Puzzle News 2006

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International Rubik's Cube Competition 2007
Herald Hunt 2006: Fourth Record Victory for a Team
2007 Games of the Year and Other Awards - by GAMES©
One week apart from the finish of WSPC 2006
Bulgaria 2006: One More Celebration of Puzzling is Over
Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests: Snakes On A Plane
Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition 2006
Results of the 47th IMO, Slovenia, 2006
Mind Sports Olympiad returns to London
World Gathering 2006 - by American Mensa
MathFest 2006
The U.S. SCRABBLE® Open 2006 - August 4-9
Thomas Snyder Becomes the 2006 Google U.S. Puzzle Champion!
U.S. National Rubik’s Cube Championship - August 4-6, 2006
2006 Google U.S. Puzzle Championship - This Weekend!
Mensa Mind Games® 2006 in Portland
A Pair of Champions at the National School SCRABBLE® Championship
Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests: Prime Generating Polynomials
The 1st World Sudoku Champion Ever - from Czech Republic!
29th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
1st World Sudoku Championship - this March!
A New World's Record for Solving Rubik's Cube
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International Rubik's Cube Competition 2007
 
International Rubik's Cube Competition 2007
International Rubik's Cube Competition returns to the Exploratorium in conjunction with the Caltech's Rubik's Cube Club. The event will take place Saturday, January 13, 2007, 10am ­ 4:30pm.

Come watch the world's greatest solvers of the Rubik's Cube compete for the fastest times under improbable circumstances. New World Records have been set at the last three Exploratorium-hosted Rubik¹s Cube events. Will it happen again?

Competitors not only solve the cube the standard two-handed way, but also vie to solve the cube in blindfolded and one-handed tournaments.

The Caltech's Rubik's Cube Club is responsible for hosting all of the World Cube Association-sponsored Rubik's Cube competitions in the United States, drawing participation from around the world. The Exploratorium has been bringing the Caltech-sponsored Rubik's Cube Club competition to the Bay Area since 2005.

For more details, please visit the official webpage.
Sources: The Exploratorium  |  International Rubik's Cube Championship  |  Caltech Winter 2007 Rubik's Cube Competition
Posted: December 14, 2006
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Herald Hunt 2006: Fourth Record Victory for a Team
 
Herald Hunt 2006: Fourth Record Victory for a Team
The last Sunday of the past month South Miami hosted an annual event like no other - Herald Hunt. About 5,000 puzzlers converged on Sunset Place for an afternoon of piecing together obscure and bizarre clues. The quickest and sharpest among them won free vacations to Mexico. It has become a South Florida tradition for thousands of families and friends, many of whom fly in from other parts of the country to compete.

Herald Hunt is a game where clues are everywhere - on movie posters, antique cars and even half-nude mannequins. Barry, the longtime Miami Herald humor writer, and Shroder, a former editor for The Miami Herald's Tropic magazine, have been coming up with twisted clues and solutions for the Hunt since 1984. The Hunt's treasure map was printed in Sunday's Miami Herald along with the initial clues.

This year three-time winners Steve Friedland, Mark and Mindy Engleberg, and Brian O'Neil won a record fourth Hunt! The four won a five-night trip to a beach resort in Cancún. It's similar to the all-expenses-paid vacations they won to the Dominican Republic, Alaska and New Orleans for winning previous Hunts.

Our Congratulations to the winners and participants!

For more information about Herald Hunt, please visit its official webpage.
Sources: Miami Herald  |  Herald Event Marketing
Posted: November 29, 2006
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GAMES Magazine
 
2007 Games of the Year and Other Awards - by GAMES©
As part of the GAMES© annual Buyer’s Guide to Games, the magazine presents their annual awards for Traditional Game of the Year, Electronic Game of the Year, and Best New Game in various categories. The list of winners for 2007 can be found at the GAMES© website, as well as in the December 2006 issue of the magazine (on newsstands October 31, 2006).

For more information, please visit GAMES© on-line.
Source  |  Posted: October 28, 2006
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One week apart from the finish of WSPC 2006
 
One week apart from the finish of WSPC 2006
WSPC stands for World's Smartest Person Challenge. The contest is held by International High IQ Society. This year it runs from July 1st through October 31st.

