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21 August 2006 @ 08:39 pm
I just watched the Yankees beat the Red Sox in five straight games and all I got was this lousy feeling of intense and complete satisfaction.

Ok, now that I'm done with that, I thought I'd update to basically say that I will likely not be posting much to my blog for the next week or so. I have an annual group meeting coming up next Wednesday to report on my projects and am very very busy trying to get some experiments completed before then as well as making a new batch of slides/figures appropriate for it. I should probably get around to applying for postdoc positions soon thereafter so I will likely not be writing puzzles for the next couple weeks. Then, I will probably start with another Mystery Hunt puzzle before finishing another new idea I have for here.

I did finally finish (while watching baseball) another Giants volume from Nikoli (#17, from 2004) and have been pleasantly finding that my kakuro and slitherlink times are fairly consistent with the 4th and fastest (expert-level?) time-rating. I did the fold-out kakuro in 64 minutes and change (rating is 74 minutes) and I did the fold-out slitherlink - which had a very, very interesting module-like nature to its solution - in 62 minutes and change (rating is exactly 62 minutes). This book came out before Nikoli started to post solving times for the Masyu puzzles in their publications (although I've always been beating those times). Puzzle Japan used to post Nurikabe solving times online but I've never seen these in the publications and sometimes wish they would be. Anyway, my recent kakuro and slitherlink times suggest I am in pretty good shape heading into the WPC as this is as fast as I've ever been on these puzzles. I will be doing more "speed" puzzles in the next month or so, and hitting some puzzle sets I haven't done yet like the 24 hours competitions and, if I can get some copies of them, other old WPCs. Look for Team USA to represent.
THrpipuzzleguy on August 22nd, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Where are you getting the Nikoli publications? Are you just ordering them online?

A family friend travels to Japan fairly often for work; I'm hoping he can hook me up.

And as much as I hate the Yankees, I'm thankful I'm not a Red Sox fan this day.
(Anonymous) on August 22nd, 2006 02:24 am (UTC)
I made a bulk order post-Eger WPC at http://www.nikoli.co.jp/en/ for a bunch of their books and then after Christmas got a couple more. I definitely recommend the Penpa mixes as a nice simple filler of their main puzzles (the treasure boxes have a little more variety but also some non-solvables as I don't speak Japanese) and I really like the extra challenge of the Giants volumes having now gone through the Vol 1-6 special mix and 17. The Pencilbook series are good fast things for their various types with a nice focused flow. My only complaint would be the lack of the 4th "expert" time designation in that book series, but for a nice book with just puzzle-type X, they can't be beat.

I'll likely get the huge "fold-out" kakuro and slitherlink the next time I need some more puzzles, but that may be 2 or 3 years from now.
jdyer on August 22nd, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
I have had very good experience ordering Nikoli online. The shipping isn't even that bad.

Penpa Mix is definitely the way to start. Mind you, I don't have the sadistic taste for giant puzzles Thomas seems to have, but I also could never finish one in ~1 hour.
THrpipuzzleguy on August 22nd, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Penpa Mix sounds excellent, and I love getting through the Giants, so I'll look into that too. Of course, I have such a comically enormous puzzle backlog right now that I don't feel the need to order these online, but the next time my friend goes to Japan I'll likely ask him to pick them up.