20/10 Decathlon

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drsteve
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20/10 Decathlon

Post by drsteve » Wed 13 Oct, 2010 7:31 pm

Surprised no-one's mentioned it, but Tom Snyder's running a competition on LM India this weekend. Link is here: http://logicmastersindia.com/M201010P2/

Have to say, it looks really interesting, a very well thought out competition - some easy, some hard, some weird. Very much looking forward to this.

detuned
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by detuned » Thu 14 Oct, 2010 1:01 pm

He certainly seems to be a big fan of this decathlon idea to find the best all-round puzzler. I remember a while back when I was in the habit of winding him up a little playing devil's advocate on his blog that he thought something like the decathlon was the best way to find the best athlete. Personally, I think the thing is a little too contrived for my liking - the athletics/puzzle solving analogy doesn't run all that deep - but there certainly look to be some interesting ideas. The format is perhaps more suitable here than as pushed through at the WSC (where it was nevertheless executed well).

The bonus structure looks intriguing. I'm hoping that the mutants are weighted heavily enough to actually have the right incentive to solve, as opposed to simply hunting down the first 20 normal variations for the first two sets of completion bonuses. For example, I'm fairly confident that for a number of puzzle types I'll have the first two puzzles out in 10 minutes, maybe 15 max. Others I'm less sure, although if one of them is easy I'm sure I'll get at least one. Do I then go for a more interesting mutant puzzle for a type I've already got the first two puzzle out on, or try and plough my way through a second puzzle I'm not so hot on in search of bonus points?

drsteve
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by drsteve » Thu 14 Oct, 2010 4:03 pm

My gut feeling is that the Mutant might be easier (once you spot the strategy) than the hard one, but adjusting your thinking to the mutation is the challenge. Or maybe not.

Maxelkat
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by Maxelkat » Fri 15 Oct, 2010 12:19 pm

I've never tried any of Tom Snyder's puzzles before, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm not going to be able to spare two hours at the weekend to do it though, so I'll be going through it at my leisure. Should be fun!

Elliott

drsteve
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by drsteve » Fri 15 Oct, 2010 3:16 pm

Maxelkat wrote:I've never tried any of Tom Snyder's puzzles before, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm not going to be able to spare two hours at the weekend to do it though, so I'll be going through it at my leisure. Should be fun!

Elliott
Elliot

I'd highly recommend going on Amazon and getting a copy of his Mutant Sudoku book. Even a die-hard Sudoku hater like me really enjoyed this book - there's so much more to these puzzles than normal sudoku rules.

Steve

GarethMoore
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by GarethMoore » Sat 16 Oct, 2010 2:50 am

An excellent set of puzzles, which I thoroughly recommend.

I got 781, which included losing 30 points + 1 point bonus because I typed in a solution wrongly (I transposed two letters when typing it in). I also stupidly typed one solution in the wrong box but I can see I've just been given credit for it anyway - yay - without that I'd have had quite a bit less with loss of bonus.

So I reckon I did okay. I solved 22 puzzles and about half of a 23rd that really I should have left to last to get more bonus from time remaining. Looking at what I didn't do I think I probably chose the right puzzles to do, though.

Janix
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by Janix » Sat 16 Oct, 2010 9:02 pm

I really enjoyed that. 570 points for 18 puzzles completed and submitted - no errors - Yes - but there was a lot of data requested (although it is the same for everyone). Just completing the third Tom-Tom - although should have done that in the time and not dallied on a few others.

Ken

nickdeller
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by nickdeller » Sat 16 Oct, 2010 9:43 pm

510, which I think would be 570 if not for two submission FAILS - transposed two digits in a Number Skeleton unused number, and used the top row instead of Row A as the answer code for the easy Battleships.

Nice set of puzzles, mostly not too taxing but usually with a little bit of bite to them somewhere.

Chris
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by Chris » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 7:34 am

I got 285 (would have been 300 if it hadn't been for a submission error) but I was fairly pleased with that (my only way is up!). I just completed the easy section but got some satisfaction from completing all ten of them correctly and so qualifying for the full bonus despite my one submission error). I had about half an hour over after doing the easy ones but wasted that time hopping from one puzzle to another to see which might have been manageable for me - think the tomtom would have been my best bet. Anyway it was great to see a set of puzzles which included something for all levels of puzzlers because although I am never going to reach the dizzy heights I do enjoy having a go and entering :)

P.S. Some kind person on the LMI forum has read my post re my submission error and credited me with the 15 points bringing my total to 300.
Last edited by Chris on Sun 17 Oct, 2010 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sf2l
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by sf2l » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 10:02 am

closed at 784 with some disappointment for wasting the last 4 minutes on the mutant nurikabe while I could have solved easily something else. at least I had 4 bonus points in partial compensation....

