Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The News in Brief / Weekly Puzzler / Hive Thoughts
Front Porch Classics to Release Shut-the-Box Sequel
Shut-Your-Box Promises Great Family Fun, Says Exec
Seattle, WA – This past Monday, Front Porch Classics, Inc. announced the release of the much anticipated Shut-Your-Box, just in time for the holiday season.
A sequel to FPC’s classic game of chance Shut-the-Box, Shut-Your-Box is about making other people shut up. The box itself is shaped like a mouth, and instead of numbered tiles, Shut-Your-Box contains several "teeth" that players "knock out" with dice rolling.
"I don’t know why we didn’t think of it sooner," said FPC CEO Helen Rockey. "I mean, knocking the crap out of someone is practically an American tradition. With Shut-Your-Box, you can bring home the joy of a good ass whooping to your living room coffee table. I guarantee hours of great family fun."
Other FPC executives agreed. "Shut-Your-Box promises the same math skills as the original," said Product Development Manager Dan Tibbles, "as well as the thrill of knocking the teeth out of someone’s mouth. You simply can’t beat this kind of entertainment."
Some parent groups expressed concern over the new release. "It’s so violent," said Betty Smithwick founder of Smart Parenting Now, "It just doesn’t sit well with me." When asked to compare Shut-Your-Box with FPC’s Dread Pirate and the built-in themes of theft and high seas anarchy, she replied, "Come on. I’m talking about a big mouth with busted teeth in my living room, not some numb-nuts pirate game."
Several consumers were glad to purchase the game. "Sometimes I want to knock the living daylights out of my kids," said one parent who wished to remain anonymous, "but that ain’t right. With Shut-Your-Box, I can come real close to the real thing and not go to prison. To me, that’s worth the fifty bucks."
Forever committed to producing high quality-looking games, Front Porch Classics executives are already responding to customer demand. "We’re excited about the response to Shut-Your-Box, and we’re already planning a third game in this series," said Rockey. "I can’t give away too much right now, but the working title is ‘Shut-Your-Ass.’"
Credit and thanks go out to Jonathan Crummett for the original seed to the above article.
A friend of mine works for National Instruments or NI for short, so I wrote an NI puzzle for him. Here it is: there is a common road sign in two words, four letters in the first and four letters in the second. Three letters in the first are repeated in the same order in the second, though not consecutively. Were I to remove these repeated letters, the remaining letters would be N and I. What’s the sign?
A quick update on the Hive playing:
I think I was way off on my earlier guesswork. I still think White (or whichever color goes first) has a huge advantage, but perhaps not as big as I originally thought. If Black plays several pieces on the board (a sort of waiting game), then he/she can respond to White’s moves with a bit more force and timeliness. One thing is for sure and that is that Black (or whoever goes second) must make many defensive plays early on to have any chance for success in the game. The stats right now are in White’s favor, but Black had a breakthrough victory this week. There is more to this little insect game than meets the eye.