Puzzle No. 222-224 : The question is, does it all even out?

After the WSC, we had a night of mild puzzle-racing, I say mild because I wasn’t participating of course 😛 We had a team of Vasso(Greece), Kamer(Turkey) and Jason(USA) vs Tom(UK), Gaurav(India) and Bram(The Netherlands) battling it out on connected Sudokus from a book given by Yuhei(Japan).

The next day, in the play-offs part, I don’t think I can add anything to motris’ post, so I’ll just say, I felt really sorry for Jakub’s plight, and I then had a feeling of “what the hell is happening” as the top two battled it out for 15-18 minutes on an Irregular Diagonal grid. I think a lot’s been said about that too on Melon’s post, so I’ll just leave these things, Congratulate Jan, Kota and Hideaki again, and move to the  recreation day after the playoffs.

The first thing we had was a tour to Rijeka with a tour guide who had a really nice accent, and was definitely more religious than the other tour guides, going by the extended time we spent in the Church and all compared to the other groups. Apparently there was a monk in one of them, just to my right, and I missed that, instead talking to Jason Z about how temples are slightly different. It was a day for discussions.

I then had a long and interesting talk with Richard Stolk from the Netherlands about authoring in general, authoring an LMI test, and other things. It was nice to talk to someone whose puzzles I really enjoy solving, and also whose two LMI tests were probably among my favorites in this year.

After this, and a brief bragging session of my Team round exploits to a lovely audience, I met Nikola Z from Serbia, and had an interesting talk with him about puzzles and sudokus and the WSC-WPC in general. I was a bit sad Branko C couldn’t come with the Serbian team too, as I wanted to meet people I’d corresponded with in the past. This was all going on as the tour drew to a close.

While walking back to the bus I found myself in the midst of 2 Englishmen and an American discussing the two kinds of footballs and I joined in as I at least follow one “football” being a big fan of Manchester United. After a little discussion about this and that in the Premier League, we were in the bus to Jelačić Square where we would be left to wander along and find our own way for some time. It was here that I had the longest discussion of the day with Thomas S (motris).

The discussion was 10 % about how drunk Tom C can get and how useless Jason Z is, but the other 90% of the time we were discussing play-offs and WPF and organization of the Championships. He’s been pretty outspoken about his views, and I must say I agree with a lot of them. A few points I agreed on were that the playoffs this time didn’t give enough advantage to the top solvers, and also the Sudoku part was a bit mismanaged(as the WPC was yet to come, this was the only evidence we had) and that the play-offs can be kept as a separate attraction(he gave me an example of Antalya where something like this happened). If not as a separate thing, maybe you can keep it as a Round 14 for example, this time, where it just added to the existing points. You have your audience attraction but you’re also not telling someone who’s solved 100s of puzzles that he could get knocked out based on 1 puzzle instead. The Play-offs as an aspect of puzzling sound better than a final judge for puzzling.

So anyway, after all this we went for dinner, where I sat around the huge middle table with the US team and Tom. The experience was really interesting as we ended up solving some Count the Triangles puzzle among other things. It was nice to meet Anderson who I later practically commanded to upload a puzzle upon his return. I’m glad he has, and he better keep things slightly active now 😛 At dinner, my main conversation was with Todd G about general stuff, and with Jason Z about women in India (yea, that was interesting).

During dessert, and after the Sudoku prizes were handed out, 2 Greeks, Iliana G and Antony F, joined our table, and started solving some classic puzzles. Well, mainly Iliana was solving,  Antony was coaching. I joined in the coaching, while getting another chance to brag about my Team exploits, as these were 2 members of Greek B, the team that I beat single handedly. But after introducing myself to them, Iliana practically did all my bragging for me! At this point Thomas was to my right explaining to two people how to create a Sudoku. I think he’s had a blog post for that too. So I had 1 eye on Iliana and her puzzles, the other eye on dessert, and the other eye on Thomas creating and explaining a Sudoku. No wait.. thats not right.

After dinner, the bus back was spent solving Frame Sudokus in an Akil Oyunlari with Joshua Z from USA, and that was quite nice, as Frame Sudoku is one of the variants I like. I’d like to think I helped him a lot with them 😛  We then had the WPC Doubts session where I was half asleep, but managed to listen to all the doubts somehow. Vasso asked an interesting question about offsides in the football puzzle. We should have a Referee in that thing.

Thats all for the 3rd day. My Puzzle link to this is the Even variation Tapa. Most of the day went in discussing the formats, and fairness, and all that, so I thought its apt. If it isn’t, sue me. I have all of no money at all. When the WPC had a Tapa variant that was obviously my first choice to go for. I was doubtful about the Even variation but after creating the 3 puzzles I realized that a lot of fun can be had here. Unfortunately, I think the WPC Puzzle didn’t use the variation enough. It was a nice puzzle, don’t get me wrong, but it was just kind of a huge sized easy puzzle that I finished in under 3 minutes, and you’re expecting more for a really high weight-age puzzle.

Anyway, this one is a PDF Link, as I don’t have it in PNG format. The link is below. I think I should clarify that the ?s can’t be zero, as that was asked by one of the people who tested these.

Tapa variants, with rules.

Enjoy!

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