Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

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Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Sat 12 Mar, 2011 6:42 pm

Would there be any interest if I were to run a ladder tournament for UK solvers based on croco-puzzle performance? The concept is that you would solve croco-puzzle's Ue-raetsel puzzles on a daily basis as normal, but I would infer the results of croco-puzzle matches between different solvers based on people's Ue-raetsel puzzle performances over the course of a week. The winner of each match would move up the ladder; the loser of each match would move down the ladder. Whoever's top of the ladder is the UK ladder champion, for the time being, and defends their championship against the #1 contender - whoever's second on the ladder, and so on, and people further down the ladder compete with each other to become the #1 contender for the next round of matches, and so on. The overall rating list is one good measure of performance, but this would be a (hopefully!) fun and not entirely scientific additional competition, that might add a little interest without requiring people to solve extra puzzles.

If people are interested, and if berni does not regard this as unwelcome, then shout up. I think it's only really worthwhile if I can get six solvers interested, ideally eight - and I'm happy to count myself as one of them. If there's enough interest then I would start the first round of matches from Monday 21st March to Friday 25th March - or, perhaps, sooner. (I'd like to keep this UK-only for now, though there's no reason why there couldn't be many parallel ladders for many parallel competitions.)

Hopefully that's enough detail to possibly get people interested and know whether they might enjoy participating or not, but the full details are within the spoiler text below to avoid this post having a blinding wall of text.
[Reveal] Spoiler: Full details of competition explanation
OK, you asked for it. Here's what I propose.

The game takes place on a weekly cycle. I announce the fixtures on Sundays, the players compete by solving puzzles on Monday to Friday, I tally up and declare the results on Saturday - and, based on all the results on Saturday, generate the next week's fixtures on the next Sunday.

Two players compete by solving as many of the Ue-raetsel puzzles as they can each day. At the end of the week, we count up to see on how many occasions each player was the faster solver. Any solution, no matter how slow, beats no solution for any particular puzzle. We take the Highscoretable times as definitive, including the fixed 5-minute penalties for Fehlversuche, even though the rating list does something a bit more clever. Margin of victory is irrelevant. If the two players tie for numbers of victories at the end of the week, we play extra time by taking Saturday's results into account. If this is inconclusive, in lieu of kicks from the penalty mark, we add the total times ((ETA:)) from the whole week including Fehlversuche penalties; if even this is inconclusive then we take it as a sign from above and I will draw lots.

Bye rule: on Saturday or Sunday, you can declare yourself to be unavailable for competition for zero, one or two days in the coming week, if you know in advance that you will not be able to solve puzzles on that particular day; these days' results will not count. If you know you'll be away from the keyboard for three days or more then it's not so unreasonable that your chances are hurt and you risk your standing on the ladder fading. If both solvers fail to complete a single puzzle in a particular week then the result is a no-score draw and will be decided by lots. (If a long-term champion risks losing their championship only as a result of this rule then perhaps we could declare an interim championship like they do in boxing and come up with impromptu rules to cover the situation, but I'm not opposed to having someone fall through the rankings and then working their way back up.)

The structure will start with an anomalous two-week single-elimination tournament. Draw the original eight competitors into the four matches of week one, seeded by initial rating list position. In week two, the four winning competitors from week one whould be drawn into two further matches, whose winners will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three Championship Match, and whose losers will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three #1 Contender Match. In week two, the four losing competitors from week one should be drawn into two further matches, whose winners will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three #2 Contender Match, and whose losers will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three Relegation Match. This completes the seeding process and generates matches for week three.

For week three and beyond, a week of the competition consists of the current eight competitors arranged into four pairs, playing the Championship Match, the #1 Contender Match, the #2 Contender Match and the Relegation Match respectively. Based on the results of one round of competition, a champion will be crowned, one competitor will be identified as being relegated and the most suitable set of matches for the next round of competition will be decided.

