Tuesday, 20 March 2012

TVC XI Recap

I didn't do so well this time. Okay, I finished 8th, which isn't really that bad. It's just that this puts me behind in the standings a bit. I am still ranked 4th overall with a small gap to 3rd, but when you take only the best 2 out of 3, which is what's really important the gap widens considerably. Both Hideaki and Ko will be far ahead of me then for 3rd place.
I had one of my false starts again, not solving anything the first 10 minutes by breaking the Meiosis Tapa twice. After that it went okay till I attempted the Full Tapa. I kept breaking it till after four attempts I noticed I had missed the word MAN. This is why I prefer simple lists of words, so it's far less likely to miss a word. These gimmicks can be interesting to some, but I don't like them very much for competitions. Then I spent a long time looking for the opening around the 5^1/2^1^2 in the Power of Tapa, but when I found it, it went smooth. I made a silly mistake in the Tapa Balance, having the left 4 wrong. I found the Modern Tapa much harder than the 43 points it was worth. I got the solution to the hard Mad Max Tapa 5 seconds over the 75 minute mark, but I wasn't convinced it was correct so I didn't submit it.
As for my puzzles, I nailed the Tapa Balance idea. I hadn't done it as extreme as Serkan, but I saw the skewed balance coming. I thought the Dissected, Visionary and Fractional Tapas were good preparing practice for the test. The Modern Tapa didn't help me get through the puzzle any smoother. The Meiosis Tapa in the test was somewhat gimmicky. I'm not a fan of overt symmetry in puzzles, where both the clues and solution on each side is the same. I thought my Full Tapa was less intuitive than the one in the test. I also thought it was easier to work my Mad Max Tapa, but when I saw that a lot of the Tapa was actually solvable, I must admit I had missed that.
I hope they helped other people as well and will try to bring out another set next time.


  1. Your puzzles helped a lot, thanks! Particularly the Balance Tapa was a piece of cake after solving yours (which I found harder). Also, I totally agree about the Modern Tapa, I actually got stuck on it and haven't finished within the time limit.

  2. If I'm not wrong, the totals on either side on the Balance Tapa was the same as your Balance Tapa. :P

    As you know already I did hopelessly bad on the test, but that had nothing to do with the practice puzzles. If anything, the puzzles I did solve well were because of the practice ones. Thanks again.

  3. Post a PDF copy of all the correct solutions, so that who have not completed the test can check their answers.

    1. I guess I could if I knew how to upload PDF files on blogspot. Wouldn't it be easier to just ask Serkan or Deb to do it on the TVC pages though?