Continuing from yesterday, exhausted already, I started the WSC participating as an unofficial (the sole member of Team India-B). The Indian team was Rohan Rao, Gaurav Korde, Sumit Bothra, Rakesh Rai. After the first liar round, 2nd to 4th rounds were all connected/relay type, and there was a need to be really careful in all of these, as one mistake spells trouble in many different places.
Round 1 – Pinocchio –
This was a bit of a disastrous start. I did 5 out of the 7 grids here. There was an easy Diagonal where I reached a contradiction 4 times, and never got a solution out(realized later I’d misplaced a digit at the start and never erased it). Then there was a Classic that I just about saw the break-in to as the timer ran out. So 5 it was, and I later got to know that I’d switched the Liar for one of them, which led to a mistake-filled grid.
Round 2 – Smurfs –
Here there were 3 grids connected by a two digit number, in 2 adjacent circled cells. I did the first 4 sets alright, but made mistakes in one-two of the grids in the 5th and 6th set. So I was never sure till I saw the results whether the grids I actually solved from those 2 sets were correct. Fortunately, it turned out they were.
Round 3 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves –
This round had a somewhat pointless carry over of one digit from each grid, and a characterization of the dwarves so that we could substitute their digits in the final hugely weighted grid. I say pointless because almost everyone got the numbers of the dwarves immediately. I think such a round should be progressive, and then once you get all numbers, the last grid should solve at somewhat medium level. Instead, the entire Indian team and many others, got all the numbers almost immediately, jumped to the last grid to grab some good points and got utterly stuck. For good measure, I did this too, made some progress and then got a contradiction. I then went back to the other grids and solved them all except the Halved Squares with these same digits, so while it all went smoothly, since the big grid went wrong I was always fearful here. Fortunately, I again had got the digits right and just made a mistake in the final grid’s solve.
Round 4 – Muppets –
This was a horrible round. It took about 7-8 minutes for me to get all the muppets, after some really annoying constant turning of the papers to check through each grid(not sure if there was a better way to go about it). Once I did get the Muppets, the expectation was again that it’d all be pretty much medium difficulty and I could rush through them. As it happens, they were extremely difficult grids even after this. I solved 5 grids, and I think there were 30? At least 15. And just as I was down in the dumps and talking to others while leaving the room, I found out that 5 is actually pretty good.
Round 5 – Professor Balthazar –
Before the WSC I’d singled this round out as my round. But typically, I botched it up the most. I was expecting a score of 64, after just about not being able to get out a high pointer that’d put me in the late 70s. This went from bad to worse as I had 2 unfilled cells in 2 grids in the same round. 64 became 45. I should mention, this and the next round were the only ones where I really enjoyed solving the grids.
Round 6 – Disneyland –
This was a bunch of random variants. At this point I was battling complete mental exhaustion. I battled out the grids and put up a really low score. Even in this low score there turned out to be errors and it became a lower score. Not one to talk about.
Round 7 – TnT –
I hated this round. There was too much variance. Since there were 3 overlapping grids, if you had all of them solved, you could yell finished, or there might be few seconds to go and you are staring at a 0 score with few digits left in all 3 grids. Again, typically I was of the latter category. I just about dug out the big middle grid for 12 points. 1 more minute in, I’d probably have finished it as well. Some top solvers did really badly in this round, and with all the bonuses, there was a lot of change in the rankings.
Now we come to the team rounds. Caution – there may be bragging.
So a brief intro – As mentioned I was the sole member of Team B. And there happened to be 25 Unofficials I think, who had to go around talking to each other to form their teams of 4. I hadn’t really done that, so I was the one left with no team. So I did the obvious thing and went to Goran and asked him if I could do the team rounds alone. The organizers were kind enough to let me do so, and to everyone’s amusement, they got me a little table with one chair in the middle of a bunch of teams who all wished me luck as obviously I would need it.
Round 8 – Cinderella’s diamond –
We were given a big bunch of grids to interlink by the corners and form a big diamond, and then solve the last Sudoku in between formed by the diamond. I solved 3 grids here which amounted to 45 points. Team India A got 105 points. Including me there were 38 teams and I beat 9 of them in this round.
Round 9 – Three Little Pigs –
This was a somewhat painful round for everyone. We were to place 3 pieces into each of 6 grids, and solve each grid. The problem here was, sometimes you’d get 3 pieces fitting, and even a solution, but if you considered all 6 grids, the use of these particular pieces here would leave those grids without a solution and you got a cruel 0 points for solving that grid. Anyway, I did 2 grids fine and then had the pieces fitting, but got a mistake right at the end somewhere, after a smooth solve till then. No one was sure of their points for this round due to the above mentioned difficulties. Team India A solved 4 but got just 2 right. I got both of mine right. So in this round, I tied with team India A with 50 points. I also tied with 7 other teams and beat 12 teams in this round.
The entire team results consider each of the 4 members’ individual scores as well in the total, and as I had just one individual score to get added, I finished far below what my Team showings indicated. I still managed to beat all of one team, i.e. Greek B. This was quite an accomplishment and I’m happy with it.
By the time all of this got over, it was dinner time! A full day of Sudokus. The exhaustion carried on.
So anyway, coming to today’s puzzles, its a weak relative to the Relay Rounds, (well any WSC connection was bound to be weak as I create just puzzles) 3 puzzles based on Arrows pointing to things.
The first is an Arrow Maze, the 2nd a Domino Arrows puzzle and the 3rd is a Domino Arrows puzzle without the domino sums. So just tile in shaded 1×2 cells without writing numbers in them. I created this during practice as I wanted to see just how much the arrows can influence things without the sums.
Arrow Maze – Find a path through the maze by visiting every cell of the grid exactly once. Start with the cell with number 1, then right numbers in order in each cell you visit and finish in cell with number 36. You can jump from one cell to another(not necessarily neighbouring cell) horizontally or vertically but only in the direction of the arrow. Some numbers are already given.
Domino Arrows – Place a complete Domino set (1-1 to 5-5 in the first one, and just 15 numberless dominos in the second one) in the grid so that no two dominos touch each other, not even diagonally. Each arrow in the grid points at exactly 3 different dominos and each domino tile in the grid is pointed at by only one arrow. Numbers above and to the left indicate how many cells are occupied by dominos in the corresponding row/column. Numbers below and to the right indicate the sum of the numbers in the corresponding row/column(not applicable for 2nd one)