anderson's Puzzle Blog

2022 Fall NABC recap

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Last weekend, I attended the fall North American Bridge Championships in Phoenix, playing in several events with my friend Ryan. I had a lot of fun both in and out of the tournament, so I want to write about some of the interesting things that happened, for posterity.

Bridge overview

I’ll try to summarize the relevant basics of competitive bridge here, to give context to the rest of this post.

Bridge is a partnership game, where you have two pairs at a table playing against each other. There is an “auction” phase where you bid on how many tricks you believe you can make given a certain trump suit, and then the actual card play where you try to make that number of tricks. If you successfully make your contract, you get some number of points (with a huge bonus for certain bids that are high enough – this is called “making a game”, or “making a slam” for some even higher bids), otherwise your opponents get points.

I’m leaving out a ton of information on how the card play actually works (in particular, one of the coolest things about bridge is the “dummy”, which makes the game asymmetric in a very interesting way), so you can read more on Wikipedia or wherever if you’re interested.

Tournament formats

In a pairs event, you play against a series of opponents – in one “session”, you generally play 3-4 hands against each of 6-8 partnerships for a total of 24 hands, over the course of 3 hours. Importantly, every single pair plays the same set of hands throughout the tournament, so performance is directly comparable across different tables. Specifically, for each hand, your points are compared to the points earned by all other pairs in the same position, and that is turned into a final score between 0% (if you do worse than everyone else) to 100% (if you do better). Then, your overall score is simply the average of your percentages on each hand.

As you might imagine, overall event scores tend to be very close to 50% – for example, if there’s a very simple hand where it’s easy to find and play the “optimal” contract, then every pair might do just that, in which case everyone would get a score of 50%. An overall score of 60% is generally considered very good, and anything approaching 70% is incredibly rare (65% is usually more than enough to win any given event).

The other main tournament format is teams, where you compete as a team of 4 (=2 partnerships) instead of a single pair. In this format, you play against one other team in each round, where a round consists of 6-8 hands. The north-south pair of one team plays against the east-west pair of the other team (and vice versa), and as you’d expect, both tables play the same set of hands. However, the scoring for teams events is somewhat different from pairs – in a pairs event, your score only depends on how your points compare to all other pairs, but in teams, the magnitude of your points is also important. For example, let’s say your team gets 400 points on one table, while the opponents get 430 points at the other table: in a pairs event, you would get 0% and your opponents would get 100%, but in teams, the difference is small enough that it almost has no effect.


Unlike other games like chess or Go, bridge does not have a standard rating or ELO system. Instead, it has a progression/achievement system called “masterpoints”, where you earn masterpoints for doing well at tournaments, but also you can never lose them, so it’s way more indicative of experience than skill level. Despite this, all bridge tournaments use masterpoints to classify players, so e.g. there will be newcomer/intermediate events only open to people with less than, say, 200 masterpoints. For context, fairly experienced players might have several hundred to several thousand masterpoints, while full-time professionals might have 10,000 or more, and going into this tournament, I had….8.

Traveling to Phoenix

Ryan and Belinda were planning on driving from the Bay Area to Phoenix, stopping in San Diego for a few days, so I was planning to carpool with them the way there. I hung out with them when they were in the area, and most notably went to a cocktail bar for the first time, which was pretty cool. Some things I remember include 1) On Ryan’s suggestion, I had a gin sour-like drink, which I enjoyed quite a bit (especially after getting used to the taste), 2) Ryan/Belinda got a drink which interestingly tasted almost exactly like banana pudding, and 3) Although almost every drink on the menu was in the $15-25 range, there was one item that randomly cost $700, which I assumed had to be a typo but was assured was not. Although I don’t anticipate going to another bar anytime soon, I do better understand the appeal of cocktails now.

The drive to Phoenix on Thursday was mostly uneventful, except for some scarily strong winds on one section of the highway (it’s a good thing we had three people and a lot of luggage in the car!). For dinner, we had a reservation at a restaurant in the Arizona Biltmore, where I learned how large some resorts can be (it took us several minutes of driving from the entrance to restaurant, passing by loads of houses along the way). I would be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a bit worried about how fancy it’d be, but it ended up being quite tasty and reasonably priced, so I was definitely happy with what we chose, especially given that pretty much everywhere is closed on Thanksgiving.

I spent the rest of the night reviewing our conventions, doing some last-minute studying, and regretting not spending more time on bridge over the past several weeks, which, funnily enough, is the same thing I do before quizbowl tournaments.


