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  • Writer's pictureJacob Cohen

#102: Building Blocks, Compound Fracture, Star Battle

Hello, and welcome to Puzzles for Progress!

Last issue, the Mirrored Gallery was foreshadowing; this issue, I must confess, all three puzzles are. It's just...too fun. I'm so excited. All will be explained soon! They're normal puzzles too.

I want to quickly sales-pitch my latest blog post, "Progress Update on the Search for Nice Numbers." It's a followup to an earlier post, "Is 69 Unique? The Search for Nice Numbers." Turns out the square and cube of 69 in base 10 (4761 and 328509) improbably contain all the digits with no repeats — and we know of no other numbers with this property in any base...despite thinking there are infinitely many. Pretty nice. In the search to find the others, many people contributed some very cool mathematical insights, more than I expected. If you like math at all, you might find this interesting!

Here's Puzzles fordle Progress, my custom Wordle: solve

Sorry that the first two puzzles today don't have easy online interfaces. To solve online, you may want to copy-paste from the PDF into a document!

The first puzzle is of a fan favorite puzzle genre: Building Blocks. It's slightly smaller than usual, so more approachable.

Next, a variety word puzzle which I'm calling Compound Fracture. Its genesis was an observation Eric Fox made about answer 7 in this puzzle, which led me to do a computer search for other words with this property. At that point it was just a matter of time before I found the way to formulate it as a puzzle.

Finally, a Star Battle. Testers found this one to be on the hard side, but still in the usual range — in particular, much of the difficulty is in breaking in. If you need a hint, put this through the rot13 cipher: ubj qbrf chggvat gjb fgnef va gur G ertvba nssrpg gur gbc yrsg ertvba

(Note: It’s relatively common that one or two of the above links will be wrong due to carelessness from me. If you find an error, let me know! It’s possible that I’ve fixed it on, or that you can deduce the correct link.)

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