Bestsellers of 2013—Announcement from Panini Press SpecGram Vol CLXIX, No 2 Contents

LingDoku II—The Revival

by Tangent Wong
and the SpecGram Puzzle Elves™

For your puzzling pleasure, we’ve revived the LingDoku II puzzle form after several years of hibernation. Thanks to Tangent Wong for contributing the new puzzle.

LingDoku, in general, is a shameless attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Japanese number/logic game SuDoku by concocting a SuDoku-like activity suitable for Linguists and introducing a thin veneer of linguistics to create an artificial barrier to participation for non-linguists.

LingDoku II symbol inventory

In the puzzle below, some symbols are given to get you started. Also, for a number of squares, rather than giving a whole symbol, only one pertinent feature of the symbol is given.

A strategy hint: using normal SuDoku techniques, you can solve some of the puzzle separately for place and manner of articulation. Only after that should whole symbols be considered.

As before, those of you who find this puzzle “too difficult” should make a point of shying away from any serious work in phonology and syntax. Those of you who think it is fairly easy should email your solutions to SpecGram. One or more random winners chosen from among those who send in correctly completed puzzles by February 15th, 2014, will win a SpecGram prize.*

The solution (all the usual disclaimers of quality apply) and the names of the prize winners (if any) will appear in the March issue of SpecGram.

In other puzzle-related news, we have a solution to The Fifteen Linguists puzzle from last month. There are actually an infinite number of possible answers to the question of how many utterances each linguist had after their minimal data sharing. Possible answers include 120 utterances, 360,480 utterances, 720,840 utterances, 1,081,200 utterances, and so on, increasing by 360,360 utterances each time. Of course, the most reasonable and likely scenario is 120 utterances, and that’s the answer we expected and accepted as correct.

Despite the infinitude of possible correct answers, there were only a finite number of correct answerers. The following puzzlemeisters have each won a prize!

Geoffrey Hooker • • Daniel BuerkleDejan MilacicLeah Nicolich-HenkinPhilip NewtonSiva Kalyan

Additional acclaim is due to Geoffrey Hooker for recognizing the infinitude of potential solutions.

* Note that even newer SpecGram Anti-Hoarding Guidelines stipulate that puzzle-related prizes cannot be won by anyone who has won a puzzle-related prize in the last three monthsthough honor, fame, and glory may still be seized on the metaphorical field of puzzle-related battle.

Except where taxed, prohibited by law, or otherwise restricted, constrained, limited, regulated, controlled, hindered, impeded, hampered, obstructed, checked, curbed, shackled, confined, or otherwise subject to thesaural interference.

Well, truth be told, the most likely scenario is that the fieldworkers all made up their data as they sat crying in their huts each night, waiting for their fieldwork trip to be overbut that’s a pretty dark dose of reality for a light-hearted puzzle.

Bestsellers of 2013Announcement from Panini Press
SpecGram Vol CLXIX, No 2 Contents