Cracking the Conundrum
Just hearing the name makes you frustrated. But still you can’t help yourself.
You head on over to the games room to see what that exasperating Lenny has come
up with for you this week. You read it over and once again you are stumped.
Does this sound like you? Perhaps you want to win some NP, or maybe you want
that rare stamp they are giving away, maybe it’s the avatar you’re after, or
it could be that you just want to get one of those pesky conundrums right for
a change. Well whatever your reason, I hope to give your mind a boost and send
you on your way to becoming a Conundrum Queen (or King).
First off, let me explain the basics of Lenny Conundrum (LC) for those of
your who aren’t familiar with it. In LC you simply have to solve the problem
that is posted each week in order to earn a prize. If you get the correct answer,
you are guaranteed to at least win some NP (all the winners share a 2,000,000
NP prize) and if you are among the first 250 people to guess correctly you will
also win a trophy, the Lenny Avatar, and an item.
Now on to the good stuff…..
There are three basic kinds of conundrums: math based, Neopets based, and
puzzles. Here is an explanation of each followed by an example from past LCs
(you can find past LCs on the Lenny Conundrum game page).
1. Math based: In math based conundrums you usually have to come up with an
equation or formula in order to figure out the answer. Some examples of math
based conundrums are Rounds 74 and 83.
2. Neopets based: For Neopets based conundrums you have to search the site
for information needed to solve the problem. Information can be found anywhere
from the stats page, to the shop wizard. Sometimes you will have to play a game
to find information, or visit several different parts of the site. Most of the
time you have to use a little math to figure out the answer, but you do not
need to come up with an equation. Examples of Neopets based conundrums can be
found in Round 67, 71, and 88.
3. Puzzles: There are several different puzzle conundrums, some are word puzzles,
some you have to find patterns, and others you may have to find something that’s
missing. Rounds 82 and 87 and good examples of puzzle problems.
There are also conundrums that combine two of the problem types. For example
Round 86 is a combination of a math based and a Neopets based problem. Not only
do you have to search though Neopia to find out how many Kikos there are, but
you also have to come up with an equation to figure out how many layers are
in the pyramid.
“Okay,” you say, “but how do I solve them?” Well seeing as how every Lenny
Conundrum is different, there isn’t any one way to solve them. Ultimately you’ll
have to figure that out on your own, but I’ve come up with a few tips to help
1. Determine what type of problem it is. Okay so this sounds like it would
be pretty obvious, and usually it is, but sometimes you will see a problem that
looks like its supposed to be one type, but its really another. An example of
this is Round 85. At first glance it looks like it’s a math based problem, but
actually it’s a puzzle problem (you’re looking for a pattern). If you are trying
to solve a problem that seems to be unsolvable, try looking at it as different
type of problem, and your chances of solving it should increase.
2. Look for patterns. If you have a puzzle problem with numbers try adding,
subtracting, multiplying…see if there is a mathematical pattern. Compare groups
of numbers. Are there similarities? If there are double digit numbers look for
patterns and similarities in the first and/or last digit of each of the numbers
rather than viewing them as whole numbers.
3. Try solving past LCs. The answers are given, so you will know right away
if you are right or wrong. Solving old Conundrums will not only help with your
problem solving skills, but will also give you insight to what types of puzzles
the Lenny comes up with, and how to “think to solve.” Try solving without looking
at the answer first.
4. Work Backwards. If trying to solve the old Conundrums isn’t working for
you, try working them backwards. This is especially helpful when it comes to
puzzle problems. Working backwards can help you figure out patterns and equations.
This is also another way to sharpen your thinking and see how to find solutions.
5. Change your thinking. Sometimes puzzles aren’t always what they seem. If
you have a group of numbers and there seems to be no possible pattern or equation
try a different approach. Sometimes spelling out the numbers will reveal a pattern.
Start thinking differently and you may find that the answer is right in front
6. Use other resources. Sometimes you can find help in other places. Ask a
friend or a parent for help. Kids if it’s a math conundrum you parents will
be happy to know that you are doing it for fun, they love that kind of thing!
Try the Internet or a book. I’ve found this helpful when doing math based problems,
you can usually find an equation in a math book or on a math site. Sometimes
there are even people on the boards willing to help.
7. Simplify. When all else fails, simplify. Sometimes we just over think, and
the simplest problem becomes overly complicated. Step away and come back with
a fresh mind.
8. Use props and hard copies. Sometimes it helps if you look at the problem
on paper rather than the computer. This works especially well for puzzle problems.
If you must rearrange something, print it out and cut it up. Its easier to rearrange
something in person then it is trying to do it in your head. The same goes for
any puzzle problem that is in “picture form,” or anything you can draw out.
Examples are Rounds 82, 76 and 77.
9. Know the Neopets site. There are a lot of Neopets based problems, and you’ll
definitely need to know your way around the site to solve them. If you haven’t
done so already, take a look at all the different pages on the Neopets web.
Be familiar with where to find information so that you will be able to locate
it quickly when you need it.
10. Reread the Problem before submitting. There is nothing worse than submitting
an answer and then realizing that you forgot to divide by 2. A lot of times
you will get so caught up in coming up with an equation, or figuring out a pattern,
that you forget to figure out the rest of the problem before you submit it.
I’ve done this before and believe me its definitely not something you want to
do. Make sure that you have done all the necessary steps before submitting by
reading the problem once more before you submit your answer.
Hopefully these tips will help on your way to solving the LC. It may be one
of the most frustrating games in Neopia, but its also one of the most rewarding.
Keep trying, and keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be solving like a pro in