The applause challenge may have been as much a problem as a good fraction of the audience not knowing she was first. Not everyone would have seen my error (not sure what the cameras were televising it but it was not announced).
This event has not done enough IMO to really build a community, to build a large ranking of solvers (which would give people more concrete goals to focus on), to even return answer books of give the puzzles to competitors (why not let registrants pick up or be emailed a copy of the three levels of puzzles to see), or to find the Merl Reagle/Neal Conan equivalent along with other changes to make the finals more compelling (I can certainly commentate, but unless people want to hear me talking as I'm competing I'm not sure it works). The lack of a pre-tournament event was an example of a step backwards in my opinion. Don't take this comment wrong organizers, I am glad there is any kind of a live US tournament to be at and a lot of the top solvers are still coming although not all, but I really wonder if this will exist for 3 more years let alone the 25+ years the ACPT has. The novelty is wearing off and the competition size is shrinking so some changes should probably be in store.
Re: the Grant - well, it may not be a single bill when I repay you but I also suspect I may not see you until I'm back in Philadelphia so it may be forgotten by then.
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