Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson
magellanic

MSPH12

This past weekend the Burninators and Coed Astronomy teamed up as the Demonic Robot Tyrannosaurs to play in the simulcast of Microsoft Puzzlehunt 12. I had a great time. Everyone in the room got along with each other well. I teamed up with several different people to solve puzzles and made a point to work with people not just on the Burninators. Here's a shout out to Jan, Dale, and Linnsey on Co-eds for helping me play chutes and ladders (and observe a tea party with a duck!), learn the most common chess opening in the game, and wrap my head around a rhombicosidodecahedron. Among many others, of course, both people and puzzles. I greatly enjoyed the experience and am looking ahead already to when we could do this all again.

Rather than gush about how I enjoyed the weekend, I've been thinking about *why* I enjoyed it, so I can replicate those things. They are:

* Fun people to be with. If you can't have a good time with these people outside of solving puzzles, then during the puzzlehunt those puzzles better be *very* good to compensate.

* T-shirts. Doug surprised everyone with shirts for the team, and they're pretty awesome. Great shirts set the attitude of the weekend right.

* Creature comforts. We puzzled at Google where we had a large conference room, a printer that worked, comfortable seating, nearby bathrooms, and parking. Meals were easy to find (nearby restaurants) and it took less than 10 minutes from leaving the room to being asleep *at home* when I needed to take a nap for a few hours.

* I contributed meaningfully to solving puzzles. It seems that, in most hunts, I don't see a puzzle until everyone is stuck on the aha, and I generally don't get the insights that other people miss. Or maybe that the early puzzles in this game needed enough crank-turning that not all the good puzzles were gobbled up before I could blink. It's also possible that, it seemed that few puzzles were Google scavenger hunts for trivia, and so there were more footholds and ways to just try to crack a puzzle by staring at it. So I *did* have a chance to be the person who had an insight that other people hadn't yet had.

* It never hurts to also be doing well. We were in first place in the Bay Area competitive division the entire game, although Wrong Ideas That Appeal To You was a close second for a long time.


So, that's my write up, at least for now.
Tags: puzzling
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