For our first event, we decided to play in an intermediate-level pairs tournament. I was a little intimidated by the seemingly-high masterpoint limit (750), but our opponents generally turned out to be pretty close to our level in that we all made plenty of mistakes. The event was two sessions – in the morning, we made several very bad mistakes and it definitely felt like we were still warming up (not to mention that I was also getting used to holding physical cards after years of online-only play, and was having some trouble keeping track of things as a result), but we still ended up with a respectable 55%. We did slightly better in the afternoon session with 57% and placed 4th out of 22 pairs, earning 4 masterpoints, so I was satisfied with the result though I was also kicking myself over some of the errors I made.

One notable thing about the event was how empty the room was – there were several large ballrooms in the convention center for the newcomer/intermediate events, and in our room, there were probably 150-200 total tables with only about 20-30 in use. We were wondering how much of it was due to being the day after Thanksgiving, as opposed to a general decline in attendance (in particular, bridge club attendance has dropped quite a lot since COVID). It ended up being more of the former since the rooms got significantly busier with each day, which was a relief to see because it was a bit depressing playing in a deserted sea of tables.

The other thing I noticed was that I could feel myself getting tired and having trouble focusing towards the end of the second session. Part of it was probably only getting ~6 hours of sleep, but playing 6 hours of bridge in a day is very intense and I didn’t realize how exhausting it was until experiencing it.

We didn’t have any time to rest after the event (or eat dinner, for that matter), because we immediately headed over to The Nemesis Club escape room. A group of 5 of us did both of their rooms, and I thought they were quite good – in retrospect I like them even more, since at the time I was quite tired and didn’t enjoy them as much as I could have. One of them had an impressive amount of production value: the story involved helping some park rangers, and it was set in a very realistic camping site, with dirt on the ground, realistic trees and logs, and not to mention lanterns we had to carry around since it was very dark. The actual puzzle content was a little more frustrating, especially since it was so dark and therefore difficult to find things, but as someone who helped write the 2022 Galactic Puzzle Hunt I understand that sometimes accessibility and theming/cohesiveness are at odds, and you have to try your best to compromise. :p

Interestingly, the escape room is connected to a milkshake bar, so we went there afterwards and I saw some absolutely crazy-looking shakes (check out the pictures on the menu). I personally ordered a relatively normal oreo shake, which was quite good and a satisfying way to cap off the day.


On Saturday, we entered the same pairs event, hoping to improve on yesterday’s result. I was feeling pretty good in the morning session, since we didn’t have any huge mistakes and were defending pretty well, and indeed, we ended up with a solid 61%, which was good enough to put us in the lead. In contrast, the afternoon felt quite a bit worse, with several boards where we bid up to slam and missed it, which all but guarantees a 0%. However, at the end, I was very surprised to find that we did well enough on the other boards to get 63%, and that was enough to win the event! It was very close, since the second place pair got 69% (nice) in the afternoon, but they only got around 50% in the morning (we actually played against them and found out they flew in from Sweden, which was very cool).

It was very exciting and felt great to get the win, and certainly exceeded any expectations I had going into the tournament, though later Ryan told me he thought we had a very good chance, but didn’t want to mention it so I wouldn’t feel pressured (a good decision). We also got 6 masterpoints, which meant that I had already doubled my masterpoint count and was truly moving up in the bridge world.

After the packed schedule on Friday, we wanted to take it especially easy this evening, so we walked to a casual hot dog place for dinner and reviewed the hands from the day.


This was the only day where we already had plans – before the tournament, Ryan asked a pair he knew from the San Francisco bridge club if they wanted to do a teams event during NABC, and they happily agreed, so we decided to play Sunday. We entered the “mid-flight Swiss teams” event, where the “mid-flight” means a masterpoint limit of 3000 and the “Swiss” means that every round you play against a team with a similar number of points. The 3000 limit was even more intimidating than the previous 750 limit (“Are the players going to be 4 times as good?”), but it was the lowest event we could have played since our teammates had around 1000-2000 masterpoints, and Ryan reassured me that our opponents wouldn’t be that much stronger. Also, I suppose we’d won yesterday so clearly this was the next step up.

This was my first time playing in a teams event, and I had a lot of fun. Each round consisted of 8 boards (with 3 rounds in the morning session and 3 in the afternoon), after which we’d regroup with our team and compare how we did, report our scores, and wait a bit to receive the pairings for the next round. In particular, it was nice to have a break between rounds, as opposed to playing 24 boards non-stop in the pairs events. The teammate dynamic was also very interesting – on one hand, it was sometimes stressful worrying about letting your teammates down, but on the other hand, it was relieving when your teammates “saved” you from bad performances, and it’s nice to trust your teammates in general.