Championship Match: winner declared champion of the ladder for this week and appears in the Championship Match next week, loser drops to the #1 Contender Match next week.
#1 Contender Match: winner declared #1 contender of the ladder for this week and appears in the Championship Match next week, loser drops to the #2 Contender Match next week.
#2 Contender Match: winner declared #2 contender of the ladder for this week and appears in the #1 Contender Match next week, loser drops to the Relegation Match next week.
Relegation Match: winner escapes relegation from the ladder for this week and appears in the #2 Contender Match next week, loser is relegated from the tournament and replaced by someone from outside the existing tournament structure, if there is anyone waiting to join the ladder, who will join the tournament structure in the Relegation Match next week.

This is an idea I had for an ongoing competition four years ago (that link takes you to a diagram and an explanation!) and I have been waiting to try it out ever since. Croco-puzzle, as a rolling competition, looks like it might be well-suited to giving it a try. I think it would be reasonably transparent to the point where I could both run the ladder (a very simple job) and compete in it myself, though I would not be at all surprised if I were relegated very quickly... :D
Last edited by dickoon on Sat 07 May, 2011 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby PuzzleScot » Sat 12 Mar, 2011 7:28 pm

That sounds like a lot of effort Chris, but if you're prepared to do that, then I'm prepared to play.
I must emphasise that I do the croco-puzzles for fun rather than to be competitive, but I can't help looking up where the other Brits are each day :roll:
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby rodders » Mon 14 Mar, 2011 9:54 am

I would also be happy to take part, although I fully expect to be a relegation rather than a championship contender.

It may even drive me to purchase a mouse and a keyboard with a proper numberpad to try to improve those times!
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby afcwarren » Mon 14 Mar, 2011 12:07 pm

rodders wrote:I would also be happy to take part, although I fully expect to be a relegation rather than a championship contender.


Ditto.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby detuned » Mon 14 Mar, 2011 1:08 pm

If you are willing to do this, then great! I must confess that I have been looking up the rankings recently as David and Ronald come back into sight. There seems to be a common stalling as the 1500 mark is reached!
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby PuzzleScot » Mon 14 Mar, 2011 2:42 pm

Most days I'm getting +ve on one, and -ve on the other - progress stalled indeed, but not at 1500...
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby drsteve » Mon 14 Mar, 2011 9:16 pm

I'm game for the ladder idea.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Mon 14 Mar, 2011 9:50 pm

We have six! dickoon, puzzlescot, rodders, afcwarren, detuned and drsteve. It's on, and I shall make the first draw on Saturday 19th March for matches to be played on Monday 21st March to Friday 25th March. If anyone knows of a reason why they will need one or two byes in that week, speak up nice and early.

Ideally I'd like eight players so it's definitely still not too late to join - and if there's more interest, then I will start a waiting list, so that when I lose the Relegation Match there will be someone to replace me. (If there's lots more interest then I could start a second division, but that's really getting ahead of myself...)
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Sat 19 Mar, 2011 11:08 pm

Okey-doke. We have six players, which is the fewest I could get away with in order for this to run; thank you all very much for taking a step into the unknown. This gives us an initial seeding list as follows:

#1 detuned 1627
#2 PuzzleScot 1285
#3 rodders 956
#4 dickoon 778
#5 drsteve 762
#6 afcwarren 323
#7 (bye) 0
#8 (bye) 0

This, however, is indicative at best; at least that #4 seed looks a position or two overrated and people will find their natural levels over time. (And not much time, at that.) As discussed, the first two weeks will operate in a different fashion to the rest, to set up ladder operation from eek three onwards. This gives us the first week's matches as follows:

#1 detuned vs. #8 (bye)
#2 PuzzleScot vs. #7 (bye)
#3 rodders vs. #6 afcwarren
#4 dickoon vs. #5 drsteve

It would have been possible to avoid byes in the first week, but this would have resulted in a second week with pairings that would be echnically referred to as "weird" - and there's plenty of room for UK-based players to join in as #7 seed, #8 seed (and your first match would be in week two) or even to start a waiting list if there's interest. Remember, you're only three victories away from the top of the ladder.

