2017 Puzzle GP

Information and discussion on Puzzle Competitions
puzzlemad
Posts: 746
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 10:20 pm
Location: Oldham

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by puzzlemad » Thu 02 Feb, 2017 7:54 am

detuned wrote:
drsteve wrote: Nope, the appeal was unsuccessful. Rather harsh, I thought - spend the time solving the puzzle correctly (as is clear from entering one correct row and then choosing the wrong row to enter) only to be told that entering the correct answer key is part of solving the puzzle. When it is clear that the puzzle has been solved, surely points should be awarded? Half points, perhaps?
No, disagree with this entirely having been on the other end. You have no idea about the number of opportunists chancing their arm with appeals, and if you are asking the judges to sort out the chancers from the hard-luckers with only the contents of an answer code to go by then you are asking too much of the judge. It's also not fair on everyone who spent a bit of extra time checking their answers were correct. I know it happens to everyone, but really if the answer codes are fair (which I thought they generally were) then if you stuff them up then you only have yourself to blame.
I have to agree here too. Checking the answer keys is an absolute nightmare. In general people try to select ones that demonstrate that the puzzle has solved to the end but this isn't always entirely possible. That bit of time to check them that someone uses may mean that they don't then quite manage to enter a solution for another puzzle that they may have solved correctly. A similar thing happens with on-site competitions in that when "Time is up" - everyone needs to stop writing immediately. Marking the papers you then find one that has say one or two cells not completed - was it because someone just missed completing it fully before moving on or was it because time was up? The fairest way for all is being strict.

sknight
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon 01 Nov, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by sknight » Thu 02 Feb, 2017 1:09 pm

A competition like this does have to be pretty strict on correct answer keys. You'll see some leeway occasionally on things like asking for capital letters and getting lowercase, asking for comma delimited answers and getting space-delimited answers etc, but that's about it. My only complaint with this sort of thing have to do with answer keys that are unnecessarily finicky and time-consuming to extract/enter, which was definitely not the case here. Also, I think I have gotten much better at entering answer keys since getting into Croco-Puzzle, since the penalties are pretty severe there.

In terms of the style differences between the divisions, I do think they seem a bit out of whack. The C puzzles are fun little bonus puzzles that a lot of solvers might find entertaining, but they aren't a gentle introduction that lets somebody demonstrate their ability to do B puzzles. Somebody new to the competition but with experience at something like Nikoli should just dive into the B puzzles and see how they do. Maybe they qualify, maybe they don't, but they aren't going to get better prepared for B puzzles by doing C puzzles. Meanwhile, while my solving skill is sort of "A/B bubble" level, if they keep the idea that B=Evergreen, A=Variant, then I may very well end up doing better with A. While I have plenty of experience with standard puzzle types, and am pretty fast at some types, over all I'm just not as fast as the top standard solvers. Some of that may just be age. But I do think that evergreen competitions tend to be speed trials in general. On the other hand, I do pretty well figuring out new puzzle variants on the fly and spotting unusual break-ins that make use of variant rules.

drsteve
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 7:23 am

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by drsteve » Sat 04 Feb, 2017 8:49 am

