2010 US Puzzle Championships

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PuzzleScot
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2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Mon 21 Jun, 2010 10:46 am

The annual USPC will be held on Saturday 21st August 2010 at 18:00 - 20:30 BST. (1pm EDT [GMT-4] )

http://wpc.puzzles.com/rules/index.htm

Please make sure you register early, and take time to read the rules and instruction.
Oh, and practice!

PuzzleScot
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Thu 12 Aug, 2010 7:59 pm

If you've tried the practice test, I hope you don't feel as thick as I do! Disastrous effort.

I couldn't see how to get into Di-Agony in the USPC test, but Joe DeVincentis shows how it should be done:
http://devjoe.livejournal.com/23056.html

Incredible work, especially during a contest.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Fri 13 Aug, 2010 11:55 am

Before I put time aside to attempt it, is the practise test just a compilation from old tests? Your comment about the excrutiating Di-Agony would seem to imply that it is...

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Fri 13 Aug, 2010 12:36 pm

Yes. All 6 puzzles have appeared in previous USPCs.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Fri 20 Aug, 2010 5:40 pm

For everyone's info, the instructions are now up. And curses, there's a variant on Di-Agony on it...

More comments later if I think of something sensible to say

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Fri 20 Aug, 2010 6:41 pm

OK, me again

This seems very interesting - they've cut out almost all of the traditional easy puzzles (Spot the Diff, Word Search) and there are very few standards. This looks like it's going to be fun.

Shame they kept the sudoku in though...

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Fri 20 Aug, 2010 11:41 pm

There's a spot the diff of sorts, I think - isn't that essentially what puzzle 5 is? They had one like this a long time ago I believe.

And aren't 4 and 7 and 12 word puzzles? 12 is a word search it seems?

For puzzle 9, is that a full set of instructions? I presume the path can't cross itself or touch itself, but the example also obeys "the line can't touch itself, even diagonally" and "you must enter every room", but these aren't written as rules so I suppose they don't apply.

I see there's a correction to the instructions for puzzle 17 now.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:18 am

GarethMoore wrote:There's a spot the diff of sorts, I think - isn't that essentially what puzzle 5 is? They had one like this a long time ago I believe.
Ususally they have a spot the diff and a find the pairs.
GarethMoore wrote: And aren't 4 and 7 and 12 word puzzles? 12 is a word search it seems?
Usually there's a word search. These are more kriss kross variants, except for 12. It just seems to have a little more to it that the usual "fill in the empty squares" that we usually get

GarethMoore wrote:For puzzle 9, is that a full set of instructions? I presume the path can't cross itself or touch itself, but the example also obeys "the line can't touch itself, even diagonally" and "you must enter every room", but these aren't written as rules so I suppose they don't apply.
i don't see an extra solution to it if you allow the path the touch (although I would assume no crossing)

GarethMoore wrote:I see there's a correction to the instructions for puzzle 17 now.
Thanks for that - although I'd assumed that's what it meant

Good luck to everyone, by the way

PuzzleScot
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 9:03 am

drsteve wrote:
GarethMoore wrote:For puzzle 9, is that a full set of instructions? I presume the path can't cross itself or touch itself, but the example also obeys "the line can't touch itself, even diagonally" and "you must enter every room", but these aren't written as rules so I suppose they don't apply.
i don't see an extra solution to it if you allow the path the touch (although I would assume no crossing)
I've seen this type of puzzle quite a few times. It is usually described in terms of visiting squares no more than once, so non-touching isn't part of the rules. A caveat on this one is that you will almost certainly need to visit some shapes more than once.

I tried some puzzles from USPC '09 last night.
Four Square was a time-consuming pig! I did notice that I didn't need to have more than a few skyscraper digits filled by the time I had the answer key. (top tip, STOP solving any puzzle when you have the answer key part of the puzzle filled in!).
Notes for 1st time solvers:
Battleships tells you how many turns there will be in the snakes grid. That will always be an even number, except perhaps the start and end squares, where the row/col for those will be both even (one direction) & both odd (other direction). [Assuming an even number of battleship segments]
Skyscrapers will always be >0 for each row/col, so tents and battleships have to have at least one in each respective row/col.
Masyu and Corral both under 10 minutes, so I'll be doing them first!

Other observations about tonight's contest:

Sudoku - probably very hard.

Count me in - "self-intersecting" ? I was picturing convex pentagons which can't intersect.

Groundhog day. Note rules say scissors are allowed, so it must be permitted to cut and overlay...

Digitile - scissors again? probably waste too much time though.

Mirror-mirror. The mirror must go horizontally if '3' is to be used. I guess the way to go on this one is to pair up the numbers with their mirrors (running vertically or horizontally), and find the numbers that can span the mirror line. Could be ok.

Also note the fact there's a -5 penalty for ANY wrong answer!
Whole thing looks tough! Good luck all...

