WSC/WPC Impressions – August 16 (WPC Day 3)

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The results for day 2 was out, and I have gotten a mistake on one of the That’s Not Right. On the other hand, I got 50 points for a question that I did not do. For the sake of fairness, I went and protested it. In the end, my position was unchanged, in 35th place. Byron placed 32th on the official ranking, 3 spots above me. As the individual rounds were all finished, this is the final standings of the individual WPC.

There was one more team round for the day, before the individual playoffs. In this round, we needed to make squares in the various puzzle grids given to us, subjected to different rules. The first puzzle was removing dots to form squares, the second was adding dots, the third was using Hamle moves, and the fourth was using chess moves. The 5th to 7th puzzles were all of the same type, where you alternate between using Hamle moves to form squares, and knight moves to move on numbers. Our team chemistry was good, and we blazed through the round with 14 minutes to spare. When we left the room, we noticed that there is still an unusually many number of teams who were still attempting to solve the puzzle.

Amazingly, we managed to place 4th on that round, so we made it to the playoffs. The playoff puzzle was in the same style as the 5th to 7th puzzles of the round, but instead of using plastic counter, we use humans as counters, just like wizard chess. In the playoffs, the 5th to 8th teams went first, while the first 4 teams stayed in a lobby outside of the competition hall. After they were finished, we went to the playoffs with USA, Japan, and Germany. USA and Germany were ridiculously fast, finishing the entire round in less than 3 minutes. We took 3.5 minutes ourselves, and unfortunately(fortunately?) Japan was disqualified for making an invalid move. When the results came in, the 5th to 8th team were all slower than we were, so we placed 3rd in the round overall.

The afternoon session was the individual playoffs, which used the same format as the WSC. However, unlike the WSC playoffs, the WPC playoffs were more eventful, with multiple wrong submissions and missed chances. In the first round, Bram in 7th place made 2 wrong submissions on the same puzzle, which allowed Kota in 9th place to catch up and advance. However, Kota could not make up the 4+ minutes of stagger time in the 2nd round, and Palmer in 4th place advanced to the final playoffs. In the final playoffs, Ulrich Voigt was in 1st place, Ken Endo in 2nd, Florian Kirch in 3rd, and Palmer Mebane in 4th. The first puzzle went as expected, but things got interesting starting with the second one (Area 51). Ulrich made an incorrect solve of the puzzle on the top left, which allowed Palmer to mostly catch up, only for Palmer to have made the same mistake in the same place. During the fourth puzzle (Kakuro), Ken seemed to have gotten stuck, and fell behind the other contestants. Then, Palmer made an amazing solve of the fifth puzzle (Unequal Length Maze), finishing it in about 15 seconds. By the 6th puzzle, Palmer was neck and neck with Ulrich, with Florian slightly behind. In the end, Ulrich won the playoffs, Palmer got 2nd place with 22 seconds behind, and Florian got third with 1 minute 12 seconds behind.

After the playoffs, there was the after championship soccer that I did not attend (I went to take a nap), and the dinner and awards ceremony. We got a huge puzzle book in the ceremony, and there was karaoke afterwards. At 12:30, the hotel staff kicked us out of the conference room and into the bar, where we continued on the drinking and karaoke, joined by Scrabble playing and sudoku racing. Byron got a book of extra hard sudoku from the Japanese captain, and for each puzzle, the times of Kota Morinishi, the World Sudoku Champion of 2014, were written down. Byron and I managed to got within 1 minute of Kota once each, but failed miserably on the others. By 2am, I was very tired, and crashed on the bed, which concluded the World Puzzle Championship.

Epilogue: My ride was scheduled to East Croydon on the next day at 2pm, but seeing that there is no lunch, I took the 11am ride instead. I arrived in central London at 12, left my luggage in my hotel, and started touring the Tate Modern right across the street. I will be touring London for 3 more days before heading back to Canada.

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WSC/WPC Impressions – August 15 (WPC Day 2)

I should not have jinxed it the day before, but I have made 2 stupid mistakes on the puzzles from day 1. For Round 3, I guessed the pentominos, and have shaded most of the cells in. However, I left 1 cell as a scribble, which costed me 90 points. I am going to try protest this to see what happens, but I am not getting my hopes up. For Round 5, I have left a digit out on the first puzzle, which is going to be another 50 points. I doubt I can protest this, which really sucks. On the plus side, the crazy pavement was correct. I wish I can do all puzzles like that.