Any of you six, speak up ASAP if you want to take one or two bye days this week because you know you'll be away from the action. If not, the action starts on Monday - and all you need to do is just solve as many U-raetsels as you can, as quickly as you can, from Monday to Friday, plus Saturday for extra time if required.

Good luck, and enjoy yourselves!
Chris
(who has just realised that this URL abbreviates to f.u.org)
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby drsteve » Mon 21 Mar, 2011 6:26 am

Chris

Seriously doubt I can fit it in today, especially given the Rundweg times on the high score table. I will try the Slalom, but no guarantees on the other one.

I think this highlights a slight problem - I can almost always find time for a ten-ish minute puzzle - anything higher though depends on my workload, which is quite high at the moment.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Mon 21 Mar, 2011 6:34 pm

drsteve wrote:I think this highlights a slight problem - I can almost always find time for a ten-ish minute puzzle - anything higher though depends on my workload, which is quite high at the moment.


It's an entirely fair comment, but it's the same for everyone. I'm not touching the fences puzzle (to be fair, I almost always pass on them) either as it happens, so that one will turn out to be a no-score draw between us. I do think that croco-puzzle becomes more fun and less frustrating the better you are at the puzzles, which is not the most encouraging property for new players, but very hard to avoid.

Part of me considers the notion of a site that rates you based on your performance on not just a fixed number of puzzles - 0, 1 or 2 daily - but as many puzzles as you solve within a fixed time - 15 or 20 minutes daily. Croco-puzzle is not that site, and I'm not completely sure that such a site would be as much fun. Easier to fit in with real life, certainly, but less fun. Puzzle Fountain's timed contests - though rather larger scale - fit the bill well in this regard,
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby drsteve » Mon 21 Mar, 2011 8:13 pm

Don't get me wrong, I love the croco-puzzle variants, and I'd try this massive Rundweg if I had time. It's only the second puzzle I've deliberately missed out since starting, but there's just not enough hours in the day... I wouldn't say it's frustrating - just mildly irksome...
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Sat 26 Mar, 2011 8:00 am

Here are the results from the first week of the UK croco-puzzle ladder:

Code: Select all
                 rodders afcwarren    dickoon drsteve
Monday 21st
Rundweg          N/A     N/A          N/A     N/A
Slalom           25:54   21:58        85:41   10:15
Tuesday 22nd
Doppel Block     34:07   N/A          N/A     09:01
Killersudoku     10:37   08:29        19:20   12:47
Wednesday 23rd
Zeltlager        06:12   N/A          09:04   04:17
Hochhauser       07:12   N/A          17:14   03:49
Thursday 24th
Thermometer      08:09   15:51        34:10   27:28
Hitori           04:29   05:12        N/A     03:04
Friday 25th
Zeitlager        05:27   N/A          08:32   03:43
Pyramidenratsel  01:54   04:36        05:28   08:05


I think this makes the final scores rodders 7 afcwarren 2, and dickoon 1 drsteve 8. (Hooray! I got one! Admittedly due to Steve not understanding the rules of one of the puzzles...)

If nobody shouts up to notify me that I have Fehlversuched the results, I shall announce the fixtures for week two tomorrow. Week two matches will be played over Monday 28th March to Friday 1st April, with possible extra time on Saturday 2nd April. There's still time to join and be included in the week two fixtures, and you'll only be three victories away from the top of the ladder.

Come to think of it, it's not just a UK ladder; residents of the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and UK Overseas Territories would all be welcome. I've got to draw the line somewhere, though, and the US Declaration of Independence 200+ years ago makes things rather easier for me... :)
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Sun 27 Mar, 2011 10:29 am

Week two! Again, there's a slightly different process to normal operation, which will commence in week three. We match up the winners from the previous week against each other and the losers from the previous week against each other. We will continue to use the initial seeding list, though drsteve has left me far behind in the ratings. This gives us the second week's matches as follows:

#1 detuned vs. #5 drsteve
#2 PuzzleScot vs. #3 rodders
#7 (bye) vs. #6 afcwarren
#4 dickoon vs. #8 (bye)

From next week onwards, we ought to avoid byes unless we have an odd number of players. There's plenty of room for UK-based players to join in as #7 seed or #8 seed - and if you apply today then there's no reason why you can't play this week. Remember, you're only three victories away from the top of the ladder.

