Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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UK Puzzle Championship this weekend

This weekend sees the UK Puzzle Championship. Take part online at no charge from wherever you are in the world; pick a starting time of your choice between, er, yesterday and 23:30 UK time on Sunday 26th, and solve as many points' worth of puzzles as you can in 2½ hours. Top UK solver jumps the queue and advances directly to the UK team for the World Puzzle Championship in Hungary.

If you have the sort of passing interest in puzzles that suggests you might be happy to do puzzles once per year, this is a fine opportunity. The proportion of what might be considered standard puzzle types is relatively low (...or if you disagree, then chances are you know about the UKPC already...) and the proportion of puzzles that might be considered original, or at least moderately unusual variants of standard types, is correspondingly high; however, the puzzles are not desperately difficult examples of the genre. This maximises the chance of there being those fun occasions where you think "I have no chance of being able to solve this"... and then you prove yourself wrong by actually solving it.

I had the happy experience of trying eight different puzzles and completing all eight within the time limit, even though at least two of them were of types with which I habitually feel unconfident; after that, I made the wrong tactical choice to prefer to start an interesting-looking high-value puzzle instead of a quick low-value one and didn't complete it. Furthermore, I emphasise that I am not a particularly accomplished puzzle solver, being 13th out of 15 in the UK rankings at this moment in time. There's plenty of reasonably accessible stuff, even if no complete cakewalks to get things started.

An excellent test if time permits; if not, there's always the US Puzzle Championship, probably to be expected in August.

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