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Instant Reactions
   Old Forums -> USPC 2012 Discussions47 posts • Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
motris
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 2:29 AM (#8339 - in reply to #8334) (#8339) Top




Posts: 199
10020202020
Location: USA
cnarrikkattu - 2012-08-25 1:00 PM
So I had 70 points in the first half-hour thanks to the sudoku, but only get 40 the next 2 hours. At least all the puzzles next weekend are Sudokus. And the question for next week is by how many points do I not qualify for the team (0.208 in 2010, 5 in 2011) ;)


I wish you luck on the USSC, having had such close calls in the past (and other "just missed" moments in your competition history that were not your fault). If anything, repeating your past performance will get you on with the extra spot this year.
LordKinbote
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 2:31 AM (#8340 - in reply to #8324) (#8340) Top




Posts: 5

Location: USA
Pretty much same as every other year. Started off really strong but then was left with a bunch of half-finished monstrosities. If it's clean, I'm thinking 146 for me. I enjoyed Grant's corral variation.
onigame
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 2:51 AM (#8343 - in reply to #8324) (#8343) Top




Posts: 16

Location: USA
I'm at 306, assuming no mistakes.

Missing: both Math Flips, Frozen Pentominoes, Gapped Kakuro, four Spot-the-Differences.

Math Flips I might have had a chance if I had focused practice on them, although this year I wasn't able to get the puzzle instructions until about 2 hours before the test and when you only have 2 hours practice you have to choose your battles. They were probably 20-pointers by my time.

Frozen Pentominoes was probably where I actually lost points. Assuming that my current solution is correct, my blind spot was not noticing that there was room for the L pentomino in the lower-right. On the other hand I'm not confident of my current solution -- it's not unique (the N can rotate 180 degrees), although all the constraints seem to work under double-checking. So maybe I'm missing something fundamental about the puzzle. In either case, the 5-10 extra minutes I spent on this probably would be better spent finding the 4 spot-the-differences I didn't get to.

Gapped Kakuro I must be totally missing some technique. I'm happy I didn't attempt it because it was a 52-minute solve for me afterwards. The logic is clean but short of intuitive guessing I don't see how I could have gotten my time to the 30-point range.
MellowMelon
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 3:00 AM (#8345 - in reply to #8324) (#8345) Top


Fillomino-Fillia 2 Author

100
Location: USA
My Frozen Pentomino solution has the N able to move down one if it's rotated like that. I actually missed this before I checked my work and had to correct it, but it ended up not affecting answer extraction strangely.

For Gapped Kakuro, if your logic was clean you're probably not missing anything. The first couple Serkan instances I did (which were in previous Akil Oyunlari I think) also took me gobs of time also, like your 52-minute solve. I think this is because Serkan's Gapped Kakuros have some of the narrowest solving paths of anything I have ever seen. I had to get a few of them under my belt before I got really used to sniffing out where the trail led to next.

Maybe someone can put up a walkthrough in the other topic motris posted for you to compare to.

EDIT: and like thedan, I had one bit of uniqueness too, probably the same one. Couldn't be a 5 in row 3 column last because the 9-row could be 13-5 or -4-5 then.

Edited by MellowMelon 2012-08-26 3:04 AM
spelvin
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 3:01 AM (#8346 - in reply to #8343) (#8346) Top




Posts: 12

Location: USA
> Gapped Kakuro I must be totally missing some technique. I'm happy I didn't attempt it because it was a 52-minute solve for me afterwards. The logic is clean but short of intuitive guessing I don't see
> how I could have gotten my time to the 30-point range.

I solved every one of these I could find last night and it definitely helped. It's still possible that my time-to-points ratio was high, but I didn't feel like I ever got stuck when solving. (As opposed to, say, Snail's Nest, where I finished but had a lot of awkward pauses.) Although now that I think of it, I think I used a uniqueness argument at some point.

Congrats on preventing me from going on another "Waaaaah! I beat Wei-Hwa but he still gets to be on the team!" rant by a significant margin. :)

EDIT: Re Melon's edit: Yup, that's the one.

