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In October of 2010, I had my first taste of solving puzzles in a competitive environment, thanks to the 20/10 Puzzle Decathlon, a well-written test by grandmaster Thomas Snyder which was hosted on Logic Masters India. As exciting as the whole experience was, I am even more excited to announce that this coming weekend, as I have hinted at previously, fellow logicsmith Palmer Mebane and I will present Fillomino-Fillia, a test on Logic Masters India consisting entirely of Fillomino puzzles (including a bevy of variations). I hope you will choose to participate in this test.

To participate, you will need to register an account on Logic Masters India. Download the instruction booklet and (when it is made available, which I'm told is usually a day before the test starts) the password-protected puzzle booklet. You may choose to start the test at any time during the weekend of June 4 and June 5 (note that this is GMT, so participants in the US, for example, will have between late June 3 and late June 5 to begin the test). When you do, the password to unlock the puzzle booklet will be given to you, and you will have 120 minutes to print out and solve as many of the 18 puzzles as you can. Each puzzle is worth a varying number of points, roughly corresponding to its difficulty; the harder the puzzle has been judged to be (based on the opinion of the authors and the test-solvers), the more points it's worth. When the 120 minutes have expired, you can see how well you performed, and how you compared to other contenders.

Some words of advice based on my experience:
* Read the freaking instruction booklet. When you're an idiot like me, you have no idea how much having your mind as prepared as possible to the puzzle booklet's contents will help you perform better on the test, until you've made the mistake of starting the test without such preparation.
* Check your answers as you enter them! Improper checking of my answers definitely cost me some points. In particular, I wish that I had notated the grids more than I thought I needed to for the purposes of solving quickly, to make it easier to check my answers.
* Practice! Over the next few days, and in lieu of my usual Monday Mutants post, MellowMelon and I will be posting practice puzzles of the varieties you'll see on the test. (It'll be like having several Monday Mutants instead of just one!) Use them to your advantage to sharpen your mind and to prepare yourself for the test that is to come.

Also check out the LMI forums for more discussion regarding Fillomino-Fillia!


Deb said...

Thanks for the post and many thanks for writing a test for LMI.

Just a brief comment about exact timing of the test, for those who haven't been to LMI site recently.

The test will follow GMT timings i.e. it starts at 4-Jun 00:00:01 AM and ends at 5-Jun 23:59:59 PM, both GMT.

Grant Fikes said...

Deb: I have edited the blog post to reflect the information in your comment regarding the timing, details of which I was mistaken about before.

Anonymous said...

This is great news!

(Is there anything to the score polyominoes? I haven't been able to fit them into a valid 10x12 fillomino so far...)


Anonymous said...

The score polyominoes weren't made to fit together. The construction is rather that a smaller polyomino is always a subset of a larger one in shape. Or equivalently each of the 20 possible positions is numbered and the score image for N just picks the first N positions.

As for the total, it made the time bonus easy and accurate to pick - this is important given the new rating system.

Grant Fikes said...

See, this is why I'm glad to have had MellowMelon as a co-author. I'm a capable constructor of individual puzzles, but regarding the test as a whole, he thinks about so many details that I wouldn't have thought about.

Anonymous said...

My computer says such tilings do exist (i.e., the 18 score polyominoes filling a 10x12 rectangle such that no same-size polyominoes touch).

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