Jan. 16th, 2017

tablesaw: "This sounds like Waiting for Spy Godot" (Hunt)
On Thursday, I came home from work and suddenly felt exhausted. I collapsed into bed feeling nauseous, and later in the evening, I was threw up. My wife's had a crud for a while, and I was worried I caught whatever she had; but I bounced back quickly over the next two days, so I think it must have been more of a food-poisoning thing.

I woke up on Friday in time to watch the Hunt Kickoff for a Dungeons and Dragons theme, Monsters et Manus. I kept expecting to fall asleep again, but the puzzles were fantastic and kept me going all day. I was still kinda weak, but staying in bed solving puzzles on a laptop was just my speed.

This year, there were a more than the usual number of puzzles where I came in after other folks had done most of the work and spotted the answer phrase. I did it for our first meta, The Despondent Dynast, and then our second meta, The Fighter. I also did it, amazingly, for our last meta, The Broken Bridge. After explaining my reasoning on why we should try this guess while we still had clues going, I wrote:
Tablesaw-XPS (Sat 23:12:55): Not the strongest, but I wanted to throw it out.
Tablesaw-XPS (Sat 23:13:02): It's not the weakest either.
Tablesaw-XPS (Sat 23:13:22): Anyway, I have to get pizza and didn't want it bugging me.
Tablesaw-XPS (Sat 23:13:27): TABLESAW OUT!
After getting pizza and returning to chat, the team was on its way to the final interaction and runaround.

Puzzles where the opposite happened included Boston Burgers (where I got tripped up on the extraction), and Changing Rooms (an excellent cryptic-clue based puzzle that I just started falling asleep during). I'm most proud of my gruntwork for Tricky Wicket, which turned out to be one of the most difficult puzzles in the Hunt. I spotted the gimmick and did a lot of work getting all the data collected, but was very grateful when I called in some teammates and one of them spotted the important messages I had missed. (She also was able to use the a key technique correctly when I was flailing).

The Hunt was really incredible, all around. Recommended puzzles are:

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