Inform: Designing Games

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Louis Rose

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Jun 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/3/99
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Hi there,
I am getting pretty experienced at Inform but I have a bit of a
writers block at the mo. If anyone has any ideas that they would be willing
to share that would be great.
Cheers,
Louis Rose

Jim Aikin

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Jun 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/3/99
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Here's my own patented technique for dealing with writer's block. It's
guaranteed to work. It may be more suited to specific blockages than to
a general malaise, but possibly it could be adapted.

Let's say you're stuck because you can't figure out how your player can
get the kitten down out of the tree. Take a blank sheet of notebook
paper, and at the top write, "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the
Tree." Skip a line, and write the number "1." near the left margin.

Now here's the trick: SELF-CENSORSHIP IS NOT ALLOWED. No matter how
ridiculous, stupid, inept, lame, or idiotic you may feel your first idea
is, you MUST write it down. ("Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the
tree, dead" is a perfectly acceptable first approximation.) Then write a
"2." and continue in the same fashion. Somewhere along about #7 or #8, I
promise you that you'll come up with a good and possibly even way cool
way to get the kitten down out of the tree.

But it only works if you don't stop to criticize your ideas before
writing them down. It works by bypassing the internal critic and
stimulating your imagination to run free.

If your block is along the lines of, "I can't think of a cool idea for a
game," at the top of the page you could write "Ten Cool Ideas for
Games." And then write whatever pops into your head. And if your block
is along the lines of, "I can't seem to whip up much enthusiasm about
writing a game," you might want to brainstorm the reasons why it would
be a wonderful thing to write one. I've never used the technique for
that, but you never know.

Hope this helps!

--Jim Aikin

********************************
"It's more fun to compute!"
--Kraftwerk
********************************

Kathleen M. Fischer

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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Jim Aikin wrote:
> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>
> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead

2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree

--
*******************************************************************
* Kathleen M. Fischer *
* kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov (nospam = l l n l) *
** "Don't stop to stomp ants while the elephants are stampeding" **

GLEEMOTH

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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Kathleen Fischer writes:
>Jim Aikin wrote:
>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>>
>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>
>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree

3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
on is at the same height as the ground.
--
___ Shay Caron (Shay_...@letterbox.com or glee...@aol.com) | Furry artist,
/ __] Web site: http://www2.crosswinds.net/detroit/~shayc/ O- | award-winning
\__ \ | MSTer, Weird Al fan, parodist, game programmer, would-be comic creator
[___/ | ICQ #24466579 | 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169... | McQ!

John Elliott

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
>Kathleen Fischer writes:
>>Jim Aikin wrote:
>>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>>>
>>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>>
>>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
>3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
>on is at the same height as the ground.

4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.

------------- http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/index.html --------------------
John Elliott |BLOODNOK: "But why have you got such a long face?"
|SEAGOON: "Heavy dentures, Sir!" - The Goon Show
:-------------------------------------------------------------------------)

Neil Cerutti

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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In article <928514554.5857.0...@news.demon.co.uk>,

j...@seasip.demon.co.uk (John Elliott) wrote:
glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
>Kathleen Fischer writes:
>>Jim Aikin wrote:
>>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>>>
>>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>>
>>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>>
>> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
>> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.
> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
> sitting on.

5. "Beam" it down.

--
Neil Cerutti
ne...@norwich.edu


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Paul E. Bell

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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John Elliott wrote:
>
> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
> >Kathleen Fischer writes:
> >>Jim Aikin wrote:
> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> >>>
> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >>
> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >
> >3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
> >on is at the same height as the ground.
>
> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.

5. Attach fire hose to hydrant and spray kitten out of tree.

Paul E. Bell
--
_____
| | _ \ _ _ |/ _ _(
| | (_X (_/`/\ (_) (_` |\(_) (_) (_|_) (/`
)

David Given

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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In article <928514554.5857.0...@news.demon.co.uk>,

j...@seasip.demon.co.uk (John Elliott) writes:
> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
>>Kathleen Fischer writes:
>>>Jim Aikin wrote:
>>>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>>>>
>>>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>>>
>>>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>>
>>3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
>>on is at the same height as the ground.
>
> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.