Anyways, Round 8 was a bunch of puzzles themed after English gardens, with flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, cobwebs, and snails. (What’s so good about cobwebs and snails?) I solved the flowerbeds, the cobwebs, and the first hitori snails. According to Byron, the 2nd snail was very doable, and I probably should have tried it as it was worth 160 points.

Round 9 was loop based puzzles, such slitherlink. I am generally very comfortable with these, and I got everything aside from the 2nd ripple loop and the inner sum fences.

Round 10 was the 200 club, where each puzzle is worth 200 points. The first was a non-consecutive kakuro, with all clues being 14 and 20. The 2nd was a yajilin, again with clues being 2,0,1,4. The 3rd was a blackout dominos, which was surprisingly easy, and so was the 4th puzzle, pentominos in half. The 5th was the inverted LITS(O), the 6th was anti-magnets. The 7th was sky anglers. The 8th was missing labyrinth. The 9th was the 3-in-1 tents-sudoku-slitherlink, which I broke multiple time. The last one was a double block which I tried guessing at the end, but didn’t managed to get it. In the end, I solved puzzles 2, 3,4, 5, and 9, which is OK but not superb.

Round 11 was consists of some variations on classic puzzles. I solved all the tapas, the diagonal numberlinks, star battle twins, and the small tetromino sums. Given that Byron solved 700+ worth points of puzzles, I am dropping further and further behind in the rankings.

Round 12 was called “something different”, which wasbasically an innovative puzzles round. I spent way too much time on the torodial numberlink, which was totally pointless, as I didn’t get it in the end. If I spent that time on the flipped mirror sums or the compass, I probably would have gotten another 100+ points. Anyways, I did both Every Third One, Tilt Maze, both Tthat’s Not Right, MIni Coral, Labyrinth, Neighbours, and Spiral City Construction.

Round 13 was called “afternoon tea”, and is consist of puzzles where you use T shapes to fill in the grid. There are T rooms, T tapas, T crisscross, etc. I did everything except for the 3 T for Times Tables in the end. I probably should have written down all the possible products and their relations in the instruction booklet, but given how the round went, I was pretty satisfied.

Round 14 was another team round, and this time there were 6 pairs of puzzles, with the grids of each pair cut up into pieces. We were to assemble each of the pairs in such a way that both puzzles have a solution using the same given clue and assembly. Most of the round was unremarkable, as we simply divided up the puzzles to solve. The sticking point turned out to be the hard cave puzzle and the nurikabe/numberlink pair. The nurikabe pair only has 8 possible ways to assemble the puzzle, so we tried to exhaustive search it. However, that didn’t work well, so the puzzle was handed to Byron, who managed to guessed the correct numberlink, which also can be solved as a nurikabe. The hard cave puzzle was simply difficult and time consuming. By the time we finished the rest of the puzzles, the cave was nowhere near done, and we made a bunch of guesses that did not work. We ended up copying the cave onto multiple sheets of paper, and solved it when there was 8 minutes on the clock.

After dinner, there was a puzzle hunt. Unlike logic puzzles, these puzzles uses both your wits and knowledge. Elyot, Jarett, Fae, Carolyn, and I formed a team of 5, while Byron betrayed Team Canada and formed a team with someone else. One of the puzzles was a chess puzzle hidden in a search puzzle, while another had morse code hidden inside a poker puzzle. There were 8 puzzles in all, with no instructions given. We first worked on the obvious stuff, such as finding the location. At some point, we realized that our knowledge of London was lacking, and that we only had one internet enable device, so I grabbed my iPad from my room. We solved the first 4 with some work, and once we verified that the answers were correct, we got the other half of the puzzle hunt. The second for puzzles were significantly easier than the first, and did not require the extensive use of Google. Eventually, we finished the whole thing in about 1.5 hours. After the event, we got some more of our WPC papers back, and stupid mistakes are continuing to cost me in this championship.

WSC/WPC Impressions – August 14 (WPC Day 1)

This is it, the main event for me to compete in. Round 1 was the Welcome round, which contains an assortment of classics and not-so-classic puzzles. As the name suggests, the puzzles in the round consists of the letters U and K, and the numbers 2014. I skipped the triangular minesweepers, the scramble UK, and didn’t manage to finish the 2nd magic summer.

Round 2 was a bunch of simple loop variations, where you need to find a loop that transverse all the squares. The first 5 puzzles were easy. Then, the farm trail took a bit of time, and I left the running trail for last. Since the number of steps between 2 flags is 11, the flags could be partitioned into 2 sets based upon a checker board pattern. Despite this, I need to fiddle with the end to get it to work. Still, I managed to finish with 1 minute remaining. This was the first individual round that I have finished early this year.

