Happy St. Brigid’s Day! Time for a little sprint-cleaning of the dusty cobwebs in your mind…
Below are two puzzles which are tricky, but certainly not beyond the capabilities of your average Knight’s Atari reader. Whomsoever first sends in the solutions to both of these puzzles shall receive one of Knight’s Atari’s highly-prized t-shirts.


A Skyscraper puzzle consists of an NxN grid, where each row and column must contain all of the numbers 1 to N, each representing the number of floors in that skyscraper. In addition, the number of visible skyscrapers, as viewed from the direction of each clue provided along the edge of the grid, is equal to the value of that clue. Note that higher skyscrapers block one’s view of lower skyscrapers located behind them.

Skyscraper 01-02-16NURIKABE

The aim of Nurikabe is to colour in parts of the grid such that each number is contained in an (uncoloured) island composed of as many squares as the number implies. Squares forming an island are only connected  horizontally or vertically, not diagonally. The rest of the grid is filled with water (the coloured-in bits).  The islands cannot touch (they must be separated by water). The water must form one continuous  chain and cannot form any 2×2 square, or bigger.

Nurikabe 01-02-2016

Agony Aunt Competition: Number Two

Agony Aunt Competition: Number Two

Given the success of the previous Knight’s Atari Agony Aunt competition, and the subsequent, and quite possibly, indeed, consequent, influx of queries and querulous advice, and noting the “KAAA”, to which these were often addressed, I contemplated briefly using “Kaa” from Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, as an unofficial and copyright-infringing mascot, of sorts, and somehow removing the superfluous ‘A’. However, the results for an image search for Kaa rapidly devolve into softcore hentai, and are not at all in keeping with the materteral image this particular column ostensibly seeks to preserve. Therefore, we will use Kaa’s image once, and once only.


This week/month/whateveryouarehavingyourself’s problem comes from a reader who, we hope, has not been waiting for our response, or he will have an almighty case of haemorrhoids.


Dear KAAA,

We have meditated (whilst on our porcelain Throne) on the effects of the Christmas season and its annual assault on our most delicate Royal (alimentary) Canal. In particular, befitting the coming centenary Celebrations, we have observed what once took its rightful place Below, has recently Risen.

Indeed, as we write from the Throne, It is currently Afloat. What sustains this Insurrection? We feel it of vital importance that the depths of these Mysteries by plunged by our beloved Subjects at the KAAA.

We await, in serene anticipation,
Prince Albert


I suspect that the solution is, perhaps, alimentary, my dear Watson,* but I have been wrong before.

Please send your explanations to knightsatari@gmail.com before the end of the month, and we will allow “Prince Albert” ( a dubious moniker) to choose his favourite, and we will promptlyish send the provider thereof a much-coveted Knight’s Atari t-shirt.

In the meantime, feel free to send your own problems in for perusal – who knows, the answer could change your life.


Question: What do the works of these three of my favourite childhood authors have in common; Douglas Adams, JRR Tolkien, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
Answer: They have all been shat upon by modern depictions featuring Martin Freeman.


Hairy Agony Aunt Competition Winner

Hairy Agony Aunt Competition Winner

In last month’s Agony Aunt Competition, Knight’s Atari offered you the chance to be a hero, and win a t-shirt. Your mission was to rescue one of our readers from a hairy situation.

MJ was one who answered the call, and a fancy Knight’s Atari t-shirt is on its way to her, along with our congratulations and, indubitably, Chip zee Man’s eternal gratitude for her thoughts on his predicament. Below are her words of wisdom, which we can perhaps all learn something from.*

Dear Chip Man,

Get over yourself. Not only do none of us care that your own body doesn’t arouse you no more (my heart breaks for you while violins play wistfully), but the gall you have asking for a villanelle is just de trop. Any self-respecting French-person will tell you that we regard hairiness highly, and the slight curl of a thickening hair (on any body) makes us quiver in anticipation. I suggest you use your hair to knit jumpers for refugees (you know, people with actual problems) and stop asking people to send you pictures – subscribe to a porn streaming service like the rest of us.

Ms. Fifi Deco

Keep an eye out for Knight’s Atari’s further Agony Aunt competitions – our readers will always have intriguing or embarrassing problems, and we will be happy to share them with you. Indeed, if you have any questions for the Knight’s Atari readers Agony Aunt collective, please do get in touch – knightsatari[that weird curly ‘a’ sign]gmail[dot]com .
A problem shared is a problem halved, and all that. Unless it’s herpes.

*This sentence should, of course, end with “from which we can perhaps all learn something.”, as ending a sentence with a preposition is frowned upon.
Madam:           I would like a train ticket, please.
Ticket-seller:  Certainly – where are you going to?
Madam:          One ought not to end a sentence with a preposition!
Ticket-seller:  I’m sorry – where are you going to, bitch?

Inspector Maths and the Case of the Case of Beer

Inspector Maths and the Case of the Case of Beer


Inspector Maths uses mathematics to fight crime.
It’s not very effective.

Inspector Maths stood silently in the deceased’s small house, surveying the sorry scene sibilantly.

There were beer and bits of brains splattered all over the kitchen floor, courtesy of the
unsuccessful merger of a case of beer and the deceased’s skull.

Clearly, Billy the dwarf had been in the process of removing the beer from the fridge-freezer, when he had slipped (most likely on the rollerskate, perhaps ironically the source of his erstwhile livelihood, which now lurked guiltily in the opposite corner of the room) and banged his head quite badly just before the entire case of beer went through it.


