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All Too Flat Puzzle Contest
Announcing the All Too Flat Puzzle Contest! The rules are simple. Read the following story and clues and solve the logic puzzle!

The person who correctly solves the puzzle will win. In the case of a tie, the winner will be determined by random drawing (most likely this will be done with a psuedo-random number generator, but leave the details to us...)

  • A special All Too Flat Contest Winner T-shirt
  • A shout out on ATF saying that you are a genius
  • The Story is not only a great place to visit on the web - it's also the name of a small community where all of the ATF characters live. In this quaint little town, there reside Eric the Fish, Parmesean the Baptist, Bumblesneer the Gurt, Gingy the Fish, Horseradish Tree, and good old Helper Monkey. They each live in a section of town named after sections of the site: Funny, Serious, Geeky, About, Pranks, and Store.

    Being ATF characters, you know they are all huge dorks, and therefore each has a favorite number (j, e, pi, 23, c^2, or Avagadro's number [Na]), a favorite gadget they own (the Samsung i300 Palm Phone, Apple iPod mp3 player, Canon Elph digital camera, Handspring Treo Palm Phone, the Sony Aibo robotic dog, and a Philips LCD projector), and a favorite programming language (C++, Perl, Delphi, HTML, Flash, or MS .NET).

    Finally, each of the six characters ordered something from the Cafe Press-run Alltooflat Mall. The deliveries all arrived the same day, and were spaced evenly throughout the day, so that the first three occured before noon, and the last three occured after noon. The items were delivered in the following order: ATF T-shirt, Fish Graph Sweatshirt, ATF Floppy Hat, Kennyb Boxers, Scientist Mug, Cheesus Mousepad.

    Using the clues given below, your job is to find all about each of the six characters: for each name match up their favorite number, gadget, section of town, programming language, and what item they ordered from Malltooflat!

    Background Information

  • Na = Avagadros number = 6.0221367 x 10^23. Very very large. (The number of molecules in a mol)
  • c^2 = The speed of light squared = 8.9 x 10^16 (meters per second)^2
  • j = i = Imaginary constant = square root of -1
  • pi = 3.14159265358979323846264338327... (not rounded) (The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter)
  • e = 2.718... (The base of the natural logarithm)
  • Earth's population is approximately 6 billion people, or 6 x 10^9
  • A rational number is a number which can be expressed as the ratio of two integer numbers. The square root of three is an example of an irrational number. Imaginary numbers are not rational either. (click here for a hint about rational numbers if you need more help. It's only slightly cheating :).