Edited by spelvin 2012-08-26 3:14 AM
Aerion
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 3:19 AM (#8347 - in reply to #8324) (#8347) Top





Posts: 4

Location: USA
It seems like Packing for Croatia caused a lot of trouble for people. I managed to get through it OK, but with some starts and stops. Maybe not the most efficient solve ever, but I found it enjoyable. I did a whole bunch of Tren last night and this morning; that paid off nicely. Many thanks to those who linked practice puzzles for that on motris's blog.

Multiplicative Corral might have been my favorite so far, though with the disclaimer that I haven't done most of the back of the packet yet. I was trying to force myself not to expect the connection along the top, but was glad when it turned out to be right in the end. (I somehow wrote down "2,3" on the top instead of "2,1" ... glad I was cross-checking by counting interior squares, so I corrected it -- whew.)

Fences was nice, too -- I wish I'd attempted it during contest time.
onigame
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 3:28 AM (#8348 - in reply to #8324) (#8348) Top




Posts: 16

Location: USA
Ah yes, the N can slide down one if it's rotated. Looks like I have the right answer then. (no points though :( )
SKnight
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 4:03 AM (#8349 - in reply to #8324) (#8349) Top




Posts: 25
20
Location: USA
Not a good day for me -- claiming 146, and really I think I ought to have been able to get 40-50 more points.

I thought both Corrals were pretty easy (though I particularly liked Grant's variant -- good to see him writing for the USPC).

A bit disappointed with the Masyu from an aesthetic point of view. I don't like the "patchwork quilt" style of design much (big chunky thematic clumps that don't really relate), and it's basically similar to the past year's examples. The loop logic was fairly nice, at least.

I usually feel like I'm capable of doing a good job on the big Kakuro variants, and solved it cleanly this year, though not as quickly as I might have liked.

Magic Order was a fun puzzle and not too bad to crack.

Mostly mad at myself for breaking the vanilla sudoku (which was hard, but which I felt like I had a healthy start on) and the tren (which I just screwed up on, but which isn't that hard, really). Also I should have tried the snail puzzle, but didn't get around to it. Somewhere in those puzzles are the extra 40 points I wanted, in other words.

Also wondering how many people will accidentally mark the wrong hippo tooth in the STD -- the left tooth is missing below, but that means the right tooth in the original is the one that's different.

craigkasper
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 4:13 AM (#8350 - in reply to #8324) (#8350) Top




Posts: 1

I'm only getting here now, but my initial reaction was short enough to remember here verbatim:
"Man, have I gotten rusty!"
motris
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 4:16 AM (#8351 - in reply to #8350) (#8351) Top




Posts: 199
10020202020
Location: USA
craigkasper - 2012-08-25 3:13 PM

I'm only getting here now, but my initial reaction was short enough to remember here verbatim:
"Man, have I gotten rusty!"


Missed your puzzles this year Craig. I heard it was more a matter of selection, but definitely want you to bring the heat again soon. I still may get around to that ?-Agony someday.
prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 4:28 AM (#8352 - in reply to #8324) (#8352) Top


WSPC Organizer

Posts: 1332
100010010010020
Location: India
I took about 100 minutes after the test started to realize that the test had started. Oops.
nickbaxter
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 4:46 AM (#8353 - in reply to #8351) (#8353) Top




Posts: 10

Location: USA
Here is an unofficial USA Top15, before audit and protests.

Congratulations to Thomas for a perfect score.

1
Thomas Snyder
395+31
2
Palmer Mebane
328
3
Wei-Hwa Huang
321
*
Will Blatt
317
4
Jonathan Rivet
265
5
Dan Katz
238
6
Zack Butler
238
7
Todd Geldon
210
8
Anderson Wang
208
9
Jonathan Mendelson
202
10
Roger Barkan
194
11
Ian Osborn
190
12
Francis Heaney
185
13
Jason Juang
179
14
Zachary Polansky
170
15
Tyler Hinman
166

willwc
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 4:47 AM (#8354 - in reply to #8324) (#8354) Top




Posts: 11

Location: USA
First off, great test as always. Hats off to the constructors on an excellent bunch of puzzles.

