1. I’ve uploaded the exam papers from the previous IMO camp on the “IMO 2011 Training” page.

2. My friend SJ have re-branded his blog,


from a business/entrepreneurship blog to a personal blog. I find the new format more quite interesting because SJ has lots of experience mingling with different types of people. He is quite mature and well-connected for his age. Please pay his blog a visit. His business/entrepreneurship articles will appear at another website, niaga101.com, and will be cross-posted at his personal site as well.

3. The event of the year I’ve been waiting for: the 2011 MIT Mystery Hunt! (actually it was two weeks ago, but I’m just writing about it today). I usually do the puzzles as soon as they were published online, and usually can solve about 10 of them. This year I can only solve 5…*tsk tsk*…I think I’m losing my puzzle mojo.

I used to be an avid puzzler when I was younger. I do all sorts of puzzles under the sun: logic puzzles, crossword puzzles, sudoku (I’ve been doing sudoku since 1996 before it got famous, but I don’t like sudoku because it’s too easy), math puzzles, word puzzles, cryptic puzzles, physical puzzles (e.g. rubik cube), etc.

The ultimate puzzler’s puzzles are the puzzles from the MIT Mystery Hunt, the National Puzzlers League con, and the Microsoft Puzzle Challenge (is it still around?). I used to take part in the MIT Mystery Hunt as an undergrad, but my group didn’t place well — there were hundreds of people smarter than me. Also at the time MIT was not invited to take part in the MPC (they invited Michigan, Carnegie Mellon and Toronto for the first edition) so I missed the opportunity to take part in MPC as well.

Here is one easier puzzle from this year’s Mystery Hunt:



Cause of a high-pitched squealing noise (8)

His 82nd birthday is tomorrow (6 6 4 2)

One who makes witty remarks (8)

1997 novel by Jacek Dukaj (6 6)

Reuben ingredient (6 4)

He wanted an india-rubber ball for Christmas (4 4)

It has four roots (7 10)

Chaetura species named by J. K. Townsend (4’1 5)

Fifteen liters of wine (14)

Only partially serious (4-6)

Most popular girl in the senior class, often (4 5)

It is vested in the President (9 5)

Madly in love with (5 5)

Like Buddhism’s path (9)

Tony Randall’s longtime costar (4 7)

Pulsatilla (6 6)

Proposed I-487 in New York City (6 5 10)

Neal Stephenson title craft (6 4)

Rehoboam, Jehoshaphat, or Josiah, e.g. (4 2 5)

Clubs, tees, etc. (4 9)

Reporter’s scoop with a celebrity (9 9)

Joseph Shabalala’s choir (9 5 7)

It keeps pilots warm (6 6)

Data processing using superposition and entanglement (7 9)

They obey Schrodinger’s equation (4 9)

Restaurant chain founded in Statesboro, Georgia (5’1)

District court head (5 5)

Shoplifting urge (11)

Game set in Norrath (9)

Corn variant containing no amylose (4 5)


You can use Google for research, but not to look for the answer to the puzzle. I solved it in about 45 minutes. Don’t be discouraged if you take more than that, even hours. It is not easy.

No further instructions are given. You have to figure out the rules yourself, and come up with the answer, which is a common English word.

Gave up? Answer here:


4. Tak tau nak update apa lagi, so this is a picture of a cute babby:

(thanks d)

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