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.

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