5. Borrow the ultra-high-potential generator (== lightning generator) from
the Berlin museum thing that I can't remember the name of, and fire it at
the tree. Position a pile of cushions several hundred yards away to catch
the kitten after the tree explodes.

--
+- David Given ---------------McQ-+
| Work: d...@tao-group.com | "Premature optimisation is the root of all
| Play: dgi...@iname.com | evil." --- Don Knuth, quoting Tony Hoare
+- http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~dg -+

Mark J Musante

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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David Given (d...@tao.co.uk) wrote:
> In article <928514554.5857.0...@news.demon.co.uk>,
> j...@seasip.demon.co.uk (John Elliott) writes:
> > glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
> >>Kathleen Fischer writes:
> >>>Jim Aikin wrote:
> >>>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> >>>>
> >>>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >>>
> >>>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >>
> >>3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
> >>on is at the same height as the ground.
> >
> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.
>
> 5. Borrow the ultra-high-potential generator (== lightning generator) from

van de Graff?


-=- Mark -=-

Heinz-Günter Pussar

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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> the Berlin museum thing that I can't remember the name of, and fire it at
> the tree. Position a pile of cushions several hundred yards away to catch
> the kitten after the tree explodes.
>
6. Why not putting a dead fish/mouse under the tree and wait till the
cat is hungry. (OK it's not so cool like the rest of ideas, but it's the
first thing, that came to my mind)

PS If the Berlin museum thing is a museum IN Berlin then it's probably
the "Museum für Verkehr und Technik" (Museum for trafic and technic),
which has a cool show of things like that.

Heinz-Georg Pussar

Louis Rose

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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Alright, Cheers guys. Pity I didn't wanna get a kitten out a tree!
I will use the technique though!
Louis

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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Heinz-Günter Pussar wrote:
> Jim Aikin wrote:
>
> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>
> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>
> 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
> on is at the same height as the ground.
> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.
>
> 5. Borrow the ultra-high-potential generator (== lightning generator) from
> the Berlin museum thing that I can't remember the name of, and fire it at
> the tree. Position a pile of cushions several hundred yards away to catch
> the kitten after the tree explodes.
>
> 6. Why not putting a dead fish/mouse under the tree and wait till the
> cat is hungry. (OK it's not so cool like the rest of ideas, but it's the
> first thing that came to my mind)
>
> 7. "Beam" it down.

8. Eat the tree.


(first thing I thought of, too)

--
J. Robinson Wheeler
whe...@jump.net http://www.jump.net/~wheeler/jrw/home.html

Daniel Schepler

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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Neil Cerutti <ne...@norwich.edu> writes:

> In article <928514554.5857.0...@news.demon.co.uk>,


> j...@seasip.demon.co.uk (John Elliott) wrote:
> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
> >Kathleen Fischer writes:

> >>Jim Aikin wrote:
> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> >>>
> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >>
> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >>
> >> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
> >> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.
> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
> > sitting on.
>

> 5. "Beam" it down.
>
6. Put springs on the bottoms of your shoes, then jump to the height
of the kitten.
--
Daniel Schepler "Please don't disillusion me. I
sche...@math.berkeley.edu haven't had breakfast yet."
-- Orson Scott Card

Daniel Schepler

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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Adam J. Thornton

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Jun 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/4/99
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In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>,

Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
>Jim Aikin wrote:
>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree

3. Be patient. How many cat skeletons have you ever seen in trees?

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

Graham Nelson

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
<URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
> Jim Aikin wrote:
> > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> >
> > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>
> 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree

38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
then, type "wait".

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Magnus Lindström

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to

J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message
news:375849DA...@jump.net...