Inspector Maths knelt down and dipped a fancy-as-fuck thermometer in a small puddle of beer, checked her watch, and then made a note of the temperature setting on the fridge. As she did so, she mused upon the sick contrivance of a dwarf having a full-size standing fridge-freezer unit. It was just that kind of neighbourhood.

The idea was that the pool of beer would be gradually warmed by the temperature of the room, and knowing the temperature of the room and the original temperature of the beer would enable Inspector Maths to estimate the time at which it had been spilled, ie. the time of Billy’s untimely demise, using a simple first order differential equation.

The coroner would have performed similar calculations earlier, by sticking his own
thermometer up the deceased’s cooling bum, but he was becoming terribly fond of sticking things up people’s bums and Inspector Maths didn’t want to encourage him needlessly by asking for his results.

Letting T(s) be the temperature of the beer s hours after Billy’s fall, and letting R be the room temperature, which, thanks to Billy’s surprisingly sophisticated aircon unit, was constant, Inspector Maths planned to investigate the rate of change of the temperature of the beer, and thus, estimate the time at which the unfortunate accident had occurred.
The room temperature was set at 24 degrees, the fridge temperature set at 4 degrees, the  beer warmed to a tepid 19 degrees, and the time, at least for now, was 14:27.

At first, the beer would have warmed rapidly after being taken out of the fridge, with the heat change slowing as it approached 24 degrees, and finally stopping when it reached room temperature.
This rate of change in temperature at time s was described by

dT(s)/ds = k(R-T(s))

where the k mentioned was some constant accounting for certain properties of the beer and its interaction with the air; e.g. how much of the beer’s surface area was exposed to the air, its heat-conductivity level, and other trifling matters with which Inspector Maths did not concern herself, because she wasn’t a fucking physicist.

From this, Inspector Maths was able to derive an equation (no pun intended) describing the temperature as a function of time.


After she had Snapchatted  her calculations to an undergrad she was trying to impress/sleep with (neither of which explicitly implied the other), she realised that she had introduced equation (III) completely unnecessarily, but it was too late to do anything about it now. He wouldn’t notice anyway, he was studying Arts of some description. It probably made her look smarter. Maybe superfluous equations were the way to go.
Anyway, she had her formula:


Filling in the available information, that gave


There was just that pesky k to deal with, and that was a constant, so all Inspector Maths needed was a little time. And since she was on the clock, that was fine by her. She lit a cigarette and waited.

A thought occurred to her. She smiled and scribbled in her notepad.

Tell Peterson his momma is so fat that one can not reasonably assume that the room in which she dies will act as a thermal reservoir.

After an hour had passed, she took out her fancy thermometer, which had never been up anyone’s bum, and she measured the temperature again. 20 degrees.

These measurements allowed Inspector Maths to perform some brief calculations to see how long it had been since the death/spillage/what have you.


It seemed Billy had died at about 08:14.

Inspector Maths cursed. She bent down and took an intact can from the case of beer on the little man’s head. It was going to be a long day.

Normally, this accidental, albeit somewhat comical death, wouldn’t have been worth getting out of bed for. She and the coroner shouldn’t even be here, stealing beer and sticking thermometers up bums. She certainly wouldn’t have cared what time the dwarf had died at.

But Inspector Maths was investigating a murder. And it seemed her prime suspect, Billy the amazing rollerskating dwarf, had a very solid alibi.




Agony Aunt Competition

Agony Aunt Competition


Have you ever fancied yourself as an Agony Aunt or Uncle? Perhaps you like to write, or are wise, or nosy, or opinionated? Perhaps you need a distraction from all the studying you’re supposed to be doing?

As ever, Knight’s Atari has got your back. In this month’s competition, you get to answer one of the attention-seeking letters we are sent on an all-too-regular basis by readers who aren’t content merely to whore their personal issues out to cretinous friends on facebook for “likes” and “r u ok hun”s, but who also, for some reason, seem to think the editors at Knight’s Atari actually give a shit about their problems.

Below is a letter (or email, if you want to be technical) which was sent to us last week, by someone who, we must conclude, is both hairy and an arsehole. In a surprising turn of efficiency, the Knight’s Atari editors are going to outsource the problem to you, dear readers; providing distraction for you and potentially a range of answers for the poser, and most importantly – saving the editors’ precious time. You can post your answers as comments below or email them to us at knightsatari[at]gmail[dot]com, and as an extra incentive, whomsoever, in Chip Zee Man’s opinion, best answers the question before the end of this month, will win one of the highly-coveted Knight’s Atari t-shirts, as can be seen sported in our Beautiful People gallery.

Dear KAAA (Knight’s Atari Agony Aunt) 

As I leave behind the first flushes of youth, I find, to an increasing degree, that the appearance of new body hair no longer arouses in me the pride and feelings of masculinity that once it did. While vanity is not a sin of which I am regularly accused, the thought of disposing of some of the more unsightly outgrowths has crossed my mind. To spare myself the potential embarrassment of a disastrous depilatition, I would appreciate if the KA team, who I know to be far hairier than me, even in my current state, could investigate for me. Ideally I would like my answer structured as a villanelle* (not necessarily in French) and with before and after photos.
Chip Zee Man.
* Some of the limericks 
Attempted by KA cleverdicks,
While trying to be clever 
Could have rhymed better 
See – it’s not even that hard. 
(I even came up with a clever anagram-ous pseudonym.) 

For your convenience, here is the wikipedia article explaining what a villanelle is.

And remember – if you have any embarrassing personal problems that you feel you would like to share with the world, or at least the discerning portion of it which reads Knight’s Atari, do get in touch, because apparently we care.