March 05, 2010

Friday Puzzles #34

If you came here looking for a rant, that’s been and gone.

Instead, here’s an easy Masyu. It has what I call twisted symmetry – the circles have rotational symmetry, but their images under the rotation are the opposite colour. Incidentally, you may have noticed some twisted symmetry in some of my other puzzles.

#040 Masyu – rated easy

All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-10


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Thomas Snyder

    Its too bad the rant is gone cause that was what my RSS feed had and the only thing I wanted to comment on (not this Masyu certainly). To say a 1.5 hour playoff with no known rules or included puzzles is not representative of the WSC is a bit odd since that was exactly the situation at the last two WSCs regarding knowledge of format and puzzles even up to the day of the final. So I guess what you mean is it is not representative of what will happen this year in Philadelphia, and that might be a fair statement. Best of luck and skill on the extra hurdle.

    05 Mar 2010, 16:49

  2. Perhaps I can sympathise with you a little more than I previously did, although to my mind there’s still a niggling argument in my mind saying “it’s the same for everyone” which applies to both cases. I guess that’s countered by the fact if it is indeed the same for everyone, why stand for an unsatisfactory situation, when you could have a more satisfactory one.

    However there is a difference here. The existence of the play-off (for better or for worse) is guaranteed and everyone knows this is this case. This play-off was a technical possibility mentioned in the terms and conditions, terms and conditions that were removed from the website shortly after the second round of the online qualifier had concluded. A play-off that isn’t even justified, especially when the following revelations are taken into account.

    What I find most incredible is that the five participants invited to this play-off were exactly the individuals (minus David M.) who went over to Zilina – and that the actual three that turned up to the play-off (not really surprising people didn’t turn up given it’s non-flexible date and the fact it was at the expense of participants’ time and money) were the three that payed-to-play in Zilina. The UK B team, that far eclipsed the A team which included David M, and the two official “qualifiers”. These two qualifiers were the 5th and 6th best placing Britons in Zilina. So given the organisers knowledge of this secret, I simply wonder why one of the three (probably mine given my rate of 1 dickhead error per 12 minutes) participant’s time and money has been wasted when a far more natural order based on the relative results of the last three WSC’s already exists.

    My stance on the issue is this. Since I can’t seem to penetrate the arrogance and sophistry of the organisers, I’ll try my best to resonate my opinions with people who have slightly more influence (aka David M. – although it turns out he gets ignored on some fairly crucial points too). I will launch one final offensive during/after Philadelphia – which will obviously be dependent on whether I even make it out there – and if things don’t change after that then I will give up my vain efforts of trying to improve the UK puzzling experience from the current amateur and uninspiring situation that currently exists.

    06 Mar 2010, 17:49

  3. Thomas Snyder

    I didn’t mean to imply this masyu wasn’t any good (I never had the chance to solve it, but wasn’t coming over to comment on it on Friday) but the “bonus” one is fantastic both aesthetically and solving-wise.

    I think you captured my WSC point of view; even if “it’s the same for everyone”, which is the case, it can still be better for the competitors and organizers should strive to make it so. In Goa, for example, we were told there would be a “time-bonus” for the semi-final approximately 5 minutes before the round started, which itself was only an hour after we finally got the list of puzzle types (mostly new) that would appear in it (that list was then amended at the same 5 minute before go-time announcement with a puzzle moving into the finals and another type moving back to the semis). Yes we all faced the same circumstances, but I don’t see how being kept in the dark about rules, format, or puzzle content made any sense as a competitor. There are many ways to run a competition (such as counting an incorrect number as a -1 versus a 0, in settling ties) and I’ve seen so many iterations that spelling out specifics is necessary.

    I empathize with your national qualifier situation and do not necessarily understand the additional hoops Puzzler is putting you (read: the set of potential British team members) through. I can’t say the US qualifier is any better, seeing as it hasn’t happened yet although I have a loose idea how it will occur, but somehow other nations have managed either online or in person tests with better success so I hope their example is adopted for the future, particularly if concerns about cheating were the reason for this extra step this time.

    07 Mar 2010, 00:24


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Welcome to the blog of current UKPA sudoku champion, two-time Times national sudoku champion and general logic puzzle fan Tom Collyer.



Home of the original Friday Puzzles, each Friday I publish a 100% original and handmade logic puzzle, inspired by the world-famous Nikoli company.


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