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2022 U.S. Puzzle Championship - Rules

The official purpose of the championship is to recognize the top U.S. puzzle solvers. Unofficial participation is open to all puzzlers world-wide. Nationality is determined by citizenship, not residence. Test timing of this 3-hour test is flexible, any time starting Dec 31 and finishing betore 8pm EST on Sunday January 8.

 

Registration

Test Procedures

Scoring

Outside Help

Judging

Technical Support

Results

 

 

Registration

All contestants must register to participate in this online championship, and must login to submit answers. See the Privacy Policy regarding our use of registration and other information collected by this site.

 

Test Procedures

Unlike most years, you can take this USPC test anytime between Dec 31 and 8pm EDT on Jan 8. The proper procedure this is therefore slightly different than normal, so please read the following to ensure you are familiar.

 

  • Download the 2022 Preview Puzzle Instructions and encrypted 2022 USPC files.
  • The preview instructions contain the instructions for all of the puzzles on the test. Most instructions are accompanied by a sample puzzle and solution. This will give you a head-start for translation or any other reasonable preparation, such as trying out puzzle types that you are unfamiliar with.
  • Go to the Start USPC page when ready to start. Once there, click either start button or link, which will reveal the USPC password and start your 3-hour clock.
  • Using the password, open the 2022 USPC PDF file and begin solving!
  • You will have 3 hours to solve as many puzzles as you can and submit your answers via the Answer Page. Your submission time is recorded with your answers. After you submit an answer or answers, the confirmation page will show your timestamp and remind you to check your Timer. You may then return to the Answer Page to view your submitted answers, continue solving, and to submit additional answers.
  • For your convenience, a separate Timer Window is available to show the current server time and a countdown to test end. The Timer is available from the right sidebar when you are using the "start", "password", or "answer" pages. This is a convenience, and not guaranteed to be accurate. You are personally responsible for submitting answers on time.

 

After 3 hours, your personal test period is over. In case of emergency or network lag, the Answer Page will continue to accept answer submissions; otherwise late answers are not scored. Please use the Timer to keep track of your time remaining.

 


 

Scoring

Your last Answer Page submission before the deadline will be time-stamped and scored. Your final score is the total of all points accumulated, including bonus.

  • The scoring for each puzzle is given at the top of the page. A correct answer will earn the number of points indicated (which is a rough, relative indication of the time expected to solve the puzzle).
  • Leaving an answer blank will score 0 points.
  • There is no penalty for incorrect answers, except possibly for spot-the-differences and counting puzzles, as noted below.
  • For a spot-the-differences puzzle (#4 in 2022), you may identify up to 10 differences, and will score 1 point for each distinct correct difference found. ┬áIf any portion of your answer is incorrect you will receive a single penalty of -5 points, but will still receive points for the correct portions of your answer. If you find all of the differences without error, you will receive a 5 point bonus.
  • For a counting puzzle (#3 in 2022), your answer is a total count. If your answer is correct, you will receive the given points. If your answer is off by 1, you will receive 0 points. if your answer is off by 2 or more, you will receive a penalty of -5 points.
  • If you submit all answers completely and correctly, you will receive a bonus of 2.0 points per minute early (including fractional minutes) before your 3 hour limit.
  • All answer submissions must be made within the 3 hours time limit. Late submissions will not be scored.

 

Ranking and tie-breaking will be based on the following rules in order:

  1. Most total points, including bonus
  2. Earliest final submission time

 

Outside Help

Outside solving help of any kind is not permitted. This includes but is not limited to: assistance of any kind from any other person; prepared notes, books, calculators, computers, or tools other than items explicitly permitted.

 

You are allowed to use writing implements, eraser, blank paper (including commercial graph paper), ruler, scissors, tape, and translation of Preview Instructions.

 

Judging

All entries and scores are subject to review for rules compliance. USA winners may be asked provide a copy of their passport ID page to prove nationality, and to sign an affidavit confirming that they did, in fact, abide by the rules of the competition. The organizers reserve the right to disqualify any contestant if, in their sole judgment, they believe the rules have been violated.

 

In case of a dispute, protest, or other judgment, the decision of the judges is final.

 

Technical Support

The organizers do not expect any technical problems with the operation of championship. If you do encounter a problem that is likely causing trouble for many contestants, check the USPC home page. If you have a problem that is most likely affecting only you, you may call the test hotline number: (+1) 650-302-4898. Officials will not, however, answer any questions regarding the puzzles themselves.

 

Results

The solutions to the test puzzles will be published here after January 8. Preliminary scoring will be emailed by January 10, and results will be published here before January 14.