WPC 2013: Day 3

October 22, 2013

See the first WPC 2013 post for an explanation of the post date. Also, all round scores can be referred to here.

Before I get to day 3, I should note that the team results showed that even despite a mistake on the weakest link (which was my fault, and not related to the misgrade), our sizable lead going into those two team rounds stayed sizable. So the US team took first place this year. Yay!

As a bummer, I messed up the Pento Office in round 12, but I still managed to top the round by a sizable margin. You know it was a good run when you can drop the highest-valued puzzle like that and still stay ahead.

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WPC 2013: Day 2 Afternoon

October 21, 2013

See the first WPC 2013 post for an explanation of the post date. Also, all round scores can be referred to here.

The preliminaries are now over. In individual rounds, my day 2 afternoon was the usual: awesome. My team round performance was so-so, but if we’re clean we’ll have stayed level with the rival teams across both.

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WPC 2013: Day 2 Morning

October 21, 2013

See the first WPC 2013 post for an explanation of the post date. Also, all round scores can be referred to here.

The day 2 morning is done, and the scores for one of its rounds as well as the day 1 rounds are available. That led to lots of good news. First, what I considered an okay performance on rounds 4 and 5 turned out to be the high scores, and my round 7 score was only behind Thomas’s and Ulrich’s (comparing with both of them after the round probably skewed my perception a bit…). Second, the weighting system of the world rounds may have turned out to be a bit broken in a way that favored me. I figured with the system they used that top scores would be around 600. Instead, I have two scores over 800 on rounds where the scoring rules specify that only four people can score above 500. That seems a bit too lopsided. The around the world concept seems to work great in general, but I think the scoring rules could use another look. Third, my day 2 morning went so well that I have probably clinched first place in the preliminaries even if I skip the afternoon entirely.

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WPC 2013: Day 1 Afternoon

October 20, 2013

See the first WPC 2013 post for an explanation of the post date.

Day 1 is now over. It went only slightly less than well. At the very least, I think I have good chances of holding 1st after all the rounds are scored.

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WPC 2013: Day 1 Morning

October 20, 2013

This post comes rather late, since the WPC is done and over and I am already back home. But China has wordpress.com blocked, so I had no means to update this blog. I still wrote the posts up, since jotting my thoughts down has been a good way to wind down after the intensity of a series of WPC rounds, and I figured I would just post them all after it was over and I had blog access again. I’ll be uploading the others about once or twice a day; there’s 5 in all.

I wrote these as though it were the actual day and didn’t bother changing the tense or the predictions and anticipations, so my apologies for when you read some things that will seem anachronistic given the post date.

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USPC 2013 Recap

June 16, 2013

I believe this is safe to post since the 12 hour window was over long ago, although solutions have yet to go up.

Taking the test this year was interesting since my printer’s color ink has gone haywire and I went entirely without grays or reds this year. On some puzzles that meant I had no gridlines whatsoever.

For the test as a whole, 344 is my expected score. I haven’t talked with enough people to know what rank that will get. Here’s what happened on individual puzzles.

Update: An email suggests I have 1st, with a score of 338. The decrease is due to a coordinate messup on the differences puzzle. I blame the gridlines not showing up on that one.

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USPC 2013 Previews

June 15, 2013

Here’s instances of 13 (Looper) and 14 (Tight-Fit TomTom). I suspect the Looper here is easier than 20 points, and the TomTom is probably about the right level. I confess I didn’t check these extremely thoroughly since I’m moving on to working on other types.

I made two attempts to construct Bombardoku, and both broke at the end. So I guess I’m the only that got practice out of that. Sorry.

Looper: Draw a single closed loop connecting all of the blank squares horizontally or vertically. Each number in the grid indicates the number of right-angle turns in its neighboring squares (including diagonally).

USPC 2013 Practice: Looper

USPC 2013 Practice: Looper

Tight-fit TomTom: Place the digits 1 through 8 into the empty squares (one per full square, two per split shaded square) so that each digit appears exactly once in each of the six rows and six columns. Digits can repeat within an outlined region. Additionally, for each outlined region, the given number is the result of the given operator applied successively to all values in the region, starting with the largest value for subtraction and division. Squares containing a slash (shaded instead in the preview puzzle below) will have the corresponding fractional value.

USPC 2013 Practice: Tight-fit TomTom

USPC 2013 Practice: Tight-fit TomTom

US Puzzle Championship 2013 instructions run-down

June 15, 2013

Before I say anything else about the post title, I should give a few words on my absence. In short, the outcome of the Mystery Hunt I contributed to left me very drained on puzzles for months, and I think the first time I’ve constructed anything since then was May. I think I’m finally back on my feet though. Future puzzles from me will soon be appearing at Thomas Snyder’s Grandmaster Puzzles blog. You won’t be seeing much posted at this URL anymore; probably just the occasional post like this one.

Anyways, the 2013 USPC instructions are now online. Here’s a collection of practice material on the various types. Thomas Snyder posted tips for a lot of the earlier types in a series on common USPC types; I’ll be referring to that link a few times.
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Puzzle 417 (Nurikabe)

November 21, 2012

This is a Nurikabe puzzle.

Puzzle 417

Puzzle 417

Puzzle 416 (Tapa)

November 17, 2012

This is a Tapa puzzle.

Puzzle 416

Puzzle 416

The theme is because I turn 23 today. I also recently learned that this is deu’s birthday too; you may know him as a top solver at LMI/WPCs/nikoli.com.

Well, I suppose that mathematically the chances of two active competitors having the same birthday is pretty high. Even so… this does not feel like your typical pair. Apparently the puzzle gods decreed that people born on this day would enjoy nikoli-style puzzles and be very quick at them.


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