~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Current and recently solved lateral thinking puzzles. Please post new lateral thinking puzzles here.

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~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Postby irishelk » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:17 pm

THE FINALISTS

Although as some pointed out, there were an overall small number of puzzles solved this year, clearly there were a lot of enjoyable ones. We have ten finalists, but there were forty different puzzles nominated--that's a lot of great lateral thinking. I hope you're all really happy with the turnout this year, because we have such a clever, original, awesome community and I'm really proud of all of us. Now, the finalists to vote between:

1. SINGLE LADIES ~An eventually expensive gift
2. DRIVE ~ A racecar driver and his wife
3. NOBODY LIKES A MODERATE ~A man's strange seasonal moves
4. A MASS DESERTION ~Why stop going to church?
5. NO DWARVES OR UMBRELLAS IN THIS ONE ~ Elevator shenanigans
6. DOES IT MAKE A SOUND? ~Standing on a log at night alone
7. THAT'S WHY HE'S CALLED THAT ~A left-handed society
8. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER ~A unique remembrance
9. BARS AND STRIPES ~Why is this man in prison?
10. THREE ACT PLAY ~A double lifesaver

Please post your top three choices for winner, ranked 1st to 3rd (excluding your own puzzles). I'll give it at least a week for votes to come in. Thanks y'all.


All right ladies, gentlemen and everyone else, it's time to determine the PUZZEL OF THE YEAR! [insert fanfare, fireworks, angelic chorus]
Please nominate your faves by posting the title and author of your favorite puzzles from this year. If you have the time, a link to the puzzle would be much appreciated. Nominate as many as you like.
I am planning to close nominations around January 21st, but will not close them until everyone who expressed an interest has had a chance to post. Then, any puzzle that was nominated more than once will make it to the final round, where we each vote once.
THE GUIDELINES
1. You must choose puzzles that were spoiled in 2019. I believe that starts with Galfisk's On a Razor's Edge, and includes any puzzles still on the Active Board if they were solved by 12/31/19 GMT.
2. You must nominate classical-style puzzles. Novelty or special puzzle types, such as lateral adventures and rulebreakers, as much as we love them, are ineligible for this list.
I'm going to say that neologisms and OAATPs may be eligible, as long as there is a classic lateral twist involved.
3. You may rank the puzzles. This won't weight them any more heavily for consideration for round two, but it's nice for forum users to see that their puzzle was someone's particular favorite.
4. You must provide the name of the puzzle and the host. You are not obliged to provide a hyperlink, but it is useful.
5. You may choose multiple puzzles by the same host, or keep it to one per LTPFer if you'd prefer.
6. You may not submit one of your own puzzles or vote for yourself, but I do encourage people to let us know afterword, or separately in the Chatroom: what was your favorite of your own puzzles this year?
7. You are not obligated to justify your choice or explain your criteria, but it can be nice for the hosts to see what they did especially well.
THE PRIZE
Our undying awe and gratitude. Renewed confidence in your awesome mental capabilities. I will come up with a funny Top Gun style nickname for you.
Oh, and your puzzle title will be edited to say [PUZZEL OF THE YEAR 2019] after it.
So happy Puzzle Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor!
Last edited by irishelk on Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:21 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby gregoryuconn » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:47 pm

Some of mine:

Till Beth do Us Part
The welcher (everything's better with goats)
Three act play
Ah son....
Bars and stripes
Tori's Tortoiseshell Toms
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby Balin » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:22 pm

I've got my short list, but haven't decided on my top choices yet. Decisions...

But mostly I wanted to make an important point: three puzzles solved in previous years were bumped up the Solved list by comments. Those three - Balin's "Obnoxious," WiZ's "This Title Contains Thirty-four Letters," and WiZ's "I smart, You smart, we all smart for…" - are not eligible for selection this year. (EDIT: Actually four, but the fourth is gregoryuconn's "Till Death Do Us Part," which won last year and thus has the POTY'18 tag, so there shouldn't be confusion regarding that one.)

