Held in Pune last month was the Indian Sudoku and Puzzle Championships. For the past 4 editions I’ve contributed Sudokus and often-questionable non-WPC puzzles (which end up in the aptly named “Hangover” round). The opportunity to organize ISPC came to me at the end of June, after no one apparently wanted to take the role.
I initially declined since whatever limited spare time I had left; I was using it for Pulze. I reconsidered after Prasanna reached out personally when it seemed they were genuinely in hot water. Considering the two-week miracle that was the WS+PC and all the lessons learnt, more optimism was warranted this time round. I am very thankful for Harmeet and Deb’s patience when the deadline was approaching fast.
The recruitment phase is always a joy and I decided on having two separate teams. We ended up with quite a line-up for both ISC (Sam Cappleman-Lynes, Sinchai Rungsangrattanakul, Siyuan Luo, Mingyi Wang, Qianzi Li and Nikola Zivanovic) and IPC (Jeffrey Bardon, Walker Anderson, Ryotaro Chiba, Chenhao Xu and Chiel Beenhakker). If you’re an author, keep doing what you’re doing. I see you. Maintain your blog. Enjoy puzzles. And maybe we’ll work together some time. We had about a month to cook up the puzzles and despite a bit of a rush in the final week, I’d say we delivered very well. Extended thanks to our very diligent testers: Tantan, Yanzhe and Murat. Tantan is going to be 2022 World Sudoku Champion. She’s a machine. This October is her competition to lose.
A lot of hard decisions were made to nerf and/or exclude puzzles. It is easy the get carried away with difficulty and given the beginner-heavy ISPC solvers I was glad the level was adjusted the way it is. For a small price, you can purchase all the competition booklets, along with extra fun rounds and playoffs puzzles, by shooting an email to: email@example.com
Given the editorial power, I went haywire in the Hangover round. Unrestrained to say the least. I also seem to have a thing for puzzles that take hours to make and two minutes to solve. Inspired by Nikoli’s colour pages that often run it, I made my first picture word hunt. I drew Krakow’s St. Mary’s Church at work and was pondering how to turn it into a puzzle. It is super hazy whether this qualifies as a puzzle at all.
That’s it from me.
See you next time.