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Everything posted by plasmid

  1. Not silicon or glass, or anywhere along the elemental route. I had to do some research to see how well it would fit the clues, which obviously means it wasn’t what I had in mind. The fourteen makes sense with the atomic number, and I could see how silicon circuitry could invoke concepts of binary to explain the thing about adulating or dispensing slight. But there’s a particular reason why I chose pink and white as the colors of the “roses” that get cultivated, and I don’t think the part about serendipity when woven tight would apply to circuitry because determinism rather than luck is generally associated with electronics (at least in most people's minds to serve as a clue in a riddle).
  2. Wow, that sure would give new meaning to the last couplet, with oxygen as the halo! Not what I have in mind, though; too many other clues would go without an explanation that I could see.
  3. Yep, in the next-to-last sentence you give him an instruction that lets him know which of his two suspects are guilty without letting the eavesdroppers know.
  4. Getting cooler, neither a louse nor optics.
  5. Not a jeweler. If I had been, I would probably have counted Molly's answer as close enough.
  6. Here's what I came up with Edit: an aside Edit2: even further aside
  7. I got a different answer for question #2...
  8. Molly's answer isn't what I had in mind. Combining it with plainglazed's comment does make it make more sense to me (although not for all of the clues, particularly the second doublet), and is getting warmer.
  9. In some ways I could see slate fitting, especially with clues about being woven tight and oddly even if multiple different sizes are patchworked together. I’m not sure if it comes in pink and white, but I can’t think of halos for them and there’s a reason for the number fourteen (although I admit it’s not the first number that someone would think of with the thing I have in mind.)
  10. Now Izzy is making me hungry. The cake is a lie, unfortunately, or at least not the answer to this one. Teeth and braces seems along the right track, but there are a lot of tiny clues scattered around that make something else a clearly better fit.
  11. My band of fourteen cultivates Roses pink and white The oddly even adulates When not dispensing slight Woven tight, mayhaps invoke Serendipity Taken up by flame we stoke In halo fittingly
  12. Wait, did bonanova just say there’s a way to do it with a nasty integral?!?
  13. Ah, this is probably what you have in mind.
  14. The program isn't a proof, it's just an application of a greedy algorithm that starts from states with an empty plate and works backwards to see whether every state could eventually reach one with an empty plate. It covered every possible state for up to 500 jelly beans, but it doesn't prove that a plate can always be cleared if you have something like 8x1012 jelly beans.
  15. I wrote a perl program to do what I said earlier...
  16. @Molly Mae maybe this'll help. Q: How should you arrange all those plates of jelly beans? A: Put them on a table.
  17. Not fully calculated because the math gets extremely messy and complicated pretty fast, but a description of how to go about it Although a better answer might be that if there are 10 people playing a game with at least $10 entry fee and $100 payout with a non-zero chance that no one will win and the house will keep everything if everyone ends up picking a number in common with at least one other player, then your best move is to not play.
  18. My answer would be Edit: addendum It might also be worth saying how big of an effect that would be.
  19. Do we get any information about how your sister pulls out the peas -- like should we act as if the number of peas that gets pulled out is a number drawn from a mean (perfect number of peas to fit in her hand) +/- standard deviation, a Poisson distribution, or something else -- or is that left for us to decide?
  20. Sort of combining the two solutions already given
  21. You are or more seriously
  22. From this screenshot, I can say that Questions that might help work toward a solution if it’s neither of those: Can you say what format the door ID is: Number of characters? All alphabetical? All numeric? Both alpha and numeric? Colors? Coordinates? Is there a reasonably high chance to expect that this should end up spelling out a phrase in plain text when we find the solution? Any previous puzzles in the game building up to this one that we should know about in order to have a sense of how we’re supposed to approach it?
  23. I'm not very smart, but could you find it in your heart to post the question for me anyway?
  24. I think gavinksong is right. I sat down and did the math for the case where you're given that one focus is at (0, 0), and two points on the ellipse are at (x, 1) and (-x, 1) so the second focus must be somewhere on the Y-axis (since that math is reasonably tractable). As you move the second focus around and calculate the point at the top and/or bottom of the resulting ellipse, there are no repeats. Meaning that there is no point on the Y-axis where you could put a third point and have any ambiguity about the ellipse. My original argument was thinking in terms of a circle around the third point that contacts the curve defined by the first two points at multiple sites, but that doesn't happen if the third point is on the curve (at least in this case) -- if you think in terms of the picture from my previous post and gradually changing the value of R so you have two potential locations for the second focus along the curve which move outward along the curve as R increases, then apparently the circle around the third point grows fast enough that it "outruns" the point moving along the curve and doesn't intersect it again. If you were to move the third point farther away from the curve (when I did the math for the case above, I was covering cases where the third point sitting on the curve of potential focus locations), then the further away it gets from the curve the more distance along the curve will be covered as a circle around the third point increases in radius and the less likely you are to see any second intersection. So since it doesn't happen for points on the Y-axis, it seems unlikely to happen anywhere. But I can't definitively prove that three points will be always be enough, especially for cases where the first two given points are different distances from (0, 0) and the curve of potential spots for the second focus is not linear. (Well, there's the trivial case where all of the points including (0, 0) are co-linear so the "ellipse" is a line segment, but I'm not counting that case.)
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