Fillomino-Fillia is over + Guess the Constructors!

(If you’re only interested in this post for the casual contest in which you guess which of us made each puzzle in Fillomino-Fillia, click here.)

Fillomino-Fillia, my second LMI test written with mathgrant, is now over. Congratulations to deu (H.Jo) for an incredible performance, finishing all puzzles 28 minutes early in a 2 hour test. I would not have believed that possible if I hadn’t seen it happen. Props also to motris, flooser, and uvo, the other finishers who had 11, 8, and 5 minutes remaining respectively.

Last time I wrote one of these after-test reports (for the Zoo) I had a lot to say. Not so this time – this test went better than I could have imagined. Put simply, there is exactly one thing that I would have done differently given a second chance, even with the benefit of hindsight. That would be to tweak the easiest Classic Fillomino so that it wouldn’t be so error-prone. That said, 4 out of 4 people that pre-tested that puzzle got it correct, so there is no way we could have anticipated that. I have no regrets about even the smallest thing. Participation was surprisingly high, all levels of solvers found several puzzles they could do, the difficulty target was met with a few top contestants finishing, and there was a lot of praise for the quality of the test and puzzles. Apparently we’ve even garnered new readers on the blogs thanks to that last bit.

A huge thanks to mathgrant, who played just as big of a role as I did in making the test what it was, and an equally big thanks to Deb Mohanty, who is probably one of the only people in the world that can do the kind of job he does with the same amount of skill.

Please feel free to comment on this post discussing any aspect of the test, positive or negative, whether I touched on it here or not. We’d love to hear more about what people thought.

Now, if you came here hoping to figure out which of the puzzles were written by mathgrant or I, you aren’t going to get it quite yet. As a small, fun addition to the bigger contest we just held now, we’re holding another one in which you try to guess yourself who wrote which puzzle. This is open to anyone, even those who didn’t compete this weekend. For those of you who don’t have the puzzles handy, here is the booklet. There are 18 puzzles. I contributed 9 of them, and mathgrant contributed 9 of them.

Scoring will first be done by the most correct answers. Ties will first be broken by considering who correctly guessed the author for puzzles in which most other people were wrong; there will be a point system of this that I omit for the sake of brevity. The second tiebreaker, if that fails, is who provides a word that mathgrant likes best, which you should submit with your entry. (We’re trying to avoid a random draw here.)

The prize for the top finisher will be a Cipher Fillomino made in your name, constructed by – oops, that would be telling. But it will be by one of us and posted on our blog. A minor prize, true, but this is supposed to be a casual contest.

If you wish to enter, send an email to palmermebane at gmail dot com with the following content by 11:59 PM Saturday June 11, 2011:

  • The alias you want us to theme the Cipher puzzle around if you win. Real name or user name, your choice. If you would like us to try to do something else special in the puzzle, include that. We’ll try, but we can’t guarantee everything.
  • A line of 18 characters, each one M or G. The kth character being M means you think I (MellowMelon) wrote the kth puzzle, and a G means you think mathgrant wrote it. For instance, if you think I wrote the first 9 puzzles and mathgrant wrote the last 9, you would send MMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGG.
  • A word mathgrant would like. Used for the second tiebreaker.

We will announce the correct answer and the winner at some point Sunday a week from now. The prize puzzle will probably be posted within a couple weeks of that.

(Please try to avoid discussing this contest in the comments to the post to avoid conflicting with any discussion of the main test. Email me instead. I’ll edit the post if it’s a FAQ.)


11 Responses to “Fillomino-Fillia is over + Guess the Constructors!”

  1. Anderson W Says:

    The contest was nice, with great presentation, very satisfying solves, and lots of elegance everywhere. Thanks to mathgrant and mellowmelon for making these awesome puzzles!

    That’s about all I have to say.

  2. mathgrant Says:

    For the sake of being up front as possible about how this works, the first tie-breaker is simply this: for every correct answer you give, you get one point for every person who got that answer wrong.

  3. ksun48 Says:

    fillominos are my favorite type though, so yay

  4. Giovanni P. Says:

    Oh, I’ll have to take a shot at this soon. First, I want to pore over the puzzles and see if the solves tell me anything about their constructor. A puzzle with my name in it sounds nice–the number of unique letters (14 total letters, 7 unique letters) might lend itself nicely to a Cipher Fillomino.

    Speaking of puzzles, can we expect any updates from you this week? I noticed the usual Monday puzzle is absent.

    • Giovanni P. Says:

      Sorry, I just wanted to add the ones I’ve solved so far. The Hard Star and Hard Cipher were interesting.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      There will be puzzles this week. I pushed the Monday puzzle back a day so this post would stay up top a little longer. That means a new puzzle is coming out in a couple of hours from this comment.

  5. rob Says:

    Thanks a lot to both of you and everyone else involved in the contest. The puzzles were a lot of fun to solve, during and after the contest. I’m not too happy with my performance, wasting a lot of time on the hard even-odd-fillomino, which took me a bit to get started, and which I then mis-solved twice due to not placing that extra 1 before giving up.


    • MellowMelon Says:

      Wasting a lot of time on the harder puzzles seemed to be a common mistake, although I am mostly hearing of people throwing 30+ minutes at the hard Star without getting it.

      Probably the unusual discrepancy between the point values of easy and hard puzzles is to blame. 16 and 20 points probably sounds pretty appealing when almost everything else is low-to-mid single digits. Unfortunately for everyone lured into them, I think they really did deserve to be worth that much.

      • Giovanni P. Says:

        You aren’t kidding. The Hard Star was well worth every point in how it solved and the techniques required to solve it. I’m not sure of the Hard Even-Odd, as I have yet to solve it or even get started properly.

  6. Giovanni P. Says:

    Sorry to pester you about this, but now that the contest is over, will we ever hear the results, as well as who constructed what puzzle? I’m interested to see if my guesses were right or not.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      No, that’s okay. I was actually waiting for a post by mathgrant with the prize puzzle to go up before doing my own for various reasons. I’ll post results and answers, and maybe other things, at my usual posting time (midnight ET).

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