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.

Puzzle Pack Vol. IV: Fillomino-fillia 2

November 13, 2012

At long last, the fourth puzzle pack, albeit several months later than I wanted. As this is a companion to the Fillomino-fillia 2 test and serves as its solution booklet, this pack is coauthored with mathgrant, who actually wrote more of the puzzles than I did.

If you did all of the Fillomino-fillia 2 puzzles on the test and preview series, don’t pass over this. You have only done 26 Fillominos in all. This pack has 56 total puzzles, so you’re not even half done.

Download the pack (PDF; 1863 KB)

This pack contains

  • The rules and a walkthrough for an example for Fillomino
  • 9 puzzles using the standard rules, including a large 20 by 36 brought to you by mathgrant
  • 10 puzzles representing all variations from Fillomino-fillia 1
  • 4 puzzles of each of the six variations from Fillomino-fillia 2: one easier 7 by 7, the two test puzzles, and the preview
  • 4 additional Fillomino-fillia 2 rejects: a Liar, a Snake, and two No-rectangles
  • 4 puzzles representing 3 new variations, which may appear on a tentative test for next year that might be called Fillomino-fillia 3
  • 4 chimera puzzles combining other variations in the pack
  • A fifth chimera puzzle: the FF2 version of last year’s Potpourri
  • Hints and solutions for all puzzles

Reporting of errors can be done by comments here or by email.

There will probably not even be progress on Volume V until 2013, as there are Mystery Hunt things to be done.

24 Hour Puzzle Championship USA Round

November 11, 2012

At the same time I was trying to get FF2 ready, I was working with Thomas Snyder and Wei-Hwa Huang to bring a “Team USA” round to the 24 hour puzzle championship that takes place in Hungary each year. The complete instruction booklet is here if you want to see what our whole round looked like, or if you want to see others’ round formats.

As the one on the coauthor team with the most time on my hands, I ended up writing most of the puzzles for our round. Specifically, 15 of the 24. Below is a PDF containing those 15. I’ll let the other coauthors release their work on their own terms.
Download PDF (409 KB)
Two of the puzzles were tweaked from their original versions to be easier, specifically 3C and 8B. Both versions are included in here, with the harder version on the following page.

FF2 pack still in progress. Coincidentally I was aiming for a release today, so this might be your lucky day in terms of getting puzzles from me.

Puzzle 415 (Fillomino) [Liar]

October 26, 2012

This is a Liar Fillomino puzzle. In addition to the usual rules, exactly one given number in each row and column is false.

Puzzle 415

Puzzle 415

Part 4 of 4 in my half of the preview series for Fillomino-Fillia 2. See mathgrant’s blog for the other half.

Answer Entry: Enter the units digits (last digit) of the number in each circled cell starting with the leftmost column and going right.

Highlight to see answer: 13174993

The test will be available to play on LMI pretty soon. Please give it a go this weekend if you can find the time, and good luck if you do!