I just finished this month's puzzle test at Logic Masters India
. This month's Puzzle Marathon
was a different format. Instead of setting aside a few hours and trying to solve as many puzzles in the time limit, there were ten large puzzles that could be solved at any time over the course of nine days. Solving any puzzle under an hour net some bonus points, but any puzzle correctly completed is worth a base amount of points, no matter when it's finished.
I did okay. My best puzzle was the Loop the Loops
, which is a combination of two of my best puzzle types. But I had some catastrophic failures on the Star Battle and the "Small Neighbors." Still, because of the way the way the puzzle was structured, I followed through and eventually got them entered correctly. In fact, because of thes coring system, I was able to take breaks to recompose myself. After trying to solve the Small Neighbors puzzle after work, I ended up getting on the Metro and finishing it on the ride home.
I knew that the worst for me would be the last two puzzles, a hard Samurai Sudoku
and a hard Kakuro
. The sudoku gave me a lot of trouble, but eventually I worked through it after a few hours (with a sleep break in between). At that point, I'd earned all the points I could from the test—the scoring discarded the worst score, and since I knew that I wouldn't be able to solve a large, hard sudoku in an hour that it was just going to be the base points, like several others. Still, there was a special notice appearing on the site for people who solved all ten, so I figured I'd push through, for completeness' sake.
That was one of the most grueling puzzling experiences in my life.
Kakuro is my least favorite puzzle type. I hate the number of combinations that have to be constantly checked and rechecked, especially at harder levels. And this puzzle inevitably magnified everything about Kakuro that I hate. And that's in addition to the portions I had to do over a few times because of fatigue errors. Total time for one Kakuro: 22 hours and 50 minutes of nothing but pain.
Okay, admittedly, a significant portion was food, sleep, talking on the phone, playing Batman: Arkham City
and working. But still—PAIN.
I guess that's a point in favor of the normal contest type: I can ignore the Kakuro and know I'm not losing any points.