Cartoon Theories of Linguistics—Part 14—Gricean Implicature—Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. SpecGram Vol CLV, No 2 Contents

HanjieLinguru III


Key phrase: подвод воздуха для охлаждения реактивного конуса
Б = # of в (in the key phrase)
Д = # of o
Ж = # of ж
И = # of д
Л = # of я
Ц = # of к
Ъ = # of а
Я = # of г, з, п, р, с, and т

Trey Jones
l’École de SpecGram, Tokyo

After having been AWOL for several months (we finally located them on a beach in Biarritz), the SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ are back with their noses shackled to the grindstone for another installment of HanjieLinguru.

HanjieLinguru is a simple extension of the traditional Hanjie form, but with just enough linguistics to keep the non-linguists at bay. The rules are simple: first, replace each Cyrillic letter with the number indicated by the clue provided. Then proceed with the standard Hanjie rules to determine for each cell of the grid whether it should be black or white; to whit, the cells in the grid are to be painted black according to the numbers given at the side of the grid, which indicate how many contiguous groups of painted squares there should be in each row or column, and how long each is. A clue of “5 1 2” would mean there are groups of five, one, and two black squares, in that order, with at least one white square between groups.

Try the HanjieLinguru III puzzle, at right. If you delude yourself into thinking you have solved it, email your solution to us. At least one random winner chosen from among those who send in correctly completed puzzles by December 15th, 2008 will get the usual prize, a SpecGram magnet. The one true solution to this puzzle, and the names of any prize winners, will appear in the upcoming February 2009 issue.

Some Overdue Solutions

HanjieLinguru II: We have a bit of a backlog of solutions. (Those pesky Elves will never get another vacation!) Most obviously relevant, the solution to the previous HanjieLinguru puzzle is below, a lo-res representation of ə. These fine PuzzleMeisters figured it out (but you, alas, did notwhat does that say about you?), and they, too, will each receive a SpecGram magnet for their troubles.
  • Declan Whitford Jones of Germantown, Maryland
  • Erik Gedeborg of Södertälje, Sweden
  • Nils Schäffer of Pfosing, Austria
  • Sara Kessler of Rechovot, Israel
  • Paula Arnas Antolín of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain
  • Siva Kalyan of Princeton, New Jersey
  • Scott Horne of Montréal, Québec
  • T.J. Heins of Pelham, NY

Solution to HanjieLinguru II

Transform Puzzles III:
“The Final Showdown”

Hall of Fame


Scott Horne
Montréal, Québec

Richard Benham
Geneva, Switzerland

Martina Johnson
Pisa, Italy

Sara Kessler
Rechovot, Israel

Thomas Brasdefer
Parts Unknown

Trey Jones
Washington, DC

Honorable Mention
James Crippen
Transform Puzzles IIIThe Final Showdown: A number of people submitted solutions to the final clutch of transform puzzles, presented back in in the mists of time (July this year). As you have no doubt forgotten, all of the puzzles featured clever word play, some with homonyms, some with antonyms, some with palindromes, and some with humorously related words.

Below are some examples of the better solutions, along with analysis by Jonathan van der Meer.

In the always popular category of Not Quite Solutions we have:

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics—Part 14—Gricean Implicature—Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D.
SpecGram Vol CLV, No 2 Contents