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27 August 2011 @ 12:33 pm
USPC Results  
I'm sure everyone found that hard in places. I certainly suffered from two big mistakes - taking too long to spot the 10th difference (and then not even getting it to start off the test), and then finishing Word Connection 2 minutes over so it was not worth submitting. I think I have everything else but I'll give myself just 5 points tentatively on my count of XX (revealed much later after the test).

So 354-364 it looks like as a ceiling. Exactly where I normally am.

Lots of good puzzles, and I'll take some time to digest them and go back over each of them after I grab lunch.

----------------------------------

ETA: More likely 349 as a ceiling with no counting sub-bonus even. I'll at least say the lack of penalty made trying the counting puzzle more likely than before although perhaps I should have saved it for later?


Day didn't start off great with jackhammering on the sidewalk next door for some repair. I normally have music on when I take these tests, but I had to switch to headphones on with my iPod to better block the noise but it wasn't perfect. Then when I got the test printout open I was having a heck of a time spotting differences (except for the obvious same way facing thing that didn't get reflected). A fair bit of time finally got me to about 7, but I wasn't getting far so I went to the other side of the page.

Puzzle 3, as I expected before the test and only vaguely stated, was a word search/criss cross variant that was much more about the criss cross side of things. I'd half expected the "reverse word search" gimmick as I'd seen it before but without all the loops. So I knew what to expect and it still was just solving it. That in the can, I went back to the differences and got 2 more. None of mine were in the lower 2 rows which was odd. So I stared there for awhile. Only after I had lunch would I find the chick had moved. That chick alone would cost me the chance to equal Melon.

Puzzle 1 was a slightly harder battleships than usual but I followed the steps I described before the test, with sure ships and speculative others. Pretty sure the battleship was vertical, so it was fitting in the two cruisers that was the tweak I really needed to make. Pretty efficient, followed by a hard but good sudoku.

About 25 minutes gone for just 54 points. I bet on a graph of progress this was my lowest slope by half hour and that is not what the first half hour should be.

Off to the back of the test to solve forwards. The Dynasty Sudoku started a lot easier than my practice test but I for some reason missed one of the simple innie/outie placements of an empty square for awhile and then didn't get the right blocks before I felt like guessing. I can't recall if I forced it or did it legit, but it eventually fell. Not perfectly efficient, but a very nice puzzle as expected from the Adam R. Wood/zotmeister.

Hungarian Tapa also started very well until I felt I was running into contradictions in the lower-right with the 8 clue and the 14 from above. Dipping a cell into the last row eventually fixed that, but not before I'd solved around it to have a 43 flip up top in column 7 that was getting all the sums off by 1 on the left for the 22 and 24. I fixed that too, but having two heavy tweaks in a puzzle made me take extra time to check everything out. Still, a stellar Tapa from Serkan.

Jumping Crossword broke for me with the intersecting 8's in the center. FINAL and LOFTY needed to intersect and COSTS and SORTS. The question was which way. I think I ended up being a bit lucky. This type is always very doable for me, just takes some time.

Kaku Rogue was the Michael Rios Kakuro variation we all love to see happen. Very nice progressive solve from finding columns or rows that need negatives, then eventually placing the negatives for sure, then solving slowly but surely with really great forced extremes throughout. Very nice design with a good deductive path with the upper-right corner being both where I ended up and where I probably didn't figure out what to do to resolve it so much as plug in digits for a bit.

Corral Crates was another gem from zotmeister who was also the expected author since he'd made this variation even before Melon had, circa 2006. This one had more than the one internal island in the example I solved from him last night, and was fun up until the square counting for answer entry.

Hopper was an intuitive solve and I think I had several of the right connections (the starting piece with the west virginia piece, for example) on the first go. I needed to get the 2x3 rectangle somewhere though as I had the rest working. Seeing that path could come from the right side of the top of my structure, I rejiggered once and was done. I certainly made a much harder Hopper than the USPC puzzle, so apologies if I scared people off the type. It still is very much a piece assembly/be greedy kind of puzzle where you need to find neighbors for the 6's and 1's most of all, which is what my example taught me, as well the fact that checkerboarding (even and odd squares will alternate on the final grid) could help if you really needed to think about packing constraints which was less relevant here with 50%+ open space.

Skipped 15/16 at the moment as I didn't see a 10 second work-in on either and I was finally solving efficiently so I wanted to bank logic points.

