My weekend was busy with the college puzzle challenge (cpc). Each year I do a couple puzzle hunts and it gets more fun each time. To tell the truth, I’m not that great at solving puzzles. At least it’s a chance to goof off for a day with some friends. Looking at puzzles all day does give me a headache sometimes. Good thing I brought plenty of advil to the challenge!
Every now and then I see a strong analogy between puzzling and research. A puzzle presents a question, to which you want to find an answer. Research works the same way. Maybe you know what the question being asked is, and maybe you don’t. All you can do is propose a hypothesis and do some tests to see if you’re right. In the end, you get some answer, and hopefully it makes sense in the context of the question you asked. Now and then the questions and answers come easily, but usually not.
Could I be over analyzing the analogy here? Hopefully I’m not duping myself into believing an elaborate string of mistruths. A good researcher needs to know the difference between correlation and causation. Right now I’m just going to consider whether my research can inform my puzzle solving, and vice versa.