The regular readers of this blog will know that I am regularly directing you to the Logic Masters India website. Regular visitors there will know that I’m extremely active there, and take some part in the organizing side of things too, when I’m not participating. Basically, I sometimes handle the communication part with the authors, before they send their booklets on to Deb. Then Deb handles everything from there. So, I obviously believe in the LMI process of hosting contests, and I’m involved in it in my own little way, so when criticism arises, no matter how utterly meaningless, I feel I owe a little reply (especially when I’m indirectly mentioned within the post).
Firstly, a little about the critic himself :
The critic, as a puzzle author, has a reputation that precedes himself, from various sites, and also his personal blog. This reputation is that the majority of his puzzles are broken (be it without solution or non-unique). If one were to include, by his definition, “miscommunication of rules” into it, then that’d make even more of his puzzles broken. There are enough comments, opinions, feedback from websites and respected puzzle solvers, and also my own personal experience, that the critic’s reputation is a valid one.
So when he wanted to host a test on LMI, the main worry was that a majority of the puzzles would have problems. I decided to go ahead and give him a chance. So I told him, strictly, that he should get the entire set test-solved by two known puzzle solvers, who should personally tell me that the test quality is good, and then I will suggest to Deb to host the test. A little later, the critic sent me a message that he wants confirmation that the test will indeed be held, because he would find it painful to draw the images, and wouldn’t want to without confirmation. I confess I completely ignored him from this point on, as I really think we’d given him enough of a chance in the circumstances. He definitely should not expect a confirmation, with his reputation, before the puzzles have been seen by anyone.
Now for the LMI process :
LMI expects the authors themselves to review their sets with 1 or 2 testers, to confirm validity and assign difficulty-based points. This is, I think, quite a normal process, and is just as much for the good of the author as it is for the good of LMI. It is true that 2012 had two broken puzzles. LMI conducted 22 Monthly Tests, 6 Beginners’ Contests, 8 Annual Contests in 2012. That should easily cross 500 for total number of puzzles, with 2 broken. LMI owes this accuracy rate to the authors and their own process of test solving. At points when authors can’t get test solvers, me or Deb will talk to someone for it. And if untested, it will not be allowed. I think the system works, but I’ll let people judge. Anyone who wants to author a test, and do it right, can contact us (me or Deb), and we will guide you.