Heinz-Günter Pussar wrote:
> Jim Aikin wrote:
>
> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>
> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>
> 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the
kitten's
> on is at the same height as the ground.
> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.
>
> 5. Borrow the ultra-high-potential generator (== lightning generator) from
> the Berlin museum thing that I can't remember the name of, and fire it
at
> the tree. Position a pile of cushions several hundred yards away to
catch
> the kitten after the tree explodes.
>
> 6. Why not putting a dead fish/mouse under the tree and wait till the
> cat is hungry. (OK it's not so cool like the rest of ideas, but it's
the
> first thing that came to my mind)
>
> 7. "Beam" it down.

8. Eat the tree.

9. Why not just burn it down. Then you get a toasted kitten to feed the dog
with

Iain Merrick

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
Graham Nelson wrote:
>
> In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
> <URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
> > Jim Aikin wrote:
> > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > >
> > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >
> > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
> 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> then, type "wait".

Er. Those are good suggestions, but... I _really_ hope that saying
'here, kitty kitty!' and maybe putting a saucer of milk on the ground
are in there somewhere. Before you break out the chain saw, I'd have
thought.

Joe Mason

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
Paul E. Bell <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote:

>
>
>John Elliott wrote:
>>
>> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
>> >Kathleen Fischer writes:
>> >>Jim Aikin wrote:
>> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>> >>>
>> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>> >>
>> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>> >
>> >3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
>> >on is at the same height as the ground.
>>
>> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.
>
>5. Attach fire hose to hydrant and spray kitten out of tree.

Now suppose there's no kitten. The physicist will put the fire hose away,
since there is no need for it. The mathematician will find a kitten and
strand it in the tree, thus reducing the problem to the previous case,
which has already been solved.

Joe
--
"Think hard and long about what your favorite book is. Once identified, read
it a paragraph at a time. Then after having read the paragraph, read each
sentence. See the way the sentences interrelate. Then, read the words..."
-- Mike Berlyn, on learning to write

Christopher Wren

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
In article <ant050944868M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>,
gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk says...

> In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
> <URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
> > Jim Aikin wrote:
> > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > >
> > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >
> > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
> 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> then, type "wait".

Ah, that explains it. I was playing Zork the other day and was rather
surprised when I found a kitten in my inventory.

Matthew T. Russotto

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
In article <375953...@cs.york.ac.uk>,
Iain Merrick <i...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:

}Graham Nelson wrote:
}>
}> In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
}> <URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
}> > Jim Aikin wrote:
}> > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
}> > >
}> > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
}> >
}> > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
}>
}> 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
}> kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
}> is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
}> is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
}> then, type "wait".
}
}Er. Those are good suggestions, but... I _really_ hope that saying
}'here, kitty kitty!' and maybe putting a saucer of milk on the ground
}are in there somewhere. Before you break out the chain saw, I'd have
}thought.

Why would you want the kitten out of the tree? It's not bothering
anyone up there.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Alan Trewartha

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
In article <ant050944868M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>, Graham Nelson

<URL:mailto:gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
> <URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
> > Jim Aikin wrote:
> > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > >
> > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >
> > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
> 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> then, type "wait".
>

47. Go back in time and pour herbicide on the newly planted tree.

(Someone had to say it)
--
Mail to alant instead of no.spam


Mike Fessler

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
"Magnus Lindström" <dal9...@mds.mdh.se> wrote:

:
: J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message
: news:375849DA...@jump.net...