I competed "unofficially" this year, since I'm not able to make a [potential] trip to Croatia in October due to work commitments. Many thanks for the change to allow the ~24-hour window to participate, as it allowed me freedom to keep my normal weekend schedule intact and participate this afternoon (starting a little before 4:30 EDT).

I'm claiming a 317*, if puzzles and entries are both clean. I did no real checking on either, since I was submitting answers down to the buzzer and didn't really feel pressured to check everything without a WPC spot on the line. Since I've never had a completely clean USPC we'll see how that score holds up, but I'm still quite happy regardless. This is the first time I've ever felt like I was in the ballpark of completing a USPC, so I'm pretty excited regardless.

(*Shadow Boxing #2 was incorrect. Frozen Pentominos was also incorrect. But hey, no submission errors this year!)

I'll post a little more detailed/collected thoughts later once I've decompressed a bit and have a chance to look back through my completed puzzles/submissions and review the puzzles I didn't get to (Math Flip 2 and the Fences Variation). But again, excellent job to everyone involved with putting this on.

Edited by willwc 2012-08-26 5:52 AM
ksun48
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 5:04 AM (#8358 - in reply to #8324) (#8358) Top




Posts: 29
20
Location: Canada
Answers: can we post answers here now?
LordKinbote
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 5:35 AM (#8365 - in reply to #8353) (#8365) Top




Posts: 5

Location: USA
You wouldn't happen to know if 146 would make Top 25, would you? :)
nickbaxter
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 5:41 AM (#8367 - in reply to #8365) (#8367) Top




Posts: 10

Location: USA
@Scott, you are near the high end of a huge pack, and it all depends on who avoided mistakes. You could be anywhere from 25-100.
Ziti
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 6:43 AM (#8368 - in reply to #8324) (#8368) Top




Posts: 38
20
Location: USA
I'm pleased to see that the Packing for Croatia puzzle was a stickler for a bunch of folks. It *absolutely* was for me; botched it, then botched it *again*, then botched it *again* during a post-mortem solve, then figured out the Secret of Dubrovnik. Now that's a band name!

Musketeer Sudoku went much more quickly for me than the classic sudoku in the middle. Gapped Kakuro was delightful if somewhat guess-y. I am crazy about Space Probes! Don't take that the wrong way.

Incidentally, of all the times for my stupid internet to decide to stop working, 1pm MDT today would not have been my first choice. I phoned in two solutions to Nick -- both of which appear to be legit after-the-fact, which I believe puts me right at a possible 200.

Great test, Nick! And congratulations to the top solvers, especially Thomas with his extremely impressive results.
LordKinbote
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 9:02 AM (#8372 - in reply to #8367) (#8372) Top




Posts: 5

Location: USA
nickbaxter - 2012-08-25 7:41 PM

@Scott, you are near the high end of a huge pack, and it all depends on who avoided mistakes. You could be anywhere from 25-100.


*Hands nick a fiver*

How about now?
GaS
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 12:24 PM (#8379 - in reply to #8324) (#8379) Top




Posts: 11

Location: Italy
Hi all,

I was competing for the Italian's team selection and my target was to reach 200 points, in this competition I alway put my target at half of the max score (and I always fail but this is another story... :-)

At the end i claimed 175 points (hope all is right) but I'm very disappointing with my performance 'couse I started 2 time the Tapa, three times Tren end three times Pentahouses: I never guessed (at least intentionaly), I always made very stupid errors. Shame on me!
I was lucky enough to find the tenth differences 3'' (really!) to the and so I submitted exactily at 2h30'00''

As usual I really like the puzzles and now I wait for the International score (in Italy the race for top positions is not as hard as for US team :-)

Thanks to the organizers and congrats to all authors and solvers.
figonometry
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 10:53 PM (#8398 - in reply to #8324) (#8398) Top




Posts: 30
20
Location: Canada
230! (assuming no typos)

As usual, I wish I could write the test twice, so I know which of the puzzles I skipped that I shouldn't have, (like Musketeer Sudoku,) and which I didn't solve and never should have started, (like Gapped Kakuro.) Of course, there's also the ones that I'm happy I went for, (like Tren and the Fences Variation), and the ones that took much longer than they should have, (like Battleships (again!) and Pentahouses.) All in all, it seemed like a more standard test from the instructions, but not so much in the final version.

