Division D 2020-21

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pinkagape
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Division D 2020-21

Post by pinkagape » Sun 04 Oct, 2020 7:19 pm

Hi everyone

Next weekend the first Beginners Round of puzzles will be produced for the UK Puzzle League 2020-21.

This will be a set of standard Fillomino, which forms the first scoring round of Division D. The rules of Fillomino can be found on the Puzzle Rules board.

If you are competing in Division D this year, you will need to download and print the puzzles, then time yourself to see how long it takes you to complete each puzzle. If you make a mistake and want to start again, you should not restart the clock.

I hope that competitors will be able to find the time to complete all puzzles over Friday 9th October to Monday 12th October, but if competitors are only able to complete some of the puzzles, this will still allow them to score points towards the Division D standings.

Puzzlers who are not in Division D will also be able to download the puzzles and submit their times (for a separate leaderboard).

Upon completion of the puzzles, you will be asked to email the times and an answer key for each puzzle, but more details for this will be given when the puzzle booklet is ready.

A reminder that anyone interested in taking a place in the UK Puzzle League should email their interest to adam@ukpuzzles.org this week, and the initial league distribution will be shared on 15th October.

Schedule for the 2020-2021 season:

10th/11th October - Beginners Fillomino
14th/15th November - Beginners Tapa
12th/13th December - Beginners Four Winds
16th/17th January - Beginners Skyscrapers
13th/14th February - Beginners Minesweeper
13th/14th March - Beginners Masyu

(edited to include schedule)
Last edited by pinkagape on Sun 18 Oct, 2020 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pinkagape
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by pinkagape » Wed 07 Oct, 2020 7:30 pm

Hello

Here is Round 1 of Division D of the 2020-2021 UK Puzzle League.

Please download and print the puzzles. You can complete them in any order at any point between now and Tuesday 13th October.

For each puzzle, remember to time yourself honestly as to how long it takes.

When you are finished all of the puzzles, or as many as you are able to, please email adam@ukpuzzles.org your times for each puzzle and the answer key for each puzzle (to ensure that you have understood how each solution is supposed to look).

If you have not yet signed up for a place in the UK Puzzle League, you may do so in the same email, giving your name and UKPA username. If you are not in Division D, your times will be entered onto an all-comers scoreboard, which will not score points in the UK Puzzle League. If you are in Division D, the solver with the most points will receive 10 credits, the second will receive 9 credits and so on. If two or more solvers score the same number of points, then the fastest total time (spent on completed puzzles) will score the higher number of credits.

If you have any questions, please ask via email (adam@ukpuzzles.org)

Please do not discuss the puzzles in the forum until the competition is declared closed.

Have fun!
Attachments
2021 Beginners Round 1 - Fillomino.pdf
(233.71 KiB) Downloaded 107 times

pinkagape
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by pinkagape » Thu 15 Oct, 2020 8:06 pm

This competition is now closed. I hope you enjoyed it. Eight puzzlers attempted the puzzle set and all of them completed them all correctly! Well done. It was particularly good to see that the times for each puzzle were all mixed up through the competitors, so everyone has good reason to feel positive. Thank you to Freddie Hand and Liane Robinson for testing the puzzles and their advice regarding layout and the given clues.

The times were as follows:

Tom Collyer 8m13
Sam Cappleman-Lymes 9m45
David McNeill 10m2
Maurice Blount 15m20
Eva Myers 16m15
Adam Sandhu 18m22
David Collison 26m21
Laura Sadler 28m2


If anybody else thought they had sent me their solutions and they are not in the above table, please let me know.

The names in red are Division D competitors, so congratulations to Adam for 10 credits in Division D and an early lead.

Here is the Division D league table after Round 1

Image

Round 2, to be held over the weekend of 14th and 15th November, will focus on Tapa puzzles. Please see the Puzzle Rules board for instructions.

DavidC
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by DavidC » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 7:36 pm

Thank you for running this contest. After so many years of resolutely sticking to the Sudoku world - despite suffering incessant bullying and coercion from Liane as a result :-) - I am delighted to have dipped a toe into the waters of the puzzling part of our community. I really look forward to trying out the other puzzle variants over the coming months. Best wishes and congratulations to the other competitors too. David

puzzlemad
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by puzzlemad » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 9:39 pm

DavidC wrote:
Fri 16 Oct, 2020 7:36 pm
- despite suffering incessant bullying and coercion from Liane as a result :-) - I am delighted to have dipped a toe into the waters of the puzzling part of our community. I really look forward to trying out the other puzzle variants over the coming months. Best wishes and congratulations to the other competitors too. David
I knew you'd like them if you tried. Glad to see you taking part.

detuned
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by detuned » Fri 16 Oct, 2020 10:04 pm

A couple of words on my times: (which are entirely consistent with how I have previously approached competitions and test solving alike)

Although the instructions to fillomino tell you to place a number in each cell, most of the time I will instead draw borders to identify regions of connected cells, and then maybe write in the relevant size In one representative cell of the region. It certainly saves a bit of time doing it that way.

