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Hello all

Posted: Wed 06 Sep, 2017 3:41 pm
by Angus
Hello, I have just joined this forum so thought I should introduce myself.

I do mainly like word puzzles such as crosswords, but I'm not averse to language-neutral puzzles as well. Reasonably proficient at Sudoku and Killer but I do get stuck on the very hard ones probably because I try not to write anything in except the correct number in each square!

As an aside, I am keen on cryptic crosswords, especially the Times, and a recent claim to fame is winning the GCHQ Puzzle Book competition, but that was very English language and culture heavy, especially the tie-breaker that was set.

I've seen the Mind Sports Olympiad mentioned and another claim to fame was that I won the so-called World Intelligence Championship at the first MSO in 1997 and the second one in 1998. Those were basically jumped-up IQ tests but had fantastic prizes - a return trip to New York on Concorde in 1997 and a return trip to any BA destination in 1998 (I chose Tokyo).

Re: Hello all

Posted: Wed 06 Sep, 2017 11:40 pm
by PuzzleScot
Welcome Angus! (I can't help but sense some Scottish connections in your name...)

There are a few other talented cruciverbalists among our number here, that have happily taken the step into the wonderful world of puzzling, so you are in good company.

I hope you enjoy what you find here. My advice is to go to the 'puzzle contests' forum, (or even our own contests page) and find some puzzle contests to have fun with. Past contests will usually still have the puzzles for solving at leisure.

If you need any help solving anything, even just a hint to get started, just ask away in the puzzle discussion area.

All the best
Alan

Re: Hello all

Posted: Fri 08 Sep, 2017 12:14 pm
by Angus
OK, thanks, will do. Good guess, I was born and grew up in Edinburgh, although I'm in London now.

Re: Hello all

Posted: Wed 13 Sep, 2017 12:03 pm
by Magoo
Welcome, Angus.

Congratulations on winning the GCHQ Puzzle Book challenge. I would be fascinated to know (a) what size your final Wordbox was? and (b) How did you compile it? (Actually, I'd love to see the Wordbox itself). Having worked our way through the puzzles, Simon & I decided the only sensible way to optimise the Wordbox was to write a computer program, which was beyond us. I'd love to have been wrong.

And say hello at the next Times Crossword Championship (or indeed Sudoku Championship if you're going to that).

Re: Hello all

Posted: Sun 01 Oct, 2017 4:59 pm
by Angus
Hello magoo

Sorry not to answer earlier, only just saw your message.

My final wordbox was 9x5:

Code: Select all

KZEBDEAGT
ALTMALTEH
PPAMGIOMI
IHAUPSHRC
XCTNEILON
I did do a bit of programming to help to solve this although it was a mixture of trial and error and finding partial solutions by computer. E.g. UPSILON and EPSILON were almost certainly going to share all but the first letter, and various other choices like that helped to narrow things down.

And that wasn't the end of it - five other people got the same sized wordbox (there were at least 20 solutions) and they then set a tie-breaker of 14 multi-part questions to solve in a week. They have now published the questions but not the answers, although i have been sent the answers.

I am planning on going to the WPC in Bangalore, which I think overlaps with the Sudoku championship, so perhaps see you there before the Times on 4 November!

Re: Hello all

Posted: Wed 04 Oct, 2017 2:23 pm
by Magoo
Thanks, Angus. Fascinating.

Perhaps see you in Bangalore, though I depart quickly once the Sudoku is over!

Re: Hello all

Posted: Wed 04 Oct, 2017 2:48 pm
by david mcneill
I love question 12a. See you in Bangalore.

Re: Hello all

Posted: Wed 04 Oct, 2017 3:42 pm
by PuzzleScot
david mcneill wrote:
Wed 04 Oct, 2017 2:48 pm
I love question 12a.
Same here! :)

Re: Hello all

Posted: Wed 04 Oct, 2017 5:46 pm
by Nilz
PuzzleScot wrote:
Wed 04 Oct, 2017 3:42 pm
david mcneill wrote:
Wed 04 Oct, 2017 2:48 pm
I love question 12a.
Same here! :)
Yeah that was about the only one I could solve on a brief scan through, very nice.

Re: Hello all

Posted: Thu 05 Oct, 2017 10:03 am
by Angus
But can you do 12b? That was hard!

Q6 hint - the first word for 6a is DOLLAR
Q7 hint - the first phrase for 7b is Elephant & Castle
Q11 hint - 11b,e,f word lengths are the same as ONE, TWO, THREE...

Re: Hello all

Posted: Thu 05 Oct, 2017 12:26 pm
by PuzzleScot
8b was the easiest.

Re: Hello all

Posted: Tue 10 Oct, 2017 7:57 am
by Angus
Interesting fact about 8b is that while the tiebreaker was running (26 March - 2 April) the fourth entry changed, but it didn't affect the solution...

Re: Hello all

Posted: Tue 10 Oct, 2017 9:20 am
by PuzzleScot
:lol: