Cheltenham 15th October 2006 Competition

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Cheltenham 15th October 2006 Competition

Postby Heuresement » Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:38 pm

Does anyone know any details about the puzzles that will be set for The Times competition in Cheltenham, England this year. The Times said that there would be three puzzles to do in an hour, but did not state the difficulty levels or indeed whether the puzzles would be by Pappocom.

Is anyone else going to the compettion this year?
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re: Cheltenham 15th October 2006 Competition

Postby Pat » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:00 pm

Heuresement wrote:The Times did not state the difficulty levels
or indeed whether the puzzles would be by Pappocom.

one may assume that the puzzles will come from Puzzler (not Pappocom):
The Times (2006.Jul.24) wrote:The Championships, in association with Puzzler,
will be held at Cheltenham on Sunday October 15


as for the difficulty level,
is it too late to ask that some of the qualifying puzzles be posted?

Heuresement (2006.Jul.25) wrote:I did the first of the qualifier puzzles from The Times yesterday. I must comment on the difficulty of yesterday's puzzle: I dubbed it into the Pappocom program, and found it only rated as a Medium puzzle, which corresponds to The Times's "Difficult" level.
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Postby Heuresement » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:54 pm

I remember that I took photos of the puzzles before doing them, but my wife thought that that was a bit over the top, so I have only have copies of some of them. Unfortunately, I am have just changed computers, so they are even more difficult to find, but I will post them here, as and if I find more.

I found a copy of the first qualifier, because I expressed my disappointment at having only a medium level difficulty, and I dubbed this into Pappocom in order to check the difficulty level. Here it is:

Code: Select all
*-----------*
 |...|...|..8|
 |.19|6..|.3.|
 |4..|2.8|5..|
 |---+---+---|
 |29.|8..|...|
 |...|3.1|...|
 |...|..4|.75|
 |---+---+---|
 |..8|1.3|..7|
 |.2.|..6|19.|
 |7..|...|...|
 *-----------*


Hopefully more to follow...

Michael
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Cheltenham 15th October 2006 Competition - qualifiers

Postby Pat » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:06 pm

and this is the one i have -
qualification-puzzle printed 2006.Jul.29 [ 26 clues ]:

Code: Select all
 . . 5 | . . . | . . .
 . 9 . | . 1 . | . . 6
 2 4 . | . . 7 | . 8 .
-------+-------+------
 . . 1 | 3 . . | . 2 .
 4 . 8 | . . . | 7 . 3
 . 7 . | . . 2 | 6 . .
-------+-------+------
 . 8 . | 1 . . | . 6 2
 1 . . | . 8 . | . 4 .
 . . . | . . . | 9 . .
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Postby Heuresement » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:47 pm

I also have this one from the 27th July 2006 (which is ranked medium on the Pappcom software)

Code: Select all
 *-----------*
 |..4|...|...|
 |9..|86.|3..|
 |...|..9|1..|
 |---+---+---|
 |4..|.5.|.76|
 |.5.|9.4|.1.|
 |32.|.8.|..9|
 |---+---+---|
 |..9|2..|...|
 |..6|.47|..8|
 |...|...|4..|
 *-----------*
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Postby daj95376 » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:04 pm

Naked/Hidden Singles, Naked Pair, and Naked Triple ... and it's ranked medium difficulty? Unbelievable! In fact, none of the puzzles disclosed so far indicate any kind of Championship skill level is needed.
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Postby udosuk » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:29 am

daj95376 wrote:Naked/Hidden Singles, Naked Pair, and Naked Triple ... and it's ranked medium difficulty? Unbelievable! In fact, none of the puzzles disclosed so far indicate any kind of Championship skill level is needed.

Daj, do that puzzle using pen and paper, by hand and no pencilmarks... See how long it takes you... Naked Triple is surely not a trivial technique for human without any help from Mr. Computer...

If you're expecting forcing net/chains then I'm afraid you're into the wrong championship/tournament...:!:
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Postby daj95376 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:20 am

No pencilmarks ... No candidate highlighting ... No way !!!
mea culpa !!!
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Postby Heuresement » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:58 pm

Unfortunately, except for the three puzzles already given, I do not have copies of the other three puzzles published in the Times, as I sent them off, neither do I have the photograph that I took of my entries.

However, I can tell you that the other three were of the Pappocom Hard difficulty level = The Times Fiendish level. I cannot tell you whether the pairs used to find the solution were hidden or not, as I don't use pencilmarks. The one that Pat posted from Saturday 29th July 2006 is also a Times Fiendish level puzzle.

I think that the comment that Bigtone made in the other thread was true, that is they gave easier puzzles to start, and finished off the week with the more difficult ones.

