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.
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.
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.
Top 10 relative to the sum of 5th best scores
Same graph (relative to 10th best), but excluding Ken Endo
Top 20+ without Ken, relative to 15th best
I’d love to see what else you can get out of the data!
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.
Time for the next batch of puzzle rounds at the 2018 WPC, with Friday afternoon, which had a focus on novel types and variants. Besides three individual rounds, we met the first team rounds. (The previous parts of this sequence: part 1, part 2, part 3.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
On to Friday morning. Read about Thursday in part 1 and part 2. The day started with a round playing to my strengths:
Another practice puzzle. Apologies for the lazy presentation. Also don’t be disappointed if you don’t find a nice logical path.
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.
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.
This one is a hybrid of Starbattle and Heyawake (Heyawacky). Since apparently I haven’t had enough skyscrapers, I keep misnaming this “Skywacky”. Inspiration?
Rules Solve as a regular Star Battle. In addition, connected stretches of empty cells aren’t allowed to cross more than one region border.