There is no entry fee and the contest is open to anyone worldwide who wishes to attempt it. The questions have kept advanced math and specific cultural knowledge to a minimum, and require knowledge of only simple, universal concepts to solve.

The contest itself is in the form of a PDF document, the one can easily print our and work with at his leisure. The answers are then entered through the website. Deadline is midnight October 31st, New York time.

Top 25 contestants will receive money prizes and the Top prize is $1000.

For more detailed information, please visit the official WSPC 2006 website.
Source  |  Posted: October 25, 2006
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Bulgaria 2006: One More Celebration of Puzzling is Over
 
Bulgaria 2006: One More Celebration of Puzzling is Over
This year the 15th World Puzzle Championship took place on 7-12 October, 2006 in Borovets mountain resort, Bulgaria. The resort is located 1300 m. above the sea level in the Rila mountain - not far away from Sofia.

What were the main "heights" for this year's Championship?

Teams from 23 countries have participated in the competition. No special unexpected surprises from the "seeded" players and teams. Ulrich Voigt became the Champion for the second consecutive year (five titles so far). The US team made one more step towards the 10th jubilee title, winning their 9th team title in Bulgarian mountains.

Our congratulations to the participants, winners and organizers!

For more detailed information on the WPC 2006, including individual and team results, please visit the WPC 2006 website.

See you in Rio next year!
Sources: WPC 2006  |  WPF  |  US Puzzle Team
Posted: October 24, 2006
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Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests: Snakes On A Plane
 
Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests: Snakes On A Plane
A new contest in the series of Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests has been launched at the end of the summer: Snakes On A Plane. The contest is based on Serhiy Grabarchuk's original Neo Matchstick Snake problem presented at mathpuzzle.com in 2003. Later the concept had been extended at Erich Friedman's website.

The current Al Zimmermann's contest will last through the second half of November. Also, the results of the previous contest - Prime Generating Polynomials - are available.

A traditional cash prize for the first three winning entries is proposed again. Total prizes are $500.

Participating is free. To enter a contest, you just need to register. Once registered, you may submit your solutions whenever you like, they will be automatically judged and the results page will be updated accordingly. An associated discussion group for the contest is available.

For more information, please visit the official Contests website: www.recmath.org/contest/.
Source  |  Posted: October 1, 2006
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Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition 2006
Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition 2006
Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition 2006
Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition 2006
54 puzzles entered this year's Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition. Just as in the previous years the Competiotion was held in conjunction with IPP26, this past July in Boston, USA. The goal of this annual Competition is to promote and recognize innovative new designs of mechanical puzzles.

The Maze Burr by Kagen Schaefer became the Puzzle of the Year receiving the Puzzlers' Award and Grand Prize (The Puzzlers' Award is selected by IPP attendees, the rest prizes are selected by Judging Committee). Floppy Cube by Katsuhiko Okamoto won First Prize, while Second Prize went to A Chance Meeting by Tatuo Miyamoto.

Three extra puzzles received Honorable Mention awards. These are: Box With a Tree by Hiroshi Iwahara, Cover It Up by Robert Reid and Sequential Star by Lee Krasnow.

Our congratulations to the winners!

To see more details (available in PDF version too) on the winners, all the participating designs, rules and schedules visit the Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition home page.
Source  |  Posted: September 29, 2006
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Results of the 47th IMO, Slovenia, 2006
Results of the 47th IMO, Slovenia, 2006
This year the 47th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) has been hosted by Slovenia, on July 6-18, 2006. The competition itself took place in the country's capital Ljubljana on July 12 and July 13. Almost 500 young mathematicians from 90 countries all over the world have participated in the Olympiad.

For more information about the event, including its results photo gallery, problems and solutions, and the IMO history, please visit the official site of IMO 2006.

The 48th IMO 2007 will be held in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Source  |  Posted: August 28, 2006
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Mind Sports Olympiad returns to London
Mind Sports Olympiad returns to London
After three years in Manchester the Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) is returning to London, and entry fees have been reduced! The anniversary MSO 10 will take place at the University of Westminster campus on Marylebone Road, facing the London Planetarium.