In my opinion not all puzzles were the same level of difficulty so perhaps awarding 30 points for each puzzle is a bit misleading

drsteve
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by drsteve » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 11:06 am

810 - all the easy and hard ones out, plus mutant Loop, ABC, Mine, Skyscraper and Nurikabe.

Managed to shoot myself in the foot three times - missed out a sub in Easy Battleships (and, of course, it was in Row A), typed in the wrong column for Easy Skyscrapers, mistyped a 1 for a 0 in Mutant Nurikabe and just got Hard Minesweeper wrong (which wasted a good 10+ minutes as well - grrrr)

Happy with that, though. Nice set of puzzles, but the level of "Hard" and "Mutant" did vary - convinced that when I do the rest of the Mutants, there'll be a couple that will fall pretty quickly.

EDIT: Yup, there go Battleships, TomTom and Tents...

SECOND EDIT: And there goes the Minesweeper that I wasted so much time on - had another go on a clean one and bashed it out in a couple of minutes. What on earth did I miss the first time through???

Anyway, Tom, if you're reading this - thanks for the competition - great fun
Last edited by drsteve on Sun 17 Oct, 2010 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ronaldx
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by ronaldx » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 1:12 pm

Hey, I scored 655, lost 65 (15+50 bonus) for typing the wrong column in the Easy ABC Connect ;(

Fun puzzle :) Thanks Tom!

drsteve
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by drsteve » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 2:11 pm

ronaldx wrote:Hey, I scored 655, lost 65 (15+50 bonus) for typing the wrong column in the Easy ABC Connect ;(

Fun puzzle :) Thanks Tom!
So three of us (you, me and Nick) all messed up by typing in the wrong column... is there something about this competition's layout that's causing this mass delusion?

detuned
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by detuned » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 2:30 pm

I'm yet to take the test - will do so in a little bit - but I'd smile a little if I were the one to buck the trend on entry errors here :)

detuned
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by detuned » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 10:00 pm

Well I didn't buck the trend - however the LMI thread suggests that they are showing a bit of leniency. In this case it'll boost me from a provisional 600 to 750!

detuned
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by detuned » Sun 17 Oct, 2010 10:35 pm

d'oh - just seen that I didnt enter one of the battleships either. ah well. Not a disgraceful score. Off to do some bed-time mutants :)

PuzzleScot
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by PuzzleScot » Mon 18 Oct, 2010 12:27 am

I've done this too now. 10 easy + 8 hard + 0 mutant -> 640 unofficial. Well, officially 540. 100 points thrown away (30 + 70 bonus)
1 dumb error on easy minesweeper (1 mine in wrong place). 1 typo in answer key for easy Tomtom (repeated a digit in the answer key). Groan.

Most enjoyable though 8-)

david mcneill
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by david mcneill » Mon 18 Oct, 2010 8:21 am

Have to say a big thanks to Thomas for a great competition with excellent puzzles. Liked the decathlon structure with easy puzzles of each type and bonuses kicking in early. It was interesting trying to choose between hards and mutants. Apart from the Skyscrapers, I think the mutants were at least as tough or tougher than the hards, but I didn't always choose correctly. I think the mutant Masyu and the mutant Number Skeleton were the hardest puzzles. The hard Number Skeleton turned out to be very easy. There were a number of intuitive solves, including the hard Battleships and the mutant ABC Connect, the latter after the time was up.

I had a disaster with my technology, losing maybe 25 minutes of solving time. It took ages for my pdf document to wirelessly reach my printer in the next room. I grabbed the first page (actually the mutant Nurikabe!) and started solving. Then I dashed next door to grab a few more pages. Five minutes later, I decided to collect the remaining pages, only to find that the printer had jammed. At this stage, I had decided not to bother submitting any answers as I had no idea how to fix the printer. However, miraculously, after resetting the printer and putting the paper in numerous times, I eventually got 2 copies of most of the puzzles.

Anyway, I decided to persist and went to enter some answers, only to find that the computer was installing the third of 3 updates and needed to switch off. I eventually relogged into LMI and entered all the answers I had at that stage. Altogether I solved 23 puzzles within the time and a 24th within about 5 seconds of time running out. The results page shows that I only solved 22 puzzles and this was because, for the second contest running, I entered an answer (in this case, the mutant Minesweeper) but forgot to press the "Submit Answers" button. Just not my night. Incidentally, why is the "Submit Answers" button necessary? When you enter puzzle ratings, it is only necessary to be logged in for the ratings to be recorded.

