So last week was a week at sea for the solvers with Battleships and Battleship Sudoku. It was also my first week at SEA(ttle). And while it already feels like home I have a lot of apartment set-up to do still, and a growing pile of work as I take time to buy and build furniture.
My most observant solvers may have noticed I’ve been following particular genres in YRBGW order so far with my puzzle styles. If you don’t know what I mean, search the website a bit more. But I hate being predictable. I wrote a championship “Trophy” sudoku puzzle once with a first row ?2345678?. My occasional partner in puzzle-solving crime, Wei-Hwa Huang, saw that pattern and thought it was as likely that I would do 923456781 in a competition as 123456789 just to be sneaky. This week, I’ve decided I’ll just flip a coin to determine what I’ll post of the remaining options so you can’t possibly know better than 50:50 what puzzle type is coming. Or maybe that last sentence is a lie. Or maybe every other sentence in this paragraph is a lie. In all honesty, there are no hidden puzzles in this paragraph. But there are two more puzzle styles to come this week: a familiar sudoku style from me and Wei-Hwa, and whichever of “heads” or “tails” wins the coin toss today.
This week I’m going to start hiding the solving times behind a spoiler tag. I don’t know how choosing to see these times before starting will affect your solving, but I’d welcome a discussion on how times, or “points” on a competitive test, change your solving style. Does this differ when you have hand-crafted puzzles with a particular time goal versus, say, a generated croco-puzzle with a particular time standard set from other solvers?