Puzzle 414 (Fillomino) [Nonconsecutive]

October 25, 2012

This is a Nonconsecutive Fillomino puzzle. In addition to the usual rules, two orthogonally adjacent cells may not contain consecutive numbers.

Puzzle 414

Puzzle 414

Part 3 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: 62376777


Puzzle 413 (Fillomino) [No-rectangle]

October 24, 2012

This is a No-rectangles Fillomino puzzle. In addition to the usual rules, none of the polyominoes can form a rectangle.

Puzzle 413

Puzzle 413

Part 2 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: 47656765

EDIT: I meant to point out originally that this puzzle was the inspiration. (That’s the second time this blog has linked to that puzzle.)

Puzzle 412 (Fillomino) [Snake]

October 23, 2012

This is a Fillomino Snake puzzle. A snake with a head and tail and unknown length must be drawn in the grid so that it contains all shaded cells. The snake does not touch itself, even at a point. The remaining spaces must be divided into polyominoes satisfying the usual Fillomino rules. The snake may touch polyominoes of the same size as itself.

Puzzle 412

Puzzle 412

Part 1 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. For a cell with a snake segment, write X.

Highlight to see answer: 269X9722

On a related note, it seems the WordPress thumbnail issue has fixed itself. That’s a relief.

Fillomino-fillia 2

October 22, 2012

After almost a year and a half, I’m finally (co)writing another LMI test. Fillomino-Fillia 2 will be held at Logic Masters India on the weekend of October 27th. This is a sequel to last year’s Fillomino-fillia test, which was a set of Fillomino and variations that I cowrote with mathgrant. This year, mathgrant and I are bringing you even more Fillomino puzzles.

The format is similar to last year: 4 classic puzzles, 6 new variations with 2 puzzles apiece, and a “Best of Fillomino-fillia 1” section with 2 puzzles, representing 2 variations from last year’s test. As always with LMI tests, you can begin the test at any time between (on a US time zone) late Friday and late Monday, and once you start you’ll have 2 hours to solve as many of the 18 puzzles as you can.

Like last year, mathgrant and I will each post a four puzzle preview series, which will allow you to get familiar with the new variations on this year’s test. Each of us will be posting one per day over this week, with the last going up shortly before the test can be begun.

The delays in getting this test finished and scheduled at LMI are the reason for there being no pack release for so long. I had intended a post-mortem booklet with commentary, rejects, and plenty of extras to be puzzle pack volume 4 since forever ago, but we kept having to push the date of this test back. Anyways, that pack will probably be released within a week of the test being over. Volume 5 may have to wait until after Mystery Hunt is done; we’ll see.

Puzzle 411 (Numberlink)

October 17, 2012

This is a Numberlink puzzle.

Puzzle 411

Puzzle 411

It seems I may end up returning to weekly posts after all. You’ll just have to forgive me for the fact that many of them will be rejects from other projects (which are not named Mystery Hunt).

WordPress continues to give ugly thumbnails. Above I’ve employed the best solution I found, which is to upload a manually-scaled thumbnail to show up on the post. Clicking the image will still get you the full-size version. Pain in the butt for me though.

Puzzle 410 (Nurikabe) [Cipher]

October 10, 2012

This is a Nurikabe puzzle, with a twist. Some numbers have been replaced with letters. Same letters represent same numbers, and different letters represent different numbers. The assignment of letters to numbers is up to you to determine.

Puzzle 410

Puzzle 410

This is (probably) not a return to the weekly posting yet; it’s a one-off I made before the WPC and wanted to post.

When a call for making a puzzle to decorate the US team shirt went out, I made this, while motris made this. As can be clearly seen I wasn’t thinking a whole lot about aesthetics in making mine, so there was a clear deserving winner for getting put on the shirt. Still, the puzzle came out well and is worth posting.

On another note: is everyone else seeing the gridlines as not showing up in the scaled thumbnail above in a very ugly way? It happened to Space Probes in my USPC set too. Geez, after over 3 years this is the first time I’ve been really upset with how WordPress is treating me.

WPC 2012 Playoff Update

October 6, 2012

See the last page of this link for the full playoff rules. I’ll assume knowledge of them for this post.

The top 8 were, in order: Ulrich Voigt, Thomas Snyder, Ko Okamoto, Palmer Mebane, Hideaki Jo, Zoltan Horvath, Bram de Laat, and Nikola Zivanovic.

Read the rest of this entry »

WPC 2012 Update 5

October 6, 2012

I haven’t been keeping up with these well… still some rounds to talk about and the playoffs are already over and done. I’ll reserve playoff discussion for a separate post to be made just after this one. The results are online already, so I won’t post a score chart.

On the topic of previously discussed rounds that have now been scored, it seems I topped round 7, lines and arrows, by 13 points, despite a stupid 5 point mistake. I did feel I was pretty efficient that round though. Round 8 was indeed very difficult, with a top score of 77 out of 120 and my 63 not being too bad.

So now let’s start with the day 2 afternoon. Round 10 was “Anthology”. 20 puzzles, selected from each of the previous 20 WPCs. Very few mid-valued puzzles here. They were mostly 5- or 15+. In the round it did not go too well for me. I had a lot of high-pointers out, but at 15 minutes left in the round (out of 90) I wasn’t sure what other points I could get. The time ended up divided on a 17-point word puzzle with 60 words to put in. I tried throwing stuff down for 2 minutes, got a contradiction, and quickly moved on. The rest of time was spent trying to get the 20-point Japanese Number Castle, which was the type selected from last year and one I had done well on. Unfortunately I was maybe 3-5 minutes of tweaking away from solving it when the round ended, so that entire 15 minutes was bungled. Indeed, my score of 112 (Ulrich’s 160 was the top) was not so solid.