: Heinz-Günter Pussar wrote:
: > Jim Aikin wrote:
: >
: > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
: >
: > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
: >
: > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree

: >
: > 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the


: kitten's
: > on is at the same height as the ground.
: > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.
: >

: > 5. Borrow the ultra-high-potential generator (== lightning generator) from


: > the Berlin museum thing that I can't remember the name of, and fire it
: at
: > the tree. Position a pile of cushions several hundred yards away to
: catch
: > the kitten after the tree explodes.
: >
: > 6. Why not putting a dead fish/mouse under the tree and wait till the
: > cat is hungry. (OK it's not so cool like the rest of ideas, but it's
: the
: > first thing that came to my mind)
: >
: > 7. "Beam" it down.
:
: 8. Eat the tree.
:
: 9. Why not just burn it down. Then you get a toasted kitten to feed the dog
: with

10. Bring in forty thousand woodpeckers to reduce the tree to sawdust.


GLEEMOTH

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Jun 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/5/99
to
Alan Trewartha writes:
>In article <ant050944868M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>, Graham Nelson
><URL:mailto:gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
>> <URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
>> > Jim Aikin wrote:
>> > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>> > >
>> > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>> >
>> > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>>
>> 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
>> kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
>> is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
>> is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
>> then, type "wait".
>>
>
>47. Go back in time and pour herbicide on the newly planted tree.
>
>(Someone had to say it)

All right, that settles it. I'm going to write a game where you can do *all* of
these things.
--
___ Shay Caron (Shay_...@letterbox.com or glee...@aol.com) | IF creator in
/ __] Web site: http://www2.crosswinds.net/detroit/~shayc/ | progress... (I'll
\__ \ | create an actual game someday) | "The trick to [IF], really, is making
[___/ | the lack of interaction feel natural." -- Neil deMause | ICQ #24466579

Jim Aikin

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Jun 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/6/99
to

> > 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> > kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> > is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> > is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> > then, type "wait".
> >
>
> 47. Go back in time and pour herbicide on the newly planted tree.

And the winners are ... Graham Nelson and Alan Trewartha, with an
honorable mention to Mike Fessler for the 40,000 woodpeckers, and also
to ... oh, the heck with it. Everybody on this newsgroup is brilliant.
That's what makes it fun.

Now, let's see. Should I add a kitten stuck in a tree to my game?
Hmmm.... And how would I implement the uncertainty principle in Inform?
Maybe an each_turn routine containing the statement

R=random(10000);

and a whole lot of conditions in the code along the lines of

if (R~=3438)
{if (location==Front_Parlor) foo();}
else "You can't foo. The foo generator is broken.";

--Jim Aikin

*********************************
"Those instances of it which lack
the quality referred to
as 'swing' are meaningless."
--Duke Ellington
*********************************

TenthStone

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Jun 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/6/99
to
On 04 Jun 1999 15:44:07 -0700, Daniel Schepler
<dan...@frobnitz.hip.berkeley.edu> wrote:

>Neil Cerutti <ne...@norwich.edu> writes:
>
>> In article <928514554.5857.0...@news.demon.co.uk>,

>> j...@seasip.demon.co.uk (John Elliott) wrote:
>> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
>> >Kathleen Fischer writes:

>> >>Jim Aikin wrote:
>> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>> >>>
>> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>> >>
>> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>> >>

>> >> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
>> >> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.
>> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
>> > sitting on.
>>

>> 5. "Beam" it down.
>>
>6. Put springs on the bottoms of your shoes, then jump to the height
>of the kitten.

7. Open a can of refried beans with an electric can opener.

----------------
The Imperturbable TenthStone
mcc...@erols.com tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

Jim Aikin

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Jun 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/6/99
to
Jim Aikin wrote:

> Hmmm.... And how would I implement the uncertainty principle in Inform?
> Maybe an each_turn routine containing the statement
>
> R=random(10000);
>
> and a whole lot of conditions in the code along the lines of
>
> if (R~=3438)
> {if (location==Front_Parlor) foo();}
> else "You can't foo. The foo generator is broken.";
>

Arrgh! Immediately after posting this, shutting off the computer, and
going to bed, I realized that "broken" is irrelevant. The last line
should be:

else "There is no foo generator here.";

Guess I have an uncertain grasp of uncertainy.

--ja

Alan Trewartha

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Jun 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/7/99
to
In article <375A2024...@pacbell.net>, Jim Aikin

<URL:mailto:jaikin....@pacbell.net> wrote:
> >
> > 47. Go back in time and pour herbicide on the newly planted tree.
>
> And the winners are ... Graham Nelson and Alan Trewartha, with an
> honorable mention to Mike Fessler for the 40,000 woodpeckers, and also
> to ... oh, the heck with it.

