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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Puzzle Number 15: The Oblique Title Wars

I realize it has been a long time since I posted my last puzzle. Since the Oblique Title puzzles have always seemed to be a favourite, I figured another installment made the most sense. As a reminder to those who haven't played before, the following is a set of movie, television show, book, or play titles which have been obscured through the use of synonyms. I make every effort to ensure that the titles I have selected are at least reasonably famous.

Feel free to look at earlier Oblique Title puzzles to get a better idea (for example, the first Oblique Title puzzle, or even the whole collection).

As usual, please refrain from leaving the answers in the comments, and instead send your answers to:

1.) The Office of Modification

2.) 510nm Illumination Device

3.) Crimson Literary Symbol

4.) Consumes, Stalks & Exits

5.) Verified Falsehoods

6.) The Small Royal Son

7.) Occupant Wickedness


9.) Searching for Kind Thoughts

10.) Large Noise Conjecture

11.) Contest of Feudal Seats of Power

12.) The Windstorm

No Diplomacy?

For those that actually found my analysis of the first couple turns of a Diplomacy game interesting, you must be wondering what happened to the rest. Well, there were a couple factors which disrupted my analysis of the remainder of the game:

1.) The game moved very quickly. With each phase on a 12 hour cycle, I quickly ended up behind on my analysis. Since I had therefore seen ahead several turns ahead from when I was analyzing, I felt my predictions were no longer particularly fair.

2.) A number of players ended up dropping out of the game, massively skewing its outcome. The first player to drop was Turkey in Fall 1903, but another player took over in Spring 1904 and gallantly played out an admittedly weak position. More unfortunately, in Fall 1905 Germany made a couple very clever retreats behind Russian lines, and the Russian player (despite his commanding lead and still quite viable position) simply stopped submitting orders in Spring 1906, ultimately auto-surrendering in Spring 1907. This completely upset the balance of the game, since it left a massive power vacuum in the east.

Despite this, the winner (Italy) played a very good game (and Germany, the second Turkey, and Austria-Hungary all lost with good grace), and the public press is fairly amusing as well. Therefore, if you are curious to see how the game progressed, I believe it is publicly viewable. One can click on the order history button in the top right and scroll through the turns to see how the game progressed.