David McNeill.

drsteve
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by drsteve » Mon 18 Oct, 2010 8:47 am

david mcneill wrote:Have to say a big thanks to Thomas for a great competition with excellent puzzles. Liked the decathlon structure with easy puzzles of each type and bonuses kicking in early. It was interesting trying to choose between hards and mutants. Apart from the Skyscrapers, I think the mutants were at least as tough or tougher than the hards, but I didn't always choose correctly. I think the mutant Masyu and the mutant Number Skeleton were the hardest puzzles. The hard Number Skeleton turned out to be very easy. There were a number of intuitive solves, including the hard Battleships and the mutant ABC Connect, the latter after the time was up.

I had a disaster with my technology, losing maybe 25 minutes of solving time. It took ages for my pdf document to wirelessly reach my printer in the next room. I grabbed the first page (actually the mutant Nurikabe!) and started solving. Then I dashed next door to grab a few more pages. Five minutes later, I decided to collect the remaining pages, only to find that the printer had jammed. At this stage, I had decided not to bother submitting any answers as I had no idea how to fix the printer. However, miraculously, after resetting the printer and putting the paper in numerous times, I eventually got 2 copies of most of the puzzles.

Anyway, I decided to persist and went to enter some answers, only to find that the computer was installing the third of 3 updates and needed to switch off. I eventually relogged into LMI and entered all the answers I had at that stage. Altogether I solved 23 puzzles within the time and a 24th within about 5 seconds of time running out. The results page shows that I only solved 22 puzzles and this was because, for the second contest running, I entered an answer (in this case, the mutant Minesweeper) but forgot to press the "Submit Answers" button. Just not my night. Incidentally, why is the "Submit Answers" button necessary? When you enter puzzle ratings, it is only necessary to be logged in for the ratings to be recorded.

David McNeill.
Aargh, you just pipped me. Congrats David, excellent score.

Completely agree with the Mutant Skeleton and Masyu being the hardest - made some headway with the Masyu, just needs a bit of fiddling, but it's not intuitive at all. I did find the Skyscaper mutant easier than the hard one, and ditto the Nurikabe (although I did enter the solution incorrectly, I did get it right). Some of the hard ones though were more bigger than harder - the ABC connect was pretty basic, given some of the "hard" ones on Nikoli - that only slowed me a little because I'd assumed that Tom had done one that didn't use all the squares.

In the case of the answers, it might be due to the fact that the answers are multi-digit, whereas a rating is a single item of data? Dunno, I'm not a techie, but that seems to make sense.

PuzzleScot
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by PuzzleScot » Mon 18 Oct, 2010 8:50 am

After time - Finished my aborted mutant ABC - only needed a tweak on the 4s/5s paths. Mutant tents & skyscrapers fell out easily too. Wonderful puzzles.

PuzzleScot
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by PuzzleScot » Mon 18 Oct, 2010 9:06 am

Incidentally, why is the "Submit Answers" button necessary?
Within a flash environment, it probably isn't necessary, but to keep internal server submit requests down, it makes sense to ask the user to submit longer answers. If an automatic submit was made after every character input, there would be 51 database submissions (mutant nurikabe) while the answer key was being typed, and probably a delay (waiting for server ok response) between each character appearing after typing. Perhaps they could just make a single submission once the expected answer key length had been entered?

I have to say their interface is very slick and professional, so any criticism is nit-picking.

Well done David and Steven - phenomenal effort! The top 10 scores are unreal though.

detuned
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Re: 20/10 Decathlon

Post by detuned » Mon 18 Oct, 2010 9:14 am

drsteve wrote: Aargh, you just pipped me. Congrats David, excellent score.

Completely agree with the Mutant Skeleton and Masyu being the hardest - made some headway with the Masyu, just needs a bit of fiddling, but it's not intuitive at all. I did find the Skyscaper mutant easier than the hard one, and ditto the Nurikabe (although I did enter the solution incorrectly, I did get it right). Some of the hard ones though were more bigger than harder - the ABC connect was pretty basic, given some of the "hard" ones on Nikoli - that only slowed me a little because I'd assumed that Tom had done one that didn't use all the squares.

In the case of the answers, it might be due to the fact that the answers are multi-digit, whereas a rating is a single item of data? Dunno, I'm not a techie, but that seems to make sense.
The mutant masyu was the one I had any sort of preparation for. So the point is you can sort of identify whites/blacks by the observation whether they come in stacks of

Code: Select all

.O
OO
or not. The one bit which got me backtracking was a pair of unexpected parallel straight lines that I initially thought were forced to close.

Agree with whoever said the difficulty of the mutants varied though. The simple loop was essentially yajilin, and the big tent party was a lot less involved than the harder normal tents (which was one of the pick for me). I actually enjoyed some of the normal hards more though - aside from the tents, the masyu, skyscrapers and nurikabe were very good.

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