Friday 10 July 2020

Thoughts on the near future of this blog

So I put out some puzzles earlier today, and I called them Friday Puzzles because it happens to be a Friday.  However I don't think it's going to be a revival of a regular series of posting.  I suspect that whenever I do post a puzzle, I'll retain the numbering, but I won't be too bothered about things if the day in the week happens not to be a Friday.

There are a couple of things to look out for in the near future of this blog.

The first thing will be an exploration of my interest in ratings systems.  Generally the ratings systems used in the likes of Football, Tennis, Chess, various computer games all leave at least something to be desired, and I have some ideas which might go some way to addressing these short-comings.  There is a lot of good, freely available, data in the results of various puzzle and sudoku competitions covering a good period of time, and so this is probably where I'll make a first go of things.  Needless to say this will be strictly unofficial, in association with no-one other than myself, and on a just-for-fun basis. 

My exact mechanism might need a few goes to get the details exactly right, and will probably reveal its own set of shortcomings, but I am excited to be giving that a go in the coming weeks.  I'll probably put out a blog post outlining some of the theory behind my ideas as well.

My second idea is to revive something like the old time trials, whereby I'll put out a puzzle at a given time, and then anyone who happens to be around races to register the first finishing time, which i affectionately remember being referred to as a "1get".  This won't be a 100% polished experience without any further expertise and collaboration, but on the other hand I think plenty is achievable with the likes to google forms and  I'd probably look to be handing out some kind of prizes to UK participants at least.  Note that this would be purely on my own behalf, and not as part of any organisation.

My third idea might look to start some kind of a puzzle club that eventually ends up replacing regular puzzles being posted here.  This may well feature sudoku variations that are on the harder end of the difficulty scale, and that may cross over the "solves like" criteria of the "What is a Sudoku?" view of the world.  Maybe this gets splits up into seasons, or even just over the course of a year, and again with some kind of self-funded prizes being up for grabs.  This is probably the least developed idea I have for now, and I can certainly see it ending up down one of many possible initial choice of routes.

Time will tell as to how far are get with any of those three ideas, but I am quite excited by the idea of doing things on my own terms and seeing what happens.  It feels like reviving the spirit from the good old days a bit, and i think will help me feel a bit better about the puzzling world.  Hopefully that will end up being the case!

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