I fully expect Freddie to have got through those in about half my 8 minutes. No, I don’t quite understand how either :lol:

Puzzle_Maestro
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by Puzzle_Maestro » Sat 17 Oct, 2020 7:17 am

My testing time for this set was about 3:29 not including puzzle 10 (as that was initially a much harder Fillomino but was substituted out for something easier). I use almost exactly the same notation as you, though I will often leave a region unnumbered if its size is no longer significant to the solve. It is a region division puzzle, after all!

Re. my testing time: for very easy puzzles, writing speed is certainly a huge factor, and may play more of a role than logical ability. I suspect that for some of the puzzles we saw deductions at nearly the same rate, I just wrote it down on paper faster!

mwhite
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by mwhite » Sat 17 Oct, 2020 3:48 pm

Hi,

I just wanted to say thanks for these puzzles. I did try to email you Adam but it seems like there may have been a problem again - I will try from a different address so I can be sure future emails get through!

DavidC
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by DavidC » Sat 17 Oct, 2020 10:46 pm

detuned wrote:
Fri 16 Oct, 2020 10:04 pm
Although the instructions to fillomino tell you to place a number in each cell, most of the time I will instead draw borders to identify regions of connected cells, and then maybe write in the relevant size In one representative cell of the region. It certainly saves a bit of time doing it that way.
Thanks Tom, that's interesting to know. It would have made absolutely no difference to my finishing position, but it would possibly have saved a minute or so over the entire set. As a newcomer to this half of the UKPA world, does this apply to region-based puzzles generally? Does this only apply to online puzzles that just need answer keys, or is drawing regions also acceptable for physical paper contests such as day 2 of UKPA? Thanks.

DavidC
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by DavidC » Sat 17 Oct, 2020 10:54 pm

Puzzle_Maestro wrote:
Sat 17 Oct, 2020 7:17 am
Re. my testing time: for very easy puzzles, writing speed is certainly a huge factor, and may play more of a role than logical ability.
Thanks, this is a fascinating comment. As someone from the sudoku side of the community, I have occasionally tried odd tweaks like changing the way I have written 4s since childhood, but in general have assumed that writing speed is a secondary factor to logic. In the puzzling side of the community, does writing/drawing speed tend to play a more significant role?

Puzzle_Maestro
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by Puzzle_Maestro » Sun 18 Oct, 2020 7:45 am

I don't believe it makes a big difference at most levels unless the puzzle is solvable within 30 seconds (as many puzzles here were). Most competitions only have a couple of puzzles which are at this difficulty level.

From watching Ken Endo's solving videos, I've noticed that he tends to write a fair bit faster than other top solvers, which may partially explain his dominance. It's a small difference so it's still possible to become very good while writing at a sedate pace (top 10/top 20), but to challenge Ken you would probably have to make several optimisations to your solving. It's important to note that this is also more error-prone, and requires practice to perfect.

More significant than writing speed is notation. Obviously there is the fact that drawing regions suffices for fillomino (even for physical paper contests), but there are a lot of other notational tricks which can be useful in other genres. I wouldn't worry about writing speed for the time being, since it is effectively the 'tie-breaker' between already great solvers.

detuned
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by detuned » Sun 18 Oct, 2020 11:40 pm

Haha - I'm fascinated by the idea of marginal gains to try and get on the same planet as Ken :)

In the sudoku world many of the ultra quick speed solvers are Chinese. One theory I had is: given that chinese characters are an order of magnitude or two more complex than those of the latin alphabet, then it might seem natural for those used to drawing those characters a natural speed advantage. That would also cross over to the Japanese I suppose, although we don't really see too many sudoku only specialists from Japan.

Coming back onto topic:
Thanks Tom, that's interesting to know. It would have made absolutely no difference to my finishing position, but it would possibly have saved a minute or so over the entire set. As a newcomer to this half of the UKPA world, does this apply to region-based puzzles generally? Does this only apply to online puzzles that just need answer keys, or is drawing regions also acceptable for physical paper contests such as day 2 of UKPA? Thanks.
Fillomino sits in a grey area really - is it number placement (after all that's what the instructions tell you to do) or is it region division. I think most people really see it as region division. GM Puzzles certainly does! And so that being the case, the typical WPC logic applies: as long as the regions are clearly marked, then that's almost certainly enough to give you the puzzle.

I should add that having watched the play-offs of the Puzzle GP (i.e. the Top 10) and there are definitely solvers there that write in all the numbers for fillomino. No, I don't quite understand how either :lol:

Another example of this is the puzzle where you might dissect the grid into triominos. I might not even draw in the cell borders for those kinds of puzzles, instead drawing in I shapes and L shapes connecting cells.

puzzlemad
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by puzzlemad » Wed 21 Oct, 2020 9:18 pm

Normally, when questions are asked about whether it is necessary to for example "draw all the borders" etc. the normal answer from organisers is that as long that the notation is clear and consistent so that it can be confirmed that the puzzle has been completely solved, then it is acceptable.

For Tapa, for instance - the rules talk about shading cells to create a continuous region. There are many ways that people show the notation, including simply drawing a line through the cells that are part of the region or even putting a dot into each cell that is part of the region.

