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A Salute to the Lenny Conundrum

by lkozma


As you may know, the 300th Lenny Conundrum will soon be published. In honor of this occasion, I've compiled a list of memorable moments, tips, and trivia about the Lenny Conundrum.

1. The Lenny Conundrum debuted on March 23, 2001. You'll notice that the Lenny shown in the News for that day looks quite different from the current Lenny. The previous Lenny had a beard, and his hat and robe did not have stars on them. Also, the first 1000 players to answer correctly got a prize. Now, the first 250 players to answer correctly get a prize, avatar, and trophy, while everyone who answers correctly splits a prize pool of 2,000,000 Neopoints.

2. Want that avatar and trophy? You may have tried to solve the Lenny Conundrum before, only to get the answer incorrect. Maybe you even got the answer right, but you weren't one of the first 250 players to solve it. Here's the number one tip for obtaining that avatar: try to solve it as soon as it's been posted. Most of the time, the top 250 is filled within an hour. Typically, the new Lenny Conundrum is posted between the hours of 2 PM and 6 PM on Wednesdays. Refresh the main Lenny Conundrum page often until the new one is posted. You may also want to keep track of the Games board, as the new puzzle is usually posted shortly after the new Better Than You contestant picture is uploaded. If this week's puzzle is not up your alley, try again next week. Patience is key. Also, don't forgot to read the fine print. For example, many mathematical puzzle answers need to be rounded.

3. The best place to hang out for Lenny Conundrum discussions is the Games board. Be careful what you discuss, though. It's fine to mention when the new puzzle has been posted, or whether you found the puzzle easy or not. However, do not post obvious hints or outright answers. Since whether a hint is obvious or not can be somewhat debatable, I refrain from posting any hints whatsoever. It is OK to post a detailed solution once the current competition is officially closed.

3. "Conundrum" must be the most misspelled word on Neopets, with quite a few variations. I've even seen it spelled "coldrum". Perhaps that poster got confused with the cauldron in Sophie's Stew. If you don't feel like typing (or even copying and pasting) "conundrum", just call it the "LC". Regular solvers will know what you're discussing.

4. No matter how difficult a particular LC is to solve, someone will invariably post "That LC was so easy" shortly after it was posted -- and proceed to get the answer wrong.

5. It is unknown how fast you need to be to get a gold trophy. The best guess is the first 5 solvers are awarded gold, and then the next 20 get silver. These guesstimates are based on Better Than You's prize levels.

6. The high score system can be a bit difficult to figure out. If you achieve a bronze trophy, you can upgrade to silver or gold. If you obtain a silver trophy, you can upgrade to gold. If you place in the top 250 even one hundred times, but never get fast enough for gold, you'll still be stuck at silver or bronze. Once you obtain a gold trophy, you will only upgrade if you get gold again. Since it is rare to get a gold trophy the first time you place in the first 250, most 2X champions have had one gold and at least one silver or bronze placement. Since the current minimum score for the High Score Table is 3 points, everyone on that list got gold at least twice.

7. It's fun to go through the archives and solve previous LCs. Some LCs, however, refer to pages that no longer exist. For example, LC #3 refers to a Mulvinn the Wocky article in the Neopedia. That article no longer exists, so it's pretty much impossible to solve that LC at this point. LC #119 must be one of the most baffling LCs to solve at a later date, as there is no question and a rather large number as the answer. The question was hidden in the original source code while the LC was current, but when the answer page was created, that source code was not copied.

8. Familiarize yourself with the navigation of Neopets. Hover over the words near the top of the screen (my account, pet central, etc.), and start clicking on the different menu items. While this is useful advice for beginning players, advanced players can also benefit. When was the last time you visited the Pronunciation page, if ever? I thought so! However, LC #288's answer was based on that page, so no matter how esoteric a page might seem, it could come in handy.

9. At some point, TNT got frustrated because many LC answers were being posted, and so they released LC #148. There was no way to actually "solve" that one, although many people tried. You could only take a guess. Only 21 people submitted a correct guess. There have been several subsequent LCs that have required guesswork; however, you could make an educated guess as opposed to just thinking of something random (e.g., LCs #277, #278, and #286).

10. LC #283 may appear to be the most innocuous LC ever posted. It's so easy that even an elementary school child could solve it -- or is it? Many solvers thought that the puzzle was a reference to a famous book. It did not help matters that if you researched the phrase on the Internet, the aforementioned book appeared. Even the prize was a subtle hint. Ah, TNT with their red herrings! The answer was, of course, the simple product that most school children know.

11. Just because you know how to solve the LC doesn't mean that you can. Every so often there will be a puzzle where the answer cannot be determined at the time of the posting. These LCs tend to be based on site events, such as the Daily Dare and the Advent Calendar, that occur over a period of time. I'm not a fan of these puzzles. I enjoy figuring out the pattern, but actually submitting the answer is more of a speed competition that anything else. Take a look at LC #290. According to the puzzle answer, the first 250 places were filled within 20 seconds after the Advent Calendar page was updated.

12. The Lenny Conundrum Lenny is a nephew of Finneus the archivist. In the Altador Plot, the Lenny Conundrum Lenny wanted to decorate Finneus' Meepit Plushie, but he wound up ripping it instead.

13. Every so often, the LC does not have at least 250 correct entries. For example, the aforementioned LC #148 was one of them, and perhaps had the fewest correct entries. Other LCs with less than 250 correct entries include LC #294 (46 correct entries), LC #270 (50 correct entries), LC #262 (180 correct entries), and LC #140 (95 correct entries).

14. Most LC prizes are worth around 10,000 Neopoints; however, they can be worth significantly more. The most valuable prize ever given out for the LC is almost certainly the Coltzan Stamp. This stamp was only available as an LC prize. Very few of these items are still available for purchase, as most of them are in Stamp Albums. This stamp is part of the Lost Desert Stamp collection, and if you fill that, you will obtain the Stamp Collector - Lost Desert avatar. Needless to say, this item is very desirable, and so the estimated price is 150 million Neopoints.

15. The prizes for LCs #100 (Lenny Conundrum Plushie) and #200 (Lenny Conundrum Bobblehead) were created especially for the LC. Quantities were limited to 250 apiece. I'm hoping that the prize for LC #300 is equally spectacular, and that the puzzle itself is not a doozy like LC #148 or #294!

Well, there you have it -- 15 morsels of fun about the Lenny Conundrum. Look, 15 is 5 percent of 300! Ahem... Got carried away there for a second, but I hope you've enjoyed my article, and will continue to enjoy the Lenny Conundrum!

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