National Qualifiers

With college workload increasing, things are going to slow down from here. Two final parts of Anchors Aweigh solutions are still to come. In the meantime, why not check out some national championship puzzles recently? I use to enjoy comparing my results to other countries’ qualifying scores to see if I’d make the team if I was an official participant. With the WSC/WPC looming near, several countries are already forming their teams using online tests.

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USSC and USPC were the first to finish. The USSC looked a bit incomplete without Thomas Snyder writing his share of puzzles with Wei-Hwa Huang. The lack of notifications certainly didn’t help increase the number of participants either. On the other hand, the USPC is like a yearly tradition for me and having to sit out this year was a shame. As always, the puzzles are top-notch and I am looking forward to solve them later.

UKSC and UKPC followed trend a week later. UKSC is already finished but nothing’s stopping you from trying out the puzzles if you haven’t done so. Tom Collyer’s sudokus are usually clean, fair difficulty level and visually-appealing, which is just how I like sudokus. The UKPC started yesterday and will end on Monday. I have the vibe that UKPC looks better and better every year. And yes, I’m being bias because some of my puzzles are in it 🙂
You can see three of my puzzles mixed in with other great puzzles so dive in and see if you can beat Neil Zussman.

JNPC and JPC took place just a few hours ago. I remembered digging for Tetsuya Nishio Cup Number Place Championship (or something like that) and enjoyed it so much that I had to reprint the whole lot and redo it. The puzzles are bound to be awesome. Some Japanese puzzle fans generously translated these contests for us since last year so the JPC won’t be an instructionless test for foreigners anymore. Too bad the contest didn’t open for the whole weekend unlike…

IPC and ISC. The puzzle test takes place right now as I’m typing this and will open for 2 more days. The ISC will be on next weekend. I like the way LMI standardized the IPC/ISC sets throughout the years. You get a certain puzzle type and one of its variants to solve in 150 minutes. I also like the first puzzle of the IPC each year. It’s usually some fun match-ups or short puzzle questions you don’t see often in normal online tests. I’ve never took part in IPC/ISC because somehow each year I won’t have access to a printer during that particular weekend. This is 2014 and history is repeating itself. I guess I’ll compare my performance afterwards.

Back to my blog.
This morning I received a parcel in the mail.

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Ta-da!
Extra copies of Battleship Sudoku had just arrived!
I’ll be mailing this off to the 3 lucky winners of Anchors Aweigh as soon as I can.
Want to be as lucky as they are?
Well, you’ll have to enter!
Currently, I have new events drawn up for July and October. If my productivity improves maybe I’ll start early. Check this space for more announcements, or even better, subscribe to my blog updates to ensure you will not miss an event!

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Solutions to Anchors Aweigh – 2/4

Puzzle 3 – Hexagon Battleships
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This is the first time I tried constructing puzzles on a hexagonal grid. I Googled some hexagonal grid paper and printed them out just for the occasion. I made several Hexagon Battleships and all they turned out to be too difficult. I find that this one (which isn’t that easy either) was the most suitable. The intended opening was the 3 crossing the 1. You will find the right cell that needs to be omitted from housing a ship.

Fascinatingly, the large Battleship doesn’t come in play until half way through the puzzle.

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Puzzle 4 – Classic Battleships (medium)
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First of all, let’s begin filling in the obvious:

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One destroyer and several ship segments (blue cells) are already discovered. It is useful to know that in a standard set of Battleships, 20 cells are used. The bottom clues add up to 15 (6+5+4), so only 5 cells that are not in those 3 columns can afford to hold a ship. You can see that 4 out of those 5 are already found which means only one cell in the 7 remaining columns contains a ship.

The next step here is a little tricky. Look at the “3” clue (the top one). You can no longer put 3 ship parts in the 3 clued columns – this means at least one ship-containing cell will belong somewhere in the remaining 7 columns. If you noticed this, you can eliminate all remaining unclued rows that do not overlap the 3 clued columns.

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Wow! Now that’s a short cut! You now fill the remaining ships in like the commanding captain you are!

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Solutions to Anchors Aweigh – 1/4

fleetaaPuzzle 1 – Classic Battleships [Easy]puz1clase Anchors Aweigh included 3 classics. The first classic is straightforward and shouldn’t pose any significant problems. All deductions were easy. Almost everything was forced. The Battleship and two submarines were left in the end. These only fit one way at the bottom right quadrant of the grid. aapuz1ansPuzzle 2 – Chess Battleshipspuz2mate In all Chess Battleships, the deduction usually starts at the King. All four corners of the King must be used by different ships, so you can cross out the four cells that are adjacent to the King. aapuz2ansaIn this particular puzzle, there are two possible locations for the Battleship where every piece can attack it. If you tried the blue location, you will notice that the Knight will not be able to attack 4 ships. So we can be certain that the Battleship has to be at the orange position. aapuz2ansb In the diagram above, “?” represent cells that will be occupied by a ship. The green cells are attacked by the Knight, and the Bishop attacks the remaining blue cells. Working with long ships, we now locate the 2 cruisers. One cruiser will be near the King, away from the Rook. So the remaining cruiser will have to be looming near the Rook. The next thing to note is that none of the green cells will be attacked by the Rook. This means the cruiser that the Knight attacks will be shared with the King, incidentally there is only one spot for that. aapuz2anscThe remaining cruiser has to be attacked by three remaining pieces; Queen, Rook and Bishop. Again, only one position that meets all the criteria. At this point, keep tracker of the Rook and Queen’s directions. They must attack only four ships. The Rook has to attack a ship at all sides. The Queen already strikes twice diagonally and twice vertically so there shouldn’t be any ships horizontal to the Queen. You can determine one destroyer right away where it is attacked by the Bishop and King. The remaining corner of the King has to be a submarine. Now the remaining ships shouldn’t be too hard to fiddle in. aapuz2ansd