September 27, 1987

Dear Doctor,

It is Sunday and I have not received your latest communication. I am enclosing this with a disk containing two files. CRSWRD.ARC generated with my help the two enclosed puzzles the first written for the Slatins, the second for Mavis. The Slatin puzzle was my first attempt. It has too many big black areas, too few cross links and no symmetry. The one thing I cannot find is a convenient way to do with the program is to start with a pattern blacked out. The other with a name like MATHSTU.ARC which I haven’t downloaded but will if you find this interesting.

I have written to Morris. Through a strange train of thought, too involved to outline here, I was reminded of a man who figured in the news during our childhood, as a moralist and presidential candidate and a believer in the flatness of the earth. I now think his name was Wilbur Glenn Voliva, who the Brittanica describes in a single sentence as the successor to a cult leader named Dowie, who had been deposed from his position for speculation and polygamy, evidently the Jim Baker of his day [1904]. As the french say toute sa change and tout sa remains the same. I still do not know if he was the flat earth man.

I have a suggestion, in your next care package include the Turbo Pascal Compiler, then when you send a program of your own composition, include the source program. I have the same manual as you do so there is no problem there. I just interrupted this letter and ran your NEWLINK4 in mode $), each step takes about 1.75 seconds and the colors are a pale turquoise, a pale purple, and white on a black background. Many of the decisions start out broadly and then tie themselves into little knots. If it was mine I would write a subroutine which would choose parameters randomly subject to some restrictions as does kalscope and turn it loose.

Who will do today’s puzzle. I have a Bible within reach that would make it easy, even a concordance. Would your youthful religious studies help, should Muslims require equal time for the Koran?

Well I have things to do and promises to keep this afternoon. Print three letters, envelopes, mow the lawn, do the laundry, generate a disk, prepare everything for mailing.

Pretty,
Oh pretty,
Postmistress sweet.
Bringing my mail in spite of the sleet.
Climbing my steps in spite of the ice.
Oh ring my bell,
Ring my bell,
Ring my bell twice.

Sincerely,
Featherstonehaugh

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