2010 US Puzzle Championships

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puzzlemad
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by puzzlemad » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:52 pm

Well it's a good job that my holiday clashes with the WPC as I won't be up for selection. I just couldn't get going with anything. Spent time with the Maysu which I'm normally okay with and then realised it was wrong - story of the day. I think that I only made 65. Started a few things but just couldn't get going. Well done everyone else.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:53 pm

Did Battleships, Count Me In (possibly), islands, Groundhog Day, masyu, Rect Maze, Takeout, Corral, Constant Sum, Crisscross Path (easy if you see the trick), and Four Square

Got closish to Hex-Masyu and couldn't see a way past a problem with the Sukazu thingy - vaguley convinced that it's unsolvable - anyone do it?

Just realised that I dropped the Sukoro sheet on the floor and forgot about it totally. Hope it wasn't easy...

nickdeller
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by nickdeller » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:56 pm

Ah well, I've got the Sukoro out now as well. Nice enough puzzle, but a bit tedious; I'm starting to think that the phrase "All cells must be orthogonally connected" is the surest sign that I'm not going to find a puzzle type exciting :-)

detuned
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by detuned » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:56 pm

Ouch - 110 here. I got the sudoku :) It was a much better puzzle than they used for the time trial yesterday.

otherwise kept messing up lots of puzzles. There is far too much fragment of used eraser in front of me :(

As an indication to the difficulty, Byron on facebook reckons he got no more than 195. I think I'm going to make a point of avoiding Thomas Snyder's blog for a while as he'll inevitably have scored something utterly sickening.

dickoon
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by dickoon » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:58 pm

I do believe there will be more poor scores than there were in previous years, because previously if you had only answered one or two questions then you might well just not bother submitting any of them, whereas with the incremental answer scheme (which, I suppose, always was in place) it makes much more sense to submit a one-answer entry than before.

With this in mind, I'm claiming a possible 35, and if anyone's below that then I'd be surprised. While I had some tech problems (fail to prepare, prepare to fail and all that...) I don't think I would have got any more correct without a loooooooot of extra time.

(I think I've got Battleships, Islands and Groundhogs. Spent a lot of time on the wordsearch, but I managed to put all the words in without filling all the boxes and couldn't find an obvious correction. Also spent time on the 0-to-9 one, the pentagons, the hex equation and the rectangle maze, but didn't have any particular insight about how to approach any of them.)

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 7:58 pm

What was Constant Sum like? I tend to leaves maths ones to last, so didn't try it. ;)

The problem I had with the Sukazu was convincing myself that there were no 5s (I was happy there were no 6s ;) ), and I decided it was just too much effort to think about. I did the bottom and left edges, essentially.

I somehow forgot about Sukoro entirely.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 8:02 pm

drsteve wrote:Just realised that I dropped the Sukoro sheet on the floor and forgot about it totally. Hope it wasn't easy...
Faeces! It was!

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 8:02 pm

Haha, you're right Tom - you'd better not look at his blog for a while! :)

nickdeller
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by nickdeller » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 8:04 pm

Not tried Constant Sum yet myself, it looks far too big! That might well be a (the) Sunday evening puzzle. :-)

Criss Cross Sums delighted me. It's a trick they keep pulling, and I'm never ready for it when they do. One simple insight, though, and... bangbangbangbangbang!

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 8:04 pm

Constant Sum was quite nice - not particularly taxing - once you spot the strategy, I think I only went slightly wrong once. No real red herrings in it, which surprised me a bit

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 8:22 pm

Just tried Sukoro too - it's not too hard, but it still took me just over 10 minutes I think. Still, I think I spent 15 minutes failing digitile. ;)

ronaldx
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by ronaldx » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 8:40 pm

I believe I completed puzzles: 1,2,4,5,12,13,14,16,21

1. Battleships - did this while waiting for the rest to print. Print quality was set too high so there was momentary tension while I waited for it to come out.
No problem here, locating 3/3/4 solved this in a few mins, just as my first print copy had finished (second copy begins printing). I looked at the timer and was surprised how little time had passed.

2. Sudoku - yuck. Left it with about 10 digits placed and came back to it later on, wrote out 2 cases and used guesswork, even then it was not easy.