Blocks was a very nice maze variation with tetrominoes (my expectation) from Serkan. Very smooth solve with figuring out how to hide pieces best from the end, then the I and O, then working out the S/Z in the top.

Corral was a quick 10 points, again slowed mostly from having to count for answer entry which still feels the worst of the answer entries we use here compared to the LMI standard which would probably be "connected whites in targeted rows". I don't recall seeing the situation like the 7th row in this puzzle before, not that it was hard to work off of, but the absolute chasm that built very early there was different.

Takeout was the same type of puzzle as last year, except for the "highlight" of finding that last word was actually backwards in the letters in the second unfilled row. I had been looking for it for awhile so to find it there was amusing.

I hit the first (not second) of the Flash Cards on my return trip by figuring out which two products would even be close. Then did the Crack It On. The instructions were ambiguous yesterday about "grid" and "diagonals" so that I thought there could be several as this puzzle is usually presented. I had practiced with 3x's but this was a good hard 2x. My break-in was looking at columns 23 on the left hand grid and trying to match X1X23 and X123X in any words. Sadly it was a word at the very end of the list, TITLE, that gave me what I needed but once I had that sure work-in it was rather straight-forward.

The Square Count got a quick answer, then I think 3 more quick answers as I corrected certain subcounts. Still not interested in being sure of my answer, or if Nick actually meant subcounts descending in square size order or number order but I went with the former.

The Masyu was incredibly nice and used a familiar theme in the black sections, including with the long vertical that will go between them. Melon seems to think its a juno but I know a few other authors (not many) who could have done it. Hopefully we'll eventually learn but from the USPC to this point "Nikoli" is all we ever see.

Times Like These was the lone Friedman puzzle this year it seems which I'm very happy with. I realized it would solve by figuring out how to bury 0's in certain products, like X0Y in the first row. Certainly a fun new design with good math teaching properties. Wonder what more can be done with it?

Easy as ABCD was easy as ABCD, even without any croco-puzzle practice the last month.

That left the STD (unlikely to return to), the second Flash Cards, and two word puzzles. I figured I'd go in return order starting at the Flash Cards which just needed second level thinking about what similar types of fractions (that add to an integer) get flipped. ?/27 and ?/9 seemed pretty likely as working out when 6/27 reduced to a 2/9 and it did. I am so thankful that both of these puzzles used just 4 cards where the example was WAY TOO HARD! Bad Example! Bad!

While I missed a work-in on the hex words earlier, I got a very promising triangle in the lower-left with UPDATED, STELE, and BRITT with nucleated nicely for the rest of the way. A bit of work, and my word marking was sort of sloppy so it took extra time to check that I had the right missing thing.

Onto the last puzzle, the Word Connection, which is probably my favorite newish-feeling puzzle of this test. Serkan had pointed to a link this morning from the Japanese Puzzle Championship in 2002 with SUN, MON, ..., SAT and I was expecting something like that (full day names) or possibly months. Even expecting it might be months, I did not correctly bank the letter data in the puzzle until I'd gotten very close to the answer. Specifically, I knew there were 11 months with letters + JUNE, but I never thought about MAY until the end. That would have been a lot better to spot early, as the APRIL MAY column with JUNE and JULY on the back-swing was pretty obvious to see after I'd done the hard work of getting the months on the left correct. Unfortunately, by the time I was close to the answer orbit, time was out, and I never got to a sure enough state (certainly 80% sure in the second penalty minute) to even try for the 25-20=5 points.


So, a slightly off day, but a very very fun test. My worry was that with so many good LMI tests these days that the USPC would lose the luster somewhat. This test raised the bar in many many good ways. Not a single bad or unfair puzzle. Only a lot of variety, some familiar but well-executed classics, and some very fun new variations. Thanks to all the puzzle authors. And thanks to Nick (and Will) for the continued work to put together a stellar test, and to consider rules updates and such as I'm sure people will agree this is certainly the best USPC yet on almost every level.

I'm saddened that I didn't solve at my absolute best, and seeing Melon solving essentially at my speed on Magic Cube and Japanese Puzzle Land in the last month I expected he would be the rival to watch. On those two LMI tests he proved he can't submit answers. We'll see if that is the case this time. But completing the test early when I have my tentative finish time at 2:37 gives him a 15 minute (10%) whooping of the old champion modulo mistakes by either of us. I've always said I would go to the WPC for sure if I won the USPC, and think about sitting out if I did not. I think I now have to sort out if I actually have 10 days of time when I'm starting a new job only a couple weeks before this trip. There's also the "only do one of the WSC/WPC" option which is the most likely compromise, but if so that will certainly be competing at the WPC and not the WSC.