I can't, naturally, take the credit for one of graham's puzzles. So I'm
handing my handsome trophy back to the award committee. My thanks to
everyone who's supported me in this difficult time. I intend to spend
more time with my family in the wake of this scandal.

Who am I kidding? I'll never get my game finished in time for the
competition if I did that.


Alan

John Elliott

unread,
Jun 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/7/99
to
Alan Trewartha <al...@no.spam.demon.co.uk> wrote:

: 47. Go back in time and pour herbicide on the newly planted tree.

: (Someone had to say it)

*** You have been transported to Australia ***

jer...@mupwi.demon.co.uk

unread,
Jun 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/11/99
to
In article <375a8f29...@netnews.netaxs.com>,

m...@netaxs.com (Mike Fessler) wrote:
> "Magnus Lindström" <dal9...@mds.mdh.se> wrote:
>
> :
> : J. Robinson Wheeler <whe...@jump.net> wrote in message
> : news:375849DA...@jump.net...
> : Heinz-Günter Pussar wrote:
> : > Jim Aikin wrote:
> : >
> : > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> : >
> : > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> : >
> : > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> : >
> : > 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch
the
> : kitten's
> : > on is at the same height as the ground.
> : > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
sitting on.
> : >
> : > 5. Borrow the ultra-high-potential generator (== lightning
generator) from
> : > the Berlin museum thing that I can't remember the name of, and
fire it
> : at
> : > the tree. Position a pile of cushions several hundred yards away
to
> : catch
> : > the kitten after the tree explodes.
> : >
> : > 6. Why not putting a dead fish/mouse under the tree and wait till
the
> : > cat is hungry. (OK it's not so cool like the rest of ideas, but
it's
> : the
> : > first thing that came to my mind)
> : >
> : > 7. "Beam" it down.
> :
> : 8. Eat the tree.
> :
> : 9. Why not just burn it down. Then you get a toasted kitten to feed
the dog
> : with
>
> 10. Bring in forty thousand woodpeckers to reduce the tree to sawdust.
>

11. I dont believe nobody has used a CATapult yet, or is that too
corny?

Regards,
Jeremy Silver

Kathleen M. Fischer

unread,
Jun 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/11/99
to

That could be CATastrophic! Such a thing might put the poor animal in a
CATatonic state, cause CATaplexy, CATalepsy, or CATaracts. Then again,
it might be just the CATalyst needed. Of course, some CAThartic CATered
CATnip CATfish (with CATsup) might be required afterwards (and a CAT
scan
sure wouldn't hurt).

Has anyone mentioned CATching it a CATerpillar (either kind),
or a CAT burgler on a CATwalk?

Kathleen (looking for some CATacombs to hide in)

--
*******************************************************************
* Kathleen M. Fischer *
* kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov (nospam = l l n l) *
** "Don't stop to stomp ants while the elephants are stampeding" **

Ross Presser

unread,
Jun 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/11/99
to
Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote in
<3761310A...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>:

>jer...@mupwi.demon.co.uk wrote:
>>
[snip]


>> 11. I dont believe nobody has used a CATapult yet, or is that too
>> corny?
>
>That could be CATastrophic! Such a thing might put the poor animal in a
>CATatonic state, cause CATaplexy, CATalepsy, or CATaracts. Then again,
>it might be just the CATalyst needed. Of course, some CAThartic CATered
>CATnip CATfish (with CATsup) might be required afterwards (and a CAT
>scan
>sure wouldn't hurt).
>
>Has anyone mentioned CATching it a CATerpillar (either kind),
>or a CAT burgler on a CATwalk?
>
>Kathleen (looking for some CATacombs to hide in)
>

Obviously no good CATholic would come up with such sCATalogical ideas. Perhaps
you should report to a hospital for a CATheterization, or perhaps a PET scan.