Round 3 was a 2 hour classics round, with puzzles like slitherlink, tapa, kakuro, etc. Again, I did most of the puzzles in this round, leaving out hitori, pointing at the crowd, no four in a row, battleships, and the 2nd suguru. I guessed the crazy paving with 3 minutes left, and am completely unsure of whether it is correct. On the plus side, if it worked,3 minutes for 60 points is totally worth it.

Round 4 was Latin squares, and it was bad. I was never particular good with Latin squares puzzles, and the number of easy as ABC in the round really screwed me over. I got the skyscrapers, killer skyscrapers, mathraxes, double block, and easy as ABCD 4-grid. I was half way done the easy as torodial ABC when they called time

Round 5 was even worse. The round had no instructions for any of the puzzles given. Instead, players were given a sample puzzle and a solution, and had to figure out what the rules were. I got the first 5 puzzles, and 1.5 grids out of 2 on the last one. As you don’t get anything for having 1.5 grids, this really sucked. The rule of the first one was to divide up the 3 identical shapes given into 3 unit cells, so that the corresponding cells of the 3 shapes form a set of 1-9. The 2nd and 3rd puzzles were loop puzzles, with the additional constraint that loop can only go straight and cross itself in a numbered cell. The 4th and 5th puzzles are arithmetic puzzles, where you put in numbers so that certain sets of cells sum up to the same number. I used variables to denote cells and tried to manipulate it. However, I botched the manipulation 3 times, which absolutely destroyed my chance of scoring good. Puzzle 6 was putting words into a grid in a hexagonal shape, while puzzles 7 and 8 were apparently hex kakuros. Finally, puzzle 9 was another put words in a grid puzzle, where the word turns 60 degree whenever it reaches a grey cell. With some guessing and deduction, I used 1/2 of the list of words to fill out the first grid, and was partially done with the 2nd when time was called.

Round 6 was sprint, which had 19 puzzles in 30 minutes. The puzzle types are mostly classics and mostly easy, so I have an advantage in that. I knew I was not going to get the 2 no four in a row, so I skipped those, but managed to get everything else done.

Round 7 was interesting. It was a team round where you have 4 puzzle types, with the caveat that for each puzzle type, you have 4 puzzles, one for each of the player. The 4 puzzles all fit into the same 9×9 grid, each using 20 different cells. The puzzle types were snake pit, paint it black tetrominos, easy as pentominos, and battleships. Like the sudoku team round, each player was given a different coloured pen, but unlike that round, a player can write anything on any square. Anyways, puzzles 1 and 3 of the round lead to liberal uses of “intuition”, which actually worked. By the time we finished all 4 puzzles, there were still 14 minutes left on the clock. We left the competition hall after packing up and went for an early dinner.

After dinner was the puzzle GP, though I didn’t really stayed for that. I went there when the thing started, grabbed the puzzle sheet, and left for sleep.

WSC/WPC Impressions – August 13 (Sightseeing)

Somehow, I managed to wake up even earlier than yesterday, despite the fact that I was lacking sleep. I really hope I can at least get enough sleep tonight so that I can perform well tomorrow. Anyways, I got the rest of the puzzles back during breakfast, and it turned out that all the sudokus I solved during the WSC were correct. The team photo session that followed was chaotic, as usual, but we managed to get everyone from team Canada into the country photo, at least.

The sightseeing came next, where we rode on a tour bus through the narrow roads of London. We first went to the Buckingham palace to see the changing of the guards, which as the name suggested, was the changing of the guards in the Buckingham palace. Apparently, it takes place every other day, and the ceremony consists of a parade of guards marching down the streets, and carrying instruments and guns with bayonets. The tour guide walked very fast, perhaps so that we can make it to the ceremony, and we were at risk of losing half the group.

After the changing of the guards, we went back on the bus, which drove through Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. We then drove next to the London eye (a Ferris wheel) and to St. Paul’s Cathedral. At this point, the traffic was horrible, and the sky looked like it would rain. At St. Paul’s, Jerry and some Europeans left the group to sight-see on their own, and they would be the first of several groups to do so.

We walked along the outside of St. Paul’s, then across the Millennium Bridge (aka. the wobbly bridge), where we got a good view of the “walkie-talkie” (aka. death ray), the “cheese grater”, and other iconic skyscrapers of London. Across the bridge, we arrived just outside Tate Modern, where some animal groups were setting up telescopes for people to see the peregrine falcons nesting above the Tate.