Palmer is to be congratulated whatever the scores eventually report. There are other unknown solvers, but I'd put money on him right now being back on team USA. The fourth spot is really up for grabs until the results are in.
 
 
( 80 comments — Leave a comment )
standupphilosopherstandupcanada on August 27th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Well done. My T/2 scalar seems about right - Broken corralS and never figuring out how to incorporate the U in the hex hurt me but no more than usual.
MellowMelonMellowMelon [wordpress.com] on August 27th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
I know I just said on my facebook/google+ statuses I would get offline, but I didn't expect this to go up so soon. Here are two quick things, and then I really will disappear for a bit.

1. I'm claiming a perfect score with 7:52 left on the block. Mistakes are somewhat unlikely given how much checking I did, with the sole exception of the counting puzzle...

2. That was an AMAZING test in terms of puzzle quality. Guess that's what happens when you get Serkan on the team and have Zotmeister make another puzzle. And I swear juno must have made that Masyu.
TH: homsarrpipuzzleguy on August 27th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Christ.
joshuazucker on August 27th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, good job MellowMelon! That is very impressive.

I broke some ridiculously easy puzzles and had to start over way too many times on some others. On the other hand I solved the crate corral with just a couple minutes left so that was very satisfying. Overall I guess I did about what I expected, probably a bit over 150? And now I have lots more good puzzles to look forward to!
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
AMAZING
Congratulations for excellent performance for both of you.
I think that I'm around 300 (counting and differences???).

Thomas, your Dinasty sudoku for me was much harder than that from competition.

skywalker
(no subject) - jiggery_pokery on August 27th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jiggery_pokery on August 27th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zotmeister on August 28th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - canadianpuzzler on August 28th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zotmeister on August 29th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Krysdreamrose on August 27th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC)
That was a bit disappointing for me. Very fun overall of course, but I think I did slightly about the same as the past two years (120 and 115, and I think this year I'm looking at 118). I was very convinced that I was going to do a lot better this time and surely would have, but apparently what I need to learn is if I mess up on a puzzle stop trying to come back to it. I inexplicably screwed up the Hungarian Tapa 3-4 times and I still can't seem to get it. It's a shame because it was one I definitely thought I'd ace because of the familiarity from the TVC earlier... Oh well, a lesson to keep in my for next year - I'm likely to make the same mistake so stop going back to it...
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Kristen:
You've been pretty consistently better than me on things like Croco-puzzle and LMI, so I have to assume you're going significantly better. Based on those kinds of things I'd have expected you up near 200. So just take it in stride, improve anything you think is a weak area, and I'm sure you'll clobber me next year.
- Jack
zundevilzundevil on August 27th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
257 if indeed I didn't cluck up the two differences I spent a minute finding at the end. Or any of the other answers. Everything looked good on paper but it's always something...

Hungarian Tapa was a fun one, and I found it more difficult than the Dynasty Sudoku. Incidentally, the last high hurdle to clear on that one was a nice touch.

Nice work Thomas and Palmer (and the rest of you too). For a somewhat Nikoli-light set, I'm satisfied with this total if it holds.
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
I'm expecting 219-229 depending on whether Nick is merciful over a silly entry error. I also missed (at least) 1 square in the count. Most of the 20-25 point puzzles were too much for me, and the Hungarian Tapa seemed crazy. Oh well!

- Derek
thedan on August 27th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
320 points worth of puzzles for me, but that's before the error gremlin creeps in; so far I have an issue on Bricks that might be appealable (the path I drew a obscured a letter, the I, which is already hard to see and would leave a full set of letters if it didn't exist). Apart from that, I only found five mice, and I didn't solve Hex Words, Word Connection, or Hopper.

I'm also less than confident about my counting result, though Jackie apparently got the same total I did (34). But if that one's right, and Bricks is my only error, I should have 305 (320 if I receive some mercy).

Edited at 2011-08-27 08:24 pm (UTC)
motrismotris on August 27th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
I also have 34. We rise or fall together.
counting - (Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: counting - sf2l on August 27th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - Robert Vollmert on August 27th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - motris on August 27th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - insane_bassist on August 27th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - insane_bassist on August 27th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joshuazucker on August 27th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
oops - joshuazucker on August 27th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: oops - thedan on August 27th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: oops - rpipuzzleguy on August 27th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Only 66 points here, but given my working circumstances, It wasn't completely terrible.