puzzlemad wrote:
detuned wrote:
drsteve wrote: Nope, the appeal was unsuccessful. Rather harsh, I thought - spend the time solving the puzzle correctly (as is clear from entering one correct row and then choosing the wrong row to enter) only to be told that entering the correct answer key is part of solving the puzzle. When it is clear that the puzzle has been solved, surely points should be awarded? Half points, perhaps?
No, disagree with this entirely having been on the other end. You have no idea about the number of opportunists chancing their arm with appeals, and if you are asking the judges to sort out the chancers from the hard-luckers with only the contents of an answer code to go by then you are asking too much of the judge. It's also not fair on everyone who spent a bit of extra time checking their answers were correct. I know it happens to everyone, but really if the answer codes are fair (which I thought they generally were) then if you stuff them up then you only have yourself to blame.
I have to agree here too. Checking the answer keys is an absolute nightmare. In general people try to select ones that demonstrate that the puzzle has solved to the end but this isn't always entirely possible. That bit of time to check them that someone uses may mean that they don't then quite manage to enter a solution for another puzzle that they may have solved correctly. A similar thing happens with on-site competitions in that when "Time is up" - everyone needs to stop writing immediately. Marking the papers you then find one that has say one or two cells not completed - was it because someone just missed completing it fully before moving on or was it because time was up? The fairest way for all is being strict.
I completely understand, especially given the number of competitors, but it can be extremely irksome when you solve a puzzle completely correctly and in the heat of "battle" make a trivial slip on picking the wrong row. Do note that I did not try and claim for my Battleship entry as it was wrong by one digit and wrong because I counted incorrectly and therefore I have no way of showing that I solved it correctly. But the Skyscraper still demonstrated, in my opinion, a correct solution to the markers who received it. I don't expect them to check to see if it is a different row in the puzzle, but when it is brought to their attention via an email address given for appeals, then being told that basically there are no grounds to appeal at all for any puzzle at all is disappointing and rather odd. I've asked Wei-Hwa to look into changing the wording to avoid such issues in the future from other competitors.

detuned
Posts: 1593
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by detuned » Sun 05 Feb, 2017 7:18 pm

Even the correct answer to another row is no guarantee the whole puzzle was solved correctly - some rows can be filled in much earlier than others which is why the chosen answer keys are the ones that they are and basically why I agree with Wei hwa that you don't have any grounds to appeal unless you are asking him to provide you with the tailored service of rechecking the puzzle to ensure that you aren't just chancing your arm.

I have some sympathy that in many cases it's pretty quick to determine this, but if you are prepared to do this, then you should be prepared to do it for everyone, which then effectively makes the answer codes obsolete. As I said before there's a reason they are the ones that they are and as such I think there are very few occasions where an incorrectly entered key should be given any credit.

Perhaps that sounds a bit hardline and severe, but I struggle to see how you'd otherwise run a competition that was truly fair on everyone.

GarethMoore
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu 24 Jun, 2010 9:27 pm
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by GarethMoore » Sun 05 Feb, 2017 11:40 pm

There should be no lenience on answer keys - it's incredibly unfair once you start giving any credit for wrong keys, as I think anyone who has ever run a tournament would agree. Why should someone who took the time to check be penalised in favour of someone who didn't bother?

PuzzleScot
Site Admin
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:45 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by PuzzleScot » Mon 27 Feb, 2017 7:12 pm

Reminder.

Only a few hours left to compete in round 2 of the puzzle GP... http://gp.worldpuzzle.org/

detuned
Posts: 1593
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by detuned » Mon 27 Feb, 2017 10:37 pm

I think the format is already beginning to creak - that A division was fairly contrived, and not exactly well balanced...

Fred76
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon 09 Aug, 2010 1:53 pm
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by Fred76 » Tue 28 Feb, 2017 9:26 am

I don't consider myself as a puzzle player, and I don't actually take part in the puzzle GP.
So my below comment is in no case a criticism of the competition, or the format or this round or whatever.

As a sudoku player, I'm curious to see what's happening in the puzzle world, basically because puzzlers are in charge of almost all sudoku competitions.

And here I've to say that as a spectator, I find a bit weird to see that an author who always said that "the many requirements of GP format might kill the creativity of authors" offered only classic puzzles in the division A, where the rules point out that this is actually the place for "new types or new variations".

detuned
Posts: 1593
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by detuned » Wed 01 Mar, 2017 7:51 pm

This round had identical types for A and B. The easier versions of the puzzles ended up in B, with the hardest example of each ending up in the A section.

5 difficult puzzles to solve in one hour I think makes for a poor competition:

1) There's going to be lots of people on the same scores
2) The chances of spending a large proportion of the hour doing nothing is very high, even for more experienced solvers
3) Any mistakes or submission errors are massively amplified
4) How is this supposed to be consistent with the other rounds?

