Just a quick note to those who enjoy the puzzles in my journal (which is apparently quite a few): the 2005 U.S. qualifier for the World Puzzle Championship is this coming Saturday (2005/06/18) at 1 PM EDT (GMT -4). Visit World Puzzle Federation Team USA for details and registration. Personally, I thought last year's test was terrible: the puzzles were of debatable quality ["How many differences did you say? I count four distinct differences in that grid, and you counted it all as only one..."], and the instructions were of undebatable insufferability - one question was worded SO bad in such an OBVIOUS manner [First Cardinal Rule of Puzzle Instructions Writing: NEVER, EVER, use the word 'same'... you'd think the so-called "professional" composers and editors in charge of the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP of puzzles would know that] that the judges altered its scoring (but not nearly enough, if you ask me). It was utter disappointment, but I'm willing to give them a second chance.
I apologize for the lack of inline comments in the above paragraph, but I wanted my words to be plain as day.
If any of my readers enters the competition, comment about it here, and we can compare scores, critiques, and probably complaints. A puzzle contest of my own will follow shortly afterwards, and it will give you a chance to try puzzle construction yourself. In the meantime, become as familiar with Polyominous [second example] as you can.... - ZM