I had a lovely Whitby - a little more muted than usual, partly because of colds at our end and partly because of colds very sadly keeping

**ergotia** and

**lilithmagna** from joining us, but very nice all the same.

My Friday night outfit was particularly well received, and will no doubt be reprised.

Now I'm obsessing with trying to get a paper ready by November 25 for

FSE 2006. I have to keep a little quiet about what I'm doing until January 27th, since submissions are anonymous, but, it's cool.

**Update** with a geek puzzle: here's a simple game. I lay out a set of tiles that say Y or N; say I lay out

NYYNYNN

You lay the same number of tiles underneath:

NYYNYNN

NNYYNNN

The rules are: (1) if a tile is the same as the one above, you have to lay the same tile to the right. So you're not allowed to lay

NYYNYNN

NYYYNNN

-^- not allowed: because the first column is N N, you must lay N as your second tile.

(2) you get a point every time you lay a tile which is the same as the one above.

NYYNYNN

NNYYNNN

1010011 - four points

The least you can score is always zero: it's always a legal move to lay tiles which differ in every place from the ones above. What's the best you can score for NYYNYN, and how many ways can you do it? Can anyone give an algorithm which determines the highest you can score, or which generates all of the possibilities which give you a given score?