Master Theorem returns // Ron Swanson, jigsawer // Escape from the Playa

This Saturday sees the launch of Mark Halpin’s annual Labor Day Puzzle Extravaganza. I was introduced
The Mystery League
Master Theorem returns // Ron Swanson, jigsawer // Escape from the Playa
By The Mystery League • Issue #2
This Saturday sees the launch of Mark Halpin’s annual Labor Day Puzzle Extravaganza. I was introduced to Halpin’s work two years ago, when I helped some friends with the 2014 set. Ever since, my wife and I have been slowly exploring his back catalog (see below), which is deep and full of some of the most elegant word and logic puzzles I’ve ever seen. Read on for links to the LDE — and other good stuff.

Puzzles on the web
The Master Theorem returns
Years ago, I was obsessed with this secret club that published a new, original puzzle every week, and rewarded fast solvers with points. I’ve been missing it since it shut down in 2011. Suddenly, this week, it came back.
Get ready to lose hours to these epic sets of paper puzzles that the ace puzzlemaker releases every Labor Day. The puzzles are things of beauty. This year’s set will be released this Saturday, September 3, at 1PM Eastern.
Puzzles in the news
The Secret Message Hidden On Sega's Arcade Bags
“For the past two years, Sega Japan has been hiding a coded message on the plastic bags it gives out to those who win crane game prizes. Nobody realized they contained a secret message.”
Puzzles in Chicago
Hey, Chicagoans, sign up for this other mailing list of mine, where I announce puzzle stuff that’s happening in Chicago.
Puzzles in the desert
This tweet is the extent of what I know about this. If you’re at Burning Man, hunt this down and tell me how it is.
Not a puzzle but still worth your time
The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian – A Sci-Fi Podcast for Kids. Like Scooby-Doo, but in Space.
A new podcast for kids and adults from my friend Jonathan Messinger. It’s an old-fashioned serialized space adventure, but with just the right balance of silliness and heart. And it’s got robots, and hidden references to your favorite classic kids books. And it’s SO GOOD.
Puzzle at the end of this newsletter
Q. Name a longtime TV personality. Remove three consecutive letters from the middle of his name, along with the space, and you’ll get the last name of a modern American writer. Who are these people?
Answer to last week’s puzzle (in rot-13):
YRZBANQR -> YR ZBAQR

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The Mystery League
We are a company of creative puzzlemakers in Chicago. This is our weekly dispatch of puzzle news. To learn about puzzle events in Chicago, subscribe to Puzzling in Chicago: http://mysteryleague.com/pic.
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