This year, by popular demand, we've extended Puzzle Day to two days so that people could attend the workshops AND compete in all of the tournaments. This year, the workshops will be held on Saturday, February 7th in the Program Room of the Morgan Hill Library.
We will be featuring workshops on beginner and advanced level crossword and Sudoku, as well as cryptic crosswords and killer sudoku.
The schedule is subject to change. Please check back for updates.
|10-10:45 am||Maintain Your Brain
The health of the brain plays a critical role in almost everything you do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, and playing - even sleeping. The good news is that we now know there's a lot you can do to help keep your brain healthier as you age (and puzzles can be part of that!). These steps might also reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. Simple lifestyle modifications also would have an enormous impact on our nation's public health and the cost of healthcare. If you make brain-healthy lifestyle changes and take action by getting involved, we could realize a future without Alzheimer's disease. Alexandra Morris, Family Services Manager, Alzheimer's Association of Northern California & Northern Nevada, will present.
|10:45-11:45 am||Sudoku for Kids|
Kids of all ages will enjoy this workshop, aimed at introducing Sudoku to novices and improving the skills of Sudoku beginners. The workshop will start with a pre-test, so that kids can be grouped together and taught at their level. Intermediate students and beyond will be given the option of moving over to Jim Summers 11am workshop. Prizes will be given and a good time should be had by all! Presented by Dave Holmstrom, an educator with the American Institute of Mathematics and Brian Conrey, the director of the American Institute of Mathematics.
|11-11:45 am||Sudoku Tips and Tricks
Jim Summers, author of the Sudoku Tips column in the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch and frequent workshop presenter will provide an workshop on Sudoku for those just starting out with the puzzles or those who want to improve their skills and strategies in advance of the tournament.
|11:45 am -
Explore downtown Morgan Hill for many lunch options. Maps and suggestions will be provided.
|1-1:45 pm||Cryptic Crosswords
This year, we've added a special Cryptic Crosswords bonus round to the Puzzle Day tournament schedule. This workshop aims to introduce an audience familiar with American-style crosswords to the joys of solving these British-style cryptic crosswords. Cryptic crosswords involve learning more rules compared to ordinary straight crosswords, and the deciphering of the solution requires working out the straight definition as well as the wordplay involved in the clues. Analyze solutions to sample cryptic clues and discuss the wordplay in this fun workshop. Presented by cryptic crossword constructor and online cryptic crossword community leader Ganesh T S. WORKSHOP SLIDES
|2-2:45 pm||Monday-Tuesday Crossword Solving/Constructing
Andrea Carla Michaels is a professional namer and puzzle constructor, has been an NPR radio panelist/commentator, television writer and online humor columnist. Her crossword puzzles have been published in the New York Times, LA Times, and other prestigious publications. Michaels will be presenting this workshop on constructing and solving Monday/Tuesday level "easy" puzzles, tips that will definitely come in handy in the early rounds of the tournament.
|3-3:45 pm||Constructing and solving the really tough puzzles
Byron Walden is an Associate Professor at Santa Clara University in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and an acclaimed crossword puzzle constructor. While his professional research interests focus on complex analysis and discrete dynamical systems, people in the crossword world know him as the creator of challenging puzzles. In his popular crossword blog, "Rex Parker does the NYT Crossword Puzzle", Binghamton University professor Michael Sharp, writes that he considers Mr. Walden to be "one of the greatest constructors alive...or dead."
|4-4:45 pm||Killer Sudoku
This year, we've added a special Killer Sudoku bonus round to the Puzzle Day tournament schedule. Attend this workshop to learn about this variant of the popular game that combines elements of Sudoku and kakuro (also known as cross sums). These puzzles depend on the solver's skill at mental arithmetic, and while the easiest ones can be easier than regular Sudoku puzzles, the hardest ones can take hours to crack. Brian Conrey, a repeat Puzzle Day competitor, is the Executive Director of the American Institute of Mathematics, one of the major sponsors of the event.