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dmikester333
Aragornie,

Like pretty much all MT puzzles, don't overthink it, both in finding the rules and in seeing the pattern. It sounds like from what you're saying that you're not looking at the right rules. Here are some hints for you:

Finding the right rule

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): Focus on the last sentence. What number makes sense from the clue "I love letters-all of 'em." The simplest answer to that question is one of the correct rules. Again, don't overthink it.

Finding the pattern (this is a pretty direct spoiler)

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): Watch the way the pattern develops when you click "Go" and try to watch the order that the squares fill themselves in. That alone should be a big hint about what type of square to focus on.

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:04 am
Re: stuck

aragornie wrote:
Finding the rule I think I've got it ,

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): a summary 9 or the higher number 8

but I still seem to miss the point in terms of how the pattern is supposed to be used. I've tried various ways of tracing a tree from root to end, correlate either letters to a whole/etc.

My question is, is the more manipulation you have to do with the letters (add/sub etc) or do you simple put them together in a chain from a certain pattern in the rule?

Don't understand what rule you're looking at...

If you find one of the correct rules,
 Spoiler (Rollover to View): all you have to do is stare at it until you can see the words

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:45 am
aragornie
stuck

Finding the rule I think I've got it ,

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): a summary 9 or the higher number 8

but I still seem to miss the point in terms of how the pattern is supposed to be used. I've tried various ways of tracing a tree from root to end, correlate either letters to a whole/etc.

My question is, is the more manipulation you have to do with the letters (add/sub etc) or do you simple put them together in a chain from a certain pattern in the rule?

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:15 am
dmikester333
Automaton Seal: A Primer
Automaton Seal hints for those still stuck

Hi everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster, blah blah blah. I want to first thank everyone on the original thread for The Master Theorem for the great hints; The Master Theorem has become one of my favorite sites on the internet, and your helpful hints for some of the thorniest puzzles and often funny banter have made the experience that much more enjoyable. Consider this long post my giving back to the community.

For those of who who have pored through the original thread for help like I have, you probably noticed that the big three puzzles in terms of questions and frustrations were all seals: Videbimus Lumen, Recursion, and Automaton. You may have also noticed that the posts about Automaton had two interesting characteristics. One, there were a TON of hints given, many of which seemed to point to all kinds of different ways to answer the puzzle. Two, people not only continued to be stuck on the puzzle despite these hints, but mentioned that unlike most of the other puzzles, Automaton was taking them days to solve. I should know; it took me THREE WEEKS to solve despite all the hints (albeit, we're probably talking eight to nine hours max on the puzzle, but still). Considering that no other puzzle on the site has taken me more than an hour and a half to solve, that's saying something.

The funny thing is, the puzzle actually is very simple to solve once you understand everything about it; M gives you quite a number of hints in the writeup above the grid (admittedly all somewhat subtle), and once you see the answer, it's impossible to not see it. But, and this is just a theory, unless you grasp everything right away and figure out the answer quickly, you're in for a very long amount of staring at patterns and grids and going crazy trying to figure out what to do. I can also say now that I know the answer, and there is no disrespect intended here, that a good number of the hints about Automation in the original thread overcomplicated things and in reading them led me to doubt what I was doing, which only added to the frustration. Of course, many of them helped me a ton too!

What I want to do here is create a kind of "one-stop" place for people who are frustrated beyond belief by the seal and want direct hints towards what to do; these are not for someone who wants a gentle nudge. Now, I've never done anything like this before, so hopefully my hints are OK and easy to interpret. Here goes:

First, let's break down what we need to do. First, we need to figure out what rule is the right one to look at. Then, once we have the correct rule, we need to be able to identify the answer within that rule. I don't think this needs to be in spoilers, but when you interpret the hints correctly in the write-up, M is pointing towards two different rules, both of which work. And,

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): these rules should have identical patterns. This is a good way to confirm that you're looking at one of the right rules, if both of the rules that you get from interpreting the hints in the writeup have the same pattern.

Now to the hints about the two correct rules. Obviously, pretty direct spoilers abound here:

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): You should focus on the last section of the first paragraph (the parentheses) and the last sentence of the whole writeup. One rule can be found by performing basic math and the other rule can be found by applying simple logic to what integer makes sense based on what is stated in one of the sentences. Again, if you have the two correct rules, the patterns should be identical. Also, there is one sort of bonus hint that M gives in the last sentence, and that got focused on too much in the initial posts about the seal, but I won't cover that here since I think it could make things more confusing. I'll go over it in a different spoiler later.

OK, now let's assume that you have the correct rules. For the answer,

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): it's unfortunately tough to clue without completely giving it away. There were some very good posts made about this in the original thread. What helped me the most were the posts that pointed out that a) it is decidedly NOT a word search kind of pattern, b) you only have to look at one rule, not both rules that M hints at, c) watch how the pattern develops in the grid when you click 'Go', and d) you should focus on only the black squares or only the white squares for the answer.

Phew! Hopefully this has made things clearer for those of you truly confused or frustrated by this seal. Please feel free to comment if you need any more hints. Oh, and that bonus hint? Warning: very direct spoiler coming up, and it may well confuse you more than anything, so I recommend looking at this after solving the puzzle:

 Spoiler (Rollover to View): The 'em' in the last sentence can lead to one of the correct rules if you think a little outside of the box and use one of the tools in the "Resources" section of the website as a reference. I'm sure this was intentional, and it's a pretty cool "bonus" third hint.

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:53 pm
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