But at least now it's over. See you tomorrow! We've been sitting at Table 2 if you want to stop by. 

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. The nice thing about puzzle five, and the mystique that surrounds it, is that I start with no expectations. And this year I exceeded them (but not by much, as I sort of imagined something odd going on with RAUNCHY or crustaceans/seafood/etc, and knew something was going on with words that sound alike).

    But puzzle five was the only puzzle where I had more than five or so missing/wrong squares. So in that sense it all fit