Jon Petersen

unread,
Jun 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/12/99
to
TenthStone wrote:
>
> On 04 Jun 1999 15:44:07 -0700, Daniel Schepler
> <dan...@frobnitz.hip.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>
> >Neil Cerutti <ne...@norwich.edu> writes:
> >
> >> In article <928514554.5857.0...@news.demon.co.uk>,
> >> j...@seasip.demon.co.uk (John Elliott) wrote:
> >> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
> >> >Kathleen Fischer writes:
> >> >>Jim Aikin wrote:
> >> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> >> >>>
> >> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >> >>
> >> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >> >>
> >> >> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
> >> >> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.
> >> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
> >> > sitting on.
> >>
> >> 5. "Beam" it down.
> >>
> >6. Put springs on the bottoms of your shoes, then jump to the height
> >of the kitten.
>
> 7. Open a can of refried beans with an electric can opener.

8. Go back in time, about an hour. Cut off the cat's legs.

Jon


Stefan Blixt

unread,
Jun 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/12/99
to
>> >> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>> >> >>
>> >> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>> >> >>
>> >> >> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
>> >> >> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.
>> >> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
>> >> > sitting on.
>> >>
>> >> 5. "Beam" it down.
>> >>
>> >6. Put springs on the bottoms of your shoes, then jump to the height
>> >of the kitten.
>>
>> 7. Open a can of refried beans with an electric can opener.
>
>8. Go back in time, about an hour. Cut off the cat's legs.

9. Through hypnotic training, erase all memory of the kitten in the
tree. Buy a new kitten.

/Blixt


Jon Petersen

unread,
Jun 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/12/99
to

10. Patiently and persistently engage the culture in an attempt to
change the meaning of "tree" to "cup" and the meaning of "kitten" to
"pastry." Remove the donut from that cup of coffee you've been carrying
around.

Jon


Rob Fisher

unread,
Jun 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/17/99
to
> > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > >
> > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >
> > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
> 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> then, type "wait".

How big is this kitten?


Rob

Paul E. Bell

unread,
Jun 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/18/99
to

Joe Mason wrote:
>
> Paul E. Bell <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote:
> >

> >John Elliott wrote:
> >>
> >> glee...@aol.com (GLEEMOTH) wrote:
> >> >Kathleen Fischer writes:
> >> >>Jim Aikin wrote:

> >> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> >> >>>
> >> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> >> >>
> >> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >> >

> >> >3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the branch the kitten's
> >> >on is at the same height as the ground.
> >>
> >> 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's sitting on.
> >

> >5. Attach fire hose to hydrant and spray kitten out of tree.
>
> Now suppose there's no kitten. The physicist will put the fire hose away,
> since there is no need for it. The mathematician will find a kitten and
> strand it in the tree, thus reducing the problem to the previous case,
> which has already been solved.
>

I don't know, but, if you attach the fire hose to the black hole, how
long would it take to drain all the water out of the oceans?

Why would I suppose there is no kitten, unless this is merely a
philosophical question (in which case there never was a kitten; or, if
there was, we don't know if we are a kitten dreaming we are a human
trying to get a kitten out of a tree, or a tree dreaming it is a kitten
wishing a human would get it out of the tree - which would obviate the
need for either the physisist or the mathematition)?

But, we digress.

6. Install an elevator in the tree, press the 'up' button, put cat food
in elevator, when cat enters elevator to eat food, press call button,
retrieve cat and food when elevator arrives.

