Thursday, December 14, 2006

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

Mike Selinker Confesses to Hating Kill Doctor Lucky

Board Game Geek Ranking 1 Discovered

Seattle, WA – Late Wednesday night, game inventors and business partners Mike Selinker and James Ernest, President of Cheapass Games, had a blowout fight in Ernest’s Cheapass office space.

According to Ernest, the evening was meant to be a casual brainstorming session until he discovered something on the popular internet gaming site Board Game Geek. “I was just fiddling around on the computer to get some ideas,” said Ernest, “and I googled Mike’s name for kicks. What I found was unbelievable.”

Ernest discovered a user review by “M. Selinker” rating Kill Doctor Lucky a 1, the lowest possible rating, usually reserved for the most pronounced hatred of a game. “At that point, I didn’t know exactly what to do, but I figured there could be any number of M. Selinker’s who hated my game, certainly more than one. But my curiosity got me, so I asked.”

Selinker responded, “Well, what did he or she write?” Ernest replied by quoting the M. Selinker review: “You are stupid, stupid, stupid for playing this game.”

“Yep, that was me,” said Selinker.

According to Selinker, the feud began long ago over the billing of their names on games ranging from Fightball to Gloria Mundi. “I’ve gotten second billing from the beginning, and I’m sick and tired of it,” said Selinker. “What’s worse is that I’m considered a cheapass by association, and I’m not even part of that company.”

The fight lasted about a minute, but the damage was done. Ernest is quoted as saying that Selinker’s user review is “unforgivable,” and Selinker has been unwilling to back down from his top billing demands.

Unable to resolve the issues, the two have severed all ties. Ernest has promised to start a new company called Poop on Selinker Games. “I want to remember Mike for all the good he brought to gaming,” said Ernest.

Selinker however doesn’t seem unhappy with the way things have worked out. “Overall, I’m relieved,” he said. “I’ve hated Kill Doctor Lucky for so long, and it was just never the right time to tell James. Now I can write all the negative user reviews I want, get the solo billing for my games, and finally move on with my life.”

* 'The News in Briefs' is fictitious (notice the slight change by the way). While
real people are mentioned, any resemblance to real events, statements, or
happenings is purely coincidental.

Old Puzzler and Answer

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?

Answer: LAVENDER; VAL & ENDER from the Ender series of books by Orson Scott Card


New Fortnightly Puzzler

This is more of a challenge this week because I'll readily admit that I do not have an answer. When crafting a puzzle, I almost always start with an answer. On occasion, I'll start with the question or seemingly impossible premise in the search for something interesting. This is one such case.

Maybe a year ago, I started trying to find words that matched up with common abbreviated letters. There are some easy ones like HEPATITIS for the Environmental Protection Agency, or if I wanted the letters in any order, then PALE would do.

Well, it's pretty easy to find words with certain letters, so I added the constraint that the letters of the abbreviation had to appear in the word in the same order (though not necessarily in adjacent positions). HEPATITIS still works with this constraint as well as several others such as EMPATHY. Several other abbreviations worked; one did not. Today, I pass onto you this last one.

Find a word which contains the letters R, S, V, and P in that order. You can email answers to I'll give you credit and post your name in the next column. Good luck.

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