The director has to work with what he's given, and Wei-Hwa has presumably done the best he could with what he was given - but there in lies my point. This format of essentially 3 different competitions is already showing signs of strain.

kiwijam
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 10:03 am

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by kiwijam » Wed 01 Mar, 2017 8:35 pm

I did like having same instructions for A and B, but just putting the hardest puzzles into A does not make a good contest.
Even one extra random 'easy' puzzle would mitigate some of the concerns.

detuned
Posts: 1593
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by detuned » Wed 01 Mar, 2017 11:22 pm

I should also add: take nothing away from the quality of the puzzles themselves. Oasis was my favourite puzzle of the 2016 wpc, and even though it's now taken on the plural, I thought this puzzle in particular was devilish. Not a huge fan of magnets under time pressure (it often feels far more efficient to guess loads) but I did enjoy slowly plodding through this one out of hours

puzzlemad
Posts: 746
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 10:20 pm
Location: Oldham

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by puzzlemad » Wed 01 Mar, 2017 11:27 pm

I was a careless numpty with 2B - for once managed to solve all in the time - stupid entry error on one of them and forgot to claim any bonus - mainly because that's something I never get chance to do.

2C - numpty again - two careless entry errors cost me over 40 places.

kiwijam
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 10:03 am

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by kiwijam » Thu 02 Mar, 2017 3:57 am

Yes, the puzzles were great quality, especially the B round.
I started all the A round puzzles in pen and finished them in pencil (they have logical solutions, but time pressure didn't give me the luxury to explore). For Nurikabe and Oases in particular I 'felt' my way through the early steps.
And I'm very relieved to have made no answer key errors this time (e.g. Prasanna had 1 error, causing him to drop from 4th to 25th :cry: ).
Also the first time in a few years that I've seen Thomas Snyder competing - welcome back.

drsteve
Posts: 722
Joined: Sun 27 Jun, 2010 7:23 am

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by drsteve » Thu 02 Mar, 2017 11:35 am

Really enjoyed the B puzzles, a nice set with Oases being fun - my first encounter with these.

Similarly not convinced by the five hard puzzles format - well, four, as the inequalities was just big, not hard. Seen harder five by five Futoshiki puzzles... Looking forward to taking a run at the three that I didn't answer in my own time.

mwhite
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 28 Feb, 2017 7:37 am

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by mwhite » Mon 06 Mar, 2017 9:24 am

I found C a lot more interesting this time - they were a good mixture of puzzle types with most being types that most people would have seen before, but with some added twists to add interest. I also felt that I would have finished them all in 90 minutes, unlike the previous round where I felt like it would have taken me hours to do them all, which was quite demoralising to a beginner.

I also liked the puzzles B and A but would agree that just having the 5 hardest puzzles on A was not necessarily a fair format - I really like magnets so started there which does seem to have overscored me this time out.

kiwijam
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed 01 Jun, 2011 10:03 am

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by kiwijam » Mon 20 Mar, 2017 9:02 pm

From the GP Forum:

"
Dear Players,

Due to unavoidable time constraints in getting Round 3 of the Puzzle Grand Prix ready, we have had to make changes to the schedule. Specifically, Round 3 is now moved to the weekend where Round 4 was originally scheduled to happen, and the remaining rounds also get postponed in the same way. The only exception is when it comes to Round 7 which will happen on a weekend not originally a part of the schedule, so that the last round, Round 8, and subsequently the end date of the GP, remains unchanged. The new schedule is as below -

3rd round - 21.4. - 24.4. - Netherlands
4th round - 19.5. - 22.5. - USA
5th round - 16.6. - 19.6. - Czech Republic
6th round - 14.7. - 17.7. - Turkey
7th round - 4.8. - 7.8. - Bulgaria
8th round - 11.8. - 14.8. - India

The edit has been made on the Puzzle GP home page too. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.
"

detuned
Posts: 1593
Joined: Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: 2017 Puzzle GP

Post by detuned » Mon 20 Mar, 2017 11:26 pm

In other news, it looks like Wei-Hwa is off on a jolly :roll:

http://exexitgames.co.uk/blog/2017/03/2 ... ock-enoch/

Post Reply