Any of you six, speak up ASAP if you want to take one or two bye days this week because you know you'll be away from the action. If not, the action starts on Monday - and all you need to do is just solve as many U-raetsels as you can, as quickly as you can, from Monday to Friday, plus Saturday for extra time if required.

Good luck, and enjoy yourselves!
Chris
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby detuned » Sun 27 Mar, 2011 1:19 pm

tough draw, tough draw :!:
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Sun 27 Mar, 2011 6:32 pm

detuned wrote:tough draw, tough draw :!:


Hey, if you want to be World UK Champion, you've got to take on the World UK. :)

It could well be a classic, though. The nice thing is that we have the strength in depth, even before considering people who haven't joined the ladder yet, and there are many extremely interesting matches - and, eventually, rivalries - to be had over the weeks and months to come.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby detuned » Sun 27 Mar, 2011 7:29 pm

Indeed -I'm sure it'd hot up even more if David and Ronald joined in. For the actual ladder itself, the gaps are getting very tight now!
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby puzzlemad » Sun 27 Mar, 2011 7:42 pm

Count me in there as well. I've only just seen the post as I don't look at the forum on a regular basis. (puzzlemad) on there! Thanks Chris.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Sun 27 Mar, 2011 9:43 pm

Marvellous, Liane, and timely!

By the flip of a coin to see which spot you fill, the third match this week will be dickoon vs. puzzlemad, with afcwarren getting the bye this week. Warren will face the winner of that tie in the first #2 Contender match next week.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby drsteve » Mon 28 Mar, 2011 8:25 am

detuned wrote:tough draw, tough draw :!:


Think it might come down to who gets the luck of the puzzle draw. Certain types favour me, certain types favour you. Fingers crossed...
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Mon 28 Mar, 2011 12:51 pm

drsteve wrote:Think it might come down to who gets the luck of the puzzle draw. Certain types favour me, certain types favour you. Fingers crossed...


Fully agreed, and I think that that's one of the interesting parts of the design. Part of the decision to play the match over five days is to make class tell; if it's good enough for Test cricket, it's good enough for me. (There is also scope for a one-day format as well; some days, it would feel more like Twenty20 - or, perhaps, Two2 - when there are two one-minute puzzles on that particular day.) In the long term, I suspect the ladder may throw up some matches several times, but that's no bad thing as the distribution of puzzle types will offer sufficient randomness to make each match (and, thus, the progression of players up and down the ladder) perpetually interesting rather than a foregone conclusion. If someone defends their title ten times in a row then I may think again.

Mind you, I reckon I win my match against you possibly as many as four times out of a hundred tries, and three of those are during weeks on which you go away on holiday and I don't... :-)
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Fri 01 Apr, 2011 2:02 pm

I don't want to do a croco-puzzle ladder videprinter, but I will say that two of this three week's matches have already finished and were both rather closer than last week's matches. The last match is very close; one puzzle remains unsolved by one player, and the result of that puzzle might send the match into extra time. Remember, if a match ends up tied, the results of Saturday's puzzles will decide; if the overall score is tied after six days of play, we will add the total times including Fehlversuche penalties.

Intrigue! All will be revealed.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby dickoon » Fri 01 Apr, 2011 3:28 pm

Full time! *blows whistle*

The theme of the week on the UK croco-puzzle ladder was, almost certainly, "late comebacks". This was the state of play after three days:

Code: Select all
               | detuned drsteve | PuzzleScot rodders | dickoon puzzlemad |
Monday 28th    |                 |                    |                   |
Tapa           | 14:15   04:52   | 08:42      14:26   | 17:40   10:54     |
ABC-Box        | 13:05   06:33   | 15:13      08:05   | 11:39   19:22     |
Tuesday 29th   |                 |                    |                   |
Heyawake       | 01:33   04:12   | 04:42      12:22   | 04:35   12:13     |
Hitori         | 05:57   01:54   | 10:37      04:26   | 03:48   05:14     |
Wednesday 30th |                 |                    |                   |
Doppelstern    | 01:34   01:23   | 03:12      02:16   | 12:02   02:53     |
ABC-Box        | 03:12   01:27   | 01:31      01:54   | 02:35   05:06     |

WEDNESDAY SCORE|   1       5     |   3          3     |   4       2       |

Two of the matches finished with scores of 4-0 on Thursday and Friday. One of them saw a remarkable come-from-behind win. The third match looked very much like it might continue the theme to send the match into extra time, but when the final result came in...

