Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Down to six for the semi-finals

1118: We're not much with the concept of having a gap between rounds here - pack the puzzles in and get the action over quickly. The semi-finals work in much the same way as the quarters, 13 minutes to solve as many puzzles as possible with seeding breaking ties, but this time there are four puzzles to crack in thirteen minutes, not three. Ley, Horvath and Barkan are underway.

1120: Your semi-final puzzles are: Multiplication Table, fill in a 1-to-5 Latin Square so that when you multiply the contents of certain 2x2 squares within then you get specific products; placing seven tetaminoes in a hex grid so that there are certain numbers of cells filled in in each row; filling the missing squares of a 14x10 noughts-and-crosses grid in to produce no lines of four consecutive noughts or crosses and a very nice puzzle about drawing a path through a grid so that it goes through exactly one square of each of a number of 2x2 blocks.

1124: Zoltan Horvath has flipped the page but left the bottom left square blank when it needs to be filled in! Will he spot this later? Will he have time to check? Will this lose him the semi-final?

1129: All four contestants have left the multiplication table for last. These aren't big puzzles, but I doubt that I could do all four in less than an hour - the nice-looking path-drawing one might defeat me altogether. 13 minutes is right out.

1130: A minute to go and Horvath hasn't left the multiplication table for last, he's working on the hexagonal tetraminoes instead. This will be a real race against time.

1131: Stop! ...aaaand they're all shaking their heads, but at least they're doing so pretty evenly. The scuttlebutt is that Roger Barkan might have won it, but 3/4 would be a very good score on this round.

1132: Or has Michael Ley done enough? We shall see, really very soon. Trying to build up suspense between lines of a blog entry, lines posted a minute apart, is possibly a little strained.

1134: Barkan 3/4, Horvath 2/4, Ley 1/4. Scuttlebutt, you're sacked. Scuttlebutt reading over my shoulder... perhaps these things are harder to call after all. Barkan advances, Voigt needs 2/4 to advance, his opponents need 3/4 to advance.

1135: Semi-final two is underway and all three solvers have leapt to different puzzles. Gary Sherman, Canadian team captain (and an old friend dating back to Stamford in 2000) is capturing the action on a tiny little camcorder.

1138: Roest may have finished the noughts and crosses and seems to be the first to flip a page, with Ulrich Voigt in hot pursuit. I suspect the contestants are all concentrating far too hard to have time to listen out for their competitors turning pages.

1139: Leroy flips, a minute behind the other two, but Nick Deller behind me (who is very kindly letting me use his computer and wireless card for this live blogging) suspects the puzzle wasn't completed.

1141: Voigt and Roest flip again, but we can't be sure that either have correct answers yet. The noughts-and-crosses and Latin Squares definitely seem to be being solved before the other two.

1142: I hope nobody minds too much that I'm not <lj-cut>ting this. Puzzlers for years to come will read this, maybe. In which case, I'd like to thank all the organisers at this point for a fantastic championship; if you weren't there, you missed out.

1143: Voigt has two good-looking complete solutions and seems to be making quick progress on the multiplication tables. Nobody has touched the tetraminoes yet.

1145: Probable third solution for Voigt, possible third solution for Roest, and they're both onto the tetraminoes. Sebastien Leroy looks out of it, but that's what we said last time in a comically incorrect fashion.

1146: The two front-runners look like they're struggling with the tetraminoes just a little, but Ulrich Voigt has been on outstanding form over the championship and must surely be hard to oppose. (There, that's the kiss of death...)

1148: Into the closing seconds. The organisers have done a fantastic job at producing just the right amount of puzzles to discriminate amongst the very best solvers. Really it's just a comparison of speed at this level, which is probably as it should be.

1149: There's an awful lot of ticks (US: check marks) going on Ulrich's pages. David McNeill in front of me has just finished one of the quarter-final puzzles in about 29 minutes, and he came top of the British team. Mmmmm.

1150: We think the score is 3-3-1, to make it a Roest-Barkan-Voigt final, but we shall see.

1151: Spot on, and Roest, Barkan and Voigt all take 3/4 records into a #1 seed - #4 seed - #9 seed final, squarely enough.

1152: Finals start at midday - nay, high noon. Good, that'll give me a few minutes to upload this.
Tags: live, puzzles, wpc, wpc 2004, wpc 2004 finals

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