3. Count me In - didn't see any nice way of counting pentagons, so didn't spend any time on this at all.

4. Islands - just crammed stuff in where it fitted. No difficulties encountered, suspect I got a bit lucky.

5. Groundhog Day - find the pairs: always worth spending time on!

6. Hex Equation - Calculated 111-44, then ignored.

7. Mirror Mirror - Put some thought into it, then couldn't immediately see which words paired up. Think I should have spent a bit more time on this, but couldn't get my head around it first time and didn't come back to it.

8. Masyu - got reasonably far (route tracking around the top and left hand side of the grid), got stuck, left it, came back to it, messed it up. Boo.

9. Rectangle Maze - I tried a number of routes just by total guesswork, nothing worked, came back to it with 2 mins to go for some speed guessing, nothing worked, spent 10 more mins on it after time, nothing worked.

10. Digitile - tried cramming numbers in, as with Islands, had a problem in the top right. Thought about coming back to it/starting again at the top right, but felt it needed some work and there wasn't time.

11. Route - hate it. Tried a few routes and then realised I couldn't keep squeezing past to get back to where I needed to be. Think a loose drawing ignoring the grid but joining up the given numbers would help. Again, felt it needed too much work and skipped past.

12. Takeout - about half way through this puzzle I realised that I hadn't been keeping a record and could easily have bashed a letter into the wrong place (and I'd never know). Hope not! Otherwise pretty straightforward.

13. Corral - got about half way through, stuck, moved on, came back to it because I decided it was nearly finished, properly remembered how to finish it off, and solved it. Most helpful trick is: you can't have 2 squares inside (or outside) the grid that only touch diagonally. sweet!

14. Sukoro - I hadn't seen this puzzle type before. Most of the work was in preventing sections of the grid from being cutoff. Didn't check the solution thoroughly, hope I didn't miss any 1s! Having to type out solutions into the little form is most unfavourable. And took me the best part of 5 mins at the end of the time.

15. Constant Sum - I looked at this and thought "76?! What?" I don't have the patience to add that high! Now I look at it and realise that 76 is a very nice start point. Oh well.

16. Criss Cross Sums - Got this v quickly - all thanks to the practice Di-Agony!

17. PentaPath - Oh Pentominoes, how annoying are you? Didn't have time to prepare so no idea where to start... didn't waste any time on this.

18. Sukazu. I looked at the little example and thought "oh that's easy, you have blocks of 1, or 122, or 122333, or 1223334444...". Immediately I noted the unexpected block 22 and then gave up. Wasn't sure if it was necessary for the maximum number in the grid to be 4? But it seemed plausible?

19. Hex Masyu - spent a certain amount of time on this but then realised I wasn't getting very far. Masyus really killed my time in this USPC, I become rubbish at them as soon as I haven't seen them for a while. Must do better!

20. X-Agony. I placed the 5s! and then thought I had placed the 2s as well but only got myself into trouble. I needed a bit more practice of Di-Agonys to be comfortable with this, but felt like I was almost there...

21. Four Square. yay! The tents and trees was almost possible as a stand-alone puzzle, then the information from that and the fact that there were 14 battleship pieces meant that I didn't get close to fully completing the grids, but was nonetheless pretty sure about the answer. I wanted to finish and my pen kept moving, but for the sake of scoring, I went back and used the time elsewhere. Blush!

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:03 pm

Solutions are up - all right except for the pentagons... that makes 160 for me.

Not particularly happy with that, especially having forgotten to try the Sukoro. Still, better than a kick in the teeth, I suppose

ronaldx
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by ronaldx » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:07 pm

Solutions are up! Balls, I misdrew a single square on the Corral. Taking off 25 leaves me on 135.

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:09 pm

I spent a while on the Route trying to push the 34 to the 46 underneath the 69, as it must go because of the path from the 69 going up to the 73. Eventually I realised the 68 must be to the right of the 69, not the left, with the 69 at the top-right of the four squares. That allows the 34 to 46 route to finally fit beneath. From there the solution is pretty trivial because you know the shape of the line you're trying to place, and it really is all forced from there. Noting also that there are more odd numbers than even numbers means you know before you start which squares are odd and which are even (chessboard pattern), so placing the 1 to 8 and on bit has only one solution that works with the path layout even on just a local basis.

