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mit mystery hunt

lately, my research projects have begun to swell in terms of quantity, load (and hopefully importance.)  they sit on my head and threaten my cherished air supply, much in the way the obese and hirsute kazakh producer azamat attempts to suffocate borat with his ass cheeks.

nevertheless, i allocated zero of yesterday to getting any research done.  instead, sean, myself, and an unnamed professor in the alm lab devoted most of our day to solving word puzzles.  yesterday, mit’s annual mystery hunt commenced.
it’s ridiculous – below is one of the first puzzles; it’s considered an easy one:

Winning is Everything

Forget those philosophers who claim it’s all about how you play the game. It’s all about winning! At least most of these people agree with me.

“The jay of winning is pot os tramatic as the hosses were, because E experted us to win.”

“Win ons far Che Hipper.”

“Ove shiuld always pray tairly when Ono has tre winning yards.”

“Winning is only halo of is. Having fen is the other Ralf.”

“Don’t tight a bottle if you don’t Gein anything by winning.”

“Yon can’t foke quality Amy Mora than you can fane a good seal.”

“The Kay to winning is noise Unser stress.”

“Winning wastes gold.”

“The bag secret to winning erections is to get mare votes than your opponent.”

“Couching in basy. Winning os the hand pert.”

That took the three of us three hours to solve.  (It’s actually not that bad – but we completely “over-thought” the problem.)  Here’s another “first-rounder”:

Team Dynamics

“Who’s on the Hunt teams this year?”

“Well, on one team there’s

8 9 6 7 7 4 12 = 5

and on another, you’ll find

4 8 6 9 6 7 5 8 6 = 4

and of course we have

7 4 3 6 6 8 6 4 = 5

and don’t forget

5 11 7 9 7 7 6 5 = 5

and say, what about

6 6 10 9 8 9 8 10 = 3

and there’s always

5 7 6 8 7 7 6 4 5 4 6 = 1

and I can’t leave out

6 7 7 4 10 5 5 6 11 = 6

and rounding out the list is

6 8 4 5 6 9 7 6 3 3 = 4

Yup, those are the teams. Pretty neat, huh?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Say that again?”

this isn’t mental masturbation – it’s mental sadism.  these types of stumpers are the worst: half the riddle is just trying to figure out what the question is.  in total, several dozen of these types of puzzles are distributed to about 40 teams at mit.  i hear there are something like 1200 people participating this year (most of whom take it quite seriously).
we dropped out after the first round.

which is probably for the best – the winning team’s prize: construction of the next year’s hunt.

[solutions will be posted monday, after the hunt ends.]

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