Mon, 07 Nov 2005
On Friday night we took part in TMOU 7. It was an excellent competition, in my opinion even better than in the previous years. Interesting and innovative puzzles, nice landscapes, and we have even visited a former military rocket-launcher base. The city part of the game was not difficult for us, and we have finished this part on the second place.
The second part contained some difficult puzzles, though. I have speculated before, that we may fail to solve something easy enough, when we start to apply mathematics on it instead of using some simple method. This happened on stage 10. We have tried many difficult methods like XORing the nearby squares, shifting rows and columns, folding the paper, etc. However, we were finally able to abandon the previous wrong ideas, and use something new, which shockingly enough led to the correct solution: this puzzle is just a slightly obfuscated Morse code. We have arrived to the stage 10 at about 1:20am, and solved it four hours later.
The next stage took almost another four hours, but this time it was not a completely wasted time, because the solution itself was lengthy. We have lost between 6 to 8 hours at stages 10 and 11, and even though we have made a good progress in the rest of the game, we did not manage to finish the game in the time limit (which was Saturday noon).
We have left the game on Saturday at 12:15, when we have obtained the task of the stage 14 (out of 15). I guess this means we have finished somewhere between 6th and 10th place. Two teams have finished the whole game, one at 8:05am, and the second one around 11:15am. If you can read Czech, look at our report from the game.