Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off-Day Puzzle #6: Solution

Game for another word search puzzle? Well, you had no choice. The answer to yesterday's puzzle is our dearly departed Jose Lima.

Listed below are the 34 words, and the cell where each begins can be found in parenthesis (see grid at bottom for cell labeling scheme):

  1. Andre (IIIF1)
  2. Balks (IE5)
  3. Broom (IVF6)
  4. Casey (VIA6)
  5. Curve (VIA6)
  6. Curve (IIA5)
  7. DeWitt (IA2)
  8. Dives (IIIE5)
  9. Dodger (IVB1)
  10. Ethier (VID6)
  11. Garret (IVC6)
  12. George (IID1)
  13. Gnats (IF1)
  14. Green (VIB5)
  15. Grudge (VIF3)
  16. Hiroki (IF6)
  17. James (IIA1)
  18. Kemp (VF2)
  19. Kuroda (IF4)
  20. Larry (IA6)
  21. Loney (IA6)
  22. Ortiz (IIB5)
  23. Ramon (ID6)
  24. Ronnie (IAI)
  25. Saves (VA3)
  26. Seams (IA4)
  27. Sinker (IIC6)
  28. Slider (IB1)
  29. Smonk (VF1)
  30. Stars (VIB6)
  31. Steal (VIA1)
  32. Thighs (VIA2)
  33. Torre (IF2)
  34. Xavier (IE3)

Now let's shade in green each of the 34 words:

(click image to enlarge)

And then, borrowing from Sax's word search puzzle from '08, if you read the unused squares and parse (and punctuate) them properly, they spell the following:

Tinyurl, for first two letters read blanks; last five: MRFGJ

The reference is to popular SoSG Puzzle device tinyurl, and the character string following the tinyurl.com/xxxxxxx that comprise the url. The last five letters are given: MRFGJ. For the first two, it says "read blanks." If you take a step back and imagine the puzzle layers truly formed a 6x6 cube, you should see that the 22 blank cells clearly form the characters "23." (yes, I realize those are numbers, not letters...deal):

Put it all together to get tinyurl.com/23mrfgj...Jose Lima!

Congratulations to UBragg, Golem, Jason, Mr F, Greg Finley, Keven C, Josh S, MLASF, J Steve, Mr C, and Drewdez.

And don't forget folks, next Monday, June 21, 7am is the Grand Slam Puzzle, which also wraps up the first half of the puzzle season. It's worth 120 pts, its the last puzzle before the first round of prizes is awarded, and its the only puzzle whose points count towards both rounds of prizes!


Nostradamus said...

Nice! Not only will I not be working, I'll be mid-flight across the country (on an internet-friendly carrier) with nothing better to do.

Fred's Brim said...

oh man
even the solutions hurt my feeble brain

Josh S. said...

I'm sure I wasn't the only one hindered by being told to look for letters when we were supposed to look for numbers.

It's kind of like saying the solution to the puzzle is a Dodger: Derek Jeter.

Matt said...

The closest I got to solving this is led me to a website that was selling camera batteries, and a German online newspaper.

That is to say, not close...

Josh S. said...

I got the German online newspaper about 4 different times.

Nostradamus said...

I did have a semantic quibble with the numbers/letters, but I've never had a tinyurl come through with all alpha characters, so I didn't waste too much time on that wild goose chase.

Josh S. said...

Did anyone else get the website with the picture of T-Pain? That led me to check if anyone was using T-Pain as their walk-up music.

Mr. C: You can customize TinyURLs too, so it was a sizable sticking point for me.

Jason said...

I got the German newspaper and immediately after wards an attempt led me to a porn site. That got me into some trouble at work.

Nostradamus said...


True, but MRFGJ seems appropriately randon, I just went on a hunch, I guess.

Nostradamus said...

^This just in, having an iPad has made me a terrible speller. Random is what we're looking for.

MR.F said...

Mr. F, G(ood) J(ob).

What? It wasn't a personal message to me?

berkowit28 said...

I got to the same online German newspaper (Welt Online) by following instructions (blank letters being spaces). Also to another one by trying "00" for two blank letters. My other 51 attempts just led to errors. However, I did not think of visualizing the blanks in the puzzle for "read blanks", which is the crucial lateral thinking needed. If I had done so, I'm sure I would have "seen" the 23 and tried it out, so I can't blame numbers-for-letters for anything. It's not as if I saw the 23 and rejected it.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Yeah, I was looking for letters.

MR.F said...

First I realized the blanks made some sort of pattern. Then I realized that they could be letters in 3D. Then both combinations of the letters Z and E did not work and I realized they were 2's and 3's. By that time I forgot the clue was that they were letters.

QuadSevens said...

I started to go through all the possible combinations of letters for the "first two" at one point. After "ad" I realized that 26 squared was 676 and gave up.

Greg Finley said...


Just tell IT that you didn't mean to look at porn, you were just solving a puzzle for an online sports blog. They'll understand.

Jason said...

@Greg - That's the thing, I am in IT so, theoretically I should know better.

I actually wrote a little script that tried every letter combination for the first two and hit them all looking for something baseball related. Unfortunately I didn't include numbers as possibilities so it didn't really help but that is how I discovered such gems as:

* idealady.com
* an article on environmentally safe ways to eliminate cockroaches in NYC
* an article on racist crayons
* the previously mentioned porn site

MR.F said...

I first got the facebook page of one Eran Pasternak.

Josh S. said...

Jason said: "* an article on racist crayons"

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Keven C said...

I'm filing my official protest months later on behalf of Team Flo ... Jason, who works in IT, obviously used performance-enhancing, uh, scripts to win that contest.

/sour grapes

Jason said...

I swear there were no scripting shenanigans during Flo v. Deltalina or SoSG March Madness. This was just a case of doing the same math as QuadSevens and doing what we IT people do best, be lazy and have the computer do all the work.

* I'm not here to talk about the past.
* {waves finger} I have never used steroids. Period.
* {via my attorney} I have not broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic.

Jason said...

@Josh S - Here you go...


Nostradamus said...

There is a much higher percentage of IT staff here than in the general population. Coincidence?

Golem said...

Ah, my solve was not clean! I never found the pattern in the blanks. I interpreted as follows:

1. Get a tinyURL for the puzzle page, http://www.sonsofstevegarvey.com/2010/06/off-day-puzzle-6-3-d-word-search.html

2. For the first two characters, read the "blank"s from the tinyURL, i.e. leave them alone. For the last five, replace them with mrfgj.

3. The tinyURL I found was http://tinyurl.com/23y2y7k, which gave me http://tinyurl.com/23mrfgj after that transformation in step 2.

What a crazy piece of luck that the puzzle's tinyURL was a 7-character string that began with 23!

Eric Karros said...

Four random thoughts:

1) Golem, you are a lucky bastard. And an honest one. I mean that in a good way (the former phrase, not necessarily the latter).

2) Sorry about the letter vs character issue, when making the puzzle I cornered myself into leaving only 7 letters for the word and couldn't back out without essentially starting over or shorten to 5 (for 'chars' or something). I tried a few different phrases for the final clue but settled on the one you all saw...I didn't realize it would cause any pain.

3) I originally had it as a 4D puzzle, but realized the biggest reasonable 4D size I could make was 5x5x5x5, meaning words would be to 4 and 5 letters long. With so many dimensions and directions a word could go, I couldn't ensure a 4-letter word didn't, by pure coincidence, appear twice. I shuddered at the thought of the (totally justified) protests if I screwed that up. So I downsized to 3D.

4) Do we have more attorneys or IT folks?

Nostradamus said...


For #4, I think we're even up for those declared (counting myself as de facto IT)