I have also moved every solved puzzle in the active section over, so everything (up to and including Lynne's "Sloping," which has some 2020 comments but had its spoiler posted on December 31) from 2019 is there.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby Balin » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:23 pm

Additionally, Pete, can you pin this to the top of the Active thread? I'm not able or certain how to.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby WiZ » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:58 pm

Nominations first, methodology/natter/apologia to follow:

NOMINATIONS

[InvisibleMimsy] Nothing Lasts Forever

[CoffeeBean] At the Misfortune of Others, No. 2

[IrishElk] That's why he's Called that
[IrishElk] Quick Change Artists
[IrishElk] Three Act Play

[Hobbsicle] Borderline
[Hobbsicle] Does it Make a Sound?
[Hobbsicle] Frozen Assets

[Balin] Doctor, Doctor, give me the news
[Balin] Shoplifting? But it's far too Heavy
[Balin] Sock it to me!

SKIPPABLE BIT

So, I thought I would have an easier job of things this year, given the (worryingly) lower number of total puzzles spoiled in 2019. However, the overall standard was much higher than I'm used to. Typically, I find myself systematically eliminating most of the puzzles as I go along, but this year I just wound up with a very big 'maybe' pile, with a few standouts.

The easiest way to reduce the numbers was to focus on the single best contribution from each host. For most of you, I was able to find my favourite quickly and easily enough. When this is over, I will be happy to post the full list, as they were all good contributions worthy of keeping for posterity.

As you can probably guess, there were exceptions. I wanted to stick with my usual approach of ensuring 5 different hosts get the nod, but I found it impossible to choose between the top 3 for three of you, all of whom have (IMHO) had a consistently high standard of puzzles this year. This is why I've submitted quite a few more total puzzles than usual.

I didn't deviate much from prior years as far as methodology goes. The puzzle statement is subject to the Statistics-Bikini test, in which I ask myself: Is what it reveals intriguing, and yet what it conceals vital? Then, I looked at the solution. Is it an answer, or the answer? If what I had was a scenario that not only needed blanks filled in, but demanded explanation, and the explanation I got succinctly and interestingly addressed all parts of the question, presenting a situation that was both plausible and familiar, yet showed an application of lateral logic, then I gave it the green light.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby peter365 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:35 am

I've pinned this post so it appears at the top of the page .

Must get cracking on my list of nominations.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby Hobbsicle » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:50 am

If I don't post my picks now, I will continue to over-deliberate.

[WiZ] No Dwarves or Umbrellas were Harmed (In which Wiz proves he's also clever on the spot, at least when money's on the line)
[WiZ] A Mass Desertion (In which the puzzle statement and solution are both very succinct and satisfying)

[Balin] Juan at a time, please (In which lies an easy but fun puzzle, something I will probably bring up the next time I change colors)
[Balin] The recess backpack (In which the solution is right there in the well-formed puzzle statement, hiding in plain sight)

[Doriana] Single Ladies (In which actions have lateral consequences)

[invisiblemimsy] Nothing lasts forever (In which a slightly obscure tale is told, but one that is very moving and cleverly hinted at with the title)

[IrishElk] On My Mind (In which are many twists and turn that lead to a fascinating aspect of history I didn't know)
[IrishElk] That's Why He's Called That (In which the solution truly warrants a smile)

[Peter365] Drive (In which the puzzle plays on our assumptions, innocent and otherwise)

I have even more from other folks that didn't quite make the list, can share those later. Like Wiz said, there were some people who were both so prolific and so darn clever that it was hard to choose, but I did my best.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby irishelk » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:51 am

Agreed that this was very difficult--a lot of strong and memorable puzzles this year. Here are my finalists:

[Hobbsicle] Does it Make a Sound?: I love a simple statement with a very twisty-turny solution.
[Hobbsicle] Nobody Likes a Moderate: Elegant and satisfying answer--good one to use when playing in a group.

[WiZ] A Mass Desertion: Seems simple once you know it, but so hard to guess!
[WiZ] Drive: Truly a lateral twist, requiring a complete reinterpretation of the situation.

[JenBurdoo] Dead Reckoning: My favorite dead guy of the year! What can I say, I love a body in a desert :D

[Balin] Bars and stripes: Great use of a historical story for a puzzle--another seemingly simple statement that's hard to crack.

