2019 USPC

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detuned
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2019 USPC

Post by detuned » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 11:55 am

The USPC is happening this weekend (20th July). Unlike most competitions this happens at a fixed time, which is 6pm UK time.

For more details see here:

http://wpc.puzzles.com/uspc2019/default.asp?mode=login

Instructions out tomorrow

Puzzle_Maestro
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Re: 2019 USPC

Post by Puzzle_Maestro » Sat 20 Jul, 2019 10:05 am

Puzzle types appear to be more standard compared to previous years: a good thing in my opinion, although still too many letter placement puzzles for my liking.

I see there have been a few new recruits from GMpuzzles, namely Ashish Kumar, Michael Tang and Grant Fikes. That should make the test more interesting!

detuned
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Re: 2019 USPC

Post by detuned » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 12:07 am

I've submitted 155 points worth of answers, and have been slowly trying to make my way through the stuff I didn't try. Very hard test this year!

sknight
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Re: 2019 USPC

Post by sknight » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 12:38 pm

Definitely challenging puzzles this year. It's worth noting that I think the individual puzzles are worth about 5 fewer points each this year, more or less uniformly across the board. I feel like a score of 155 this year is more like a score of 220 or something in previous years -- it just feels bad if you're mentally comparing it to other years. In theory, for those of us who have to pick our battles on that test, the scoring this year means one hard puzzle is worth more smaller puzzles. A puzzle that used to be worth about 30 points was the equivalent of 2-3 of the 10-15 point easy puzzles, but if all of those are about 5 points less, we have a 25 point puzzle worth more like 3-4 of the 5-10 point puzzles. I do feel like the harder puzzles are very hard this year, so that may be a deliberate strategy to weight them appropriately. (For me, the sweet spot was the 15-pointers, which were doable but worth a healthy number of points)

Puzzle_Maestro
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Re: 2019 USPC

Post by Puzzle_Maestro » Thu 25 Jul, 2019 6:27 am

Well done Tom for being the highest placed UK solver!

I would have liked to vie for the title myself, but unfortunately I could only be there for an hour and a half. Still, I did manage to break multiple puzzles; on the Kropki Loop, I first tried solving without knowing the rule that the loop had to go through all cells (of course rendering it impossible), then I had a brain fart and though white cells meant the loop travelled through the same number of cells on each side: as it turns out, my logic in the top left had been perfectly fine and I could probably have solved fairly quickly from there. Then proceeded to break the Penta Nurikabe, broke the Penta Slitherlink before solving it, broke the Pentominous, broke the skyscrapers with searchlights, and again misunderstood the rules on the double-cross slitherlink, then duly continued to break it after understanding the rules. Not a great day for me to say the least!

Puzzle_Maestro
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Re: 2019 USPC

Post by Puzzle_Maestro » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 8:05 am

Our beloved Simon Anthony (on Cracking the Cryptic) has posted a video on the USPC star battle. I would strongly recommend anyone who bifurcated in the competition to watch it: the logic is really rather pretty. Simon does bifurcate near the end of the solve, but he could simply have looked at column 2 which finishes off the puzzle, since 2 stars have to fit in 3 adjacent squares.

detuned
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Re: 2019 USPC

Post by detuned » Fri 26 Jul, 2019 7:18 pm

Thanks!

I feel a bit peeved having submitted 155 points worth and only ending up with 110 - lost 15 on the doppelblock by only submitting one of the two codes, had a very silly mistake on the penta slitherlink, and then an answer key typo in the regional fences. Still, not too bad all things considered. I'll look forward to watching simon's video!

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