Sunday, April 13, 2008

Puzzle addiction

Morgan is an enabler. She's gotten me totally addicted to an online word puzzle game called Funny Farm. It's a word association game in which you try to guess all the words in a section of the puzzle, and when you get words that overlap the boundary of that section and another, the new section opens up. But not all the associations are literal or direct -- that's the maddening part.

For example, when you start, they give you the center section, which has the theme "on the farm." So when I started, I entered things like "cow," "pig," and "chicken," and they all appeared, along with blank boxes related to them. For chicken, three of those boxes were obvious: "rooster," "hen," and "egg." But what the frak was the fourth, three-letter word. Turns out it wasn't a word at all but an acronym: KFC. Ugh. And "pig" overlapped with the neighboring section on "religions," so of course "pig" connected, ironically in a way, to "Judaism" and "Islam." That was pretty obvious, but a couple of the other farm-religion connections were more groaners.

I pretty quickly hit a wall, but then I joined up my puzzle with other people's puzzles, and got some answers and was able to proceed in the new sections and open up even more. But now I'm stymied again. Even Google and Google Sets aren't helping now.

I dare you to play and not get addicted yourself. If you want to try it on your own, click the Funny Farm link above and give it a go. If you want to help out with my game in progress or join it up with yours later, use this link to get to my game. If you click on "Save Game" on your game, you get the unique URL for a game in progress. Past mine into yours or vice versa and you'll have a combined game. As long as you have cookies operating on your browser, your computer will save your game after every guess and you'll always come back to where you left off.

Anyone want to help me with my game in progress?

Update: If you get totally frustrated and just want all the answers, just google around and you'll find discussion boards with hints and even total keys. (I found the latter at lazylaces.com.)

Or if you just want a few hints to get you going again, follow the link to Morgan's blog and combine your game with some of the links there -- they're not too far along at that point. I'd post another link to my game in progress, but I'm nearing the end and it might spoil some of the fun.

Update 2: I have now finished the game. Yeah, I cheated a lot, but I also did a bunch myself. So if anyone just wants to get on with their work and stop obsessing -- as I did -- let me know and I'll send you the link for the completed game. The meta-puzzle answer is a single word, btw, and if you type it in, the text at the top says you've completed the game. Not very exciting.

22 comments:

squadratomagico said...

I'm playing -- got some by on the clock! Noon & midnight!

Steve Muhlberger said...

I got a 404 on the Funny Farm link, and I can't quite figure out what to do.

Dr. Virago said...

Yeah, I just figure those out myself. I've combined with someone else now, which I kind of wish I hadn't done, because he'd finished whole sections I didn't get to yet. But still, I got some satisfaction in filling in his blanks.

Speaking of noon and midnight, I know what the phrase connected to midnight is -- hint: it's a song title -- but what's the 4-letter word connected to noon?

squadratomagico said...

high

Dr. Virago said...

Steve - it's fixed now.

Dr. Virago said...

Sq - duh! ugh!

meg said...

I added a couple of superheroes, but then I got stuck.

Liza said...

in magazines, "news" by newspapers; by Presidents (far left, second row), George W. Bush, war, war on terror.

Thanks for the distraction!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Oh, thank you, this is JUST WHAT I NEED to fill up all those empty hours at the end of the semester. Curses!

(Unrelatedly, my word verification is "peowefuf," which gives me a very odd mental image of PeeWee Herman meets Beowulf.)

Feirefiz said...

Hi Dr. V., I'm not much good with puzzles, so I'm not going to even try. Apologies in advance for an off-topic comment (this is probably not kosher), but since there was such an interesting and vigorous recent discussion about tenure, I was wondering what people think of the recent news in the Chronicle that the U of Southern California is closing down their German department--no majors, no minors, nothing.

Bardiac said...

I tried to add a few... fugu!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

I'm a little disappointed that Old MacDonald wasn't on the farm.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Hell, yes, I cheated on the poker names. And one of the ones on the Baseball page. Oh -- the big thing is to remember that not every clue has to do with the center clue. And I am so not opening this again till my paper is written.
http://shygypsy.com/farm/p.cgi?state=flpjldnaajaiddepfbmbpbkbkcibccchanddiamlldefahfijdfhkebkbcccfceaaonibpbinjgceaafpaaigfagoabbhaihaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa&style=uzvtdtdtfvstsdwqxapswbrpuwigywhyaxtybzyfazbqtraytmytwpxnrubqtwezzfudbkhh&i=1&j=4&cmd=guess&guess=+

Dr. Virago said...

Yeah, what ADM said. It's only related to the center clue if it's directly related.

Dr. Virago said...

Feirefiz -- On the questions of USC's getting rid of German, I first would say that it just shows that USC is the third-rate glorified finishing & vocational school it always has been, no matter what it's pretensions otherwise. It sounds like their in the hands of an administration like ours and they've been slowly starving programs they considered "non-essential" for years. But WTF -- how can they call themselves a major research institution when a student can't major in a significant European language and culture? Their cross-town rivals manage to have flourishing departments in a variety of major global languages without making it a zero sum game. Why can't USC?

But it really disturbs me personally because of the example it sets, since it's a nationally known school. If USC does crap like this, how can we fight it here?

Dr. Virago said...

Oh good god, the typos in that comment! Please mentally correct them. Must get coffee now...

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Hee! It's entirely funny ha-ha to me that (pace Cory Doctorow) most academics who get at least some of their training in CA know that the University of Spoiled Children is not a top school, and yet so many don't. Stanford = the private school that really counts. USC, not so much. (Oh, am I showing my UC prejudice?)

Dr. Virago said...

ADM, well I was certainly showing *my* UC prejudice!

I'd go to USC for film and that's about it!

But shit, how can they have a decent film school without German studies?! Oh, that's right, the serious film *history* and *criticism* is at UCLA. You only get to learn how to operate the equipment at USC.

Hande said...

I'm trying to give you a hand about British Bands. Going well I should say. :) (At least till I get frustrated and leave the rest to you or whoever wants to contribute. :) )

Dr. Virago said...

Btw, my earlier comment re: the puzzle clues was supposed to say "it's only related to the center clue if it's directly *connected*."

Hande - I finally got more connectors and more British bands once I got that one of the bands coming from "straitjackets" only used part of that compound word. Then I could type in all the usual suspects.

Susan said...

I don't think I'm going to thank you for this . . .
Sigh.

What Now? said...

Well, thank you very much, Dr. V, for bringing our household procrastination to whole new levels. So guess what D. and I have been doing for the last hour!