Crazy times by both you and Palmer Mebane though, as I expected. It might just come down to the mistakes one or the other made to determine the champion. Still Mr Snyder, I feel the WPC would be less without your presence, but It's your decision.

Congrats to both of you on stellar performances anyway. At least you have the comfort of topping at least 95% of the people taking the test.

-Giovanni P.
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
85 points here, and I changed the baby's diaper at the two hour mark (with no mistakes). That should be worth another 15, right?
willwc on August 27th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to post my score yet, as it will depend on what leniency (if any) is granted to me on two entry issues, but I'm hopeful I'll at least be in the conversation for Hungary. Seriously, though, I could've had all week to re-read the instruction booklet and I never would've thought to check that the answer key for the counting puzzle had changed. :)

In terms of puzzles, that was my favorite USPC of the whole bunch. My compliments to all of the authors/organizers involved with it, as always.
motrismotris on August 27th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
The side effect of me winning the "no -5 point penalty" argument was needing to have the counting puzzle have more checks on the answer entry than just a single number. So now you know for the future that it will never be just the number again.

I'm not sure what leniency Nick will give but I hope it's some.
(no subject) - willwc on August 27th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jack Nino on August 27th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
I failed but thanks for the Corral help
I'm really disappointed with how I did. I kept making the same stupid error on the Battleships and never got it after wasting way too much time on it and I made a stupid mistake on the Masyu and actually submitted that wrong answer. Not very good when I'm only fast enough to get through about 8 of the puzzles.

That being said, I wanted to say thanks for your Corral tutorial in your preview series. Those would have been automatic skips for me because for some reason I could never figure them out before but instead I got both of them.

Jack
motrismotris on August 27th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help
Glad to hear the practice helped you on the Corrals. It's a type that isn't that common to find given how common it is in the USPC which is one reason I featured it first.

Here's hoping you can continue to improve and learn how to solve other puzzle types and do even better in 2012.
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - (Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - figonometry on August 28th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - Hao Ye on August 28th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - Robert Vollmert on August 28th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - thedan on August 28th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - motris on August 28th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - figonometry on August 28th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - thedan on August 28th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I failed but thanks for the Corral help - Bram de Laat on August 28th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Adam R. Wood: butasanzotmeister on August 28th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
I did not compete this year; I was helping out with hurricane preparations. Given the mucked-up prize distribution last year, it's probably just as well.

Thanks for remembering Island Oasis! I actually planned to make Corral Crates for the USPC back in 2009, but ended up putting it off, which I sorely regretted when Palmer stole predicted it, title and all, six months later. For the record, my idea was for row/column labels to be provided outside the grid, and the solution reporting to be the coordinates of the crates. I also built the puzzle with that mechanic in mind. The only reason I can think of for Nick not using that mechanism is so that both Corral puzzles on the test used the same method... which I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking was a bad decision. The whole point was to provide an alternative to the regularly railed-against "count-the-outside" trope. Well, I tried my best. Fun fact: the name 'Corral' for this puzzle type is Nick Baxter's invention. 'Eminent Domain' is also his naming.

I don't buy for a second that Dynasty Sudoku could have been the hardest puzzle on the test. To me, at least, it actually feels like the easiest SVB offering I've yet made to the USPC, not the hardest as its score would imply. Now YOURS from yesterday, THAT is a 40+! I'm actually good and stuck on it right now - I'm this close to resorting to Ariadne's Thread to find out what on Earth I could be overlooking. (I have 19 cells filled in so far, not counting the givens.) I'll probably try the other (interesting-looking) test puzzles at some point, although as I've never tried a Tapa before I will almost certainly find it harder than mine, whether or not it actually is.

I'm glad you liked my puzzles. I'm hoping, as always, that next year's offerings will be better. - ZM
motrismotris on August 28th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
I think how I'd contrast our Dynasty Sudokus is that mine, perhaps from my solving/constructing background, is more of an irregular sudoku on steroids. The numbers up to the "empty square" inflection point are a fair bit of work and take use of a lot of innies/outies and other sudoku specific steps. the USPC shapes didn't let me make tiny boxy regions to do too much with not isolating parts of the grid, but you run into it a little bit.

