Thank you for still stopping by even when the blog is so inactive. After a dismal showing at the WPC, I’m determined to improve and learn newer methods to solve puzzles, thus, I have been spending more time solving puzzles than constructing. Even though the blog is quiet; I still manage to pull myself together and write some puzzles that appeared in offline events in the UK, Hungary, India, Serbia and France. Maybe they will turn up in my Flashbacks section later in the future.
The SOTR Holiday Quiz, though I hope, is a permanent thing I can keep doing.
Instructions: Answer as many questions as you can. You don’t have to answer all the questions. Submit your entry at the entry form below. The highest scorer will receive a copy of Nikoli no Penpa 2020 published by Nikoli. You can submit multiple times but only your latest submission will count – so you can change your answers until the deadline on Thursday 9th January. Questions can be made by commenting on this post or by e-mail to roygbivpuzzles (at) gmail (dot) com.
Tie-Breaks: If the highest score is achieved by multiple entrants, the entry that scored the highest in Search What (question 4) wins. If the tie remains unbroken; the entry that scored the highest in Word Bubbles (question 7) wins. Rock-Paper-Scissors will decide any further ties.
Q1: Octochamps [1 point]
For the first time in its 92-year history, after competing well past the schedule into the night, this year’s edition had 8 people finishing first equal. What were they competing in?
Q2: Train of Thought [3 points]
If you happen to be peering over the shoulders of a puzzler and hear, “2 has to go here, and 9 can’t be here… so it must be here. Ok. Now this row is missing… a 5…”, you can be certain that a sudoku solve is in progress. Take a look at another train of thought during a solving of a sudoku. Who is solving the sudoku?
Q3: Secret Santa [2 points]
Ho! Ho! Ho! Have you been good? Who is this person dressed up as Santa Claus?
Q4: Search What? [2,2,2,2,4,3,2,2,3 points]
I image-searched several puzzles but, unfortunately, they are not popular enough to produce pictures of the actual puzzles. Some of my findings for each search are shown here. Can you figure out which puzzles I was looking for?
Q5: Instructionless [3 points]
Solve this puzzle. Oh. I seem to have misplaced the instructions. In that case, just figure out what this puzzle type is. [This puzzle is not a variant of an existing type. It has a unique solution.]
Q6: Not Today, AI [3 points]
Ever since IBM’s Deep Blue 1997 defeat of world chess champion Garry Kasparov, several other once human-dominated pursuits have slowly been taken over by artificial intelligence. In 2011 supercomputer Watson disposed two Jeopardy champions and later in 2016 AlphaGo defeated go champion Lee Sedol.
Not quite IBM’s calibre, but another computer program has been trying to outwit humans in a popular endeavour since 2012, where it debuted in 141st place. It has unofficially competed yearly ever since. This year, in Stamford, it finished in 14th place. What is the name of this rapidly improving computer program?
Q7: Word Bubbles [1,2,2,3,3,3,3,3 points]
Figure out the names of each puzzle type using the given word bubbles. Letters in green bubbles are consonants whereas yellow bubbles are vowels. Names are written in lower cases; so tall bubbles would represent tall letters (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) and hanging bubbles would hold letters with a “tail” (g, j, p, q, y).
Q9: Christmas Trees [3 points]
A group of friends have decorated their personal Christmas trees. Due to a mix-up while transporting them, one of the trees has been lost in the mix. Can you figure out which tree belongs to Manea?
Choose from the four choices below.
Thanks for playing!
See you in 2020!