The event runs for nine days, from August 26th to September 3rd. Contestants may enter tournaments on a per-event basis, or take advantage of the Olympiad season tickets that will be available for the entire 9 days at £125 (juniors under 19, £95), or the day tickets at £30 (juniors £22). In addition to the traditional MSO Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, cash prizes will be offered where there is prize sponsorship.

For more detailed information on the event, please visit the MSO official website.
Source  |  Posted: August 25, 2006
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World Gathering 2006 - by American Mensa
World Gathering 2006
by American Mensa
Commemorating Mensa’s Diamond Anniversary (60 years), American Mensa hosts a special, once-in-a-lifetime, celebration - the World Gathering 2006 (WG 2006). The event promises a week of enlightening experiences from Tuesday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Aug. 13, 2006. The WG 2006 will take place at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Florida. Located near Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, the resort is nestled around a 15-acre lake and is one of the largest single-level convention hotels in the eastern United States.

Mensans from across the globe are registering to join this truly fascinating and rewarding adventure. Just imagine: space travel, cartoon characters, sugar-white beaches, unique flora and fauna and historical treasures in the Sunshine State of Florida.

Actually the WG 2006 will combine several events in one. These are:
a) the celebration of Mensa’s 60th anniversary;
b) American Mensa’s Annual General Meeting;
c) the annual meeting of the International Board of Directors;
d) a meeting of the American Mensa Committee;
e) super-sized opportunities to meet Mensans from all over the globe (approximately 2000 Mensans have already registered for the event).

Welcome to join the World Gathering 2006!

For more information about the event, please visit the WG 2006 official site.
Source  |  Posted: August 7, 2006
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MathFest 2006
MathFest 2006
The MAA's Annual Summer Meeting - MathFest - is always an intimate celebration of mathematics and mathematicians, a program rich with varied events and activities for everyone who loves math. This summer MathFest 2006 will be held on August 10-12, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Though online registration is closed already, it will be possible to register on-site in the Knoxville Convention Center.

Just as usual, the event will feature the prestigious Hedrick Lecture Series (in the mornings), while in the afternoons you will be able to choose from a great variety of Invited Paper Sessions, Contributed Paper Sessions, Minicourses, Special Programs, and Student Activities. There will be also special highlights for students.

Also don't forget to visit the MathFest Exhibit Hall in the Knoxville Convention Center, which will feature a wide selection of publications and technology in mathematics and related fields.

And on top of that the social calendar will embrace such fun events as the Tennessee Riverboat Dinner Cruise, the Tour of Cades Cove/Smoky Mountains, and the Appreciation Banquet for Don Albers.

To learn more about the event, including schedules, projects, registration, housing and travel information, etc., please visit the official MathFest page.
Sources: MAA Online  |  MathFest
Posted: August 7, 2006
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The U.S. SCRABBLE® Open 2006 - August 4-9
The U.S. SCRABBLE® Open 2006 - August 4-9
This year the National SCRABBLE® Championship has been renamed the U.S. SCRABBLE® Open (USSO). The National SCRABBLE® Association (NSA) and Hasbro feel that the new name better reflects the international participation this annual event draws.

The USSO 2006 takes place this August at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ. It has begun on August 4 and will last through August 9. This summer's event promises to be bigger and better, with traditional ESPN capturing for telecast later this fall.

For more information on the event, including live coverage, please visit the USSO 2006 official site.
Sources: National SCRABBLE&® Association  |  The USSO 2006
Posted: August 6, 2006
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2005 Google USPC - Results
Thomas Snyder Becomes the 2006 Google U.S. Puzzle Champion!
Quoted from wpc.puzzles.com:

Thomas Snyder, a chemistry graduate student at Harvard, solved 22 out of 23 puzzles, scoring 370 out of a possible 385 points, to win the 2006 U.S. Puzzle Championship title.

Thomas finished just one point ahead of Wei-Hwa Huang, who also solved 22 of 23 puzzles. Zack Butler was third place with 353 points, Jonathan Rivet was fourth place with 350 points, and Dan Katz was fifth place with 305 points. The top three, Thomas, Wei-Hwa, and Zack, will be joined by Roger Barkan in representing the US at the World Puzzle Championship in Bulgaria in October, 2006.

The top Canadian scores were very close: Karen Andrien (282), Terry Newton (279), Byron Calver (278), and Derek Kisman (263).