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:08 am

PuzzleScot wrote: Sudoku - probably very hard.
Well I hope not - they have been pretty easy in the past, except for last years, in my opinion.

A hard Sudoku gives too much of a time advantage to the Tom Snyder's of this world - really seems a bit pointless given this is the trial for the WPC which has been very light on sudoku in the past few years

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by detuned » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 4:48 pm

Found myself a computer! Good luck to everyone else participating. Here's hoping I can add further success to my nikoli win yesterday :D

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 4:49 pm

Yes, good luck everyone! :) I've just tried the Sukazu Thomas Snyder posted today and discovered I really don't have a clue how to get started. :) Yay!

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by detuned » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 4:56 pm

PS if sudoku is too hard, just guess!

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:31 pm

That

Was

Hard...

(esp the bloody Sudoku)

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:32 pm

I gave up on the Sudoku too!

I nearly ran out of time typing answers in, which would have been stupid. 165 if I didn't mess up.

Should probably have guessed at the Sudoku, yes, and I imagine most of what I have is right but I made a mistake some way in and never came back to it.

Digitile annoyed me because I'm sure it is incredibly easy but I couldn't do it. Is it okay to discuss the puzzles here now?
Last edited by GarethMoore on Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nickdeller
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by nickdeller » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:33 pm

Oh dear! I kept getting started and getting stuck! :-(

Feels like there's some really satisfying solves to be done here now the pressure's off. :-)

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:35 pm

180, but I had to have a "guess" at the pentagons to get that

Not particularly convinced some of my other answers are correct, but really can't be bothered to check my answers at the moment.

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:37 pm

GarethMoore wrote:Is it okay to discuss the puzzles here now?
As we're only accepting "official" scores, I don't see why not? Perhaps an official someone should OK it first though

nickdeller
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by nickdeller » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:37 pm

If it's any comfort, I'm only claiming 85! Couldn't even pick off a lot of the "easy" points, this time.

PuzzleScot
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:38 pm

165 is good! I'll give myself 110. After scanning through, I thought I'd be lucky to get over 100! I did 4,5,8,12,13,21 (yes, I got 4-square out - yipee!)
LOTS of aborted puzzles :( - battleships, sudoku, hex eqn, mirror, rect maze, Digitile (argh! spent ages on this - anyone get it?), Sukoru (did BL corner only), Pentapath, Hex Masyu... groan. Where's my beer?

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by ronaldx » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:40 pm

I am claiming 160 - solved the Sudoku by guesswork.

Some nice puzzles I felt close to solving, especially the X-Agony, argh!

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:43 pm

Well I submitted these:
Battleships - easy (or I'm totally wrong, which is possible ;) )
Count me in - I am sure I got this wrong but for the life of me I can't find more shapes than the measly number I did! (so I probably really scored 20 less)
Islands - thought this was easy
Groundhog day - just a case of being organised, so now no doubt I'll find I got it wrong
Hex equation - this is I suppose really easy and yet I spent so long on it. I kept hitting it with a hammer randomly rather than thinking about it.
Masyu - fairly tricky for a Nikoli one but not that hard either
Rectangle maze - I got this quickly
Route - took me several minutes to see that my initial assumption must be wrong and so wasted loads of time trying to fix what was wrong
Takeout - this was easy, although easy to mess up a letter on too I bet
Corral - I was far too slow at this, because it's not really that hard is it?
Hex masyu - just a case of getting your head round the bends, assuming I got it right! The minimal number of clues gave it away a bit I think.

And I tried but failed on:
Sudoku - blah
Digitile - I'm sure this is easy but I really couldn't do it
Sukazu - I did about half of it but knew I'd need to guess from there so gave up on it
Four square - I did the 2009 one earlier and surprised myself that I could do it pretty easily. This one I didn't spend enough time on to get into really, since I started it then thought I'd check out the easier ones I'd missed first, then never came back to it.

Didn't try:
Mirror mirror - I figured I would be sure to mess the diagonal mirror up. (Although I bet rotating the paper 45 degrees actually makes it a lot easier to see the symmetry now I think about it)
And all the rest :)
Last edited by GarethMoore on Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

PuzzleScot
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:44 pm

drsteve wrote:
GarethMoore wrote:Is it okay to discuss the puzzles here now?
As we're only accepting "official" scores, I don't see why not? Perhaps an official someone should OK it first though
I'd say that was ok. Go ahead and discuss...

Unofficial scores may be considered in context by the selection committee at their discretion.
They will most likely be viewed unfavourably, especially as no-one has requested a late test submission.

Mr. Chairman.

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:48 pm

Well I'm dying to know how many pentagons there really are... I'm not going to post what I submitted because I don't want to embarrass myself. :)

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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:50 pm

Hmm... well I just looked at the pentagon counting again and can see four I missed, so that's 145 maximum already. ;)

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