Profile

Cover photo
Daniel Egnor
Attended Caltech
Lives in Palo Alto, CA
4,371 followers|164,955 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideosReviews

Stream

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
For the curious, I wrote up a report on the process of designing and building the little tank toys used in Decathlon 9.
12
1
Daniel Egnor's profile photoJustin Graham's profile photoGlenn Willen's profile photoDebbie G's profile photo
8 comments
 
I tried commenting directly on your blog to no avail so I'll paraphrase: 
What an impressive account of an impressive project. I had no idea all that went into creating such a delight. I am continually impressed by your dedication, work ethic, stamina, and innovation. The puzzle community is lucky to have you. 
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
A few years back, I had a hunt puzzle idea which I implemented in test form.

The puzzle as delivered is a page with four WiFi logos, one gray and hollow. Using your phone or computer, you discover three open wireless networks with odd looking names in question format:

popular citrus fruit
letter after k
very smart person

If you connect to each network, you discover that a transparent proxy is editing the Internet. In [popular citrus fruit] all images are color-reversed. In [letter after k] text is run through a substitution cipher that maps a-z to z-a. In [very smart person] all copies of the letter I are removed.

That means each question's obvious answer is different in that hotspot's "bizarro internet": Orange => blue, L => J, genius => genus. That creates a fourth question, [blue j genus], which is the name of a fourth, hidden hotspot. In that hotspot, the answer to that question (blue jay genus => cyanocitta) is replaced with the puzzle answer.

Clever, no?

But impossible to implement now. In this paranoid age, many popular sites, most importantly for this purpose Google, use encryption (https) by default, foiling middlemen who inspect or modify web traffic.

THANKS SNOWDEN

(In reality, https-by-default was a thing well before the Snowden revelations. But I like blaming Snowden for my puzzle idea's death, since it's at least three layers of shoot-the-messenger wrong...)
14
Daniel Egnor's profile photoWes Carroll's profile photoElkin Tat's profile photo
4 comments
 
And although not yet 3 am (and perhaps I should wait a few more hours to really let this cook), this gives me a cunning plan....
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
(Administrivia: There have been several recent posts here that were arguably about puzzles, but not puzzle hunts in any way. It's an easy misunderstanding and the line is blurry, but I'm going to aggressively delete posts which aren't hunt-related, or at least of significant interest to the hunt community. I'm sure all the recent posts were in good faith, I'm just drawing the subject matter boundary to try to keep the signal level high. Feel free to object in the comments on this post.)
13
Wes Carroll's profile photoDavid Miller's profile photo
2 comments
 
And how.  I have been putting off removing myself from the group.  Now I'm psyched again!
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
10
Corin Anderson's profile photoBruce Lin's profile photo
3 comments
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
I ran into this site -- seems to be some sort of Russian puzzle hunt directory.

Apparently there's an upcoming hunt that's simulcast to 3 dozen+ Russian cities? There will be 15 puzzles, the same puzzles in every city, "its organizers undertake to inspect and test all the participating cities, in order to get as close to the implementation of the principle of equal conditions for all teams and cities". Teams of 2-5 players, "Vehicle category B", internet access and flashlight required.

You need to pay $15 (I think that's USD, cash on hand?) to play. It's to raise funds for health care for a player's relative who was injured in an accident.

I wonder if it's for real, what the puzzles are like, ... not that I'm flying to Russia in two weeks or anything.
2
Daniel Egnor's profile photoLarry Hosken's profile photo
4 comments
 
Hmm those formats don't seem puzzly. But the upcoming game sounded more puzzle hunt like: "The game has 15 levels, each puzzle (the puzzle are the same for all cities.) Having solved the puzzle, you'll find a place where you have to come and find the code label. Enter the key words in the answer box, you are taken to the next level. After going 15 levels - will pass the whole game."

The word "puzzle" is already pretty overloaded, though, and with Google Translate in the mix... there could be serious meaning lost in translation.
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Woot! Remember, kids, the first day or two of a SCRAP event can be the "hardcore", "extra spicy" version...

