Monday, April 04, 2011

PCS Puzzle Season 4 Opens Thursday!

Cartoon rendition of two puzzlers who are not UBragg

It's that time of the year, puzzlers! Opening Day of PCS Season 4 is this Thursday, April 7, at 7am (before Season 4, there were PCS Seasons 1, 2, and 3).

Here's the full puzzle schedule for 2011:

  • Thurs, April 7, 7am PT
  • Thurs, April 28, 7am PT
  • Thurs, May 26, 7am PT
  • Thurs, June 16, 7am PT
  • Thurs, June 23, 7am PT
  • Mon, July 11, 7am PT
  • Thurs, July 28, 7am PT
  • Thurs, Aug 11, 7am PT
  • Thurs, Sept 1, 7am PT
  • Mon, Sept 19, 7am PT

So yes, there are 10 puzzles this while scoring is similar to previous years, there is one major adjustment. The parts that haven't changed:

  • At the start of PCS Season 4, all Puzzlers start with zero points.
  • On every scheduled puzzle off-day (see above), we'll post a new puzzle at 7am PT. All Puzzlers will have until midnight to submit an answer via email.
  • With each puzzle, the total number of correctly submitted answers are counted. A correct answer must include not only the correct answer, but the correct reasoning.
  • If you are in the 2nd half of all correct solvers, you get 50% of full value, which is 100 points unless stated otherwise. For example, if 10 people answer a 100-point puzzle correctly, the sixth through tenth solvers get 50 points.
  • The first half of correct solvers will get a linearly graduated point total between 100 and 50. In this same example, the 1st solver gets 100, the second 90, the third 80, the fourth 70, and the fifth 60. As mentioned above the sixth through tenth get 50.
  • Thus, it's a self-adjusting scale wherein the more difficult the puzzle, the bigger the reward for the top solvers (relative to the subsequent solvers).
  • Those who participate either by commenting or submitting an answer, but do not successfully solve the puzzle, will be awarded 10% of full value for their efforts.

But because we have a 10-puzzle season, here's the tweak to the cumulative scoring mechanism:

  • Puzzlers will accumulate points and retain them from puzzle-to-puzzle throughout the 10-puzzle season. At the end of the season, each puzzler's 2 WORST scores will be dropped. So the succubus (pictured below) is a little more forgiving - she'll selectively suck the points only from your two poorest showings, including any puzzles you had to miss. At the end of the season, whichever puzzler's best eight scores yield the highest total will be declared the winner.

Any questions, ask here. Another reminder will be posted tomorrow at 7am. See you Thurs, April 7, 7am!


Steve Sax said...

All hail the return of the succubus!

Nostradamus said...

I don't know if I'll be able to challenge (and I use that term loosely) Ubragg as much as in previous years, but I'm looking forward to it.

No word from the board of directors on whether I will be running an NIT sideshow to EK's March Madness this year.