Nov. 1995 Bridgewater, NJ No. 1.0

W E L C O M E !

Howdy! This is the first issue of the e-Nigma. It's mostly just an illustration-of-concept: there are a bunch of flats by me (Xemu), and now also a couple by QED (thanks!). I'd love for others in the Krewe to pitch in and compose too.

Some folks may have seen this issue back in 1995 when I first put it up; there have been some changes made since then. Nothing terribly substantive--mostly repairing broken links, and, of course, the new format with on-line solving.

And for those of you who never saw it back then, well, here it is. Enjoy, everybody.

Let's get right to the e-Penetralia, shall we? Tagging is just like in The Enigma, except I won't bother to note when rubrics or readings contain computer-oriented material that isn't MW. Surf, solve, and enjoy.

Enter solution:

I'm a pretty ugly guy,
Rather sluggish, dull and shy.
Quite a contrast with my wife:
She's attractive, full of life.
How did such a nerd like me
Marry such a DRT?
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

Relies on your knowing about a certain windowing system and the programs it comes with.

2. REVERSED METATHESIS (*2. *3, 5) (neither MW)

Hey TWO THREE, I've a program just for you:
No, not for TV, like the kind you do--
It's software by the folks from MIT
That's easier to use than A-B-C:
It emulates a VT102
And comes complete with all the fonts you see.
Now, how much would you pay? But wait, there's more...
FIVE also does a great 4014!
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

The pictures in the rubric are simply linked to the Web pages where I found them, and they serve merely to provide some context for solvers. And the link in the verse is also just meant to be helpful, not rubricious.

3. ENIGMATIC REBUS (^2 ^2 ^5, ^6, 3 ^5)
Would you by a used chainsaw from this man? Mr. Rust Never Sleeps
He might have been President if he had driven a Volkswagen. Animal crackers in your soup, Mrs. Ambassador?
Is fun,
Is better yet.
=XEMU Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

*1*1*1*1*1 (whose capitalization varies--this is how it appears in The New Hacker's Dictionary, a good reference for many of these puzzles, and available on-line as the Jargon File) might be unfamiliar to PC / Mac types.

4. PALINDROME (*1*1*1*1*1 4) (*1*1*1*1*1 not MW)

I used vi
Until JULY.
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

This rubric is something from the ugly world of MS-DOS.

5. ENIGMATIC REBUS (4 4 3) (with apologies to Ernest Thayer)
   C:\NAV\NAV C:\
   LH /L:1,40384 C:\SCSI\MSCDEX.EXE /M:12
   set mouse=C:\Mouse
   set ROOTDIR=c:
   set TMPDIR=c:/tmp
   REM c:\pctcp\idrive
   SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H1 P300 T6
   C:\SB16\SB16SET /P /Q
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Motown nine that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Gordy died at first, and Archer did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Iacocca had a chance to swing!
We'd put up even money, if they'd only let that THING."
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

6. ENIGMATIC REBUS (5, *4 4) (*4 not MW)
My program just printed "Bus Error (core dumped)."
An ominous message, indeed.
But I am not wise, Mr. Ritchie, like you--
Enlighten me--what does this READ?
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

A completely true account of my graduate student days. The Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science Department has a legendary Coke machine on the third floor of Wean Hall next to the old terminal room. It was one of the first non-computer thingies anywhere to be hooked up to the Internet--you could query its status (tell how many Cokes were inside and how cold they were) by "fingering" Nowadays there's also a fancy (but flaky) graphical Web-based interface for it, not to mention quite a few other Internet-accessible Coke machines. Anyway, Kernighan and Pike are the authors of a classic book on programming under a certain much-hated operating system, and you won't understand the rubric here unless you have at least a smattering of C.

7. ENIGMATIC REBUS (^8 ^7) (non-MW brand name)
    #define BUFSIZ  1024
You may talk o' sippin' tea,
When you're writin' code in C
(Like Darjeeling, Lemon Lift, and HAVE YOU GOT IT),
But when pullin' an all-nighter
Every blister-fingered blighter
Needs a drink that packs a punch, and tea is not it.
Now in Pittsburgh's cloudy clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-hackin' in my office down in Wean,
The place I always went
When my energy was spent
Oh, machine, -chine, -chine!
Vendin' nectar full o' sugar and caffeine!
Every Kernighan and Piker,
Has your liquor as his ichor.
You're the hacker-picker-upper, Coke machine!
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

8. REBUS (*4 ^3) (not MW)
the letter E in burnt umber, courtesy of Binney and Smith
Now surpassed by the X- and the Y-MP,
The world's costliest loveseat was surely the E.
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

9. INTERLOCK (*8) (not MW; ONE, TWO not MW usage)

If you're using Windows *O*N*E
And you think that it's no fun,
Just press "TWO."
Then this page will go away.
Come again another day.
(Love that THROUGH.)
=QED, Boulder CO
Enter solution:

For this one, you'll definitely need to know some C, or rather, be familiar with the culture of C programming.

My very first program in C
Was void main() { printf("KEY!"); }
=QED, Boulder CO
Enter solution:

10C doesn't quite believe the phonetics here, so try pronouncing the reading with a Russian accent. You might want to read the verse that way, too. And turning off link underlining in your browser might improve the effect. At least this one doesn't have anything to do with computers...

Da, comrade, rubric here is small--I'm doubting you can read it.
But there is way to blow it up (please use it if you need it).
Is microprinting trick from Cold-War era when we Russians
Were forced to hide religious or political discussions.
Compared to situation then, our freedoms now are myriad;
We couldn't publish what we thought (except of course, by PERIOD).
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Enter solution:

... but this one sure does.

My laser printer seems possessed--
The symptoms are complex:
It spews out pages covered with
Obscenities in hex.
The printer daemon's running wild;
Now, what am I to do?
Should I put in a service call,
Or should I call a TWO?
=XEMU, Bridgewater NJ
Save sols on my computer

Enjoyed these puzzles? Hated them? Want to submit some of your own? Just send me mail.

Last modified Saturday, September 18, 1999 by Xemu