Paul E. Bell
--
_____
| | _ \ _ _ |/ _ _(
| | (_X (_/`/\ (_) (_` |\(_) (_) (_|_) (/`
)

Paul E. Bell

unread,
Jun 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/18/99
to

Alan Trewartha wrote:
>
> In article <ant050944868M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>, Graham Nelson
> <URL:mailto:gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> > In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>, Kathleen M. Fischer
> > <URL:mailto:kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:

> > > Jim Aikin wrote:
> > > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > > >
> > > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> > >
> > > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >

> > 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> > kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> > is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> > is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> > then, type "wait".
> >
>

> 47. Go back in time and pour herbicide on the newly planted tree.
>
> (Someone had to say it)

48. Go back a little further, shoot the squirrel before he buries the
nut that becomes the tree, have squirrel stew.

John Fred Connors

unread,
Jun 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/18/99
to
On 4 Jun 1999 16:39:08 GMT, Adam J. Thornton <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:
>In article <3757F873...@greenhouse.nospam.gov>,
>Kathleen M. Fischer <kfis...@greenhouse.nospam.gov> wrote:
>>Jim Aikin wrote:
>>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
>>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
>
>3. Be patient. How many cat skeletons have you ever seen in trees?
>
>Adam
>--

4> Wait for a frustrated writer with writers block and ask
him to get the kitten out of the tree as he doesn't seem
to be doing anything much...

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Jun 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/23/99
to

> > >> >> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > >> >> >>>
> > >> >> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> > >> >> >>
> > >> >> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> > >> >> >>
> > >> >> >> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
> > >> >> >> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.

> > >> >> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
> > >> >> > sitting on.
> > >> >>

> > >> >> 5. "Beam" it down.
> > >> >>
> > >> >6. Put springs on the bottoms of your shoes, then jump to the height
> > >> >of the kitten.
> > >>
> > >> 7. Open a can of refried beans with an electric can opener.
> > >
> > >8. Go back in time, about an hour. Cut off the cat's legs.
> >
> > 9. Through hypnotic training, erase all memory of the kitten in the
> > tree. Buy a new kitten.
>
> 10. Patiently and persistently engage the culture in an attempt to
> change the meaning of "tree" to "cup" and the meaning of "kitten" to
> "pastry." Remove the donut from that cup of coffee you've been carrying
> around.

11. Set fire to the tree.

12. nitfol the turtle and have him do it.

13. Turn on the garden hose and spray the cat with water.
Increase the pressure until the cat comes down out of
the tree.

-- jonadab

Username in email address is dyslexic; correct to jonadab

David Given

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Jun 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/23/99
to
In article <37705fda...@news.bright.net>,
bad...@bright.net (Jonadab the Unsightly One) writes:
[...]

> 13. Turn on the garden hose and spray the cat with water.
> Increase the pressure until the cat comes down out of
> the tree.

14. Set up a pan-galactic gravel franchise. Once you have removed enough
mass from Earth that the planet's gravity is no longer significant, the
cat will float out of the tree.

--
+- David Given ---------------McQ-+ "A character is considered to be a letter
| Work: d...@tao-group.com | if and only if it is a letter or digit
| Play: dgi...@iname.com | (§20.5.16) but is not a digit (§20.5.14)."
+- http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~dg -+ --- Sun Java language specification

Eric Mitchell

unread,
Jun 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/23/99
to

NOTE: In lieu of real spoiler space, I shall simply quote the ever
growing list, which seems to have the same mathematical accuracy
as the Top Five lists from www.topfive.com...

.
.
.

Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:

> > > >> >> >>> "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
>
> > > >> >> >>> 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> > > >> >> >>
> > > >> >> >>2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> > > >> >> >>
> > > >> >> >> 3. Bring in a truck and pile sod around the tree until the
> > > >> >> >> branch the kitten's on is at the same height as the ground.
>
> > > >> >> > 4. Put a small black hole just under the branch the kitten's
> > > >> >> > sitting on.
> > > >> >>
> > > >> >> 5. "Beam" it down.
> > > >> >>
> > > >> >6. Put springs on the bottoms of your shoes, then jump to the height
> > > >> >of the kitten.
> > > >>
> > > >> 7. Open a can of refried beans with an electric can opener.
> > > >
> > > >8. Go back in time, about an hour. Cut off the cat's legs.
> > >
> > > 9. Through hypnotic training, erase all memory of the kitten in the
> > > tree. Buy a new kitten.
> >
> > 10. Patiently and persistently engage the culture in an attempt to
> > change the meaning of "tree" to "cup" and the meaning of "kitten" to
> > "pastry." Remove the donut from that cup of coffee you've been carrying
> > around.
>
> 11. Set fire to the tree.
>
> 12. nitfol the turtle and have him do it.