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:14 pm

Checked the solutions now - I got 145. I had the Counting wrong, but the rest was right. Yay!

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:29 pm

Ha, so there were 5s in the Suck as you (is that how Sukazu's pronounced I wonder?), so I'm glad I abandoned it! And I don't know where the extra pentagons are lurking but they're hidden from me. :)
Last edited by GarethMoore on Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:46 pm

GarethMoore wrote:Ha, so there were 5s in the Suck as you (is that how Sukazu's pronounced I wonder?), so I'm glad I abandoned it! And I don't know where the extra pentagons are lurking but they're hidden from me. :)
Yeah, I'd assumed 122333444 and then proved to myself that it wouldn't work that way - didn't really consider how to try anything else. I think I assumed that if it wasn't 1223334444 then it would be, for example, 2233355555 in EVERY row and column. Which also wouldn't work, obviously

PuzzleScot
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by PuzzleScot » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 12:09 am

Grr, back to a 2-digit score. I was 3/4 way through checking Groundhog before the timer ran out.
I had B2-E6 as a provisional match, and 2 definites. I entered it assuming it was right (no time to double-check), so 90 for me in the end.

I looked at Digitile right after my last post - I turned the 5 horizontally, et voila..
I shouldn't be looking at the solutions. I had my LHS vertical 3 one square too high, but all 2s in the right place.
Constant Sum looks quite easy once you've figured the technique! Easyish points gone begging.
No real complaints, other than I didn't get a 3-digit score. I could never have scored over 150, so well done those that did!

Oh, and Motris is clearly not human. Someone tell David Icke!

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 7:01 am

Just read motris's blog on the competition. Is it possible that the cyborgs have already started infiltrating us?

A mild victory - I solved Constant Sum faster than him! Hurrah!

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 12:53 pm

Ok, as this is annoying me now - how do you solve the Sudoku?

I've placed a 2 in the middle left 3x3 square, a 1 in the centre, a 5 in the middle right and the bottom left and a 1 in the bottom middle.

Where do I go from here (without guessing if possible?)

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 4:09 pm

drsteve wrote:Ok, as this is annoying me now - how do you solve the Sudoku?

I've placed a 2 in the middle left 3x3 square, a 1 in the centre, a 5 in the middle right and the bottom left and a 1 in the bottom middle.

Where do I go from here (without guessing if possible?)
Well, the 2 in the bottom middle must be in the centre column, so the 2 in the top row is forced. That in turn points the 3s down which makes them point horizontally in the bottom middle, letting you place the 6 in the bottom right.

Does that help? The 6 and 4 in the bottom left follow easily then.

In fact I'm annoyed with myself because I just did the puzzle in under 5 mins. It's medium I would say - no sets or harder needed. (I say this having failed yesterday on it!)
Last edited by GarethMoore on Sun 22 Aug, 2010 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

drsteve
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by drsteve » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 5:20 pm

Sorry, Gareth, but I'm being dim. How does that fix the 6 in the bottom right? It's one of two boxs (top middle or middle middle) in the 3x3 bottom corner. How can you tell which one it is?

EDIT - ignore that, I'm an idiot

nickdeller
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by nickdeller » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 6:47 pm

OK, I'm now cross with myself for not attempting Constant Sum, a very straightforward five-minute mechanical solve and definitely this year's wasted points. Got the Hex Masyu out this evening though and it's a nice way to spend an hour or so when the clock's not ticking!Mind you, I'm fond of ordinary square grid Masyu...

GarethMoore
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Re: 2010 US Puzzle Championships

Post by GarethMoore » Mon 23 Aug, 2010 1:52 pm

The real wasted points for me was Criss Cross Sums, which of course involved absolutely no sums and was literally just a criss-cross with two letters.

The example was obviously designed to mislead and the message here to myself is to spend at least 30 seconds on each puzzle at the start and see what's what! ;)

With no other starting point I'm sure it was obvious even to the most mathematically obtuse person what the 5s and 6s meant!

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