Sunday Surprise #6 – US Championship

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I had not intended to have a repeat author for a Sunday Surprise so soon, but Craig Kasper sent along a really nice surprise sudoku to mark the US National Championship we’ve been focusing our attention on all weekend. See if you can find your way through to the very end.

Surprise Puzzle by Craig Kasper


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: That US national championship happening this weekend; speaking of which, congratulations to the top finishers at the US Puzzle Championship, whomever you turn out to be.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, the regions are irregularly shaped; instead of numbers, use the letters in “I’D GOLF, MAN” once in each row, column, and region.

Answer String: Enter the letters in the third column, from top to bottom, followed by the letters in the seventh column, from top to bottom. USE CAPITAL LETTERS.

Solution: PDF

  • Jonah says:

    Ha! Clever.

  • Bryce Herdt says:

    I anticipated the intent of the last twelve letters, but I don’t understand the result. Letters or colors?

  • Aaron Chan says:

    I must say I am very confused. I am never good at this meta-puzzle stuff.

  • Jack Bross says:

    Had to squint a bit to see what the image was meant to be. I was solving the puzzle while watching the golf, so it seems appropriate.

    Despite being given a mnemonic above, I used “FLAMINGO D” to remember the letters. I like to think of him as being a bright pink rap star. Alternatively, “A MIND FLOG” seems appropriate to the USPC, and unless scores were extraordinarily low this year, I just posted my worst performance in years.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      The colors were added so the squinting could be minimized, but this year — with no flags — it might not be a familiar site. This is the intended “final” image.

  • Avatar photo Grant Fikes says:

    I’m glad I resisted the urge to look at the comments and figured out the thematic stuff by myself. I feel so amazingly out of the loop that I didn’t realize this other championship was going on at the same time as the USPC, though.

  • egrieg says:

    I know i have solved this almost two years later than everyone else, but i hope that someone will read this: can somebody please explain the theme to me? I dont get it at all. Looks and solved just like a normal wordoku for me, and took me forever because of the use of letters. So i would really like to know what this was all about…

    • Avatar photo Grant Fikes says:

      Abgvpr ubj bar bs gur nafjre pbyhzaf fnlf ZNT SBYQ-VA, naq nyfb abgr gung gur neebjf vaqvpngvat gur nafjre pbyhzaf cbvag gbjneqf rnpu bgure va n znaare inthryl erzvavfprag bs n erpheevat srngher va Znq Zntnmvar.

    • Carl W says:

      Hi egrieg,

      Yes, at least some of us are subscribed to see all new comments to old puzzles.

      Grant’s explanation covers most of the theme, and a comment from drsudoku up above completes the picture. The only addition I have is:

      Whfg gb nqq bar jbeq gb jung Tenag fnvq: Gur nafjre fgevat pbagnvaf gur cuenfr “Znq znt sbyq-va”.

  • egrieg says:

    thank you grant and carl for your quick reply!
    Orpnhfr v’z sebz treznal v qvq abg xabj gur zntnmvar be gur sbyq va srngher ng nyy, fb v pbzcyrgryl zvffrq gur nafjre fgevat nf jryy, orpnhfr v qvqa’g xabj jung gb ybbx sbe.. v qvq jbaqre nobhg gur neebjf gubhtu, ohg pbhyqa’g svaq na rkcynangvba sbe jul gurl ner cbvagvat gbjneqf rnpu bgure.
    Gur bayl dhrfgvba v unir yrsg vf guvf: vf gur svany sbyqrq vzntr fhccbfrq gb erzvaq zr bs fbzrguvat? V’z fgvyy pbashfrq jung gur punzcvbafuvc gurzr zrnaf… v srry yvxr v nz fgvyy zvffvat fbzrguvat.
    Naljnl, gunaxf sbe urycvat zr fb dhvpxyl, v nz nznmrq ol ubj znal vaperqvoyr chmmyrf guvf fvgr unf funerq sbe serr, naq ubj sevraqyl naq jrypbzvat gur pbzzhavgl vf! Sbeghangryl v fgvyy unir ybgf bs chmmyrf gb fbyir nf v nz pngpuvat hc 🙂

  • Carl W says:

    Yes, there is meaning in the final result:

    Vg’f vagraqrq gb ybbx yvxr n fprar sebz n tbys pbhefr. V frr n tbys terra va gur pragre, n jngre unmneq orlbaq vg, naq n fnaq genc va gur sbertebhaq. Gura gurer’f gur juvgr cbyr bs gur “cva” be syntfgvpx ng gur pragre bs gur terra jvgu vgf erq synt. Naq gura lbh pna fgergpu gb vzntvar gur tenl fdhner nf gur onyy (be znlor gur phc?).

    Fb gurl punzcvbafuvc orvat ersreerq gb jnf gur 2013 H.F. Bcra Punzcvbafuvc va tbys uryq Whar 13-16 va 2013.

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