Since I've got something more substantial to say than "Add your times here," let's make this a separate entry and everything else will auto-post as usual. I'll schedule a couple ACPT posts for Saturday and Sunday, as well. For now, I thought we could dedicate a thread to ACPT plans, strategies, predictions, and trash-talk.
Why don't we take those in order... Can't make Friday night plans, because I've got a family dinner. It's my mom's birthday! Which will be great, but then my whole family is staying the weekend in hopes of seeing me win the ACPT. So that's inadvertently piling on a whole bunch more pressure, at least to make the finals.
(Win or lose, I'm definitely not blogging a long wrap-up this year. Super busy next week, in part because I'm leaving soon for a three-month job in Michigan.)
I don't think I'm actually going to share my strategy, since most of my closest competitors will be reading this... But rest assured, I do have a strategy. Oh yes. And it's different from my usual strategy, which is "solve until your fingers ache". I've probably done about 50% of the training this year compared to the last few years, and even this week, I haven't felt like I'm in tip-top shape. Fortunately, my not-quite-tip-top is still pretty good.
More interestingly, "strategy"-wise: the constructor list, leaked by Will to BEQ, includes Patrick Blindauer (puzzle 2 or 5, right? surely something that will stump Dr. Fill) but doesn't include Maura Jacobson (so Merl will surely give us a breezy, punny puzzle 6, right?). Even money on Patrick Berry for the finals? Lynn Lempel's gotta have #1 or #4? It's fun to speculate, but I wouldn't put anything past Will after he hit us with Byron Walden on puzzle 1 a couple years ago.
Predictions! Not including myself, I'll say the top three are Anne, Tyler, and Plot. Bold, right? As for trash-talk, I think Plot and I have had that fairly well-covered here and on Facebook. It seems so out of character to jaw about the ACPT, because of how freaking nice all the top contenders are, right? (Wrong! You have no idea how nasty it gets in the finalists' sequestration room -- it's like an NHL game in there! Katie Hamill spit in some dude's face a couple years ago! Anne took a swing at me with one of her braids! Not really, but wouldn't that be awesome?) I hope nobody's put off by the lack of traditional decorum. I'm just having some fun when I remind Plot that he can beat me on all the easy puzzles he wants, but he has no chance to take me down in the finals.
Anyway! I kid because I love, and also because I am threatened. Please come say hello this weekend - I want to hang with as many people as possible, especially if they actually visit this site. Safe travels to the out-of-towners, and I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday morning!