Our group then went east to the Globe Theatre, which was a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare’s time. At this point, the group was very slow, so Jerry and I decided to left the group. We walked on ahead alongside the riverbank, seeing the London Bridge and the City hall. We passed by the London prison museum as well. At this point, we asked one of the info staff on how to get to Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter. It turned out the best way to do that was to head back towards the train station we passed by a little while ago.

While heading back, we met with the group again, and got the schedule of the shuttle to the hotel. We first went to Baker’s street, which was the fictional residence of Sherlock Holmes. While the museum itself costed 7 pounds, the line up for it was insanely long, so we left after looked around the museum lobby a little. Then, we head to King’s Cross. At the station, Jerry asked someone for platform 9 and 10, which turns out not to exist for the underground station. (Oops!) At the light rail station, it turns out that there’s literally nothing between platforms 9 and 10, as the 2 train tracks were adjacent. Instead, they have a sign and a gift shop at the side near platforms 9-11 section. What’s even more surprising is the existence platform 0.

At this point, David wanted his McDonald’s fix so bad that we went to a McDonald’s near the station. I went to grab a cappuccino from a nearby Starbucks. After eating, we decided that we couldn’t make it back to meet with the group for the tour bus, so we had to find our way to East Croydon station. The trains at King’s Cross all goes north, so we had to go to the St Pancras station adjacent to it. In there, we passed the Eurostar, and went for a train that took us (not-so-)directly to East Croydon. It turned out that the train was taking the long route, and for parts of it, it was the slowest train I have ever rode. Eventually, we did made it to the 5:30 shuttle to the hotel.

After dinner was the Q&A session. As usual, there are more questions for this Q&A than that of the sudoku, and we did get clarifications for several useful facts. Then came the the reading of a from the queen endorsing this event (not financially though), which got a round of applause. Next was the captain’s meeting. Since our usual captain wasn’t there, Byron and I stayed behind to see what’s up. From what I heard, there will likely going to be another GP next year. The meeting was rather heated at some spots, and it went on until it was over 11pm, which is going to have negative effect on my sleep schedule. I have yet to get a real good long sleep for the entire duration of the competition.

WSC/WPC Impressions – August 12 (WSC Day 2)

I woke up at 7am, but was feeling super tired. I didn’t dare to go back to sleep again lest I missed the alarm. The jet lag was starting to catch up to me. The morning call failed again, so I will have to do something about it. By the time breakfast was over, we got the results for Rounds 1-8. Round 5 to 7 went as expected, but we missed a letter at the end on our guess of Round 8 (the rest were correct). That sucked.

Round 9 was a 90 minute round that has a mix of common to semi-common variants. To contrast from yesterday, I went with the mostly easy ones. The search 9 sudoku however took more time than it really should have, and eventually I guessed on the solution. The others I solved were windoku, diagon, anti-knight, renban group, anti-diagonal, clone, no touch, and a classic. Some of the variants in this round had WSC marked on them, which is kind of neat.

Round 10 consisted of a single overlapping sudoku with 2 grids. The regions were irregular, and there were scattered shaded regions that forms a set of 1-9. The US team told us that the centre 9 squares forms a 1-9 set, which was helpful, if not for the fact I messed up and had to erase. Unlike yesterday, there was no problem with the sun today. However, with the number of people finishing the round, there were a lot of “Finished!” and the staff were running back and forth near my desk. This was very distracting given that the floor was wobbly and my table vibrated every time a staff ran near it. In the end, I didn’t managed to get a single grid done, so that was a 0, for the first time in this competition.

Round 11 was another team round, with 5 sudoku variants and 20 pairs of letters linking cells of the 5 grids together. The puzzles were killer sudoku pro, diagonally non-consecutive, toroidal, sum skyscrapes, and musketry. David went for the killer, Jerry the musketry, Byron the toroidal, and me the non-consecutive. The killer was actually fairly easy, and can be solved with little help from others. I didn’t know how to start on mine at first, but was eventually able to get a few digits in after getting some digits from others. However, somewhere along the way, I realized that my non-consecutive was broken, and went ahead to fix it. After fixing it (I think), the clue going towards the musketry didn’t match, and it turned out that the musketry was also broken. By this time, the killer sum pro and toroidal was done, so David went to help Jerry with the musketry and Byron went with the skyscrapers. in the end, the sum skyscraper was the last one to be solved, and we had 3 minutes on the clock when we called finish.

