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The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Wed 11 Jun, 2014 10:09 pm
by detuned
The 5 qualifying puzzles have been in The Times every day this week - they are well hidden away in "The Register" which is a section after the business pages but before the sport. The finals will be happening in London (presumably The Times office in St. Katharine's Dock as in previous years) on Saturday 30th August.

It is worth noting that the competitions puzzles state: "Entries must be received within seven days of the puzzle being in the paper."
It also states that the 20 fastest times for each day will make the final (I have no idea how they'll handle repeats - contestants may enter on each day).

So if you want to enter, then make sure you don't hang around - get on it straight away!

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Fri 29 Aug, 2014 6:38 pm
by detuned
Ok, is anyone going to be there tomorrow? Look forward to seeing you there if so.

As is apparently tradition for anyone who has ever competed in this competition, I'll get my claim in early that I haven't been practicing much. Apart from a wee bit of testing earlier this summer :roll:

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Fri 29 Aug, 2014 7:27 pm
by DavidC
Yes, I'll be there - see you tomorrow !

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sat 30 Aug, 2014 7:21 am
by puzzlemad
Good luck everyone.

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sat 30 Aug, 2014 5:20 pm
by DavidC
Thanks. Congratulations to Mark Goodliffe on his first victory. This means that he holds The Times sudoku and crossword championships concurrently, an amazing feat !

Congratulations also to Tom Collyer for second place in the grand final (with him and Mark reversing the placings from the earlier session) and to George Danker for third. I was seventh.

The preliminary session was much harder than usual (and harder than the organisers expected) : only 9 out of 92 competitors achieved eight correct puzzles (there are two rounds of four puzzles). Also, only 4 of the 8 grand finalists achieved a clean 4/4 score - later on I'll have (yet) another go at that second puzzle ... :-(

David

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sat 30 Aug, 2014 5:44 pm
by puzzlemad
Well done everyone.
Definitely an amazing feat to hold both the Crossword and Sudoku titles at the same time.

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sat 30 Aug, 2014 10:29 pm
by PuzzleScot
...and the MSO puzzles gold medal! Well done Mark!(and Tom (and George))

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 8:27 pm
by detuned
Yeah, it was a cracking UKPA showing in the preliminaries, with order in each being 1) me, 2) Mark and 3) David - definitely put everyone else to the sword!

I was certainly not impressed with the organisers claiming that it wasn't their fault that the puzzles were too hard. I was personally fine with them, but it's definitely very bad form that the puzzles hadn't even been tested!

Bad luck to Nina Rowe in the final, who handed in first but had a mistake. Having made us sit out the full hour, and then another 10 minutes on top of that to check, it can't have been very nice for her. The 2nd puzzle was very difficult, and I went back over a clean copy of it today to work out why I got stuck. Without wanting to give anything away, the techniques required weren't any different from any of the other puzzles on the day, but it was a very subtle application of them to make the breakthrough deduction. I'm not sure I'd have spotted that quickly under competition conditions more than 25% of the time - and bearing in mind how well I was going in the preliminaries (I spotted everything without having to pause too much) I certainly can't begrudge Mark the title - his solving was very impressive on the day. He's been as consistent as anyone at the Times event over the years and certainly deserves the title!

Can't wait to see the bond villain pose in the paper tomorrow!

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 11:32 pm
by detuned
Times article (subscription only): http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/puzzles/s ... 192619.ece

I'm disappointed by how sensible the photo is!

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 11:58 pm
by GarethMoore
detuned wrote:Times article (subscription only): http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/puzzles/s ... 192619.ece
I presume the puzzles were actually 9x9, not 8x8 as claimed in the article? ("If just one of the 64 squares is blank, or filled with an incorrect number, they’ve failed.")

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Mon 01 Sep, 2014 7:27 pm
by DavidC
Yes, Gareth, they were. I wonder how many letters/emails they will get !

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Mon 01 Sep, 2014 7:49 pm
by detuned
well technically they *might* have been talking about a puzzle with 17 givens. There weren't any. :lol:

Re: The Times Sudoku Championship 2014

Posted: Tue 02 Sep, 2014 12:22 pm
by Magoo
Personally, I'm happy about the photo situation. And indeed the whole situation. Oddly, from thinking that by accidentally going 'SuperFiendish', they had favoured Tom, I now realise that that is what gave me (and indeed Nina) a chance.