Here are the results from the second week of the UK croco-puzzle ladder:

Code: Select all
               | detuned drsteve | PuzzleScot rodders | dickoon puzzlemad |
Monday 28th    |                 |                    |                   |
Tapa           | 14:15   04:52   | 08:42      14:26   | 17:40   10:54     |
ABC-Box        | 13:05   06:33   | 15:13      08:05   | 11:39   19:22     |
Tuesday 29th   |                 |                    |                   |
Heyawake       | 01:33   04:12   | 04:42      12:22   | 04:35   12:13     |
Hitori         | 05:57   01:54   | 10:37      04:26   | 03:48   05:14     |
Wednesday 30th |                 |                    |                   |
Doppelstern    | 01:34   01:23   | 03:12      02:16   | 12:02   02:53     |
ABC-Box        | 03:12   01:27   | 01:31      01:54   | 02:35   05:06     |
Thursday 31st  |                 |                    |                   |
Doppel Block   | 07:32   12:54   | 16:09      08:24   | 19:53   15:48     |
Gebietssummen  | 11:15   11:34   | 57:12      11:58   | 44:32   32:25     |
Friday 1st     |                 |                    |                   |
ABC-Box        | 12:07   09:16   | 32:53      12:25   | 24:42   22:00     |
Sudoku         | 02:29   15:03   | 04:43      03:41   | 09:06   03:12     |

FINAL SCORE    |   4       6     |   3          7     |   4       6       |

Errors and omissions excepted - and do, please, shout up if there are any - then this gives final scores of
detuned 4 drsteve 6
PuzzleScot 3 rodders 7
dickoon 4 puzzlemad 6

Congratulations to the winners! It's a rare week that will see three ABC-Box puzzles, which I suspect must have come about as a result of two at the end of March while the puzzle was in the second division of puzzles and then a third at the start of April when the puzzle returned to the top division. Next time, with a different distribution of puzzles, the results might be quite different.

If nobody shouts up to notify me that I have Fehlversuched the results, I shall announce the fixtures for week three on Sunday, which will be the first week of regular ladder operation. Week three matches will be played over Monday 4th Friday 8th April, with possible extra time on Saturday 9th April. There's still time to join and be included in the week three fixtures; while you'd start at the bottom of the ladder, it won't spoil too many surprises to reveal that your first match would be against the only person with a played-two, lost-two record so far, and you'd only be four victories away from the top of the ladder. Also, players, if you know you will need one or two bye days next week then please tell the world sooner rather than later.
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby detuned » Fri 01 Apr, 2011 3:56 pm

Close but no cigar - well done Steve! I think I'm still guessing on most of the ABC box ones, and as such find it prudent to spend a minute carefully checking I've avoided the fehlvers that plagued me in the past!
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Re: Any interest in a UK croco-puzzle ladder?

Postby drsteve » Fri 01 Apr, 2011 4:10 pm

detuned wrote:Close but no cigar - well done Steve! I think I'm still guessing on most of the ABC box ones, and as such find it prudent to spend a minute carefully checking I've avoided the fehlvers that plagued me in the past!


Can't deny the ABC box works well for me, but you did have a Heyawake and a Sudoku to play with. I think the critical one was the Doppelstern - pleased with my fast time on that one.

Of course, spending at least five minutes on Doppelblock thinking the digits from 1 to 7 add up to 21 (including deleting 2/3 of a correct solution) didn't help :)

Not convinced it'll go the same way next time. Looking forward to the rematch.
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