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Thu Dec 20, 2012 at  9:54 AM PT     Mid-week progress report:

All the Bad Translations were solved on Sunday, as was science's Quickie-Crostic.

This week's JulieCrostic was solved Sunday evening (two hours forty-four minutes solving time) and the unsolved JulieCrostic from the December 2 potluck party was solved Tuesday evening (2 weeks 1 day 22 hours solving time).

That leaves just the JulieCrostic from last week still to finish solving. (And it's close to solved. All folks need to do is (a) figure out what the verticals say, and then (b) figure out what the verticals mean. How hard could that be?)

Time once again for the weekly Daily Kos puzzle party!

On tap tonight: four JulieCrostics!

Why so many? Because the JulieCrostic I posed last week wasn't completely solved yet, and the JulieCrostic I posed 2 weeks ago hasn't had a single clue solved yet. So you get another chance at solving those tonight.

You also get a new JulieCrostic from me and a new JulieCrostic from science. These should be a bit easier to solve than the two unsolved ones -- and solving the new one I created may help you figure out the solution to last week's puzzle. (Or, if you solve last week's puzzle first, it may help you figure out the solution to this week's puzzle.)

Also tonight: a Sunday Puzzle workshop, demonstrating how to solve a Crypto-Gremlin.

Plus: after 2 weeks of effort we're down to only one unsolved Bad Translation movie quote. Let's see if anyone can figure out what it is ...

First up: Bad Translations.

Of the 30 mistranslated movie quotes science provided for this month's potluck puzzle party, we solved 24 the first week and 4 more last week, leaving 2 for this week.

Earlier today UnionMade solved one of those.  The quote which came out of sciences mistranslation machine as

11. 'We do not know. See. Advantage.' (1984)
was originally
"We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" [Ghostbusters, 1984]
So that leaves only one Bad Translation to go:
6. 'You can change your life, but do not want to go!' (1995)
Since the quotes are arranged alphabetically by title of their movies, this quote has to come from a movie which falls alphabetically between Blues Brothers and Casablanca...

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Sunday Puzzle Workshop: a walk-through on solving a Crypto-Gremlin

Here's the Crypto-Gremlin from the potluck puzzle party:

   We could find pi bayseweyoud toiklelz jyxo ceksy; neli lirdud cd qiuo comfy qiuo pi jddre uycdlecdud ly cird neli goby.

    Ciary Ljiekd

It's been solved -- UnionMade posted the solution this morning.

For the benefit of those of you who are new to Crypto-Gremlins, here's a demonstration of how to solve this one in under 5 minutes.

Quick review of what Crypto-Gremlins are first. They're cryptograms in which every word begins with a consonant (or consonant sound) and ends with a vowel (or vowel sound). If the words don't naturally start and end that way, I add in letters of my choosing to make them start and end that way before I encrypt the text. (You can find a more detailed explanation here, but that should give you the basic idea.) What this does is creates cryptograms which cannot be solved by simply by a computer running through all the letter substitution possibilities -- but which can be solved through the use of logic and human wits.

Step 1: go to the American Cryptogram Association site in order to be able to use their handy letter substitution tool. Once you're there, copy/paste the text into the box.
Step 2: look at the last letters of the words to see what the vowels are.

Okay: there are words ending in E, D, I, Z, O and Y.  So those (in an order we don't yet know) are A, E, I, O, U and Y.

[If there were more than 6 letters found at the ends of words, then the additional letters could be H as in though, W as in window, T as in ballet, etc. That could make things harder. But there were only 6 letters used for word-enders, so we don't have to worry about that this time.]

Step 3: There are no 3-letter words (alas!) so let's start by looking at the 2-letter words.  E, I, D and Y each appear in 2-letter words, so these could be A or I (1-letter word with false consonant start) or they could be E, O, or Y (2nd letter of genuine 2-letter words). That means one of the remaining two letters, O or Z, must stand for U.
Step 4: look at the vowel sequences in words.

Aha! There's a word, bayseweyoud, with 3 consecutive vowels!

So the letter sequence EYOU is likely ious

So plug in E=I, Y=O, O=U, and U=S, and see where that gets us...

Step 5:Okay, looking over what that does, the 4-letter word  qiuo = _ _ s u

The U at the end is obviously an added letter. So this is either a 2-letter word with a fake consonant beginning or a 3-letter word with all letters genuine.

If it's a two letter, it could be AS, IS, or US. But it can't be IS or US, because those vowels are already accounted for. If it's a 3-letter word it could be HAS, HIS, or WAS -- but again, HIS is out of the running. So the I of QIUO must stand for an A. Plug in I=A.

Step 6: All right, that's 4 vowels (A, I, O and U) accounted for; that leaves E and Y.

Since there's a double D (in JDDRE), D must be E (and, by process of elimination, Z must be Y). Plug these in.

Step 7: look at what's going on with TOIKLELZ. It now reads _ u a _ _ i _ y . Since there aren't any common words beginning ua..., the first letter (T) must be genuine. It's not clear yet whether the final Y is genuine or not, though.

So go to, plug in ?ua??i? and ?ua??i?y.

No common words show up in the list for the first search; quantity and quantify show up for the second. So the word must be quantity. Plug in T=Q, K=N, L=T.

Step 8: It's now obvious that UYCDLECDUD is sometimes; plug in C=M.
Step 9: at this point enough is filled in that the rest is easy to crack -- either by seeing that COMFY is much, that  CIRD NELI GOBY is make it up, or that the author ("CIARY LJIEKD") is Mark Twain.

We now have the entire quote: "I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up."

Hoo! Takes longer to explain it than it does to solve it!

Okay, enough explaining. It's JulieCrostic time...

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Here's a quick JulieCrostic from science:

1.     with 4, a score
2.     end of Sanford
3.     porn domain

4.     see 1
5.     owned by pucklady, but not science or Nova
6.     2 times 4 plus 1

7.     the spot
8.     part of a gas company
9.     Rob Cohen film

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Here's a new JulieCrostic from me:

1. brown or ginger
2. what 15's spouse couldn't eat
3. fast lovers
4. oranges
5. russell and rubble, initially
6. back spice
7. w
8. arrogance
9. young woman
10. kind of limit
11. comes repeatedly before there's knocking
12. start of advice to billy
13. music or sheet
14. grate
15. famous dieter
16. speaks but doesn't make much sense
17. unlettered
18. doorway for person with extremely serious disability
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Here's the JulieCrostic which was mostly solved last week -- but people still haven't figured out exactly what the verticals are or what they mean...

1. tv calling
2. lancaster ward
3. explosions
4. blood-sucker
5. deceive
6. heart
7. little guy
8. born followers
9. exhaust supply
10. kiln
11. make less effort than one could
12. democratic donkey
13. quilt without an alien
14. five-o passport
15. this is partly to tempt you
16. murderer's death
17. did this up and down
18. cringes
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And lastly, here's the unsolved JulieCrostic from 2 weeks ago:

1. with 13, score
2. half a dog
3. odd follower
4. den for cute mammal
5. with 14, first name of a former president [one who was worse than bush!]
6. diana's predecessor
7. same as 17
8. mountain or sea
9. with 5, detective
10. with 9, hallucinogen
11. nickname for mr. rogers
12. covenant
13. with 1, this follows num [or: a shake]
14. with 1 and 2, also
15. pickpocket
16. 11-year-old player
18. group which aims to set theatre free
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