Thanks again to everyone involved, and good luck.
DorkyEngineer
Subject: RE: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 10:53 PM (#8399 - in reply to #8325) (#8399) Top




Posts: 1

Masyu was pretty routine this year, with no new ideas. Test solvers thought they had seen it before, and yes, it was similar in content to last year's puzzle. I hope no one is assuming the path passes horizontally through the I! I will remove that letter in future years.


Funny you should say that. I didn't make any assumptions about direction on the I but I did almost miss it when posting my answer because my line was going through it. I caught it because when I looked at my answer I thought it was strange that there wasn't an I so I went back and double checked.
motris
Subject: RE: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-26 11:16 PM (#8400 - in reply to #8399) (#8400) Top




Posts: 199
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Location: USA
DorkyEngineer - 2012-08-26 9:53 AM
Funny you should say that. I didn't make any assumptions about direction on the I but I did almost miss it when posting my answer because my line was going through it. I caught it because when I looked at my answer I thought it was strange that there wasn't an I so I went back and double checked.


One feature of LMI's entry system that I think Nick should consider adopting is the entry format checks that tell you your entry is one character too short/long (sometimes allowing for variable lengths but always 9,9 for a sudoku, or 15 masyu letters, .... Then even though "I" is not an ideal choice for spotting on a solved grid, the string length problem with the "I" is checked at the macro-level for you. One side effect is that it may greatly reduce the manual regrading requirements; at least this is something I've found from my own Decathlon tests here.

Edited by motris 2012-08-26 11:18 PM
nickbaxter
Subject: RE: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-27 12:57 AM (#8404 - in reply to #8400) (#8404) Top




Posts: 10

Location: USA
Funny you should say that! Next weekend's sudoku test unveils my new answer format checking! Now available with the practice test. I want to start easy, so didn't use it for the USPC this year.
anderson
Subject: RE: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-27 8:58 AM (#8411 - in reply to #8324) (#8411) Top




Posts: 16

Location: USA
Funny story: I was doing the Musketeer sudoku with about 17ish minutes left on the clock, and I got to the last 10 digits or so. I then proved to myself that I had a contradiction, so I gave up on solving the puzzle with around 4 minutes left. After the test, I looked at my grid again and realized that there was actually no contradiction. Yeah, so I feel really dumb right now.

I also didn't read the Math Flip instructions carefully and came up with the solution 13376 for the second one. Whoops!

My stupid mistakes aside, this test was a lot of fun, and it had a lot of awesome puzzles (as usual). Gapped Kakuro, Space Probes, and Pentahouses were probably my favorites. The huge outside area in the Multiplicative Corral was very cute.
anurag
Subject: Re: Instant Reactions @ 2012-08-27 11:38 AM (#8413 - in reply to #8324) (#8413) Top




Posts: 69
202020
Location: India
The site does not show elapsed time the way i wanted( i forgot to note the start time and had to rely on the site).I found some of the puzzles pointlessly tedious after getting more than half-way through and then having to backtrack.Packing for croatia and pentahouses were two of those.I think pentahouses had too few clues to pick the right pieces for the edges and corners. Space probes was satisfying though i had to erase here too.Math flip was the most enjoyable.tren was a smooth solve,but I made a teribble oversight in the end on the right half,only to realize after the test(didnt know when the test finished anyway). I fail to understand why it lets you submit endlessly.I hate doing spot the differences.It is annoying for that point value.Frozen pentominos was another great solve.

Edited by anurag 2012-08-27 11:41 AM
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