There are two things MIT students love—punts and puzzles. What a puzzle is—that’s pretty straightforward. A punt is more intricate, and is typically often used as a verb. It refers to an action or a series of actions an MIT student performs, one that usually leads to statements like, “I had to stay up all night working on that (favorite expletive) p-set.” Punts take various shapes, from kittens meowing on Youtube to the entire Saw Franchise to baking cookies to video games—and in my case, to devising these potentially senseless punt puzzles.
It all began when I logged into an online page for my Electromagnetism Class and saw the p-set. After staring at the problems for a couple of minutes, my mind folded into several lazy layers, and this punt-promoting idea sprouted like a savior. So, what you have before you, folks, is a punt puzzle. I don’t know how easy or difficult it is, but I expect that—whether you’re a casual reader, current applicant or unusually developed rhinoceros—you can probably solve it with some help or maybe even independently. At your disposal, the internet, your brains chugging and fizzing, the comments section, your fellow commenters and my occasional check-in to bemoan your exponential progress or laugh maniacally at your crawling pace. That probably suffices for now.
Let the games begin!!
Er…I was expecting a fancy cloud of smoke and all such after that last line, but, um, yeah, let’s…let’s start—
Greetings, and welcome. I want to play a game.
Because you opened this page, a fast-acting poison has sprayed from your screen and into your body. As you read these obviously deluded words, the poison has begun to kick in, coursing through your veins, clogging over your heart. The spray however is roughly the size of Seven New Yorks, so extrapolating over the dispatched aggregate of users worldwide, I can easily declare that the entire world has been affected. You have 48 hours to decode everything and find “The Secret Word” that reverses the effect of the poison. Live or let these mad ramblings go unpunished. Your time starts now. Or whenever. Cuz, you know, you might be reading these 48 hours after someone else began…so there is this weird disparity of time among readers and…you know what, let’s not worry about logistics now. There’s no lower or upper time bound! Who needs logic right?
Gabriel Marquez: All humans have three lives…
First observe order, waiting beautifully
But periods prior, a law
The numbers exist, instantly ordered
Pairwise pairings considered, things converge
Tis but one side of the coin
Memes, the cultural hallmark of our current generation’s achievements, profoundly deep in their ability to probe the errors of the world. High-quality satire such as:
But those pictures have nothing to do with anything! This does:
Prior connects to current.
Hint: Once done, a sense of déjà vu may be appropriate.
Ode to the past
At this point, you must be close.
The last two things you have uncovered need be cojoined in marriage.
At the end of one of these does the union belong.
What’s The Secret Word?
Questions, clarifications, ideas, solutions in the comments!
I’ll be swooping around periodically like a hawk.
Have fun (hopefully)!