The the next chapter in the PCS saga unfolds on Thursday, April 26**.
The season will be divided into two halves, as in years past. Here's the full puzzle schedule for 2012:
- Thurs, April 26, 7am PT
- Thurs, May 3, 7am PT
- Thurs, May 10, 7am PT
- Thurs, May 24, 7am PT
- Thurs, June 14, 7am PT
- Thurs, July 12, 7am PT
- Thurs, July 19, 7am PT
- Thurs, Aug 2, 7am PT
- Thurs, Aug 9, 7am PT
- Thurs, Aug 23, 7am PT
- Thurs, Sept 6, 7am PT
- At the start of PCS Season 5, all Puzzlers start with zero points.
- On every scheduled puzzle off-Thursday, 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.
- After every puzzle, we'll show the updated PCS Point Rankings. Prizes for each half season will be awarded after the 5th and after the 10th puzzle, as well as an overall prize after the Grand Finale to the season winner!
- Puzzlers will accumulate points and retain them from puzzle-to-puzzle, until the 6th puzzle. Once we get there, all points awarded for the 1st puzzle will be sucked away by the infamous succubus (pictured below). When we get to the 7th puzzle, the points awarded for the 2nd puzzle drop off. And so forth. So it's a rolling 5-puzzle point total this year. This is to prevent puzzlers from resting on their laurels for too long, or to allow new puzzlers to eventually be on even ground as veteran puzzlers.
*Unless it's chronological, then it's Attack of the EK Clone (shudders)
**Previous editions I, II, III, and IV, for your edification.