It also seems like tickets may be going fast, especially if you want groups of 6. "Early bird" tickets have already sold out for some dates!
3
Daniel Egnor's profile photoBruce Lin's profile photo
4 comments
 
My comment was on the mark: You escaped and we didn't! I thought the game was perfectly fair, though.
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
4,371 people
Ben Jai's profile photo

Daniel Egnor

Discussion  - 
 
Woot!
9
Larry Hosken's profile photoMelinda Owens's profile photoGlenn Willen's profile photoTyler Hinman's profile photo
7 comments
 
OK, thanks for letting me know.
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
February tickets on sale. Who's done this so far? Is it good? More fun/less fun/easier/harder/more fair/less fair than the first?
2
Allen Cohn's profile photoPaul Rundle's profile photoJustin Graham's profile photoGlenn Willen's profile photo
7 comments
 
It's a lot of fun, particularly the way "time travel" is involved.  I feel that it's slightly easier than the first one.  I think each room required one leap that was slightly unintuitive, but the Time Travel Lab's was less of a stretch.

+Justin Graham I had two 10-year-olds on my team, and they were able to contribute.  There are times when the entire team has to coordinate well, though.  You'd have to make certain your kids are able to handle having their focus yanked from one thing to another at a moment's notice without resistance or frustration.  You won't be able to let them just roam freely around the room for the whole hour like you might have in the previous room.
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
In other "wacky puzzle hunts from other countries"...

These are the puzzles and solutions from last year's TMOU (a hunt in the Czech Republic). This year's TMOU is coming up next week I think. Apparently they get thousands of players.

Anyway these puzzles, as best I can understand them via Google Translate, look totally awesome, and completely in line with our puzzle hunt traditions (encodings and all). Highly recommended reading. Just looking through the solutions gives me a number of ideas. And the hunt as a whole contained what sounds like a pretty amazing twist.

This makes me actually want to play TMOU, but I need to find Czech friends who would take on a useless English-only solver.
4
Daniel Egnor's profile photoBruce Lin's profile photoJustin Graham's profile photoStanislav Basovnik's profile photo
8 comments
 
It all seems really well-organised and centralised. There's a 108-page almanac from 2008 with details of their previous games available online as a big PDF from http://www.tmou.cz/archiv/almanach_tmou - section 2.3 clearly touches on the variations of the puzzle hunt tradition from around the world, so they have evidently been paying lots of attention for a long time. Plus they have a theme song (!!) at http://www.tmou.cz/archiv/hymna_tmou and a puzzle hunt calendar .cz at http://www.kasiopea.cz/kalendar-sifrovacich-her/ and everything.

I'm a bit in love.
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
I thought this was a nice interview, with more depth than the usual puzzle hunt coverage. (Phil Dasler is one of the co-creators of the Famine Game.)
2
Daniel Egnor's profile photoTodd Etter's profile photo
2 comments
 
They should have done mine first... Phil's is a lot better.  :)
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
 
First Midnight Madness press. ("Goldman Fights Morgan", but who wins?)

Thanks to +Bruce Lin  for pointing out: The desktop version has a left sidebar of photos, and if you scroll all the way down there's a nice picture of +Corin Anderson and +Melinda Owens at the finish line.

"The West Coast Burninators, with some high-tech types who tackle puzzles like this on a regular basis, came in first." -- I could quibble (not all of us are West Coast or high-tech types) but it's actually not a terrible summary.

The NYT will reportedly have a feature article on this game next Sunday, supposedly scheduled to take the front page of the Lifestyles (I think?) section.

I had an amazing, memorable time with our team.
7
Daniel Egnor's profile photoNikolai Lokteff's profile photoBruce Lin's profile photoJustin Graham's profile photo
14 comments
 
I like the picture of the team with Leon.  Pretty awesome they brought him along.  I'm looking forward to the full write up and/or the Snoutcast!
Add a comment...

Daniel Egnor
owner

Discussion  - 
As evidenced by Wei-Hwa's seven part travel series, "How to Repeatedly Get Lost Along the Way from Pittsburgh to Columbus", yesterday was a long day. (If you're the kind of person who looks at datestamps, you might question m...
1
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
4,371 people
Ben Jai's profile photo
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Palo Alto, CA
Previously
Upper West Side, New York, NY - Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA - Pasadena, CA - Ithaca, NY - Santa Fe, NM - Branchport, NY
Links
Other profiles
Contributor to
Education
  • Caltech
    computer science, 1992 - 1996
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
Awesome collection of board games!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Quality: Very goodAppeal: GoodService: Very good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
63 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: Very goodService: Very good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago