Much Ado About Mensa


If you wanna get even, get MAD!

Friday 15th February 2019

Yes, get MAD!  Member Appreciation Day, that is.  This year’s Spring MAD will be held April 13 at Glendale’s Heroes Park, 83rd Ave and Bethany Home Road, noon to 5pm. (MAP) As with previous events it will feature excellent groceries, ample refreshment, and the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of really smart, really friendly people.

If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to Lynn Floyd by March 31 by email at southken2@cox.net with your name and total number attending.

All this as a way of expressing how glad we are that you’re all members.

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Call for ExCom Candidates

Friday 15th February 2019

Any GPM member in good standing is qualified to run for any seat on GPM’s ExCom.

The seats include Local Secretary, Assistant Local Secretary, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and three Members at Large.  If you wish to run for any of these offices please submit your name and member number to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Dale Floyd, at sdf65@nau.edu or in writing to GPM attn: NomCom at PO Box 60456, Phoenix AZ 85082 by May 1st.  After May 1 and by May 5, nominating petitions can place a member’s name on the ballot by submitting a hard copy petition signed by no fewer than ten members to the same address.

If there is more than one candidate for any office an election will be held in May and the results will be reported in June. Officers serve from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

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Puzzlement #35

Sunday 10th February 2019

There were only 2 responses to Puzzlement #34 and only one had the correct answer, submitted by Peter Bergonzi was: Noah’s Ark. 

On to the puzzle:

Morph 3 - Morph the first word to the last word by changing one letter at a time.

Training wheels example:

Morph FLAT to PREY in four steps.

FLAT
FRAT
FRAY
PRAY
PREY

Puzzlement:  Morph MOVED to PAWNS in eight steps.

Ed Note: You can check your word’s validity with the free Scrabble dictionary lookup at https://scrabblewordfinder.org/check

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Hello, from George Haynes - Running for Mensa 2nd Vice Chair

Sunday 10th February 2019

Editor’s Note: Publishing this letter does not represent an endorsement by GPM.

Letter to GPM members from George Haynes: 

If there existed a secret Mensa handshake, I’d ask you to pretend I was offering it to you now. Hello, Mensans all. My name is George Haynes and I’m just popping in to your newsletter to raise awareness that I’m running for a national office within Mensa that YOU will have the opportunity to vote for. 

Second Vice Chair is the name of the office for which I’m running. It’s like the Vice Vice President of Mensa. If Alexander Haig held this position, his grasp of the rules of succession would be correct (that’s my attempt at making a joke).

This is not my official campaign statement or my official biography. This is just a friendly howdy. Although my tone is more informal in this article, you can rest assured that I take this election very seriously and the responsibilities that come with being on Mensa’s national board of directors. I served on the AMC (that’s the national board) from 2015- 2017.  I’m currently the LocSec (that’s the president) of St. Louis Area Mensa. I was also the newsletter editor for St. Louis from 2010-2015. 

Interesting tidbit, I ran in 2015 for the AMC as a total newcomer to elected office for national Mensa. At that time, there were two ways to get on the Mensa ballot:  The Nominating Committee (NomComm) was one way and the other way was by petition, i.e. getting enough signatures to get your name on the ballot. The NomComm initially rejected me because they thought my supposed “lack of experience“ should keep me out of the running for national office. Thankfully, the people who signed my petition thought otherwise and indeed got me on the ballot. I won that election against my two opponents who were, ironically, favored by the NomComm. By the way, the two guys who were my opponents were great candidates; I consider them both my friends. My victory in 2015 as an AMC member was made even sweeter by a ballot initiative that eliminated the NomComm.

I share that story to respectfully highlight that I was a big outsider candidate four years ago.  Even though I have substantially more Mensa experience, now, that outsider mentality still pervades my thinking. Everyone plays politics to a degree; there’s no avoiding it. If you say you don’t EVER engage in political machinations (at work, at home, etc.), I have a hard time believing you. However, there comes a point where every person should ask the question, wherever they find themselves, “Am I primarily just an authentic person or am I a politician?” My desire is to be an authentic hard-working person (with skills and strengths) who serves the organization faithfully and diligently. Politics are real, but they don’t have to pervade everything.

Here comes the campaign slogan (forgive me if it’s cheesy):  “We’re all in this together. You’re a Mensan too.”   If you have specific questions, please email me at: haygeomensa@gmail.com

Please vote George Haynes for Second Vice Chair.  Your vote is very much appreciated.

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Puzzlement #34

Sunday 3rd February 2019

There were 5 responses to Puzzlement #33, only 2 had an acceptable answer, but the first one, submitted by Scott Holloway was exactly what the “GPM” provided: 

CHESS
CRESS
CRASS
BRASS
BRATS
BOATS
BOARS
BOARD

David Eagle was second, but with a slightly different, although valid sequence of 7 steps.

Ed Note: You can check your word’s validity with the free Scrabble dictionary lookup at https://scrabblewordfinder.org/check

On to the puzzle:

Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. has a nearly complete collection of records of maritime wrecks, sinkings and groundings.  Which takes pride of place as the first in the archive?  

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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February Mensaversaries

Friday 1st February 2019
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February Birthdays

Friday 1st February 2019
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Puzzlement #33

Sunday 27th January 2019

There were 20 responses to Puzzlement #32, 12 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Curtis Horton was: Ton. Paul Cottey was second and Evan Bauer was third.

On to the puzzle:

Morph 2 - Morph the first word to the last word by changing one letter at a time.

Training wheels example:

Morph FLAT to PREY in four steps.

FLAT
FRAT
FRAY
PRAY
PREY

Puzzlement:  Morph CHESS to BOARD in seven steps.

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #32

Sunday 20th January 2019

There were only 5 responses to Puzzlement #31, and only one had an acceptable answer and was the first one, submitted by Diana

white
whine
chine
chink
clink   (chick)
blink   (click)
blank  (clack)
black

Grumpy Puzzle Maven sez: Must be 7 steps and all must be legitimate, non-slang words. His answer is in parentheses. 

On to the puzzle:

Backward I’m heavy, forward I’m not.  What am I?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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2018 RG Photo Slide Show Available

Friday 11th January 2019

Phoenix Phiesta XXXVI: “Ph⨀⨀lin’ with Phriends” is now over, but we still have preserved a lot of photo memories for you to enjoy. See the show HERE.

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Puzzlement #31

Monday 7th January 2019

There were 10 responses to Puzzlement #30, everyone had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Paul Cottey was: A blind horse. Dave Hoffman was second and Evan Bauer was third.

The Grumpy Puzzle Maven has come up with a few new puzzlements that might appeal to vocabulary persons. This one is for you!

On to the puzzle:

Morph 1 - Morph the first word to the last word by changing one letter at a time.

Training wheels example:

Morph FLAT to PREY in four steps.

FLAT
FRAT
FRAY
PRAY
PREY

Puzzlement:  Morph WHITE to BLACK in seven steps. (show each step in your answer as in the example, each line must be a valid word)

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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January Mensaversaries

Tuesday 1st January 2019

Congratulations to Alan Gore with 50 years of Mensa membership!

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January Birthdays

Tuesday 1st January 2019
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Happiness, Health, and Success in the New Year!

Monday 31st December 2018
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Puzzlement #30

Sunday 30th December 2018

There were 27 responses to Puzzlement #29, 23 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Joe Gruberman was: Same guy. Skipped a term (Grover Cleveland). Paul Cottey was second and Robert McAtee was third.

On to the puzzle:

What has four legs, a tail, eats oats and hay and sees equally well from both ends?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #29

Sunday 16th December 2018

There were 30 responses to Puzzlement #28, 25 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Stephen Stuart was: Snow White. Robert McAtee was second and Russel Silverberg was third.

On to the puzzle:

The 22nd and 24th Presidents of the US had the same mother and father but were not brothers.  How is this possible?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #28

Sunday 9th December 2018

There were 8 responses to Puzzlement #27, only 3 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Evan Bauer was: The egg. Other less developed species than chickens laid eggs. [Like dinosaurs, eh?] Alex Vrenios was second and Stephen Stuart was third.

On to the puzzle:

The Seven Dwarves were Dopey, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Doc.  Who was the tallest in their household?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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December Birthdays

Saturday 1st December 2018
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December Mensaversaries

Saturday 1st December 2018
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Puzzlement #27

Friday 30th November 2018

There were 11 responses to Puzzlement #26, only 2 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Peter Bergonzi was: The President. (Four of the 45 people who have held the job were assassinated.) Craig Davidson was second.

On to the puzzle:

At long last a definitive answer to which came first, the chicken or the egg.  What is it?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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RG Banquet Group Photo

Friday 30th November 2018

About 1/3 of the gang stayed through the whole program to participate in the group photo.

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GPM’s 2018 RG Is History

Sunday 25th November 2018

Phoenix Phiesta XXXVI: “Ph⨀⨀lin’ with Phriends” was one of the best ever. This year we moved hospitality across the patio at the Hilton which provided much more space and comfort. We’ll be collecting photos and publishing an update to the RG web page with the full slide show as has been done in previous years.

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Puzzlement #26

Sunday 25th November 2018

There were 13 responses to Puzzlement #25, 7 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Mark Mach was: The wall clock. Robert McAtee was second and Alex Vrenios was third. Note: The clock wasn’t slow. Explanation from Robert McAtee - The 61 second interval is the second hand “clicking” every time it passes the minute hand which advances 1/60th of the dial each minute, so it takes the second hand 61 seconds to pass it each revolution of the dial.

On to the puzzle:

From statistical records what American job is the most likely to be fatal?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #25

Sunday 18th November 2018

There were 11 responses to Puzzlement #24, 6 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Stephen Stuart was: 5 Apples. Sky Shipley was second and Scott Holloway was third. 

On to the puzzle from Sky Shipley:

I arrived at my ASU class early. Sitting alone in the quiet room, I began to notice a very faint but regular clicking sound. By the wall clock, the interval between clicks was exactly 61 seconds. In a stroll around the room the sound was audible throughout, but I could not determine the source. This mystified me for several weeks; the sound was always there in this particular classroom. One day the answer dawned on me and I was easily able to confirm it by direct observation. What was it?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #24

Sunday 11th November 2018

There were 10 responses to Puzzlement #23, all had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Sky Shipley was: Avg groundspeed = 6000 mi/12.5hrs= 480 mph. Ann DeVlaeminck was second and Linda Jones was third.

On to the puzzle:

Get ready to groan:  If you take half of ten apples from seven apples what have you got?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Thanksgiving with GPM Family

Friday 9th November 2018

It wouldn’t be a Greater Phoenix Mensa Thanksgiving-weekend RG without our tradition Patricia Hull Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner. Pat was a generous Mensan who tirelessly opened the door of her home each year so Mensans who might otherwise eat alone on Thanksgiving could gather and have a good time with their “family”. The tradition now continues at the RG hotel, but the spirit is the same: come and share your Thanksgiving Day with your Mensa family.

Whether you plan to attend the RG or not, you are welcome to join us at our pot luck buffet meal. It is set up for all GPM members and their guests. Full details HERE.

The feast begins at 2:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd at the Hilton Garden Inn Midtown, 4000 N Central Ave Phoenix, AZ 85012 MAP. Parking is FREE in the gated lot across 1st Ave.

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GPM’s 2018 Regional Gathering Coming in Just Two Weeks!

Friday 9th November 2018

Phoenix Phiesta XXXVI: “Ph⨀⨀lin’ with Phriends”

30-Plus Programs to Inform, Stimulate and Amuse:
• Interesting and Interested Speakers on many subjects
• Games Galore!
• Parties After Dark (pack a bathing suit and your fanciest PJs)
• Romance! Sex! Adventure!
• Awesome Kids’ Track! - All Day!
• Endless conversation, debates, and infinity of puns.
• Saturday Night Banquet with delightful entertainment!
• AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!! And full agenda HERE.

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Puzzlement #23

Sunday 4th November 2018

There were 15 responses to Puzzlement #22, only 3 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Stephen Stuart was: The military time is 1630. The hour hand is halfway between 1600 and 1700 hours. 360*16.5/24 = 247.5 degrees. The minute hand is at 180 degrees. 247.5-180 = 67.5 degrees. Steven Sutlief was second and Sky Shipley was third. (An amazing coincidence of initials.)

On to the puzzle, contributed by Larry Bond:

On the way to Los Angeles from Boston (3000 miles) for the Red Sox & Dodgers World Series, my plane traveled into a headwind at 400 mph. But on the way back home (for the victory celebration!!) with a tailwind, it went 600 mph. So what was the average speed for the round trip?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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New Mensa Speaker Forum Location

Thursday 1st November 2018

Last Friday we had our first Speaker Forum at the Paradise Valley Civic Plaza where Richard Powers presented a very interesting talk about the history of the Roosevelt Dam. Richard was involved in the construction of the new bridge above the dam.

We are considering making this a permanent change to our location, thanks to the generosity of John Wintersteen, former Chief of Police of PV, we have use of the space for free. The location for the Post Forum Debriefing when this location is used is Char Kitchen + Bar, shown above and is close by on Scottsdale Road. Forum will resume in January after the holidays. Check for details in the GPM Live Web Calendar.

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November Mensaversaries

Thursday 1st November 2018
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November Birthdays

Thursday 1st November 2018
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Puzzlement #22

Sunday 28th October 2018

There were 17 responses to Puzzlement #21, 15 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Larry Bond was: Tomorrow. Nancy Allen was second and Alex Vrenios was third.

On to the puzzle, submitted by Alex Vrenios:

You look up at the 24-hour military clock on the wall to see that it’s only 4:30 PM, half an hour to quitting time. In the hopes of making that time pass by quickly, you decide to calculate the distance between the hour and minute hands. How many degrees are in the smaller of the two angles between them?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Scholarships!

Wednesday 24th October 2018

The 2018-19 Scholarship Program is underway. Visit our Scholarships page for details on how ANYONE heading to college or a certificate program can write an essay and have a chance to get one. We will also need GPM Member judges for those essays. Get more info HERE.

Contact David Coast, Scholarships ChairM for more info: dcoast123@gmail.com

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RVC9 Column

Sunday 21st October 2018

From Mike Wong, RVC9

The Typhoon Mangkhut is raging outside and it is raining so hard that I can hardly see anything beyond the apartment building across the street.  The category 5 equivalent typhoon is weakening and will soon be lowered to category 4, but it is still uprooting fairly large trees while ripping large branches off others, blowing debris all over.  The normally busy streets are completely deserted as all the public transportation suspended services, it is literally a dead city.

The wind is coming in from the south east.  It is fortunate that the apartment we reside mostly face north, only one bedroom is facing east.  Rain water from the storm leaked through the bedroom wall without our noticing, flooding the floor.  We soaked up the water using up most of the dry towels, now we only replace the towels by the leaks every half hour to keep the room dry.

On the subject of natural disasters, the national office sends out emails to check on members when disasters struck.  We have had volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and the Hurricanes through the southern and eastern states earlier this year.  Please let us know you are okay when you receive these from Mensa.

I am currently visiting my ailing mother, this is something I started doing 3 years ago.  She was only supposed to last at most two years after being diagnosed, so I visit her as often as possible.  This is the first time my visit coincided with a major typhoon.  In some ways this brought back a lot of memories of my childhood as we prayed for major typhoons during school year so we can skip school.

Mom’s declining health over the last few years could be attributed to her having to take care of my father and her grandparents, while volunteering to help out with her social activities.  We were not aware of her declining health until it was too late, but by that time both Grandpa and father had passed away, Grandma was in late stages of dementia and bedridden.  I’m no stranger to burnouts as I’ve experienced that too.  There are a lot of Mensans that I see in our local groups who work way too hard, and I would like to caution them that it is not work sacrificing their health by overdoing it.

I apologize that this column may sound lacking in content, I had originally hoped to write about the planning meeting and AMC board meeting in Dallas.  The date was changed from the beginning of September to the end of September after my trip to Hong Kong was already arranged and can not be altered.  I did manage to visit Orange County’s monthly forum to present Art and Angie Mattson his national and regional service awards and her proctor and testing awards.  The presentation given by the public defender was informative and entertaining, I highly recommend attending that if you ever visit Orange County.  I will have more Mensa related material next month.

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Puzzlement #21

Sunday 21st October 2018

There were 9 responses to Puzzlement #20, 5 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Alys Carnesi was: He was donating blood. Joe Gruberman was second and Frank Pabian was third.

On to the puzzle:

Always talked of, never seen,
Ever coming, never been,
Daily looked for, never here,
Still approaching, coming near.

Thousands for its visit wait,
But alas, alas for all their fate,
Though they expect me to appear,
They never ever find me here.

Who am I?  (Hint:  I’m not Godot.)

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

POSTSCRIPT: The Grumpy Puzzle Maven is asking for your own favorite puzzlements to be published here. Please send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org and it will be featured along with your name in “lights.”

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RVC9 Column

Tuesday 16th October 2018

From Mike Wong, RVC9

Dear Region 9, I apologize for the tardiness of the September column.  It has been an exceedingly difficult column to write due to the unpleasant subject.  The computer hardware failures I encountered towards the end of August also  further contributed to the delay.

As many of you may know by now, we just had our Annual Gathering in Indianapolis at the beginning of July.  While we have had a lot of fun at the AG, there were also a few incidents that occurred over the week.  I am not going to give any further details about these unfortunate events here, as it is not helpful to delve into what has already happened.  It is far more constructive to think about what can be done to prevent or discourage similar occurrences from happening again in the future.

I have been approached by some concerned members who are outraged and/or disappointed by what transpired.  A few of these members had demanded that things to be done and have disciplinary actions taken against the offending parties.  I appreciate how some members might feel unsafe and threatened attending our future gatherings, when the perpetrators often simply just walk away with no repercussions and come back later to commit the same offenses again.  After thinking about this for some time, I am going to urge fellow members to report future incidents to the authorities.  Many times the victims simply choose not to pursue the matter any further, when this happens it makes it difficult for anyone else to proceed with any actions against the offender.


A common cause that has been attributed to most of these unfortunate incidents seems to be alcohol, as the persons involved were often in various stages of inebriation.  Most if not all gatherings provide free flowing alcohol, and as a result some members tend to over indulge. This leads to bad things happening as their judgment may have been seriously impaired.  While this may not be a popular idea, maybe gatherings should stop making alcohol so easily available.  I know this still will not prevent party suites from providing booze to the attendees, and members can still procure alcohol themselves elsewhere, but perhaps it will reduce the frequency of future incidents.

Finally, our former Secretary Lisa Maxwell, has resigned from the AMC board shortly after the Annual Gathering.  Lisa is a very hardworking and dedicated individual, I have really enjoyed the brief time I have served with her on the board.  She will be sorely missed.  On a related note, our neighboring region up north (region 8) had Sandra Lackovic resigning from her position as RVC 8 shortly before the Annual Gathering, the board has appointed Sue Ann Gilmore as the Region 8 coordinator at the AMC board meeting held at the AG.  Alexis Wise has resigned from the position of Marketing Officer and was replaced by Alexander Huth.  I apologize for not including these important information in my previous column as I was too excited writing about the prestigious awards Region 9 has won.

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Puzzlement #20

Sunday 14th October 2018

There were 13 responses to Puzzlement #19, 8 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Frank Pabian was: Dice. Sky Shipley was second and Larry Bond was third.