The top international scores were: the 2005 World Champion Ulrich Voigt of Germany (335), Denis Auroux of France (333), Taro Arimatsu of Japan (320), and Andrey Bogdanov of Russia (309).

Please read the more comprehensive review on the 2006 U.S. Puzzle Championship results at its official website and specifically at the 2006 Summary Page.
Source  |  Posted: July 31, 2006
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U.S. National Rubik’s Cube Championship - August 4-6, 2006
U.S. National Rubik’s Cube Championship - August 4-6, 2006
Every January the Exploratorium hosts International Rubik's Cube Competition. But this year there is a summer opportunity for die-hard fans to watch the nation's Rubik's Cube puzzle-solvers warm up for the international title with a competition for the title of United States Champion.

Highlights of the competition include the 3x3x3 speed solve and blindfold cubing rounds. Competition begins at 11 a.m. each day from August 4 through 6, at the Exploratorium. The event is presented in conjunction with the Caltech Rubik's Cube Club.

For more information on such a puzzling competition, including Registration, please visit the U.S. NRC Championship 2006 site and the special Exploratorium's page.
Sources: U.S. NRC Championship 2006  |  The Exploratorium
Posted: July 23, 2006
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2005 Google USPC - Results
2006 Google U.S. Puzzle Championship - This Weekend!
The Google U.S. Puzzle Championship is announced to be held on Saturday June 17, 2006 at 1pm ET. To participate, please read the rules and register here before June 15 (!), 2006.

The top two U.S. contestants will be selected to join the U.S. Team at the World Puzzle Championship in Bulgaria on October 7-12.

Get your chance to attend this year's World Puzzle Championship now!

Good luck!
Source  |  Posted: June 13, 2006
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Mensa Mind Games® 2006 in Portland
Mensa Mind Games® 2006 in Portland
This year’s Mind Games® were hosted by Oregon Mensa on April 21 - 23, 2006. Just as in previous years the competition was an intense weekend of play - a 40-hour gaming marathon. Mensans have judged and critiqued games released in the past year and awarded the Mensa Select® seal to the top five of them. The winners of this year are (in alphabetical order):
- Deflexion (manufacturer: Deflexion)
- Hive (manufacturer: Smart Zone)
- Keesdrow (manufacturer: Pywacket LLC)
- Pentago (manufacturer: Mindtwister USA)
- Wits & Wagers (manufacturer: North Star Games)

Board games, card games and other types of table and party games are eligible for the event. Games may be for one or more players. The competition is not open to games that are incomplete or not yet in production. Video, electronic, or computer games or any games that take an inordinately long time to set up and play cannot be accommodated. The entered games are judged on aesthetics, instructions, originality, play appeal and play value.

Next year's Mind Games® will take place in Pittsburgh, PA, on April 20-22, 2007.

For more information on Mind Games®, please visit mindgames.us.mensa.org and us.mensa.org.
Source  |  Posted: April 29, 2006
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A Pair of Champions at the National School SCRABBLE® Championship
A Pair of Champions at the National School SCRABBLE® Championship
Aaron Jacobs, 14, and Nathan Mendelsohn, 13, from the Pierce School in Brookline, MA became the new 2006 National School SCRABBLE® Champions!

The 2006 National School SCRABBLE® Championship took place at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, on April 21-22. It is estimated a million students in 20,000 schools play the popular word game as part of their curriculum. Only 196 players, students in grades 5-8, from 23 states made it this year to the Championship with a $5000 first prize!

The winners will go on to play SCRABBLE® against some of the world’s best adult players this August.

For more information on the event, please visit The School SCRABBLE© Program official website.
Source  |  Posted: April 29, 2006
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Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests: Prime Generating Polynomials
Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests: Prime Generating Polynomials
A new Al Zimmermann's Programming Contest is launched: Prime Generating Polynomials. The contest started on March 13 and will last till June 13, 2006. The contest, as usual, is intended for people who like to compete on programming challenges, and spend much of CPU and/or brain power on them. At the same time you don't need to write a computer program to enter. You can enter whether you use a computer, manual calculations, or tea leaves to solve the problem.

The contest offers a traditional cash prize for the first three winning entries. Total prizes are $500.