[invisiblemimsy] Where there's smoke there's fire: My dad really loved this one. That's very high praise for a puzzle. He is oddly exacting :lol:

[Brian1976] Three letters: I thought this was a very clever statement. I hope Brian returns.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby peter365 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:28 pm

Tough to pick them this year as the standard was very consistent and I don't think any one puzzle stood out as head and shoulders above the others. Some excellent efforts all the same so here's my shortlist in no particular order. I kept it to one per person.

Lynne: Vegeterian - I loved the gruesomeness of this tale and the sense of sickening realisation of what had occurred

WiZ: Smallwart - Had a hard job picking my favourite WiZ puzzle but this one was nicely phrased and very lateral

Hobbsicle: Ruffington Post -Love that the poor doggie got busted

Balin: Papers Please - I like it when a puzzle challenges the things we say

IrishElk: That's Why He's Called That - I'm a leftie so I really liked this one

Galfisk: Double Trouble - Ingenious bit of marketing psychology
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby Balin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:20 pm

Every year seems harder than the last to narrow my shortlist down. Couldn't get it below a dozen.

I won't order my nominations as I've done previously; I will, however, section them to the WiZ- and non-Wiz section.

The former:
[WiZ] Get better Puzzle Questions
[WiZ] Matte Daemon
[WiZ] No Dwarves or Umbrellas were Harmed
[WiZ] Nuncommital
[WiZ] The Nokia 3315 in the Smithsonian is on its last bar

And the latter:
[Doriana] Single Ladies
[gregoryuconn] Christians and the Pagans
[Hobbsicle] Nobody Likes a Moderate
[IrishElk] Old Sport
[IrishElk] Three Act Play
[JenBurdoo] Not Fugu...
[peter365] Green Grow the Rushes
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby WiZ » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:43 pm

Great to see these nominations rolling in. Keep 'em coming! Stand up and be counted!

I've already started on the clues section, which has allowed me to have a little fun:

Get better Puzzle Questions
The erections were used for fun and entertainment long before the birth rate spiked.
They penetrated the Estonian’s lives in a way the USSR would not have approved of.
They raised the birth rate with the help of a seductive group from France.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby irishelk » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:39 pm

Fantastic clues, I can't wait to read this book! XD

Last call for nominations...I should be able to sort out finalists this weekend.
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Re: ~The Certified Official PUZZEL OF THE YEAR Thread~

Postby WiZ » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:42 pm

You may wish to edit the thread title to say [LAST CALL FOR NOMINATIONS] or something equally spurring.
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Re: ~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Postby irishelk » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:15 pm

THE FINALISTS

Although as some pointed out, there were an overall small number of puzzles solved this year, clearly there were a lot of enjoyable ones. We have ten finalists, but there were forty different puzzles nominated--that's a lot of great lateral thinking. I hope you're all really happy with the turnout this year, because we have such a clever, original, awesome community and I'm really proud of all of us. Now, the finalists to vote between:

1. SINGLE LADIES ~An eventually expensive gift
2. DRIVE ~ A racecar driver and his wife
3. NOBODY LIKES A MODERATE ~A man's strange seasonal moves
4. A MASS DESERTION ~Why stop going to church?
5. NO DWARVES OR UMBRELLAS IN THIS ONE ~ Elevator shenanigans
6. DOES IT MAKE A SOUND? ~Standing on a log at night alone
7. THAT'S WHY HE'S CALLED THAT ~A left-handed society
8. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER ~A unique remembrance
9. BARS AND STRIPES ~Why is this man in prison?
10. THREE ACT PLAY ~A double lifesaver

Please post your top three choices for winner, ranked 1st to 3rd (excluding your own puzzles). I'll give it at least a week for votes to come in. Thanks y'all.
Last edited by irishelk on Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Postby gregoryuconn » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:53 am

I vote for Bars and Stripes
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Re: ~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Postby WiZ » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:03 am

Are we reverting back to the one LTPFer, one vote system this year, or are we going to try last year's preferential voting system again?
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Re: ~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Postby peter365 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:41 am

I think we should do last year's method , vote for your top 3 in order.
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Re: ~Puzzel of the Year~ [FINAL ROUND!]

Postby irishelk » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:19 am

All right, top three works for me.
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