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Sploofus Editor
Thu, 14th Jan '10 5:14 PM


We think an explanation is in order here.

From the fertile mind of Garrybl comes this Word Puzzle...which is, perhaps, not as strange as you may think.

All of the phrases have the same 4 letters omitted. We're not telling what they are. They are represented in the clues by the symbols ^, &, * and (. Your job is to figure out what letters are represented by those symbols. Note that the symbols are arranged differently in the various puzzles. That's because the arrangement of the 4 letters differs from puzzle to puzzle. Once you figure out what the letters are, it will make the remaining puzzles easier, as the symbols will put them in the correct order for you.

The four letters appear in some consecutive order in one of the words of each of the puzzles. That is where they have been omitted. If any of those letters appears again in the phrase, you will see them - they are only omitted in the word in which they are consecutive.

The above explanation is about as clear as I can make it. Go in with an open mind, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the Word Puzzle.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Thu, 14th Jan '10 5:34 PM

Dang! Seems like New Years was just the other day, and here it is April Fool already!

Hey ... wait a minute ... somebody owes me a Valentine.

Collioure  (Level: 113.7 - Posts: 9952)
Thu, 14th Jan '10 6:32 PM

The four letters are omitted from one word only, and not from, say, two consecutive words. Correct?

And these letters (or these four letters in order) may appear undeleted elsewhere or just afterward in the phrase?

Finally, is Barry feeling OK now?

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Thu, 14th Jan '10 6:46 PM

I thought it was Garrybl's 4 Missing Swear words - which it sounds like a lot of us might have been doing without at least a little hint. Thanks ( I think)

Smaug  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 2765)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 5:01 PM


Garrybl  (Level: 291.5 - Posts: 6769)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 5:22 PM

Just want to bump this so that no one can claim they missed it.

Each phrase has a word missing four letters -- identified by the four symbols you see as the name of the puzzle, and those symbols retain their common letter value from clue to clue.
Each clue consists of the four symbols that will be missing from this particular phrase -- but the order changes from clue to clue....

So if the clue is &*(!
And you work out that this corresponds to 'CABS' being the missing letters

then when you see the next clue !&*( you will know SCAB is missing from one word.

Any questions? If so pm me.

Collioure  (Level: 113.7 - Posts: 9952)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 5:48 PM

Thank you, Barry. That's quite clear.

I am going to surmise somewhat mischievously that the difference between your explanation and that of Sploofinder could be related to gender differences, and I wouldn't be the least surprised if the ladies preferred Sploofinder's.

Lucimoore  (Level: 192.1 - Posts: 1732)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 5:59 PM


Asor  (Level: 162.1 - Posts: 594)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 8:27 PM

Wow, one of those really did me in. I had to fill in every letter. The other four were fun

Nice puzzle!

M48ortal  (Level: 261.6 - Posts: 3826)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 9:36 PM

Woohoo! I love it! I've been in first place for five whole minutes now.

Of course I'll get up in the morning and see that I've slipped to my normal 23rd place, but for five minutes, it's been fun. Six minutes now! Can you tell that I've been snowed in too long? Seven!

Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 9:44 PM

Got that right away, but kept forgetting to note down what the symbols turned out to be! Ha ha on me. Good puzzle tho.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 10:21 PM

On the one hand congratulations Barry on what was an undeniably unique and mindbending WP experience. On the other, if a man shows up at your house with a fish wrapped in brown paper, don't open the door.

Daveguth  (Level: 266.5 - Posts: 1636)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 10:24 PM

Mike (M48ortal), either that's a great score and you're going to stick around near the top, or I'm just brain-dead tonight. I was just completely flummoxed on three of them. I've said this about Barry's innovative WPs before: it's fine if Barry wants to experiment with those, but I'd wish he'd do us the favor of making the subject matter in the answers a little less obscure. The combination of new format and tough answers did me in again. I know I've said this many times before, but I'm sure that I (again!) broke my personal record for longest time.

Bbear  (Level: 166.9 - Posts: 2297)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 11:57 PM

Jim and I write WPs that we believe folks will enjoy, that are good for folks that do and dont google, but
(and Barry we love you)...

this was just too much.

Jim just walked away.

Lucimoore  (Level: 192.1 - Posts: 1732)
Fri, 15th Jan '10 11:58 PM

Digs  (Level: 116.6 - Posts: 812)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 12:40 AM

Am I going to be the only one asking for more of these? I absolutely loved this puzzle, had great fun solving it!!

Excellent puzzle Barry, thanks.

Crazy4games  (Level: 124.7 - Posts: 1019)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 12:45 AM

I loved this puzzle too!

Lucimoore  (Level: 192.1 - Posts: 1732)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 12:46 AM

Nope, not the only one, I'd like to see more too.

Zeedee  (Level: 234.0 - Posts: 1088)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 1:18 AM

I liked it, too. I haven't been bothering even trying the puzzles lately, but this one drew me in.

Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 1:28 PM

I had no opportunity to take it, as the site was down....again.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 1:39 PM

Had we not been given the advice by both Barry and an editor I would have probably been scratching my head and cussing, but with the advance information, it did make the puzzle rather enjoyable. My wife wanted to know what the heck all the letters and symbols were on a piece of scratch paper next to the computer. I told her it was the DaBarri Code.

Nelly  (Level: 179.8 - Posts: 1167)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 2:12 PM

I was really looking forward to taking this one Barry, but didn't manage to get on due to the outage!

Collioure  (Level: 113.7 - Posts: 9952)
Sat, 16th Jan '10 2:15 PM

I was looking forward to it, Barry, but alas it was not available at 6:45am EST - thgird puzzle I have missed this month due to system breakdowns.

Justsomeone  (Level: 129.4 - Posts: 39)
Sun, 17th Jan '10 3:11 AM

I thought this was fun and cleverly done - but I'm surprised to see a tip on how to do it - which I have only just read. I've certainly seen WPs which had me baffled far more, even when I had finished them. I tried to be too clever with the symbols and initially thought they were related to the keyboard using the Alt key!!

It was fun without the explanation - I'm not sure I would have enjoyed working it out if I had seen this post first. Still, if it made it easier for others, I suppose there is some validity in telling people how to solve puzzles.

Garrybl  (Level: 291.5 - Posts: 6769)
Sun, 17th Jan '10 9:42 PM

Just an explanation of why we put in clues.
It may look like I'm deliberately constructing complex puzzles but actually I just like to push the envelope and construct different WPs

A few months ago we decided (my editor and I) that cryptic Crosswords were to obscure unless you had a walk-through. That generally went down well. But equally this time the puzzle was a completely new idea. It seemed only fair to help everyone...once.
I've got the bit between my teeth now; the next such puzzle will have each clue missing two sets of 4 letters!

But everyone will understand the theme now so no more clues.


Lucimoore  (Level: 192.1 - Posts: 1732)
Mon, 18th Jan '10 12:17 AM

Bring it!

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Mon, 18th Jan '10 10:25 AM

I wasn't online for a week and missed this puzzle. Still don't understand what it's about even after reading this thread.

While I appreciate the goal of creating new and different WPs, it's unfortunate that of the 200+ (my rough estimate) of people who do the WPs, not all read all the chat threads, find this explanation, decipher it then play the puzzle. My personal opinion is that I would like to see the WP being able to be figured out by title of WP and by clue for each phrase (i.e. intuitively obvious).

At the same time, I applaud initiative and creativity.

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