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06 March 2008 @ 08:44 am
Sudoku update  
Week six of the sudoku series is up and while this will be my slowest week for the 8-part series, it is not the hardest puzzle. That happens sometimes. I do an okay job in the explanation video of focusing on certain regions in the puzzle once I fill them in. Here that gives you a lot of quick progress. My real problem though is sometimes writing too many digits too fast and then not knowing where to find the trail again. I at least see a critical row I could finish in the solving video for awhile but don't look at. There are only two digits left in it, so it is a great place to at least check if you can fill it in, if not write down in some fashion the numbers that are shared in it.

Puzzle #6 - by Wei-Hwa Huang

Solution of Puzzle #6 - 3 minute, 36 seconds

Puzzle #6 explanation

Two other pieces of sudoku business:

First, courtesy of thepiemansimon, I have completed the UK qualifying test. The first round had five difficult puzzles (including one nasty classic and one nasty diagonal) and took me 46 minutes. The latter round had twenty-four puzzles with none of them being particularly hard and took me 1h 22.2 minutes. This is just a hair over two-thirds of the time for a perfect score so again I meet my prequalifier goal of perfect score under time. Its odd to set a standard of hard puzzles on the round that limits participation (and which may encourage online solving tools as they were real nasty) and then to go to easier puzzles in the second step after you may have already chosen for something other than legitimate fast solvers. I hope Puzzler eventually posts it online for others to see, if just because some of the nations with the best qualifiers last year (France, Japan) are not doing qualifiers this year. My next practice tests may be the Russian from this year, as well as redoing the WSC1 and WSC2 puzzles.

Second, tied to their qualification apparently, the Slovak championship set a "world record" in sudoku of 5:25 and I only found out about this as someone felt it important enough to put on wikipedia. I cannot find this puzzle, which I am dying to see and solve in under 4 minutes, but I wanted to point out I already have two "world records" in sudoku so this is no new feat as the wikipedia competition section suggests. Also, without solving about twenty puzzles at one difficulty rating (which must be standardized by software), I'm not convinced any record is meaningful. If this is just the best time on one puzzle that is "hard", then I bet having ten more attempts at it would greatly improve the time for that whole room of competitors.
decand on March 7th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Speaking of sudoku qualifiers, do you know if the (2nd and 3rd round) US qualifiers are ever going to be released to the public? It would be nice to have some way of comparing to the team's performances.

If you really want other qualifiers, though, there was the Polish qualifiers which will be way over-timed for you (even I could do the third round under the 60 minutes mentioned, so you should be able to breeze through it with one brain tied behind your back).
motrismotris on March 7th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
I don't believe tests 2/3 will be posted but I had some puzzles used in them that for now I'd prefer remain "secret" until I know publish-ability.

I actually know of all the qualifiers that have been posted to in worldpuzzle on lj and I actually have some that have not been made public yet as well as a member of the US team. The UK sort of qualifies in this way, but there has been much talk of it on some of my friends' blogs so I thought I'd draw specific mention to it.
(Anonymous) on March 7th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
*restrains self*

The first round had 100 people progress. I think this is because the organisers don't actually have much confidence in their qualification system, and so set a really hard first round knowing that with so many going through, even if there were cheats, all the potential contenders would make it through - and that it'd be the 2nd round which would hopefully weed them out.

The second round was more like it (the odd/even puzzles were my favourites) - though i'd have preferred more variety in the puzzles. Having said that, it improved greatly on last year in simulating what WSC puzzles might be like. I was pretty disappointed to not finish the set off in the 2 hours (i got 23/24, leaving a diagonal) - but 1 hour 22 is lightning quick! Not that it matters, I had a mix-up understanding the two time limits they'd put in place and thus I bottom scored with 0 and so am disqualified :D

5.48 for puzzle #6, a tad slow but it was a very nice puzzle. I blame simultaneously rocking with AC/DC and doing it on computer hehe.

Let me know if you find out any more about this world record - I reckon I've also dipped under that whilst doing an x-wing puzzle at the nationals last year. I agree that the record is only really meaningful if it's the first time it's been seen by whoever does it.

(Anonymous) on April 19th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
I am find out poop and something on that is. In my opinion the conditions are that in the aggregate good. Me solution exist 8:41. Link: http://www.szhk.sk/images/stories/dokumenty/sudoku_2008_e.pdf
motrismotris on April 19th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I did eventually find that slovakian puzzle after my post but thanks for linking it again here. When I first tested it, I completed it in about 4 minutes, but I will agree it was a good difficulty for a world record puzzle as it had several good pair/triple identification steps.
(Anonymous) on March 7th, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)
Also I'd be willing to upload the pdf's for the UK qualifiers together with the passwords (Puzzler can go to hell as far as I'm concerned) if there's any interest.

(Anonymous) on March 11th, 2008 08:13 am (UTC)
Yes I would be interested :)
zundevilzundevil on March 15th, 2008 08:02 am (UTC)
In the interest of self-flagellation: 1:48-ish on the second UK qualifier. I botched two vanillas and wasted all sorts of time redoing them. It was a pleasant enough set, all in all, and I'll probably do it again sometime. No comment on the first set.

Also, 3:28 on #6, leaving a ton of time on the table (although I'm sure you left more). It never felt like a very smooth solve, like some of the notation-free Nikoli solves. I wonder if there's a certain type of medium difficulty puzzle where I/we underachieve.