On to the puzzle:

A nameless former Mensa member entered an office and gave his name.  'Ah, yes, they’ve been expecting you.  While you’re waiting have a cookie,’ said the receptionist.  Being the person he was he was he filled his pockets with cookies (now we know who he is).  When he was summoned through the inner door he realized that they had been waiting for him.  The last thing he remembered was being stabbed by a masked man and seeing blood squirt from the wound as he lost consciousness.  Some time later he came to to find that his wound had been bandaged and nobody was in the room.  Quick as he could he stole through the inner door, past the receptionist and was gone.  He reported the event to no one.  Why?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #19

Sunday 7th October 2018

There were 13 responses to Puzzlement #18, only 7 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Richard Soger was: Don’t offer an award. Susan Sackett was second and Peter Bergonzi was third.

On to the puzzle:

Academe has certain forms which must be followed in order to honor the seriousness and high purpose of the institution.  Therefore when a Math Department TA ordered ‘multiple units of pseudo-random number generators’ what did she want?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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October Mensaversaries

Wednesday 3rd October 2018
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October Birthdays

Wednesday 3rd October 2018
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Puzzlement #18

Sunday 30th September 2018

There were 29 responses to Puzzlement #17, EVERYONE had the correct answer, the first one, submitted by Philip Carlisle was: Any lion who has not eaten in 2 years would be dead. Laura Swanson was second and Les Eastman was third.

On to the puzzle:

Mensa ExCom (not GPM) had fallen on financial straits and badly wanted to reduce expenses.  They decided to offer a $25 reward for good money saving ideas.  Newbie Know-it-all who had just moved into the area and was visiting ExCom for the first time immediately claimed the reward.  What, in inimitable Mensa fashion did he suggest?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Puzzlement #17

Sunday 23rd September 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: Based on feedback from participants I have shifted the posting of the Puzzlement in the MAAM to mid-afternoon Sunday, followed shortly by the MAAM Digest email. 

There were 23 responses to Puzzlement #16, only 7 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Randy West was: The truck was ON the train. Robert Faerber was second and Alex Vrenios was third.

On to the puzzle:

An intrepid explorer was captured by cannibals.  He so entertained them so effectively with tales of his travels that they decided not to eat him, but because he’d trespassed on their sacred territory he was to be killed anyway.  But they gave him a choice:  Did he want to be burned at the stake, did he want to be thrown into a den of lions who hadn’t eaten in two years, or did he want to be boiled in oil?  Which choice offered him a chance of survival?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org.

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Puzzlement #16

Sunday 16th September 2018

There were 21 responses to Puzzlement #15, 18 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Steven Perlmutter was: Zero, the sun doesn’t shine at midnight in Aruba. Alex Vrenios was second and Joseph Dwork was third.

On to the puzzle:

A 300 car railroad train approached an intersection at 60 miles an hour.  At the same time a ratty old pickup truck, 450hp, no lights, no horn, no brakes also going a mile a minute, approached the same intersection.  The train and the pickup both whizzed through the intersection at the same time with no damage to either.  How can this be?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Want Mensa and GPM to grow?  Are you an avid reader?

Thursday 13th September 2018

Become a BOOKMARK INSURGENT!

What the hell is that?  It’s a plan we’ve cooked up to expose people who are likely Mensa prospects to the idea of joining.  We’ve designed a bookmark that shows people how to find out about joining Mensa.

Just sign up and we’ll send you a supply of the bookmarks.  Bring them with you whenever you go to the library of a bookstore.  When you’re browsing just slip a bookmark in any book you pick up.  And put one in the books you check out when you return them.

What kind of book?  Doesn’t matter.  If you’re interested enough to pick it up anybody else who’d interested enough to pick it up is a possible Mensa recruit.  It really is as simple as that.

Interested?  Willing?  Send your name and mailing address to the LocSec and we’ll fix you up. locsec@phoenixmensa.org

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It's Official! Adam Savage will be our Gala Dinner Guest at the 2019 Phoenix AG!

Thursday 13th September 2018

On-screen builder and famed debunker of myths Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what’s in his brain and make it real. Luckily for us, he’s also drawn up plans for a tasty, entertaining gala.