Participating is free. To enter a contest, you just need to register. Once registered, you may submit your solutions whenever you like, they will be automatically judged and the results page will be updated accordingly. Also an associated discussion group for the contest is available.

For more information, please visit the official Contests website: www.recmath.org/contest/.
Source  |  Posted: March 22, 2006
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The 1st World Sudoku Champion Ever - from Czech Republic!
The 1st World Sudoku Champion Ever - from Czech Republic!
A 31-year-old Czech economist, Jana Tylova, became the top Sudoku player in the world. The 1st World Sudoku Championship (WSC1) was held on March 10-11, 2006 in Lucca, Italy. The puzzle event was organized by nonzero edizioni, together with the World Puzzle Federation and Lucca Tourist Board.

85 puzzle-solvers from 22 Countries took part in the two-day event in Lucca: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA and Venezuela. The youngest contestant was 15-year old Roland Jago, Germany, and the oldest was 61-year old of Martino Nacca, Italy. Women made up around a third of the competitors.

The nine finalists were from six countries: two from Czech Republic, two from USA, two from Japan, and one each from Hungary, Slovakia, and Serbia and Montenegro. And the top three solvers are:

1st place: Jana Tylova, 31, an accountant from the Czech Republic,
2nd place: Thomas Snyder, 26, a Harvard University graduate student,
3rd place: Wei-Hwa Huang, 30, a software engineer for internet search engine firm Google in California.

Our Congratulations!

During the ending ceremony, which was held at the Ducal Palace in downtown Lucca, Ms Tylova was presented with her winner's trophy by Wayne Gould, the retired Hong Kong judge most recently known for helping to popularize Sudoku.

For more information about the event, please visit the official site of WSC1.
Source  |  Posted: March 20, 2006
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American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
29th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
It is less than a week left for the nation's oldest and largest crossword competition to take place in Stamford, Connecticut. This year American Crossword Puzzle Tournament will mark its 29th anniversary.

Traditionally, eight original crosswords are created and edited specially for this event. Scoring is based on accuracy and speed. Prizes are awarded in more than 20 categories, including a $4,000 grand prize. The Tournament also features evening games, guest speakers, and even a wine and cheese reception...

For more details please visit the ACPT official site: www.crosswordtournament.com.
Source  |  Posted: March 19, 2006
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1st World Sudoku Championship - this March!
1st World Sudoku Championship - this March!
It's almost a year since Sudoku has rocketed from one in a row championship-like logic puzzle to the latest puzzle craze all over the world. Naturally, as the year is over it would be extremely intriguing to figure out who could possibly be the world #1 Sudoku solver. That's what the 1st World Sudoku Championship (WSC1) will be about! The Championship will be held in Lucca, Italy, on March 10-11, 2006 by nonzero s.r.l. with the support of the World Puzzle Federation and APT Lucca.

Each country may select up to six people to attend the championship. Teams from more than a dozen countries are already registered. If you think you've got what it takes to represent the U.S. on the world stage, please visit wpc.puzzles.com as soon as possible (!). It's almost deadline!! First try this sampling of Variety Sudoku (PDF: 638 KB) puzzles and then submit your results by completing the U.S. Sudoku Team Registration Form.

For more information on WSC1, please visit the WSC1 official website, and for more information on the U.S. Sudoku Team, please visit wpc.puzzles.com as soon as possible!!

Sources:
WSC1  |  WPF  |  wpc.puzzles.com  |  nonzero s.r.l.
Posted: February 8, 2006
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A New World's Record for Solving Rubik's Cube
A New World's Record for Solving Rubik's Cube
On Saturday, January 14, 2006, a new world's record for solving Rubik's Cube puzzle has been set. A 20-year-old California Institute of Technology student Leyan Lo turned the tiled brain-twister from scrambled to solved just in 11.13 seconds!

Leyan Lo is part of Caltech's Rubik's Cube Club, a brainy clutch of students that hosted the competition at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco. Lo's record-setting time came early Saturday, among his first five tries in the preliminary rounds.

The record-setting solve caught competitors and Lo himself by surprise. But his time of 11.13 seconds broke the previous record of 11.75 seconds, set by Frenchman Jean Pons at the Dutch Open competition last year.

To learn more about this story, please visit this page.
Source  |  Posted: January 17, 2006
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