Saturday, August 21, 2010

USPC 2010

The contest only just ended, but given that the penalty for submitting solutions this late outweighs any possible points that might be derived from reading this post, I figure it's ok for me to just go ahead and discuss the puzzles.

1. Battleships - straightforward, but I got caught up a bit trying to use some pens that utterly failed. Went to my 2nd copy of the puzzles to complete.

2. Sudoku - got stuck for a bit and moved on. Returned after a few more puzzles, and did some guesswork in the upper left to unravel.

3. Count Me In - interesting puzzle, since all of the pentagons were concave. There's probably a rigorous way to do the counting, but I simply labeled the smallest regions and used that to record the pentagons I found, making sure to indicate where mirror matches were possible.

4. Islands - It wasn't clear to me at first that all the given letters had to be in one of the words, but I assumed so and was able to figure this out. I got stuck on fitting in Earth and Saturn on the right, but resolved it pretty quickly.

5. Groundhog Day - straightforward, but I eliminated almost all possible choices before getting to the three pairs.

6. Hex Equation - skipped

7. Mirror Mirror - skipped (dealing with the diagonal reflection seemed like a pain)

8. Masyu - filled in some and then skipped. I think I just don't like Masyu that much.

9. Rectangle Maze - burned a lot of time on this puzzle, before finally working it out. Going through F twice threw me off, I think as I had trouble getting both B and I on the path.

10. Digitile - skipped.

11. Route - skipped at first, then returned with 10 (or so) minutes left. Figuring out the 34->46 segment was a bit tricky at first, but once I more or less got that part, it was fairly straightforward to massage the other segments (46->57 and 57->69 were the trickiest) into a solution.

12. Takeout - straightforward. I started with Basketball on the far right side, which filled in a few other clues. Then it was just a matter of searching for the words minus a particular letter.

13. Corral - skipped. I really suck at these puzzles.

14. Sukoro - once I thought about it some, I was able to get most of the bottom half, but made an error towards the end that burned a lot of time. Returning to this later and realizing it wasn't going to work, I started again from first principles, found my mistake and got it pretty easily.

15. Constant Sum - skipped.

16. Criss Cross Sums - skipped. About 1 minute before the end, I realized the pattern (each binary number has exactly 3 1's), so any square with a 5 in the corner had to be a 1 (no duplicate counting of that square) and any square with a 6 in the cornet had to be a 0. It solved fairly quickly at that point, but I didn't get it till 10 or so minutes over time, so I didn't submit. This puzzle was my one shoulda for this year.

17. PentaPath - skipped.

18. Sukazu - skipped. Though I may try this one now that I have some idea on how to solve it.

19. Hex Masyu - skipped.

20. X-Agony - skipped.

21. Four Square - skipped.

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