Monthly Archives: November 2018

New release of puzzle-draw, with new web frontend

I’ve polished up the mess that is puzzle-draw a bit. With the latest release, you should be able to download working binaries for Linux and Mac. More importantly, I put together an ugly but fully functional web frontend that you can use:

Depending on how well the server holds up, you can use it to edit puzzles interactively, and download the graphics in different formats.

It’s still a huge mess of various undocumented puzzle formats, but the examples should give you an idea of what’s possible. Let me know if you have problems, here or on github. In particular, I’m generally always happy to add common puzzle types, as long as someone has a need for them.


WPC 2018, graphs

While analyzing the WPC result for my review series (starting with WPC 2018 review, part 1), I made a couple of pretty graphs, which I’d like to share here. To make these, I scraped the result PDF into a spreadsheet; I hope it’s useful to you.

To start with, a visualization of my scores per round, relative to the 10th best score. This is what I based my analysis on. A very flat Thursday, peak for the Paths round, Friday afternoon dip and then a strong finish.

A graph of the ratio of my score to the 10th best score, round by round.

My score per round relative to 10th best

Next a couple of graphs of how the positions developed over the course of the tournament. As a base-line for each of these, I chose the sum of n-th best scores per round, for a suitable n. First you can see just how much stronger Ken Endo is than anyone else, then that things were more exciting behind him than the first graph shows. And finally a top 20+ graph.

A graph of the top 10 players at the 2018 WPC, round by round.

Top 10 relative to the sum of 5th best scores

A graph of the top 10 players at the 2018 WPC, round by round, with the exception of Ken Endo.

Same graph (relative to 10th best), but excluding Ken Endo

A graph of the top 20+ players except Ken Endo at the 2018 WPC, round by round.

Top 20+ without Ken, relative to 15th best

I’d love to see what else you can get out of the data!

WPC 2018 review, part 5

Welcome back, to the final episode packed with puzzles and drama. For the morning, we had the last two preliminary rounds on the schedule. By this time I knew where I was at: Around 14th place, which is a decent result for me relative to past performance. I managed to decide to be ok with it, particularly with not having come in to the competition in best shape.

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Puzzle 166: Inner ABC

Last one of the WPC preparation puzzles. This is a pretty cool type, but it’s not that easy to pull off – lots of potential to run into contradictions or non-uniqueness. It’s a bit of a confusing rule, but I feel that it works out very well.

An Inner ABC puzzle.Rules Fill the empty cells with letters ABC so that each row and column contains each letter exactly once. (Ignore the clue cells.) The clue cells then indicate all letters that can be seen from that cell in both horizontal and vertical directions. The dashed clue means that there is no common letter to be seen.

Or see the instruction booklet.

Puzzles 164 & 165: Stalagtites and Stalagmites

Two more preparation puzzles. This one is probably my favorite take on the “worm rule”, exhibited here for rows and columns without clues. While constructing, it felt like there might be more potential in the type if the order of stalagtites wasn’t given. (The clues here are all 3s and 4s, in case you have trouble deciphering the typesetting.)

Two Stalagtites and Stalagmites puzzles.Rules Fill the grid with numbers 1 to 5 so that they don’t repeat in rows or columns. The hints around the grid denote all the increasing or decreasing sequences longer than 2 in the given row/column in the correct order. The sequence is increasing from the tip of the sign.

Edit Fixed instructions again.

Or see the instruction booklet.

Puzzle 163: Dissection by Vertices

Another practice puzzle. Apologies for the lazy presentation. Also don’t be disappointed if you don’t find a nice logical path.

A photo of a hand-drawn dissection puzzle.

Dissection by vertices

Rules Split the grid into regions of size 1 through 8. All vertices where three region borders meet are marked by dots. There are no vertices where four region borders meet.

Or read the instruction booklet.

WPC 2018 review, part 2

Second part of my review, with the afternoon of day one. I wrote about the morning in part 1. The afternoon was made up of three long rounds (60 minutes and twice 90 minutes), starting from 14:00. One of the really nice things this year was the consistent and relaxed schedule, with a regular long lunch break from a few minutes past 12 to 14, long enough breaks, and precise starting times. (Besides that first round of the WSC which started 3 minutes early, but… people were consistently on time after that!) I felt that things had been a bit packed and rushed the last three years, so this was a very welcome change to me.

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