When we left the competition hall, we met Elyot, the final member of the WPC A-team. He just arrived. We had lunch together and discussed various things about how start ups and gaming. The results for the top 20 or so people were up when we finished, and David and Byron placed high enough to be on the first sheet of paper. On the other hand, I placed too low for my results to be printed, so I won’t know how I placed until after the finals.

Despite my earlier complaints, the competition itself was generally well run until the finals. There were no broken puzzles or puzzles with multiple solutions in the actual competition, as far as I could tell. (unlike the instruction booklet) Anyways, the finals were in 3 rounds, where the 7-10th players are played together in a staggered start, the winner then played against the 4-6th players, and the winner of that played against the 1-3rd players.

The first 2 rounds went as expected, with the 7th and 4th players advancing respectively. In the 2nd round, the 4th to 6th players all made a mistake, but the 7th player could not capitalized on it. Going on the final round were Tiit Vunk, Kota Morinishi, Bastien Vial-Jaime, and Jakub Ondrousek from 1st to 4th place respectively. Tiit and Kota were separated by less than 1 minute, while Jakub was over 5 minutes behind Kota. By the end of the 3rd puzzle, Kota had caught up to Tiit, and by the 4th, Kota had an advantage. At this point, there was a judging mix-up between the 3rd and 4th player. While it did not affect the result, it made Jakub very angry. Anyways, Kota carried the momentum to finish in first, Tiit in second, and Bastien and Jakub in joint third.

The dinner party and award ceremony pretty much went as expected, aside from Jarett having to call Elyot to wake him up from his sleep. Sadly, since it was a formal dinner and not a buffet, the amount of food is less than what we got in normal lunches and dinners. The Chinese team won a lot of stuff, partly due to the fact that most of their team is under 18. In terms of team placement, China was 3rd, Germany was 2nd, and Japan was 1st.

WSC/WPC Impressions – August 11 (WSC Day 1)

I don’t know why the big point ones were so hard.
— David Jones, after Round 3.

To start off the morning, my wake up call did not happen. Luckily I did set an alarm on my phone, so that turned out OK. It would have sucked if I ended up missing a Round when I am a member of the WSC A-team this year. Breakfast was a typical English breakfast, which was decent.

There are significant problems with the lighting of the venue. The competition room is too dark, and worse still, when the clouds covers and uncovers the sun, the room gets darker and brighter. Anyways, it was sunny most of the day, except for short sudden thunderstorms right after lunch and during part of the GP. The sudden weather change reminds me of Waterloo.

Like last year, Round 1 was easy classics. However, unlike last year, there is no difficult classics round. Instead, 2 classics are put at the end of most rounds so that people can solve something if they have 5 minutes left. Anyways, I got the first 6 on this round, which is acceptable, but not as good as David or Byron.

Round 2 had the typical variants. I solved the deficient, killer, odd, non-consecutive, and 1 classic. The killer was easy, but I spent a lot of time on the non-consecutive and the odd sudoku. From what I heard afterwards, the windoku was easy, which really sucked. Apparently, a lot of people found this round easier than I had, since I dropped by like 20 positions after this round.

Round 3 consisted of sudokus with digits/writings outside the grid. I did the odd-even-big-small, X-sums, outside, next to 9, and even sandwich. I think I did well on this round, though I will have to wait for the result to see.

I bombed Round 4 hard, solving only the consecutive and the no nines. I guessed on the no nines too. I thought was good at these relation stuff, but apparently not, as I have lots of problems trying to work the non-consecutive sudoku, and not getting anywhere with it. With a total of 115 points, it tanked all the rankings that I could have gained from my performance in round 3.

Round 5 was arithmetic, and I think I did OK on it. I got the killer, little killer, equality, and 1 classic. The equality took much more time than it should have. I recognized that the sum must be divisible by 9, but did not realized that the sum has to be exactly 18 before the competition.

Round 6 was puzzles with irregular grids. I spent a long time on the isometric, which was only 30 points, and in the end I had to guess (and guess wrong) before getting it correct. The parquet was easy, so was the irregular. The sudokurve was annoying, but not difficult. I think I scored about 200 points in each of these two rounds, if I didn’t mess anything up.

Round 7 was a team round, where each person was given a coloured pen, and was only allowed to write on the quarter of each grid with their colour. There were 6 puzzles to solve, 4 at a time. At every 90 seconds, a call of rotate indicated that we have to pass our current grid to the next person. Since David is the fastest solver, naturally he looked over our grids to help us with parts while passing it on. After some screwing up, and other mishaps, we managed to solved everything on the very last rotation, and had 1 minute on the clock. Hurray for Team Canada.