On some puzzles where the instructions talk about shading cells that are part of an area, some solvers find it easier to shade cells that are not part of the area.

Another pit fall to be careful to try to avoid is to make sure that the solution is completed. Far too many points have been lost at competitions, through carelessness of not completing that last cell or not having brain and hand connected to write the correct letter or digit. Even world champions have fallen foul of that.

DavidC
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by DavidC » Wed 21 Oct, 2020 9:45 pm

Thank you all for your responses. As someone who is used to the rigour of being required to get 81/81 correct (either absolutely or to definitively identify a well-constructed answer key), it may take me a little while to adjust to the acceptable bounds in this weird parallel universe of scribbling and shading!

David

Asandhu1
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by Asandhu1 » Wed 21 Oct, 2020 9:59 pm

This is absolutely fascinating as I would never have thought of leaving out numbers or not drawing borders. If anyone else has any puzzling tips, whether it is about technique or speed, I would love to find them out.

Also, for puzzles that have arrows and circles inside the cell, how do you create that on Microsoft word? I’m trying (but failing) to design anything with more than just numbers and lines.

puzzlemad
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by puzzlemad » Sat 24 Oct, 2020 6:39 pm

Asandhu1 wrote:
Wed 21 Oct, 2020 9:59 pm
Also, for puzzles that have arrows and circles inside the cell, how do you create that on Microsoft word? I’m trying (but failing) to design anything with more than just numbers and lines.
It may be better for you to use excel rather than word. Others may have better methods but I finish up creating a shape - arrow, circle etc. then copying it and placing it where I wan't - it's a faff though.

Asandhu1
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by Asandhu1 » Sat 24 Oct, 2020 9:36 pm

Thanks for the advice. I think I’ll stick to the easier puzzles for the time being although I’ll give excel a shot when I start using symbols.

pinkagape
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Re: Division D 2020-21 Round 1

Post by pinkagape » Wed 11 Nov, 2020 7:35 pm

Hello

Here is Round 2 of Division D of the 2020-2021 UK Puzzle League.

Please download and print the puzzles. You can complete them in any order at any point between now and Tuesday 17th November.

For each puzzle, remember to time yourself honestly as to how long it takes.

When you are finished all of the puzzles, or as many as you are able to, please email adam@ukpuzzles.org your times for each puzzle and the answer key for each puzzle (to ensure that you have understood how each solution is supposed to look).

If you are not in Division D, your times will be entered onto an all-comers scoreboard, which will not score points in the UK Puzzle League. If you are in Division D, the solver with the most points will receive 10 credits, the second will receive 9 credits and so on. If two or more solvers score the same number of points, then the fastest total time (spent on completed puzzles) will score the higher number of credits. If you are new to the UKPA, you can join in Division D late.

If you have any questions, please ask via email (adam@ukpuzzles.org)

Please do not discuss the puzzles in the forum until the competition is declared closed.

Have fun!
Attachments
2021 Beginners Round 2 - Tapa.pdf
(196.37 KiB) Downloaded 39 times

detuned
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by detuned » Sat 14 Nov, 2020 8:00 pm

Thanks Adam for organising, and Freddie for the puzzles, an enjoyable set!

Asandhu1
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by Asandhu1 » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 8:19 am

Thanks for organising to everyone involved. I had a great time doing these at home.

pinkagape
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by pinkagape » Wed 18 Nov, 2020 9:48 pm

Thank you indeed to Freddie, and to Liane for testing.

The competition is now closed, but if you have sent through answers and they haven't appeared in the table, please do get in touch.

No Division D competitors that I can see, here are the times that we had. All competitors managed to solve all the puzzles again.

Tom Collyer (A): 6m49
Sam Cappleman-Lynes (B): 7m56
David McNeill (A): 11m59
Jeff Dick (C): 13m7
Eva Myers (C): 33m53

Round 3, to be held over the weekend of 12th and 13rd December, will focus on Four Winds puzzles. Please see the Puzzle Rules board for instructions.

jupilogy
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by jupilogy » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 12:16 am

That's unfortunate. I'm not sure if it's related, but my emails notifying me about replies to this forum automatically ended up in spam. Maybe something similar happened for them, so they didn't notice that the new puzzles had been posted?

Either way, I enjoyed that set :)

Asandhu1
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by Asandhu1 » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 7:30 am

Sorry, I did send an emails with my times but I had doubts as to whether it sent. Should I send it again?

DavidC
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by DavidC » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 8:47 am

Thanks - I'm sorry I didn't manage to submit this time. Incidentally, I find it interesting and mentally challenging that blocking out stuff is actually a positive rather than negative aspect to this puzzle. Perhaps I need to think of it and/or mark it in a different way, as I naturally think of the act of blocking something out as excluding/negative rather than including/positive.

pinkagape
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Re: Division D 2020-21

Post by pinkagape » Thu 19 Nov, 2020 7:26 pm

Asandhu1 wrote:
Thu 19 Nov, 2020 7:30 am
Sorry, I did send an emails with my times but I had doubts as to whether it sent. Should I send it again?
I thought that from your forum post, but I haven't received it. Yes please, do send it and I'll be happy to count it.

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