Friday 4 February 2022

Puzzle Design Competition - Public Vote

Hi everyone,

In case you haven't already seen, I have published the anonymised entries of the Sudoku Fixed Layout Design Competition.  Thanks once again to each of the authors who contributed a puzzle.

The puzzles can be found:
Please note that I haven't asked the authors whether they are happy to provide links to online solving tools, so please take this into consideration before transposing the puzzles and sharing.

As a reminder, I will be awarding 3 x £25 prizes to my person favourites.  The fourth £25 prize will be awarded to the winner of the public vote.

In order to vote, you need to select your own 3 favourite entries and order them in preference.  Your first preference will score 5 points, your second will score 3 points, and your 3rd will score 1 point.  At the end I'll add up the points and whoever has the most will win.

To ensure that people only vote once, the form requires you to be logged in to google.  If this is a concern to you, please leave a comment and I'll see if there's another way that you're able to cast a vote.

Closing date for votes will be: 23.59pm GMT on Monday 14th February.


  1. That is quite a few entries, but I am assuming non-entrants still get to vote, adding a dozen more votes or so. However, what happens if an entrant doesn’t vote and the rest do? This might perhaps be as unfair as the possible rigging you have already handled in employing Forms.
    Or, unlikely though, what happens if you receive no votes at all?

  2. All good points! I was thinking about this as I was writing the post, and realised the last thing I wanted to do was to turn the public vote into an exercise in game theory for the authors.

    I suppose the fairest thing to do is to disregard the votes of all entrants. This feels contrary to the spirit of the competition so I will only fall back to this as a last resort.

    Thankfully I do already have some votes, so at least the no vote scenario is off the table.

    My inclination is to let authors vote (or not) as they please. Clearly this means there’s a possibility people vote for themselves, which is not ideal, but I suppose I’ll have to live with that this time - I don’t think it’s fair to start changing the rules after the vote has started. I am hopeful there will be enough votes that it won’t really matter (ie the winning margin is more than 5 points where that entry has someone voting for themselves)

  3. I don't really mind a 5-point vote losing relevance, but any authors voting after reading your last comment might find themselves in a dilemma around the possibility that hadn't occurred to them until now - it would make sense to vote for oneself given a low voters-to-entries ratio - and that it will not be discarded.

  4. If enough authors find that the dilemma is causing them to be unhappy with the process and that the whole thing is unfair, then I will go back to the original option of disregarding any votes from authors.

    I’d prefer not to do that - the competition is meant to be good natured and in good faith. I’d like to think authors would be happy to see other creations and vote to their preferences fairly (or not at all). But otherwise, I can’t see another fair option.


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