Contest 5: Letting Individuals Think Separately

Nikoli has a series of contests known as The Minority Decides. I have decided to take the concept a step further. . . .

How to enter:
This contest consists of a logic puzzle and a series of multiple-choice questions (and by "multiple" choice, I mean "two" choices). To participate in the contest, simply send an e-mail to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com containing the answer to the puzzle, your answers to the questions, and a name or pseudonym by which you want to be referred when I post the results afterwards. Only one entry is allowed per person, but you may change your entry at any time before the deadline, 11:59 PM (Central time) on May 25, 2012. The winners will be announced on my birthday, May 26, 2012.

How to win:
After the deadline has passed, only valid entries (including a correct answer to the puzzle and answers to all of the questions) will be considered. For each question, the number of valid entries which selected each possible answer will be compared; those who selected the less popular answer will receive 1 point for every entrant who selected the more popular answer. (For example, if 18 entrants select option A and 12 entrants select option B, then the ones who selected option B will get 18 points apiece.) In the event of a tie, the vote I cast before starting the contest will be used as a tie-breaker; the entrants who selected the answer I didn't select will receive points, but my vote will not count as a point. (For example, if 15 entrants select option A and 15 entrants select option B, and I have selected option B, then the ones who selected option A will get 15 points apiece.)

The entrant with the highest total score will be declared the winner of Letting Individuals Think Separately. In the event of a tie for highest score, the winner will be chosen from among the tied scores via random.org.

Terms:
By entering the contest, you agree to the following terms:
a) You agree to provide me with a mailing address in the event that you win. (In return, I agree not to use your mailing address for any malicious purposes, such as sending junk mail or other undesired things.)
b) You agree to wait patiently for your prize to arrive, without moaning or kvetching, especially if you don't live in the continental United States, Japan, or Turkey.
c) You are permitted to ask any questions about this contest, including clarifications regarding the questions, as comments on this post; any questions asked privately will be answered publicly.

Those are all of the rules. Good luck! :)

Part i. The Puzzle

Solve the Tetra Firma puzzle below (rules of Tetra Firma):

How many black cells are in each of the three indicated rows? These three numbers, from top to bottom (A, B, C), form the final answer.

Part ii. The Questions

1. History has shown me that logic puzzle fans enjoy winning logic puzzle books in contests. What language should these books be in?
A) Japanese! The winner will receive their choice of any single book from Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle Book Series.
B) Turkish! The winner will receive their choice of any single issue of Akil Oyunlari. (I highly recommend issues 73 through 76, as well as the upcoming issue 77, because I contributed to them.)

2. I feel like giving away a booby prize in this contest. Who shall the recipient be?
A) The second-place finisher (with random.org settling ties as before).
B) Any random participant with a valid entry, besides the winner, of course.

3. For some time, it has been traditional for every 25th puzzle posted on this blog to be of the giant size 31x45. I want to do something different for puzzle 575, but what?
A) Shortly after this contest is over, I will attempt to raise at least $90 on Kickstarter or a similar service. If successful, then puzzle 575 will be upgraded from the usual "giant" size of 31x45 to the "super giant" size 64x50!
B) Flying in the face of tradition, and saving me a buttload of work, puzzle 575 will be a 10x10 Dominnocuous, and no amount of monetary pledges will be able to change that. No puzzles with more than 289 cells in their grids will be posted until puzzle 600.

4. Zotmeister's Totally Rooked inspires me. Which of the following Process of Illumination mutations should I do as a Monday Mutant?
A) One which replaces the light bulbs with nightriders (a fairy chess piece whose function is explained in the aforementioned link).
B) One which replaces the light bulbs with chess queens (you do know how chess queens move, don't you? They combine the mobility of a rook and a bishop!).

5. It is commonplace for me to wear a shirt whenever I go out in public. Which of these shirts would look better on me? (I will take pictures of myself wearing it in several public places as proof.)
A) A self-promoting shirt! Last year for Christmas, I acquired a custom T-shirt via Zazzle, with Monday Mutant 104 on the front and my blog's logo on the back. This shirt allows me to advertise my faith and my love of puzzles at the same time, and also just makes me feel very, very happy. It is the best shirt in the universe.
B) A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic shirt! I loathe the show with a fiery passion, in part due to a pushy fandom telling me that my previously neutral stance on the show was based on watching the "wrong" episodes (yeah, because I had no idea that this series without a LOST-style narrative would require me to watch specific episodes first) and other crap like that. If this option wins, I will select the shirt myself from either a local store or an online vendor, and when I'm done wearing it, I'll foist the cursed thing onto a local Goodwill. Until the shirt has been donated, I will not be allowed to wear any self-promoting blog-related shirts in public.

