You are here

Answering form

Little question about the answering form:

Will there be a warning if:

-one enter a 8-digits or 10-digits code (instead of 9),
-a digit is repeated in a code,
-there is wrong character in a code (for example a 0, or a wrong letter if we have to enter letters),
-Overall: if a code has a wrong format (string of 9 characters, being digits 1-9 or else depending of the puzzles).


Yes, there will be some warnings for these things including proper length and proper digits. Only puzzle 12 (Sudoku with Stars) will use a different set than 1-9 so the checks will be uniform except for that puzzle.

We will try to provide a summary of the answer page functionality before the start of this Sudoku GP round.

I have finished the validation of submitting the form right now and I can say that there will be all warnings which are possible.

1) length of submission - warning if it is not 9 signs (numbers or letters)
2) repeating of digits
3) missing digits
4) wrong character will be pointed (by all puzzles exept puzzle 12 there should be numbers 1-9), everything else will make an error
5) by puzzle 12) Sudoku with Stars checking if there are numbers 1-7 and 2 times "X" letter

Even if you will see an error the your answering form will be saved into DB.
The page will be available before the competition so you'll be able to try it before.
The submission form will be very similar to the one used on page.


I don't think there should be a warning for repeated or missing digits.

The answer form should prevent the solver from making syntax errors - entering 8 or 10 digits, or non-digits (with the exception of puzzle 12), clearly is a typo only. However, repeated or missing digits could be caused by an incorrect solution, and I don't think the answer form should alert solvers to that.

I agree with Ulrich. Warnings 2) and 3) are nonsense.

Obviously for the puzzle competition it would be very silly to check for duplicate and missing digits always as the answer key often will contain duplicate digits. So, for the Sudoku competition, this is something that really only Thomas (as Sudoku director) should decide, not me. For the puzzle competition I will need to check whether it is technologically possible to do for individual puzzles (such as Kropki or Easy as ABC) and then make a decision for those specific puzzles.

However, my general thoughts are:

There are two reasons a solver might enter duplicate or missing digits:
(1) The solver has solved the puzzle incorrectly; or
(2) The solver has solved the puzzle correctly but has made a typo when entering the answer.

* For (1), we would rather not help the solver. There are many ways to solve a puzzle incorrectly, it seems unfair for one specific way of solving a puzzle incorrectly to have a free warning.
* For (2), we would rather help the solver. It is easy to have the correct answer on your sheet but slip and type the key one space away when entering the answer. A solver should not be penalized when they have the correct answer.

Unfortunately we cannot detect which case, (1) or (2), is true. So either way we will have errors. If we do the check, then solvers of type (1) will get "lucky" and sometimes be alerted that their solution has a mistake. They will probably then go back and try to fix it, if they have time. If we do not do the check, then solvers of type (2) will get punished for a typo.

It comes down to whether it is better to assume people are "guilty", and risk being unfair to "innocents", or whether to assume people are "innocent" and risk that some "guilty" people get away with "crimes".

My feeling is that I would rather be generous and helpful. I think that type (2) is going to be more likely than type (1), and since we are not checking the entire grid, a type (1) solver cannot depend on the system to tell him when they have mistakes. Also, even if they get the warning, it may not be a simple fix for them; they may have to start the puzzle over to find their mistake.

So my recommendation is to have the check, although it is a close decision. I certainly would like to see more discussion on this matter.

I do also feel that it is more important to be consistent across the two competitions. So if Thomas decides that the Sudoku competition will not have this sort of checking, then I will decide that the Puzzle competition also will not have this sort of checking.

While Wei-Hwa has given some context here, I'll just summarize that it is quite difficult across puzzle types to try to minimize typos without sometimes eliminating puzzle mistakes. Instead of making lots of subjective judgment calls, for the Sudoku GP the standard will be that a solver can only submit a string that could possibly be an answer to that sudoku. This captures as many typos as we believe we can catch (without programming the given digits into the checker) while making sure that there are no formatting errors that can complicate judging.

-Thomas Snyder
Sudoku GP Competition Director

Well, I'm happy about the warning of repeated digits as that happened to me this round when I was typing the solution from number key pad and happened to press 4 instead of 7. It took me only few seconds to fix it and, otherwise, might have been unnoticed by me. Now, I'm just waiting to see if that solution itself was correct or not :)