Wednesday 24 December 2008

2 + 2 = 5

After noticing that some rather cunning spam had gotten round the anti-spam filter (a question which asked what the colour of a red t-shirt was) to comment on one of my posts – I’ve changed the question. And this is for the better. Now if you wish to leave a comment, you must demonstrate you have a basic grasp of GCSE maths. If you don’t have such a grasp, I probably didn’t want to hear your stupid opinion anyway.

It’s interesting to note I’ll do literally anything before I start packing….

Edit: Perhaps It’s a teeny weeny bit harsh to discriminate against mathematical ignoramuses. So in keeping with the Christmas spirit, please note that this entry’s title (I’ve just noticed) provides the most brilliant cryptic hint for those who are “differently intelligent” as to what you need to answer my little poser.

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Saved for a rainy day

So I decided today (and yesterday) were as good days as any to sit down and have a crack at the puzzles from this year’s world sudoku championships, held during the Easter break in Goa. I’m sure a few readers are familiar with how I was excluded from the team, so I suppose I had a point to prove. Going against me was the fact I’d not really prepared for (or ever seen) some of the variants, but going with me was some arrogance – especially given my recent victory in the nikoli puzzle championships , over a very strong field which included the two time world champion Thomas Snyder.

For the World Championships, all you need to do is complete seven gruelling rounds against the clock; five with lots of clever sudoku variants, and two with classic puzzles everyone knows and loves. All seven rounds contribute to the main contribution, and in addition the two classic rounds contribute to a classic competition.

The upshot of it all having wasted several hours of my life on a competition that’d long been and gone? I’d have been 55 points (perhaps 1 or 2 puzzles over the course of the 7 rounds) off the final playoffs in the main competition in 12th place, and 1 place off the playoffs for the classic competition (5th). Not quite as good as the undoubted star of UK puzzling, David McNeil, but I feel in sudoku at least I’m closing the gap. I suppose there’s always next year.

In a comment in one of my earlier rants, Lucy asked if I was bitter much? Being in a more diplomatic mood, I’ll refrain from commenting!

Thursday 17 April 2008

WSC 2008, Goa

Ok it feels a little odd to write about a sudoku championship I didn’t go to. I’ll start by posting the results :


1. Thomas Snyder (USA)
2. Yuhei Kusui (Japan)
3. Jakub Ondrousek (Czech Republic)
4. Jakub Hrazdira (Czech Republic)


1. Thomas Snyder (USA)
2. David McNeill (UK)
3. Michael Ley (Germany)
4. Jakub Ondrousek (Czech Republic)

[For more about the formats of the competition, see here: ]

Firstly my congratulations go to Thomas Snyder, who was pretty much everyone’s favourite to go on and retain his title. However it’s absolutely tremendous to see David M doing so well – apaprently he was very near the top in the overall competition as well. After finishing 4th last year (and missing out on the limelight), I’m really glad he’s managed to do even better this year. David is a proper gent, and a formidable puzzler; I don’t think anyone deserves it more. I for one hope that when the UK nationals come around again something can be arranged for him to compete – he wasn’t there last September when I won.

However I’d like to say that I hope the fuckwit judges at Puzzler Media are feeling very small right now. There’s no doubting David’s abilities, but I give him a good run for his money on classic sudokus. Together with my previous championship experience I think I’m justified in thinking I’d have had at least an outside shot at the classic title, and a fairly strong overall competition. Simply put, the team was weakened by the lack of my presence on it.

On a personal level its absolutely galling. From a team perspective it’s simply nonsensical. I’m 100% sure I’d have convincingly outperformed whoever was unfortunate to have been the worst Brit. Hopefully I get my hands on the puzzles soon. I can’t put into words how much I want to not only to stick two fingers back at Puzzler Media by winning the next national championship, and then having another crack at the world championships.

Anyhow, thats more than enough sour grapes from me. I look forward to hearing about how the rest of the UK team got on. Oh errr yeah and revising for my exams on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Hmm, maybe it’s best I wasnt over in Goa after all…

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