Thursday, November 30, 2006

The News in Brief * / Last Puzzler Answer / New Fortnightly Puzzler

Reiner Knizia Threatened by Sudoku

‘It’s either me or the number puzzle,’ he tells friends

London, England – Late last Saturday at a gathering of London gamers, gaming legend Reiner Knizia admitted feeling threatened by Sudoku, the popular Japanese number puzzle.

Dr. Knizia, creator of more than 200 games, is best known for incorporating the numbers 1 through 9 in many of his designs. Upon hearing about the international success of Sudoku, which also uses the numbers 1 through 9, Knizia was reported to have felt a wave of nausea, after which he fled to the bathroom.

Witnesses reported hearing heavy sobs and the repeated phrase ‘It’s like Lost Cities never happened.’ After several tense minutes, Knizia emerged from the W.C. and announced, “I’ve decided to draw a line right here, right now. It’s either me or the number puzzle.”

Game tester Dieter Hornung was torn. “I don’t see why we have to choose,” said Hornung. “I like Sudoku, and I like Poison. I mean, what’s next, Puerto Rico?”

“Can’t live without Puerto Rico,” he added.

Friend and illustrator Doris Matthäus was concerned for Knizia. “I’ve known Reiner for several years, and he’s never been shaken this badly. Klaus Teuber and Settlers of Catan rocked him a little bit, but nothing before has used numbers so exclusively and without a hint of theme,” said Matthäus. “Sudoku has really invaded his territory.”

Knizia did his best to explain the ultimatum. “This is a war between me and Sudoku,” said Knizia. “I got a PhD in numbers. I understand the elegance of number seven, the elusive nature of number five, the simplicity of number one, the infinitude of number eight. All Sudoku knows is how much it’s getting for syndication.”

Knizia gave his friends nine days to decide. There was a feeling of unease as people left the gaming club, admitted one bystander, yet Knizia seemed confident he had made the right decision.

“Sudoku doesn’t care about you,” he said loudly as gamers left the room, “but I do.”

* 'The News in Brief' is fictitious. While real people are mentioned, any resemblance to real events, statements, or happenings is purely coincidental.

Old Puzzler and Answer

Old Puzzler: 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?



New Fortnightly Puzzler*

I am thinking of a color in 8 letters. Go three letters into the word and stop between the third and fourth letters. From this point to the front of the word, you get a name. From this point to the end of the word, you get a name. Both names are main characters in a famous Science Fiction series. What's the color and what's the series?

* There's no adverb that I know which means every two weeks, so I figured a little cut-and-paste with the English language wouldn't hurt. Thus, I have a new title.


Anonymous said...

Both fortnightly and biweekly are in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It's all good

Smatt said...

For some reason, biweekly didn't make any sense to me. I guess that's what I get for posting at 4 in the morning.

Gerald McD said...

Knizia v. Sudoku -- I hear the wheels grinding in the lawyers' heads already.

Mischa said...

Woo-hoo! I think I know the answer this time. I suppose we'll just wait two weeks to find out.

Anonymous said...


Ender Wiggins and Val(Valentine)

Enders Game

Smatt said...

mwchapel -

I think it's awesome that you cracked this puzzle, probably in a short period of time, but I must ask you not to write the answer in the comments section to give others a shot.

With this one, there's a very low chance of having two answers, but in the future if you want to check your answer, you can always write to I'll be more than happy to verify, give hints, etc.

Thanks for reading and playing.

Anonymous said...

So I guess I don't win a prize? ;)

Sorry, guess the "keep answers to yourself" rule wasn't in the translation. ;)