Next is round 11, the innovatives round which they called “Something Newish”. In both of my past two championships this round never went very well for me. It was my poorest showing in Poland and a place I lost a lot of ground on the top in Hungary. Here… I got the top score. I left untouched the two puzzles I felt very uncomfortable with, a 9 by 9 Easy as ABC Sudoku Skyscrapers (28 points, the highest of any in the championship), and Rural Tourism, a messed up Star Battle variation. Thomas was saying that the Sudoku should have been worth 48 after the round, given how long it took him. But I got everything else. The big victory of the round was starting a 21 point card puzzle with about 3 minutes to go. If you’ve been reading these updates, you know that’s a bad sign, but as the clock ticked down I barely managed to tweak my guessing into something I couldn’t find anything wrong with. Maybe 20 seconds were left when I put down the last bit. And I did indeed get it.

Finally, round 12, Half Dominoes. One samurai Sudoku style Half Dominoes grid, with row-column clues including all cells on the grid. 50 minutes to solve it, 100 points if correct. With so many cells in each row/column, it basically ended up almost like a Sudoku; not good for me. Still, I managed to pull a decent performance. I couldn’t touch top scores like Pal Madarassy’s 170 (solved in 15 to 15.5 minutes) or Thomas’s 162 (19 to 19.5 minutes), but my 139 (30.5 to 31 minutes) was respectable and kept me from losing too much ground. Considering the kind of round, I was quite happy with this. Below top scorers, where fewer people were finishing, the scoring was very lopsided, with 100s mixed with 20s, and I don’t think the scoring rules were well-designed with that part of the score table in mind.

That was the last individual round. Round 13 was a team round, which was instructionless. I don’t want to talk much about this one; it’s my least favorite round of any of the three WPCs I’ve been to. Suffice it to say, one of the puzzles, which we had to puzzle out the instructions for given an example, had the most unintuitive rules I’ve ever heard of. I don’t think any team figured out what that puzzle was about. Ridiculous.

I guess I forgot to talk about the previous day’s team round too (6), Marina, which was a manipulative optimizer puzzle. I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would, but it still wasn’t my cup of tea. We thought we had something pretty good at the end, but we ended up losing quite a bit of ground on it. Oh well. The team finished third, which is a bit unfortunate given some of our recent showings.

Playoff post coming shortly…

WPC 2012 Update 4

October 5, 2012

Day 2 morning, which had 3 individual rounds, is now over.

Round 7 was Lines and Arrows, which like 5 (black and white) also should have played to my strengths. I think I did about as well as I could have. I got everything except for Pointing at the Treasure and the harder Barriers, both of which I believe I’d stand little chance on. The lucky break of this round was starting the easier Barriers with one minute left and getting it out on intuition 30 seconds later, giving me enough time to check it.

Round 8 was Assorted Puzzles. This one turned out to be tough. A lot of puzzles seemed to be far harder and/or longer than their point value suggested. From my conversations with others I think everyone struggled with this round, and I’ll be satisfied with my score being just over half. But there was certainly room to do better.

Round 9 was Skyscrapers, with a bunch of crazy variations. Generally, when a 6 by 6 Skyscrapers puzzle gives you all 24 clues, it’s not going to be hard. Here, we got seven 6 by 6 Skyscrapers with all 24 clues, and pretty much all of them were tricky. They were also fairly elegant, which cannot be said of all the puzzles we’ve been seeing. The highest valued puzzle, a chaotic variation where the numbers 1-7 had to be placed with one missing in each row and column, was the only one I missed. I only barely got out a similarly high-valued puzzle, New York, the same variation except one space in the grid had to be left empty, so I was fairly happy with how I did. No one finished the round, desipte the 5 minute extension to the original 30 minute time limit. Thomas and Ulrich were apparently close though.

That was the last round this morning. I’m guessing I’ll move up the ranks a little when these rounds are scored; we’ll see.

WPC 2012 Update 3

October 5, 2012

Morning of day 2 starts soon. This post is for a scores update:

R. Name; R1; R2; R3; R4; Total
1, Ulrich Voigt; 85*; 180; 130; 85*; 480
2. Thomas Snyder; 68; 186; 105; 33; 393
3. Hideaki Jo; 46; 202*; 88; 53; 389
4. Bram de Laat; 78; 173; 69; 47; 372
5. Nikola Zivanovic; 75; 173; 69; 47; 364
6. Ko Okamoto; 36; 119; 127; 78; 360
7. Zoltan Horvath; 70; 141; 105; 42; 358
8. Palmer Mebane; 36; 126; 136*; 51; 349
9. Kota Morinshi; 46; 180; 77; 44; 347
10. Pal Madarassy; 46; 117; 93; 81; 337

Typos are possible. * means top score of the round if I searched the whole score list correctly. This is around where I expected to be, and below where I want to be. Going to want to make up some ground on day 2. Ulrich does not seem to be possible to keep pace with this year. It’s too bad the playoffs are going to nullify the likely sizable margin he will win by so thoroughly.