Having just finished my last puzzle (a tricky 9x9 diagonal), I wanted to saw what an amazing job the Indian authors have done to provide us with a wonderful set of puzzles for SM 2023 Rd 1! Very much enjoyed the quadruples and there are a good mix of difficulties with some easier puzzles (classics, thermos) and some quite difficult ones (6x6 diagonal and odd-even, 9x9 diagonal and extra region). Can't wait for Rd 2 in a few weeks' time! :)
What is the reasoning behind allowing coloring for some puzzles but not others? Why not let the solver decide when they want to color?
Surface coloring is turned on for Odd/Even and No Three in a Row, but not for anything else. I routinely color, for instance, in solving extra regions; since this isn't allowed, it's hampering my solve.
Wow . That was a pretty intense contest. Had to solve out of my skin to even manage that score. Diagonal 9x9 was absolutely brutal and staved me off from finishing it for an eternity. I felt completely stuck not even sure where to guess. It was a relief to finish it finally with a wild guess.
Thanks to Kumaresan, Hemant and Arun for the really nerve wracking round :). My favourites are Quadruple (9x9) and Thermo (9x9).
Thanks to all the participants for participating in the contest. Congratulations to Tiit Vunk , Tantan Dai and Sinchai Rungsangrattanakul for finishing in top 3 spots and to James Peter, Rohan Rao and Ashish Kumar for podium finish among the Indian participants.
I would agree to the discussion on the thread that the round was difficult but as Prasanna mentioned, the objective was to keep it more representative of where the Indian team is and also keep a few beginner friendly sudokus like Classics, Thermo and a few 6x6 variants. We had 36 finishers and 503 non-zero scores, which is kind of reflective of the objective.
As an author, what I liked the most about this round is that almost all the high-pointers we created, we were able to put some interesting deductions. For example, the diagonal had an interesting 14 pair on the main diagonal, the extra region had two additional extra regions than the ones already shaded, the 6x6 odd-even had 2 x-wings and so on. Kudos to my co-authors -- Arun and Kumaresan sir for the amazing sudokus!
Lastly, I would like to mention that while creating sudokus for the round, we felt that the overall difficulty of the round was higher than we wanted it to be. So, we made the 9x9 Thermo easier than it originally was, to have a balanced round. If you wish to solve the original Thermo sudoku, visit: https://letssudoku.blogspot.com/2023/02/sudoku-90-thermo-sudoku.html
Looking forward to SM round 2 by an amazing group of authors!
Just solved the original thermo from your blog; it took me 10 minutes and did feel slightly trickier than the 9x9 thermo during the contest, but given how difficult some of the other puzzles were, having an easier version for the 9x9 thermo makes sense.