The Art of Puzzles - Post a comment
motris (motris) wrote on October 26th, 2009 at 09:37 am
I certainly agree with a lot of what Jason is saying in terms of structures that can work. As someone who built his reputation in part with that magic finger checking format in WSC2 if it wasn't already there after the toroidal in WSC1, I can say that in a multi-puzzle format I am way more comfortable giving up 20-30 seconds on a puzzle to check all constraints. I do this during rounds, during the USPC, etc., as I feel I have the time. Even so, I've never seen or heard of others doing this on stage though at those events. For example, in the classic competition in Goa, in three of the rounds, I did just this. It kept me clean (even though I did not spot an error as I had in WSC2), and I won the title. Only in the single round (#2 I think) where all other competitors had already said done when I finished did I not waste time not finding a mistake I did not make. In a one puzzle final, where there is no margin to try to preserve a lead or use other competitors' finish times as a signal to finally stop checking, my finger guiding my eyes as I scan is not a smart strategy. Yes, I blazed through the puzzle, but I could not know how hard it would be to the other two solvers, one of whom was the only more likely finalist in my mind than Wei-Hwa entering the event (unless half of Europe's top solvers showed up to compete), and the other a complete unknown that still gets my Snyder-sense all tingly. So, I made sure the grid was full, since I've seen Wordplay, and said done. Maybe I can check my last 5 digits the next time, but otherwise I think checking is inappropriate in a 1 puzzle format and so the typical potential for human error will never be gone for me. I don't really have any concern of people not thinking I'm a good sudoku solver if I don't win every year. They'll just learn I'm both fast, and human.