Not going to the meeting meant getting first crack at the hospitality room lunch. T's family set out a nice variety of food (I hadn't been at the picnic so even the leftovers were new to me), and I got to eat without waiting on a line. Missing the meeting also meant I was too late to submit our diorama flat for possible inclusion in competition, but it probably would not have been chosen anyway.
People came out of the meeting, and I heard about the engagements and ill-fated Gatlinburg bid. Eddy said his family accidentally drove through there en route to Florida years ago, and it was very tacky. Talking to my last-year Canadian extravaganza team of Witz and Eddy, we remarked to Manx passing by that it would be great if we were teamed up again.
I never co-solve for Saturday afternoon pencil-and-paper games, but I'm not that good. This was shown once again as I struggled on Will's pyramids (got 4 or 5 after correcting one with the non-word BROG, and then suddenly solved another with a minute to go). I had subscribed to the old 4-* Puzzler, but still struggled with the Sphinx Page puzzles. In the end, I only missed a few (don't remember exact number), but I didn't win anything (according to reports - I left before prizes on Sunday). So either Will took to heart my note on top that I had been a subscriber and disqualified me, or my total still wasn't good enough.
Then it was time to solve diorama flats in pairs. Having to choose partners is a social situation puts me into panic, and all around me people were teaming up, including Witz and Eddy who I just had been talking to. So I did it alone and felt unpopular, even though I actually prefer to solve on my own. In this case, there was no impetus to ponder and try if I didn't see something immediately, so after one circuit around the room and just a handful of solutions, I left and went to check e-mail and prepare for the picture.
Strangely, I did not see the diorama in my room, even though I'm positive I brought it back with me Friday. Either the housekeeper threw it out, I threw it out and forgot I did, I brought it downstairs and forgot I did, or it was in an obscure corner of the room. I never did see it again.
I reported to the bottom of the stairs for the picture, and talked to people while waiting, including Hyperion who I kept thinking was Murdoch all weekend. I ended up in the middle of the steps and could be seen in the final photo, but some people in the back became invisible.
Back in the lobby, I was talking to Canon and his wife Joan. Canon had to go find his guest, a former MW employee, so Joan and I went in to dinner. The selection wasn't nearly as good as Friday (pretty hard to beat Friday), but I had salad, minestrone, tomato-parmesan casserole, and chicken. Averaging all the meals together for the weekend, it was still very good food.
I have a friend S from MetLife days, who recently moved to Denver. Actually, it was 11 years ago - hard to believe. She was going to come by Saturday night and watch the 'ganza (she's not a puzzle person). I offered her help to Jo The and Manx (who had met her years ago). Since I expected her at 7, I left dinner just before Canon's talk to go wait. After no sign by 7:30, I asked the desk if I could use their phone to make a local call, and got her in the car, still about 20 minutes away. So it's a good thing Irbs ended up helping with the game.
S eventually arrived, looking much the same, and after a short wait, we burst into the room to find our teams. I was happy to see Story, T McAy, and Eddy (so either Manx remembered the earlier request or it just came out that way) at my table. Since another team shared the table, there was no room for S to sit and lurk, so she took a chair at the back and luckily had a book to keep her occupied. The team worked together well, and we enjoyed the brilliantly put together (was there any doubt?) art-themed puzzles. I think we came in 13th; while we were "runners" and seriously wanted to solve, we didn't go crazy with competitiveness.
S discussed MetLife stuff with Jo The, Pen Gwyn and Stewball, and then we watched Denver Jeopardy and Tablesaw's funny Remote Control. I'm glad I didn't play, since the questions didn't hit my strengths. Then we sat in the lobby and just talked until she left and I called it a night. I later heard about jacuzzi Mafia, but I'd be unlikely to be in a jacuzzi OR play Mafia.