6. While it is not commonplace for me to wear a hat whenever I go out in public, I will do so for the purposes of this contest. What hat should I wear? (Once again, pictures will be posted to prove it happened.)
A) A self-promoting hat! I will buy a trucker hat on Zazzle featuring my blog's logo and URL. It will be the best hat in the universe.
B) An Angry Birds hat! I detest Angry Birds, as it feels more like "find the winning pixel" than anything fun, like a logic puzzle. If this option wins, my mother, an Angry Birds fan, will select a hat for me to embarrass myself with (or, if she refuses, I'll select one). I will donate the hat to Goodwill afterwards.

7. I feel charitable. Sanctuary Home for Children is an organization which helps orphans and widows in Tenali, India. One of the board members in Abilene, Ray Pettit, is one of my closest friends and a gaming partner in real life. How much money should I donate to this cause?
A) 20 US dollars. A nice, round number.
B) 2d20 US dollars. I'll roll a 20-sided die twice, add the results, and make that my donation amount.

8. Who should get points for this question?
A) The participants with valid entries who selected option B.
B) The participants with valid entries who selected option A.

9. This question is not worth the normal point value. How much is it worth?
A) The normal point value multiplied by e (approximately 2.718).
B) The normal point value multiplied by the golden ratio (approximately 1.618).

Send your answers to the above puzzle and these nine questions, as well as your name or pseudonym, to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com to enter the Letting Individuals Think Separately contest.

8 comments

Grant Fikes said...

Anuraag Sahay e-mailed me this question:
I think i didnt really understand the rules governing the scoring. If there are two choices for a question, only one of the two answers would be correct. And in that case, what is the point in
giving points on the basis of how many answers of opposite value were recieved on that question?
And if both answers are valid, then why do we have the LITS puzzle ?


Here's an example of a question:

1. History has shown me that logic puzzle fans enjoy winning logic puzzle books in contests. What language should these books be in?
A) Japanese! The winner will receive their choice of any single book from Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle Book Series.
B) Turkish! The winner will receive their choice of any single issue of Akil Oyunlari. (I highly recommend issues 73 through 76, as well as the upcoming issue 77, because I contributed to them.)

The contestants will essentially be voting on which prize the eventual winner is entitled to. The entrants in the minority will get points. Most of the other questions will similarly determine how I run my blog or other things that I'll have to do. The first paragraph has a link to nikoli.com's "The Minority Decides" contests, where contestants have to respond "Yes" or "No" to statements such as "I like chewing-gum better than candy," and "I solve puzzles really fast." This contest is inspired by these contests.

The puzzle is present to prevent random people from entering, and because my contests always involve puzzles; the Four-Puzzle Derby had a four-part puzzle in it, and I don't recall anybody questioning that. :)

Please post any further questions regarding the contest as comments on the blog post itself; I am posting this response as a comment.

Tyler Hinman said...

Since you obviously meant the contest's title as a takeoff on an acronym, it's a little unfortunate that you precede it with the word "Contest" in the post title.

Grant Fikes said...

Tyler Hinman: I'll just insert a 5 in there. Maybe that'll make things less unfortunate.

zotmeister said...

Tyler gets the Wry Observational Comment of the Day award.

Grant, you have truly outdone yourself with this one. What an absolutely genius idea. I love the fact that it's the minority that will win, but the majority that chooses the prize and so on. There's more incentive than usual to simply give honest responses rather than try to game the system. Commendations. - ZM

P.S.: Thanks for disabling the CAPTCHA. Stupid thing!

cyrebjr said...

Just so we're clear, are the questions majority-rule? That would mean 8 just restates the rules.

Grant Fikes said...

cyrebjr: Yeah, the majority vote will determine what shirt I wear, what hat I wear, the size of puzzle 575, etc., but the minority will get the points which determine who will win the final prize. So yes, the self-referential question 8 simply restates the rules.

ksun48 said...

"For each question, the number of valid entries which selected each possible answer will be compared; those who selected the less popular answer will receive 1 point for every entrant who selected the more popular answer."
Does this include #9?

Grant Fikes said...

ksun48: Obviously, whatever answer the majority selects for question 9 will take precedence over the normal scoring rules.

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