>NITFOL TURTLE. EXEX TURTLE. TURTLE, U AND GET THE KITTEN AND D.

"That tree is pretty steep for a turtle, but if you insist..."

The turtle walks up to the tree, and sizes up the task. Obviously
not bound by the same laws of gravity as you, he then shimmies rather
quickly up the side of the tree to the kitten. He must have set
off a trap or something on the way up, judging by the loud "click",
and the increasing pitch of a spring under compression. The kitten
mews disapprovingly, but is too afraid of heights to do anything else.
The turtle clenches the kitten by the scruff of its neck using his
beak, and begins the descent. A secret compartment opens about halfway
down the tree and several spears fly out. They bounce harmlessly off
the turtle's shell, narrowly missing the kitten! You would never have
been so lucky. The turtle, unphased by this continues down the tree.
At the last second, a large hammer swings down toward the turtle.
Even at his accelerated pace, the turtle narrowly escapes with his
shell intact.

The turtle drops the kitten at your feet, smiles and says,
"Pretty neat, eh?".

>THANK TURTLE
"Glad I could help out. I think I'll be heading back to the ocean now."


Disclaimer: ok, it's not an accurate enough retelling for the Enchanter
purists, but I'm working off my memory here; I consider myself lucky to
remember what the hell a nitfol was in the first place (and I finally
solved it last night. =)


> 13. Turn on the garden hose and spray the cat with water.
> Increase the pressure until the cat comes down out of
> the tree.
>

> -- jonadab
>
> Username in email address is dyslexic; correct to jonadab

--
+=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=+
| Eric B. Mitchell mailto:ric...@toad.net |
+=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=+

Jason Melancon

unread,
Jun 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/24/99
to
On Wed, 23 Jun 1999 12:43:20 +0100, d...@tao.co.uk (David Given) wrote:

> 14. Set up a pan-galactic gravel franchise. Once you have removed enough
> mass from Earth that the planet's gravity is no longer significant, the
> cat will float out of the tree.

103. Drop hints in the press that experts believe oil-rich shale
exists deep in deposits that happen to be directly below. After
Texaco inevitably shows up and puts a few minor holes in the vicinity,
wait until the rainy season, with a long-handled net handy. When the
cave-in happens, and the tree drops through the ground into the
earth's mantle, scoop the cat off the branch as it falls past.

104. Tell your close personal male friend, who is quite normal and
healthy, but who happens to enjoy frequent, explicit sex with trees,
that this one has a particularly shapely knothole at a convenient
height. Over the years, as the friction wears the wood away to
nothing (the real wood, not -- nevermind), the cat will finally be on
the ground. At which point, it will scamper away for dear life ...


[Should I push send? ...No! Yes. Well, hmm, nooooOOOOargh <click>]

--
Jason Melancon

Jonadab the Unsightly One

unread,
Jun 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/24/99
to
Christo...@email.msn.com (Christopher Wren) wrote:

> > > > "Ten Ways to Get the Kitten Down from the Tree."
> > > >
> > > > 1. Shoot the kitten so it falls out of the tree, dead
> > >
> > > 2. Take a chain saw and cut down the tree
> >

> > 38. Because of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, since the
> > kitten's momentum is known exactly (it is zero), its position
> > is highly uncertain. This means that at any given time there
> > is a non-zero probability that it is down from the tree. Until
> > then, type "wait".
>

> Ah, that explains it. I was playing Zork the other day and was rather
> surprised when I found a kitten in my inventory.

The kitten was actually there in your inventory all along. You
noticed it when somebody turned off the S.E.P. field generator.

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