Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Riddle Me This

I have this love/hate relationship with riddles. I'm a born know-it-all so getting the answer to something is immensely satisfying, but I'm also easily frustrated, so if there's an answer sheet, I'm peeking at it. But I enjoy seeing the answer almost as much as I enjoy figuring things out on my own. I'm always impressed by the work involved in something complicated and sometimes a hint helps push me closer to that place of appreciation and away from the place where i fume and swear and yell that I don't care if I get the answer, I just want to get out of this neverending hellhole I've dragged myself into!

Right. Calm now.

I only bring this up because today, in between doing somewhat productive things, I went back to some extensive, impressive online riddles that I'd tooled with in the past, as well as one new one. I actually like having the attention span of a goldfish. It makes re-doing things like this all the more fun because I don't remember them from the first time! I also like gentle clues but the internet is all about "cheats" and "walkthroughs" and very light on "hints" so it makes doing these somewhat difficult, too. I thought I'd share some of these hurtyourbrain puzzles in case you, like me, are cursed with a brain that repels work and a desire to cry more on a daily basis.

1. Neutral Riddle

This is the new-to-me one I discovered and it's a little easier (so far) than others I've tried - which of course, for my impatient brain means it's almost impossible. The clues and hints they offer for the first few puzzles are great, because they get you into the right mindset for this kind of teaser while at the same time making you believe you could almost do this. Almost.

2. Funny Farm

Good lord - I started this one in 2009 on the advice of a colleague and am *still* not finished it. We were in French training together and on our breaks we needed to do something that didn't involve conjugating - enter Funny Farm. You start with what looks like one of the old "brainstorming" sheets I used to have to complete before writing a short story in middle school. "On the farm" in the centre, with blocks coming out of it, indicating words that relate to said farm. You use the box on the left-hand side to type in an answer you think might be in that puzzle, then click enter to see if you're right. Easy as pie. Sure, you can guess "cow" and "horse" - those are probably there, but when you realize the puzzle is made up of 24 more squares exactly like that one, and that the highlighted words you come across are again connected well... let's just say it took me two tries to pass my French oral exam. I may not have used all my free time effectively.

3. This is Not Tom

The last and hardest of the bunch, this was a puzzle started in 2009 and it is both hard an awesome. It starts with a picture of a man in a robe and the simple words "this is not tom." What follows is a series of maddening clues bringing you pieces of a somewhat disturbing novella written by John Green (who is a great and well-know Young Adult writer and you should read his stuff). There was some discomfort at the time over whether this was real or not and I leave it to you to see how convinced you are by the tale (which, I believe, remains unfinished). I remember being into this around the time it was released, so I don't know if all the clues work as well as they once did (YouTube comments feature at some point), but it is brilliant. And crazy. And will require you to "crowdsource" at some point (cheat) because it is meant to be solved as a group. Sometimes there's a box to fill in the answer, sometimes you change a URL but there is a lot of material here. And it is SO rewarding when you get one.

To get you started on the first riddle, so you don't feel insane: the sentence is missing something. That something is also a homonym. That homonym is on that page. Click on it, and begin.

I hope you enjoy the madness of your own brain matter here - and feel free to consult. I'm generous in my hintage.

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