    The Clues

    1. Unsurprisingly, the favorite number of the person who's favorite gadget includes a rational number has a favorite number which is also rational.
    2. Being more serious minded than most, the character who's home is in the Serious section ordered and recieved his Sweatshirt almost before anyone else got any of their Cafe Press items. This aggravated the c++ programmer, who was one of the last three people to get his item.
    3. In a fit of anger, Gingy wrote a virus in Perl with which he infected another character's Aibo. The virus made the Aibo (who's name is Sam) run to a completely different section of town and chew up the sweatshirt it found there. This led to the Flash programmer (who was watching all of this from his friend the Helper Monkey's section) to laugh uproariously since he was completely uninvolved.
    4. The person who owns the projector was relieved when he recieved his purchase before the person who owns the iPod, since they had a bet on which would get there first. Horseradish Tree, who was talking to the UPS guy on his Treo when the items were delivered, was ambivalent over not being involved, since he would have had to pay out to one of them and collect from the other.
    5. The Flash programmer often visits his friend at the Store to discuss the relative merits of their favorite numbers. They were going to ask the Perl programmer to lunch yesterday, but he was too busy talking on a land line phone with the guy who received the T-shirt about how long it would take for his order to come in.
    6. Sams owner tried to get Sam to bark out Eric's favorite number (Eric being a good friend), but he soon realized that no matter how hard he tried, there are just some limitations on Sony products, including restrictions on fractional length and imaginary valued barks. Instead, the two of them just talked about why their orders came as far apart from each other as possible when their P.O. boxes (although not neccessarily their homes) are right next to one another.
    7. Helper Monkey sometimes feels like there is something wrong with his favorite number, since it's imaginary. The Delphi programmer often commiserates with Monkey over the number issue, since Delphi is a language no one uses, and that's just like being imaginary.
    8. The Flash coder wants to borrow someone's Elph to take some pictures. He thinks it's a reasonable task to take a number of pictures exactly equal to Bumblesneers favorite number.
    9. The owner of the Treo couldn't find the resident of the Geeky section when he went to find him to ask if he had recieved his purchase from Cafe Press. Little did he know that the fellow who lives at the Geeky section was one of the first three people to recieve his purchase.
    10. The Treo owner, along with the character who's favorite number is e, were excited for their items because they were going to be the first things recieved from UPS that didn't have to be worn to be used. Perhaps it was this reason that their deliveries came almost at the same exact time.
    11. In a childish effort to extract revenge for his vastly cooler computer, Bumblesneer and the owner of the iPod went out one night and egged the house at the Geeky section of the page. This caused the Aibo living there to go berserk and start chewing on things. Unfortunately, the thing it destroyed was an article of clothing from Cafe Press.
    12. The last two stops on the UPS guys delivery run were to the About and Funny sections.
    13. The owner of the Aibo and the resident of the Serious section took the idiot false dog for a walk in the first half of the day. Because of this, neither were home when their packages were delivered. However, they were able to see the Flash programmers package arrive at his house.
    14. The USP guy delivered the .NET programmers CafePress after the Flash programmers purchase, but before he got to the About section.
    15. Parmesan does fondue baptisms in the basement of his loft in the Geeky section. His goal is to do a number of baptisms equal to his favorite number, but he realizes that it's probably an unrealistic goal, as there aren't that many people in the entire world. When this fact gets him down, he likes to go to his friends house and watch movies on the projector. To get there, he likes to take the roundabout route past the Funny section.
    16. In a wide-ranging Daily Rant, one of the characters implied that their favorite number, 23, was highly Kabbalistically significant, and was the reason that his package arrived from Cafe Press at the very end of the first half of the day. It also touched on the fact that the reason Gingy's wife left him was because he didn't get her the pair of Kennyboxers that she wanted from the site (a lesson that should be well-heeded by visitors to
    17. Bumblesneer and Horseradish Tree often have arguments over media. Bumble really hates movies, and doesn't even own anything that would allow him to watch them. Horseradish Tree is a big movie fan; in fact his favorite number is also the name of a movie. So when Horseradish Tree wants to go to the movies, he heads out with the Delphi programmer or the HTML coder.
    18. The Delphi programmer is not a fish.
    19. When the resident of the Funny section made a call to the resident of the Pranks section to make fun of him for not receiving his package yet, he learned that the UPS guy was actually at the Pranks section two stops before he hit the Funny section.
    20. Whenever the group gets together, they often argue about the relative merits of their respective programming languages. The C++ programmer came out ahead in the last argument, since he was able to hack into the UPS computer and arrange the deliveries so that his item came in at the very end of the day right when he was coming home from work. In a show of alphabetical unity, the person who's favorite number is c^2 took a picture with his Elph digital camera to commemerate the shutting up of the .NET programmer.
  • View a printer-friendly version of the clues
  • Submitting an Entry
  • Send all entries to You must include your name and a valid e-mail address so we may contact you if you win!
  • Your entries must be recieved in the following format:
    1. Person, Home, Language, Gadget, Cafe Press Item, Favorite Number
    2. Person, Home, Language, Gadget, Cafe Press Item, Favorite Number
    3. Person, Home, Language, Gadget, Cafe Press Item, Favorite Number
    4. Person, Home, Language, Gadget, Cafe Press Item, Favorite Number
    5. Person, Home, Language, Gadget, Cafe Press Item, Favorite Number
    6. Person, Home, Language, Gadget, Cafe Press Item, Favorite Number
    and should be ordered according to when each Item arrived.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59pm EST, August 15, 2002
  • Hints
  • If you are new to logic puzzles, check out some online resources about how to solve them. There is a surprisingly large number of web sites devoted to them. Actually, it's not so surprising...
  • Use a chart. We'll provide you with a few to save you time. Trust us- this is the easiest way to solve these puzzles. Here are the charts in Excel (.xls), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), and Postscript (.ps) formats.
  • Fine Print: ATF reserves the right to do anything they want with the entries. Once you submit an entry to us, we own you. We also swear that this contest is not fixed by some organized McDonald's Crime Ring and you DO have a chance of winning. Odds depend on the number of entries recieved, but our estimate is around 1 in 3.
    Join All Too Flat now!
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