March 30th, 2005


The puzzle season starts here

Dates for the 14th World Puzzle Championship have been announced: 8th-13th October, puzzles on the 10th to 12th, at the Eger Park Hotel in Eger, Hungary, which is an hour and a half north-east of Budapest. As well as the main championship, the World Crossword Puzzle Championship, the World Pop-Rock Quiz Championship and the "not officially World Scrabble Championship', for which the early favourite must be "won 8, lost 1, won 17" oinomel71. He wasn't even playing the Scrabble might of the Middlesbrough Gamers Club.

This is particularly interesting because "this year the organisers allow everyone to take part on the WPC individually or as a member of a your country's B-team" - accordingly, unless there are extra limits placed (say, one B team per country? One B team and one C team?) we can expect at least a dozen top US puzzlers who are not quite good enough to make the national team this year to come across and try their chances, plus sundry other chancers. Personally, I welcome this, not least because I really don't fancy my chances of making the UK team this year, unless in a chancing capacity. On the downside, I don't think they're allowing nearly enough time for the questions meeting on the Friday beforehand, unless they're going to do something cunning like requiring all questions to be sent in beforehand.

Of course, this overlaps with The Witching Hour that runs from 6th-10th October. I still need to pull off a shift swap to be able to attend TWH - and, frankly, I'm not especially confident that it'll happen. (The shift swap, not TWH. TWH will happen for sure, and it'll be fantastic. So will Accio 2005, which I will sadly miss.) Going from Boston to Budapest is a tremendously fanciful idea, but full participation in both events would be impossible. However, the possibility of going to Eger just to blog the World Puzzle Championship is an interesting one, especially as Easyjet fly between Newcastle and Budapest for less than fifty quid...
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