Yours, from a more regular geometry, had easier sudoku steps to then get to a more interesting/challenging Dynasty rules-based conclusion. So a little less sudoku at the end than mine, but a better balanced puzzle for the USPC. 40 points though? Not sure.
(no subject) - Bram de Laat on August 28th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 06:15 am (UTC)
Strategies?
Hi Thomas and all the other incredible solvers! I wondered if you could give us mortals some help on strategy for some of the puzzles. For instance, I couldn't do much more than start the "Easy as ABCD", same with the Hex Words and Word Connection. I was completely baffled by the Crack It On, Hungarian Tapa, Jumping Crossword, Kaku Rogue, Hopper, and Dynasty Sudoku. I'd like to practice, but not sure how. Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks so much!
Jeff Chen
jeffchen1972@gmail.com
joshuazucker on August 28th, 2011 07:28 am (UTC)
Re: Strategies?
If you show where you got stuck on ABCD, I can tell you what I did next.

To get started with Crack It On, I made an exhaustive list of all the letters that could occur at each position in the word. That limited which words could be on the top/left or bottom/right, because those words have to consist purely of starting or ending letters. Words like the bottom of the right grid are even stronger, since the funny-shaped box there means that the letter there has to occur twice as a last letter AND twice as a fourth letter.

For Kaku Rogue, you can definitely identify a lot of places as positive or negative right at the beginning. Mostly positive. For instance a 26 with four numbers has to be all +, so the 4 to the left has to ba a + and a -. You can also use some cross sums, for instance in the bottom left corner you have 8+10+23 = 41 horizontally, and 22+16+7 = 45 vertically, which forces a -4 as the rightmost spot in the 10. Every time you place a negative, you can note that the rest of its row/column is definitely positive. So then the -8 has to be a +1 above a -9. You can use a similar sum trick to figure out that the middle of column 2 (with the 9 clue) has to start with an 8, which means the 5 next to it has to be a - on top of a +, and so on ...
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - motris on August 28th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 29th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - joshuazucker on August 28th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - Hao Ye on August 28th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - Hao Ye on August 28th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - joshuazucker on August 28th, 2011 07:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - insane_bassist on August 28th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - motris on August 28th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - insane_bassist on August 28th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - joshuazucker on August 28th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - insane_bassist on August 28th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - joshuazucker on August 28th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - insane_bassist on August 28th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - joshuazucker on August 28th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - Robert Vollmert on August 28th, 2011 08:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - Robert Vollmert on August 28th, 2011 08:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - MellowMelon [wordpress.com] on August 29th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - motris on August 29th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - Hao Ye on August 29th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 30th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 29th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 29th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - joshuazucker on August 29th, 2011 08:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Strategies? - (Anonymous) on August 28th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jdyer on August 28th, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
I did poorly this time (100 points I thought, but I got the 34 that others got on the counting) but I at least have a week-long cold as an excuse. Had to reboot the Battleships like a few others (turning a puzzle I usually get after only a couple pages finish printing into a quagmire) and also had to reboot the easy 10-point Corral. I was planning on mopping up the easy puzzles with an hour to devote to a high-point one like Dynasty Sudoku but my screw-ups and flat-out overall slowness led me to never even get to try it.

I really wonder if I'm just not cut out for this thing. I didn't get appreciably stalled on the Sudoku, but my time was still molasses compared with "good" players. Le sigh.
fbobfantasmabob on August 28th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
Sigh, only 60. I spent a lot of time on the Dynasty but forgot the rule about empty squares not touching. I'm a bit frustrated with myself because after the time went off I finished several untouched puzzles quite quickly. Too bad, I had meant to spend a little time reviewing the practice rules and the two puzzles you posted Friday but that hurricane preparedness shtick got to me.
onigameonigame on August 29th, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
Dynasty Sudoku killed me with my "forget the rules of the puzzle" habit which I really need to do less of. Notably, I forgot the rule that unused squares can't be adjacent. This cost me maybe around 10 minutes. Whether those 10 minutes would have turned into points is debatable, depends on if I would have used that time on the Flash cards (9 minutes), Word Connection (13 minutes), or Hungarian Tapa (15 minutes).
Robert Hutchinsonertchin on August 30th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
200, which could've been 232 without a typo, a low square count, and just plain forgetting that I had seven Spotted Differences. For my first time competing, though, I'm very pleased. (I also broke Battleships and Corral, shame shame.)

Let me also thank you for your method of solving Corrals ... a puzzle type that I had always found frustrating might now be my new favorite.

And, of course, thanks to all the great constructors who might be reading.
( 80 comments — Leave a comment )