So I’m now running a day behind, and I’m quite tired after staying up far too late with Jason and Will B racing on various puzzle types. Will was asking the other day whether I’d written nice things about him, and I now realise I’ve not had anything to say at all. Now that I’m here it seems crazy that he wasn’t on the US A team, but the 3 remaining Brits (who I’ve not yet introduced either – Mike Colloby, Gareth Moore and Nick Gardner) were very glad to have Will come and make up the numbers for an unofficial UN team.
Ah yes, enough excuses for delayed posts, and more actual content. The first round, which by my count was round 8, was full of decorated sudoku. This generally means that some cells in a puzzle had some sort of relation, and some decoration was made if and only if the relation held. There were two each of the five variants, typically one with lots of decoration, and then one with no decoration – i.e. you had to use the only if inference a lot. I’m reliably informed the Rossini was a monster; fortunately I skipped over this in the round. I ended up with 6 puzzles, again solid and unspectacular.
Round 9 was a sprint, containing six 6×6 classics, 6 9×9 classics, and 3 each of diagonal and irregular puzzles. Nothing too much to say about this round, except that I had a bit of a brain fart on the first irregular puzzle and then skipped the other 2; I still had a good round however, getting the other 15 puzzles out in the 30 minutes given.
Round 10 seemed a priori to be the one that was going to settle things, with a massive 940 points at stake, but in practice it was filled with so many puzzles that no-one was ever going to finish it and it was more a case of picking the right puzzles to do in the given 70 minutes. I can remember solving stuff in this round, but even immediately after at lunch I wasn’t entirely sure which puzzles I’d been solving – either 425 or 450 points worth. Anyway, this seemed like a fairly good effort.
The scores before lunch I think were roughly filtering through, and I was steadily rising from somewhere in the 60’s, and then the 40’s. I had the feeling that whilst perhaps not making up spectacular amounts of ground, I was certainly not conceding any.