The results for the US Puzzle Championship and the US Sudoku Team Qualifying test are out. I finished 18th on the former, which is actually slightly better than I expected given my feelings after the test and my shocking, yet somehow also unshocking, idiocy on the answer form, without which I would have placed 13th. The latter result was 11th place, which, despite being a better ranking, is far more disappointing, as I felt much better about how that test went. I felt like I'd at least done well enough to crack the top ten, as I barely did last year. I'm forced to conclude that the competition is getting better and I'm not. I simply haven't put in the work required to make myself a contender, and I'm not sure what doing so would entail or even if I'm up to the challenge, especially given that my competitive-puzzling priorities are elsewhere.
Well, with those two competitions in the books for another year, it's time to lick my wounds and look forward to this weekend's BACFill tournament! The Bay Area crossword tournament returns with a new snappy name, a snazzier location in Oakland's CSU East Bay, and a new great charity to support, Families of SMA. Registration is just $35 for competitive solving of future New York Times and some good socializing with fellow cruciverbalists. I'll be there once again as a judge and I hope to see you!
Late update! Tournament director Andrew Laurence informs me that volunteers are needed! So if you want to come but aren't down with competing, consider that angle.