Mike Shenk's Escape From Alcatraz

A place for discussion about variety puzzles such as acrostics, marching bands, rows and gardens, and diagramless.
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Abide
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Mike Shenk's Escape From Alcatraz

#1

Post by Abide » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm

This is a puzzle suite (circa 2000) from the masterful Mike Shenk, with a meta-style answer at the end. It has been several years since I solved it, and figured it's a good time to print it out again. If someone gets stuck, we should be able to figure out where to go through PMs. If everyone gets stuck, there is a 20-year old email address for Mike!

https://www.mikeshenk.com/extravaganzas/alcatraz/

PDF is in the link

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MikeM000
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#2

Post by MikeM000 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:56 am

Looking at the PDF I just downloaded and all I can say is "Whoaaaaaaaaaaa".

Mind=blown.

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Meg
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#3

Post by Meg » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:50 am

It’s HUGE!

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Jacksull
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#4

Post by Jacksull » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:28 pm

I downloaded the first four puzzles and they were great! I think I’ll slow down and savor the rest.

Thank for posting the link.
Jack Sullivan

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whimsy
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#5

Post by whimsy » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:28 pm

I was going to call it exquisite!
Thanks very much for sharing this, Peter.
Downloaded it all and have started.
Not quite following the rules (tsk-tsk) of doing it all in order but I figure that was mainly for the participants 20 years ago.
I doubt I'll make a complete escape because I'm lousy at cryptics, but maybe this will be the push I need to apply myself and try to be better at them!
Hope you're high enough and dry enough down in MS!

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Meg
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#6

Post by Meg » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:37 pm

whimsy wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:28 pm
I was going to call it exquisite!
Thanks very much for sharing this, Peter.
Downloaded it all and have started.
Not quite following the rules (tsk-tsk) of doing it all in order but I figure that was mainly for the participants 20 years ago.
I doubt I'll make a complete escape because I'm lousy at cryptics, but maybe this will be the push I need to apply myself and try to be better at them!
Hope you're high enough and dry enough down in MS!
I’ve done the cryptic and it’s not too tricky. Feel free to PM me if you need a nudge or explanation or confirmation.

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whimsy
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#7

Post by whimsy » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:15 pm

Thanks, Meg! Probably will do at some point.
I figured you would be one of the first to jump on!

I've only "cheated" by going ahead to the puzzle with the pictures because I could do that pretty much in my head from just the screen. Couldn't wait to get going --- my version of failing the Marshmallow Test! (Found the link late Wednesday after husband had already gone to bed and didn't think he'd appreciate me revving up the printer!!)
All downloaded now, so I've started with the first few puzzles to varying degrees of success --

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Abide
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#8

Post by Abide » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:00 pm

I have the answers for the first cellblock if someone needs a PM.

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Al Sisti
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#9

Post by Al Sisti » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:42 pm

Did anyone get all the way through yet? I did all the puzzles and got all but one of the keys (Mike's genius continues to astound) but since there's no answer-answer, I don't know if my final answer is correct. I know I could contact Mike, but he's been mighty busy these last 20 years...

GlennG
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#10

Post by GlennG » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:38 am

Al Sisti wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:42 pm
(Mike's genius continues to astound)
I'll say that. I ran into one of his old themeless puzzles (think what you see in the NYT Saturday) and I can definitely say most of what he does at the WSJ is definitely far beneath his full ability. Let's just say I was nothing short of amazed.

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