I had basically zero expectations going into the day, but we started off strong and somehow were tied for 2nd after the morning session, with 48 of a possible 60 points (for more context, in each round you can get between 0 and 20 points, with a 10-10 split if you tie and more points if you win by more). Our opponents definitely felt stronger than before, but not by too much, and although we had some bad boards our teammates consistently came in clutch.

We had lunch at the convention center food court, and the food was sufficiently bad that I had to mention it here. If you know me, you know how much of a big deal it is when I find food that I don’t like.

I was expecting to get destroyed in the afternoon session, because the Swiss format ensures you play teams with a similar ranking, but we managed to keep up our performance and had several close wins. In a reversal of what happened earlier, our teammates had a rough last round, but Ryan and I made up for it by doing particularly well. At the end, we finished with 88 of 120 points and won our second event! Well, technically we tied for first, though I’m going to say we had the moral victory because we won all 6 of our rounds, including against the other co-champion. Regardless, I was shocked we did so well and was pretty elated the rest of the day. We also earned a whopping 17 masterpoints, which meant that I had doubled my total a second time.

The four of us celebrated by getting dinner at a somewhat fancy tapas place, and it was very interesting chatting with our teammates, who had some pretty cool stories, including how both of them were some of the first users of OK Bridge when it was a dial-up service in the very early days of the internet.


For my last day in Phoenix, we ended up playing another teams game, this time with Belinda’s sister and her bridge partner. In particular, we played in the open teams event, with no masterpoint limit – as you can extrapolate from the previous days, I was infinite times more intimidated by this. In fact, I stressed a lot on Sunday over teaming up in the first place, because they’re much better than us and I was really worried of letting them down (I also didn’t know them very well and wasn’t sure how serious they were). In the end, I agreed to play together after they reassured me that it’d be okay, and I am happy to report that it did, indeed, turn out okay.

You might have seen a pattern from the previous events where I keep being scared about how good our opponents will be, but they turn out to be at least somewhat comparable in skill. Today was…very much not that. From the very first boards, it became clear that most of our opponents were on an entirely different level from our previous opponents, in that they knew exactly what was going on in most hands and almost never made any unforced errors. Afterwards, we looked up some of the people we played against, and it turned out several of our opponents were professional players (with Wikipedia articles, even), which absolutely checks out. Even Ryan was surprised by how good they were, and we think one reason was that Monday was a bit of an off day without many top-level events, so a lot of the pros who would normally do something else ended up entering this event.

In terms of performance, we certainly did better than I expected, though we were nowhere near the top – we won 4 of our 6 rounds, and barely broke above average with 61 of 120 points (we lost one round 20-0, while most of our wins were narrow). There’s enough variance in bridge that over 8 boards, anything can happen, and a lot of the variance did favor us – in one particularly memorable board, we were in a tricky slam auction and Ryan decided to stop at 6H, a contract which made, while at the other table our opponents bid up to 7H and went down. Because of how many points slam is worth, this board single-handedly won us the round, despite us doing worse on most of the other boards. Also, as expected, our teammates did pretty well and saved us from bad results multiple times.

For lunch, we went to a tacos place which was very good, but what was especially cool was that we decided to take a self-driving car to get there. I knew absolutely nothing about this beforehand, but apparently Waymo is currently operating in Phoenix, so anyone can get the app and order a ride. It felt a bit surreal to be in a car with no one in the driver’s seat, not to mention a bunch of other funny moments like 1) We knew the passenger limit was 3, but figured there was nothing wrong with having a fourth person in the passenger seat. A few minutes into the ride, someone monitoring the rides called the car to warn us of the rule and said they would make a one-time exception, 2) When I got into the car, it was somewhat cramped in the back so I gave up trying to buckle my seatbelt and said “there’s no way they’ll care about this”. Lo and behold, after being told off for having 4 people in the car, the voice also warned us to buckle our seatbelts, then waited for like 30 seconds while we awkwardly shifted in the back to put them on, and only then thanked us and hung up, 3) There was one moment where a pedestrian was about to cross in front of us and waved at the car to go first. Obviously the car did not move, so there was an awkward 15 seconds or so before they realized it was autonomous.

For dinner, we had a reservation at a moderately fancy Italian place, which was quite delicious. I’ve always been fairly self-conscious about spending money on food, so throughout the week it was nice to experience these genuinely good $50 meals that I wouldn’t have sought out on my own.

One last cool thing: right after the afternoon session, some friends of our teammates came into the room and started chatting, and James Holzhauer also came by and talked with some of them. I assume all bridge players know each other.

Final/misc thoughts

All in all, I had a ton of fun, so thanks to Ryan and Belinda for inviting me along (and planning out other things like the escape rooms and a couple meals). Experiencing a higher level of bridge definitely gave me motivation to take it more seriously, though we’ll see how much more effort I’ll actually put in in the coming months.

A big thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that one of the most pressing concerns in the bridge community is getting younger people to join. I heard that the average (or median?) age of an ACBL member is around 70, which is pretty crazy to me, though that was consistent with the opponents we played throughout the weekend – the only people close to our age range were our teammates on Monday. We had plenty of opponents comment on our age, and many of them were excited to see us there and encouraged us to keep playing which was nice (I also didn’t mention this earlier, but I have to say that almost everyone we played against was friendly and easy-going). On the flip side, one particularly funny moment was in one of our team matches on Sunday, where our opposing pair told us they swapped their positions from the previous rounds, because their teammates were scared of playing us due to our youth!

Another interesting thing I learned is that professional bridge players essentially make money through being hired by presumably-rich people (aka “clients”) to partner or team up at various events. This is in stark contrast to other sports that have sponsors, or even something like chess where a large portion of pros’ earnings comes from tournament winnings (bridge tournaments, no matter the skill level, have no prizes outside of glory). I first found out about this when we played against a pair that clearly had a huge skill discrepancy between them, and afterwards Ryan said he suspected the weaker player was a client.

Finally, if bridge sounds interesting to you, I’d highly recommend checking it out, especially if you have a “mathy” mindset – the auction phase is all about communicating as much as possible with only your bids, so it’s basically a big information theory problem, and the card play has interesting elements of probability and strategy. Unfortunately, there is a somewhat high barrier to entry, since you need a partner and have to agree on your conventions, but after that it’s really a great, unique game.

Written by qzqxq

December 15, 2022 at 8:03 am

Posted in Not a Puzzle

Favorite music of 2021

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Normally I make this post on Facebook, but WordPress seems a lot better for these things, so woooo here’s the first post on this blog in 4 years. (I guess I never finished my Mystery Hunt recap post, oh well)

Best albums

I’ll link to each album and give a short description and favorite tracks if you want to check it out.

10. Terminal 11 – Eyes Pressed Against the Glass


I’d highly recommend this if you like Aphex Twin/Autechre/other “experimental” electronic music of that sort. Lots of crazy sounds/effects everywhere but the tracks still have a nice groove.

Favorite tracks: “Until It Couldn’t Recognize A Face”

9. Mega Bog – Life, and Another


This record is very hard to categorize – the songs are sorta “pop”, but each one feels weird/original in its own way. I really like albums that sound unique in some way, and this one has a lot of that (and I’ll probably be saying the same thing for many of the albums below).

Favorite tracks: “Weight of the Earth, on Paper”, “Crumb Back”

8. Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolves


Maybe not as original-sounding as some of the other albums here, but this album just has a ton of excellently-written folky rock songs. The sound is very stripped-down (the instrumentation is mostly guitar with occasional percussion), giving it a very personal/heartfelt feeling.

Favorite tracks: “My Popsicle”, “Not Fooling”

7. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend


This record just has a ton of catchy pop/rock songs, with a lot of variety in style and pretty much no filler.

Favorite tracks: “The Beach”, “Smile”

6. Portico Quartet – Terrain


This is a somewhat minimal/ambient album, so it’s definitely more background music than the others, but I love the overall sound and harmonies and there are very beautiful moments throughout.

Favorite tracks: “Terrain: I”

5. Richard Dawson & Circle – Henki


(These top 5 albums I think are all REALLY good)

This album is also hard to categorize – it has some metal, rock, and folk. There are long, epic songs, and as usual, Richard Dawson’s vocals and lyrics are excellent.

Favorite tracks: “Ivy”,”Silphium”, “Lily”

4. Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States


This album has my favorite lyrics out of all of the records here (though they are kind of depressing), and the sound is totally wild, with very weird chord progressions and effects all over the place. In terms of genre, I guess I would say rock, but there’s a lot of other things going on.

Favorite tracks: “G.A.F.F.”, “Reporting of a Failed Campaign”, “Legal Ghost”

3. Goat Girl – On All Fours


This album has rock/punk elements, but like many others on this list, also has plenty of unusual sounds and a lot of variety. I especially like the overall dark and mellow mood (much like in Goat Girl’s first album) that kinda “unifies” the tracks, which are a good mix of bangers and more “groovy” songs.

Favorite tracks: “Pest”, “Sad Cowboy”, “Bang”

2. Shame – Drunk Tank Pink


Man, this album is just banger after banger. Almost all the songs make me want to move around awkwardly and sing along when I listen to them. Very energetic, noisy, punk/post-punk.

Favorite tracks: “Born in Luton”, “March Day”, “Water in the Well”, “Snow Day”

1. Spirit of the Beehive – ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH


In a list full of innovative albums, this one has to take the cake in terms of all the crazy sounds, harmonies, and progressions it has. I just love the sheer variety on this, and how the songs still manage to be catchy despite how weird they sound.

Favorite tracks: “There’s Nothing You Can’t Do”, “Bad Son”, “The Server is Immersed”, “Wake Up (In Rotation)”

Best songs

My favorite songs from albums that came out this year. I’ll just provide a link for these since writing descriptions takes too long, but I assure you these are all good.

10. Kero Kero Bonito – “The Princess and the Clock”


9. Silk Sonic – “Smokin Out the Window”


8. CHVRCHES – “How Not to Drown” (with Robert Smith)


7. Sufjan Stevens & Angelo de Augustine – “Reach Out”


6. Tropical Fuck Storm – “G.A.F.F.”


5. Magdalena Bay – “You Lose!”


4. Shame – “Born in Luton”


3. The Armed – “Real Folk Blues”


2. The Weather Station – “Robber”


1. Squid – “Pamphlets”


Other good music

VR SEX – Cyber Crimes EP


I didn’t include this on the albums list since it’s a short EP, but the songs here are all bangers.

Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation II EP


Also a short EP, but the songs here are all very catchy.

Various Artists – Through the Soil


This was a project where a bunch of artists all contributed to an album with proceeds going to charity – this thing is really long (67 tracks), but it’s very good overall.

zan-zan-zawa-veia – Diggin’ It OST


I haven’t listened to that many video game soundtracks this year, but this one was my favorite (even though it was made in a week as part of a game jam). Some awesome chiptunes.

Written by qzqxq

December 30, 2021 at 3:00 am

Posted in Not a Puzzle

Puzzle 26: Falling Letters

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Rules (from the WPC 2017 instruction booklet): “Place letters into some cells in the grid. Same letters cannot share a side, and blank cells cannot share a side. Each outlined region must be filled in alphabetical order, starting with ‘A’, from left to right and top to bottom. Each outlined region contains at least one blank cell. Cells with the letters form a single connected area.” There is also an example in the instruction booklet, which can be found here; it’s the first puzzle in round 18, PIC.

This was made as part of WPC preparation, and I do plan on posting a recap on my blog at some point, so you can look forward to hearing about my multiple one-cell errors and other misadventures. Overall, this was one of my favorite puzzle types in the Puzzle Innovation Contest; there are a lot of rules and they feel somewhat arbitrary, but they work together surprisingly well.

The break-in for this puzzle might be very hard and I think the solving path is fairly narrow (at least based on Palmer’s solving experience), so here is a ROT13’d hint for the first step if you’re stuck: Gur oernx-va vf fbzrjurer nebhaq gur zvqqyr bs gur gbc srj ebjf.

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November 3, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Puzzle 25: Oasis

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Rules (from the WPC 2016 instruction booklet): “Shade some cells in the grid. Shaded cells cannot touch each other orthogonally. All unshaded cells must be orthogonally interconnected. Unshaded cells cannot form a 2×2 square. Cells with circles cannot be shaded. A number indicates how many other numbers or circles can be reached from that cell by passing only orthogonally through empty unshaded cells (it cannot pass a shaded cell nor a cell with a number / circle).”

Notes: I think Oasis is the best new puzzle type introduced at the 2016 WPC. It feels very original, the rules are intuitive and relatively simple, and there’s tons of potential for interesting local and global logic (as demonstrated in the GP round 2 Oasis puzzles, which I highly recommend). I’d love to see others construct this type; let me know if there are other examples out there (the only other one I know of is on Walker’s blog).

Also, this was indeed the 25th WPC.

Written by qzqxq

July 7, 2017 at 3:15 am

Posted in Misc. Shading, Puzzles!

DASH 9 recap

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I participated in DASH 9 today in Fremont. First off, thanks to all of the organizers for a very smoothly-run event and for the great puzzles, as well as to Albert, Ben, Nathan, and Patrick for being great teammates.

Our team name was “)(()” (the joke is that it’s a palindrome, although no one believes it at first). We ended up getting 2nd place, which was certainly a pleasant surprise. Other teams with Galactic Trendsetters members got 3rd, 13th, 14th, and 16th, and our sister team “())(” got 55th, so it was a pretty good showing overall. Congratulations to everyone!

I’ll briefly discuss some puzzles now, so spoiler warning. Also, I’ll edit this post to include a link to the puzzles whenever they get posted (edit: here are the puzzles)

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Written by qzqxq

May 7, 2017 at 3:52 am

Galactic Puzzle Hunt 2017 recap: the puzzles

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The Galactic Puzzle Hunt took place about two six weeks ago, and overall, I had a great time helping create and run it and I’m really proud of everyone who contributed. There’s quite a lot of things I want to talk about, so this post will be dedicated to going over some of the specific puzzles; there will be another post for organization and other notes. There will be lots of spoilers, so be warned.

Before I get into the details, here are some personal puzzle recommendations if you haven’t seen them yet and want to try them out before being spoiled:

Now, for some specific puzzle commentary:

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Written by qzqxq

May 1, 2017 at 6:32 am

Puzzle 24: Trimino Divide

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This puzzle was made for WPC 2016 practice. Rules (from the IB): “Divide the grid along the given lines into triminoes. Each trimino is formed by three orthogonally adjacent cells. When there is a cross between two triminoes, they must be of a different shape. When there is a triangle between two triminoes, they must be of the same shape, but different orientation. When there is a dot between two triminoes, they must be of the same shape and the same orientation. Symbols always lie on a trimino border, not inside a trimino.”

Written by qzqxq

April 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Misc. Division, Puzzles!

Tagged with ,

2017 Mystery Hunt recap

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The MIT Mystery Hunt happened two weekends two months ago, so here’s a (very belated) recap. It was my 9th hunt, and 4th with ✈✈✈ Galactic Trendsetters ✈✈✈.

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Written by qzqxq

March 29, 2017 at 4:02 am

Puzzle 23: Black Hole Tapa

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Rules (copied from the TVC instruction book): Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, each row/column must contain N Black Holes. Black Holes must be placed on the Tapa wall. For the purposes of surrounding clues, a cell with a Black Hole counts as M consecutive shaded cells instead of 1. Black Holes may touch each other. N and M will be given in Puzzle Booklet.

Also, in this puzzle, one of the clues has a 0 in it. I think the meaning of this should be natural, but just to be precise, the 0 must correspond to a non-empty group of black cells whose total length (adjusted for black holes) is 0.

Edited to add one more clarification: Even though the black holes count as 0 for clue purposes, they still count as black squares for everything else (black holes count for connectivity, you can’t have a 2×2 square of black holes, etc.)


Notes: Well, I suppose I’m still alive. 😛

After going to the WPC (I’m currently writing a recap and hope to have it finished at some point), I’ve been motivated to get back into making puzzles after I basically had no time at all the past year due to school/burnout. So, have some TVC practice! Although I’m not sure whether this puzzle is representative of a typical Black Hole Tapa, as M=0 is a little unusual heh.

Written by qzqxq

December 1, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Puzzles!, Tapa, Variations

Tagged with ,

Puzzle 22: Nurikabe (pairs)

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Rules from MellowMelon’s blog: This is a Nurikabe puzzle, with a twist. Every region of unfilled cells must contain exactly two numbers (instead of one) and have total size equal to the sum of the two numbers.


Notes: After a 3 month break, and thanks to a 2-hour long physics class, we’re back. 😀 Also, there’s no hidden valentine’s day theme or anything (I didn’t even know that it was valentine’s day until I saw students carrying around flowers today, heh). The 2s are, well, for puzzle 22, and feel free to count how many 2s there are.

On another note, I might post a more detailed mystery hunt recap sometime. Out of the logic puzzles I remember, Portals was amazing, Agricultural Operations was cool, A Regular Crossword was cute, and Random Walk was okay but had lots of trial and error. Palindrome was an awesome team to solve with, as usual!

Written by qzqxq

February 15, 2013 at 2:35 am