As for the competition itself, it will be interesting as to what types are actually given. I have only been practising the Fiendish ones from the Times, and from the Pappocom program, but perhaps I should be doing some Nikoli ones too? Anyone else going too?
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Postby Pi » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:05 pm

I went to the tournament today and was disappointed with the fact that the puzzles werent from Pappocom.

I entered the junior section and came second ( improved on last years third).

It was nice to meet George-No1 who won my age category.

Who else was there?
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Postby Heuresement » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:33 am

My day at the championship was exciting and great fun, but I was rather disappointed with my own results. The competition was well organised, professional and ran quite smoothly. For the all the finalists who made it through to the final sessions (not me), I am sure that it must have been exhausting, extremely competitive and exhilarating.

I was booked into the second session. I had done a couple of practice sessions with three puzzles taken from the Times Fiendish book, and knew that I was reasonably capable of completing three Fiendish (Pappocom) puzzles in the required time, averaging between 15 to 20 mins per puzzle. What I hadn’t practiced though was applying myself quickly, no time wasting and coping with the pressure of wanting to do better than the other competitors. Unfortunately, I made an error on the second puzzle and realised that I had an impossible situation, which I tried to fix but failed. By then, the entries of the winners in that session had already been marked and their names announced, so that was the end of the competition for me. All in all, I had not done enough practice for this competition on the type of puzzle that was likely to appear. In last year’s competition, if I had not of been in the same room, it would have been difficult for me to have believed how outstanding the finalists were, and the same was true this year.

Chatting to some of the other competitors was enjoyable. David McNeil (second overall) was particularly interesting. He said was that Sudoku puzzles were only a sideline for him, his main focus was logic puzzles. Before the contest, in the café, my daughter commented that of the several people practising puzzles, he was going through them incredibly fast. I said that he might be doing easy ones, but I think that I was wrong:)

My only wishes are that the puzzles were a bit smaller (the numbers and boxes were huge on the page, which made it difficult for me to see all the patterns), and that the puzzles had been the more difficult Pappocom ones.

Overall I think that the day was well worth the effort and time even though I was quite disappointed with my own performance on the day. The venue was very good and convenient.
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Postby Heuresement » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:35 am

btw Pi, congratulations for doing so well:D
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the numbers and boxes were huge on the page

Postby Pat » Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:42 pm

Heuresement wrote:My only wishes are that the puzzles were a bit smaller
(the numbers and boxes were huge on the page,
which made it difficult for me to see all the patterns),

The Times (2006.Oct.16) wrote:Rachel Roth:
it helps to be able to see fully the whole puzzle.
It was more difficult in the competition
because the puzzle was on a larger scale
so I couldn’t visualise all of it at the same time.
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Postby Pi » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:42 pm

I also didnt like the size of the puzzles.


Having barely done puzzles from puzzler before i found it quite difficult to adjust. I am used to doing the ones in 'The Independent' and found the competition ones different but noticably of high quality. I might now subscribe to puzzler.


If i have one critizism it's that it was certainly scaled down from last year when we went on stage on the everyman theatre to recieve our prizes from Wayne himself.

I was also dissapointed that the juniors werent even mentioned in the article about the competition.
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Postby pandaface » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:42 am

I very much enjoyed my first taste of competitive sudoku after having been thrilled to hear that I qualified. I originally had the idea of just hoping to complete all three puzzles in the first round having no idea what level of difficulty to expect, but I gave myself a shock when the first puzzle fell into place very quickly for me (but maybe it was an easier one to start us off? - I was in the second group). After that though I think panic set in and I completely mucked up the second and decided to come back to it (and spotted some easy moves that I'd missed when I did so) because I was getting so stressed:-) In the end I finished just at the moment they announced they'd already found their four finalists, which must have been after about half an hour or so.
I also found the size difficult to work with - the only advantage I could see with this though was that any notes that you might have wanted to make don't clutter up the grid anything like as much as they could be very tiny relative to the box sizes.
What I was most disappointed about was that they didn't allow spectators for the final rounds - I had been particularly looking forward to following the techniques and progress of those far more expert at solving than I, knowing that I'd be needing a lot of practice yet before I could hope to be one of them.
It sounds like from Pi they didn't make much of the award ceremony either - that was a shame, I'm sure more people would have liked to have stayed on to watch the finals and consequently would have made for a better atmosphere at the prize-giving.
Just another thought - it might have been nice if there were some other sudoku related events on the day, workshops, or discussions like this one but face to face, as I'm sure some people must have travelled a long way.
Looking forward to the next competition!
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