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Puzzlement #15

Sunday 9th September 2018

There were 18 responses to Puzzlement #14, 13 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Alex Vrenios was most like the Grumpy Puzzle Maven’s answer: It can happen if there is a spanking wind from the East carrying a hot air balloon from Little Diomede Island on the US side of the Baring Straits to Big Diomede Island in Russia, a distance of about three miles.. Robert McAtee was second and Sky Shipley was third.

On to the puzzle:

The island of Aruba is famous for perfectly consistent weather, but to everyone’s surprise it started to rain on New Year’s Eve as the tourists were counting down the last minute to the new year.  Since the probability of rain that time of year is less than one in a thousand, what is the likelihood that the sun will be shining brightly 72 hours later?

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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Letter to the Editor

Friday 7th September 2018

The Grumpy Puzzlement Maven replies: “What Does the Puzzlement Test?”

Setting aside the fact that MAAM and the Puzzlement is available to everybody at the same time, when they choose to read it being individual option, Denis’ observation is correct but I fail to see how it is a flaw.  Is he somehow conflating submitting the answer first with ‘winning’?  Is getting one’s name in MAAM such a prize?  If so, Editor must be really be doing a great job with his publication.  But if that’s a prize, Dr. Franklin can ‘win’ any time he wants to by submitting an article or letter (as he has often done in the past).

IMHO solving the puzzlement is in itself ‘winning’.  As with nearly everything else in Mensa, the prize is self-satisfaction earned by reasoning it out, suggesting that we may be as smart as The Card suggests we are. 

All that being said, I encourage Denis and all other GPM members to be involved in everything GPM does. After all, it’s The Law.  Sturgeon’s Law:  90% of everything is just showing up.

GPM (emphasis on the ‘Grumpy’)

[Editor’s Note: The puzzlements are posted directly in the tumblr blog, gpm-maam, at 3 AM Sunday. The MAAM Digest email is sent out at 4 AM Sunday with all the previous week’s postings. Your comments are welcome to editor@phoenixmensa.org.]

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Letter to the Editor

Friday 7th September 2018

From Denis Franklin, “What Does the Puzzlement Test?”

I hope you will print this letter so that others will tell me whether there is a flaw in my reasoning.

Please allow me to submit the opinion that the Puzzlement contest is fundamentally, logically flawed because of its primary rule, which is irrelevant to the puzzle itself.

If everyone received the puzzle at the same time, then the fact that a response arrived first  would measure some quality of the person submitting it.  But given that many folks process their e-mail in one daily batch, and that the time for doing so varies among individuals, therefore the elapsed time between receipt of the puzzle and the response can vary widely and randomly among those responders, over spans of time that may easily be much greater than the time it takes to work out the puzzle.

Whereas those who do their e-mail on a portable device, by setting an alarm for incoming e-mail, can arrange to see the puzzle the moment it comes in and, if they are also a bit obsessive about puzzles or about winning contests, can solve and respond to it immediately.  The fastest among such contestants is the one whose answer arrives first.


Because of this procedural flaw, the Puzzlement contest is to that extent rigged by a bogus criterion that does not test what it is implied to test: i.e. which contestant is the fastest solver of the puzzle in question.  The game is, to that extent, unfair. 


I have very occasionally been intrigues by one of the puzzles, worked out an answer and submitted it, but I have always known that the order in which the answers were received meant nothing.  That conclusion, one could say, solves the logical puzzle within the Puzzlement competition, but I don’t suppose I’m the first to have mentioned it.  ;-)

Denis

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Puzzlement # 14

Sunday 2nd September 2018

There were 23 responses to Puzzlement #13, 17 had the correct answer, but the first one, submitted by Stephen Stuart was: Statement #9 was the one true answer. Ron Draney was second and Scott Holloway was third.

On to the puzzle:

Phineas Partly Cloudy bet that under the right conditions he could travel by hot air balloon from US to Russia in under two hours.  Can this be, and if so, what conditions are required.

To submit an answer, click HERE or send it to editor@phoenixmensa.org

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September Birthdays

Saturday 1st September 2018
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