## 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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