Round 8 was another team round. This time, we were given strips which we had to assemble to form a valid sudoku. There were12 (18 for the last one) strips for each sudoku. Each one had the position in the grid and numbers written on them, and we had to find the order to lay them down to cover all the incorrect numbers. We managed to get the first 3, and was only a few letters away from the last one. Time will tell whether the guess we made are correct. In hindsight, we could have done a lot better in this round. Team B suggested during dinner that they started writing all pairs on numbers into each grid and circling the right answer about half way through. This would have saved significant time when we are comparing and checking which strip goes above.

All-in-all, day 1 could have gone a lot better.

After dinner was the Sudoku GP finals. This year’s GP is rather subdued, and mostly consist of people solving the same puzzles that that the contestants are solving. I missed the commentary from last year, After that, we played Set and a board game called Saboteur. It was a board game version of Mafia, where the good dwarves are trying to build tunnels to the gold, while saboteurs are trying to run the other players out of cards. There are tunnel cards, enabling/disabling cards, and demolition cards. 1 gold mine is hidden under 1 of the 3 cards, but the only way to know which is it is to use a detector card. The game was fun, even though I did not managed to win a single round, both due to my lack of skills and a bit of bad luck.

WSC/WPC Impressions – August 9-10 (To London)

I woke up at ~7:30am, thanks to the demolition workers destroying a nearby residence. Given that my flight was 8:50pm, this was not a good thing. Anyways, I packed my stuff, then waited for the airport shuttle service to pick me up on the afternoon.

Dumb mistake #1: Forgetting to pack the British pounds I exchanged 3 days earlier.

As a result, I had to get some pounds at the ATM, which cost me some money. I arrived at the airport at 6, checked in, and got something to eat. I hanged around a bit, then boarded the aircraft.

Dumb mistake #2: Sitting in the wrong seat, twice.

First time around, I did not notice that there is no E column in the aircraft, so I ended up sitting in the wrong aisle. Then, when I was asked to move, I somehow sat at 38G instead of 37G. Somewhere during this series of exchange, I dropped my change wallet. Once I got my seat correct, it turned out that I sat right behind David Jones.

Dumb mistake #3: Buying the “sleeping package” on the aircraft.

The package was a total rip-off. Not only was it very expensive at 9 bucks, it also did not function as advertized. The “pillow” was little more than an inflatable balloon, and would would provide little comfort. Worst still, the blasted thing did not even fit my neck properly. It was simply way too large, and I ended up getting almost no sleep on the airplane. This lead to:

Dumb mistake #4: Playing excessively on the 3DS.

Turns out, the 3DS is the only one device I have whose charger does not take 240V. I drained most of the battery down during the flight and my wait in the hotel. I hope there’s still enough battery to turn it on when UK customs demands it.

The flight, to my standards, were reasonably smooth. (David disagrees, but I have had worse) The service and everything else on the other hand, was anything but. There was no individual TV or entertainment system, and just about everything cost money. The meals was rather meh, and the scheduling made it very difficult to get more than a hour or 2 of sleep even under ideal condition.

Anyways, late in the flight, the little girl next to me started getting very sick and wanted to vomit. It might have been something she ate, the flu, or even motion sickness. After landing, I waited everybody got off to search for my change wallet, and luckily I did found it. That however made me one of the last people to enter customs, and there was a huge line when I got there.

After exiting custom, David and I met with Tom Collyer and boarded the train to East Croydon station. This began a series of long waits. First, there was the wait in the station for our ride to the hotel. Then, the wait for lunch. After that, the wait for registration. Still after that, the wait for check in. Finally, the wait for dinner, during which I am drafting this post now.

The hotel clearly is not prepared to handle such large number of people checking in at once. The wait at check in was very long. Not wanting to line up with a heavy bag, I sat out and further drained my 3DS’s battery. Because they start check in at 3pm, but people start arriving from 11am, there was a massive line when check in finally starts. Furthermore, they had forms to fill and pre-authorizations to do, wasting even more time. A much better way to handle it is to perform as much of the check in procedure as possible before 3pm, and then simply hand out the keys at 3pm at a separate line for people whose rooms are ready.

The Q&A session was kind of fun, with the WPC flag, mike feedback, and (occasionally) silly questions. Somehow, we all managed to missed an important question in the team round, and only found out about it from our team discussion afterwards. I am going to go to bed now so I can be at least somewhat awake tomorrow morning.