NYT 4:34 ... LAT 4:16 ... MR 4:05 ... BG 4:41 ... ND 3:57 ... CS 2:03 ... WP 3:14 ... Diagramless (p) 7:23
Lollapuzzoola was a smashing success once again. It's a good thing organizers Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer booked a bigger room in Manhattan, because there was a huge walk-in crowd and somewhere around 170 people competed. Jeffrey Harris took the title again, edging Al Sanders and Dave Tuller on the big boards. I enjoyed my first full day as a judge, collecting papers, grading them, and joining the Google Team when needed on the hardest puzzle. Fun and pizza was had by all!
Below are my times from when I test-solved the puzzles a week or so ago. Some clues changed for the final version, but they're essentially the same puzzles, if you'd like to compare your times to mine. (I don't know how I would have compared to the top finishers today, and I'm not sure I will find out, because the times won't be posted with the results... then again, perhaps Al will check in, and he finished first on points.)
Puzzle 1 - 2:55
Puzzle 2 - 7:00
Puzzle 3 - 5:30 (and 2:00 for the bonus answer)
Puzzle 4 - 9:00 (but they clarified the theme clues after I pointed out a minor problem)
Puzzle 5 - 7:45 (and 0:45 for the bonus answer)
Puzzle 6 (Express Finals) - 5:35 - which certainly would have won, even allowing for whiteboard awkwardness, but the clues were toughened up a bit after my round of test-solving.