Got to the 3+1 situation, figured i was stuck, then wrote Python code for a bruteforce attempt. While that was still running, analyzing the puzzle more by hand, which resulted in a correct solution before the script finished

when does this one end?

First wrote a program for a LP Solver, like i did it for the last number puzzles too, which however didn’t produce a solution even after 3 hours.

Then wrote a simple Python backtracking program which found the solution after 1 second.

In just under two and a half hours.

I have columns 5-7 filled in and I’m sure about those. Trying to work through and list/eliminate possible permutations for the others.

Made it, just in time, naturally was on my original word list

I’m getting more and more frustrated with theses puzzles/with myself.

Tried so many approaches and I dont seem to be getting close to the solution. I dont know what you guys mean with going for one of two possible numbers. I still have so many for every spot. And it didnt help to start on the left…

“I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” ~ Thomas Edison

With an hour to the deadline last night, I thought I’d cracked it, only to discover that my solution was perfect except for two diagonally touching squares which had the same number. This one defeated me

Yeah, I tried and ended up deciding with a couple hours to go to write a recursive backtracking solver, which I did, watched run for a while, realized that I had neglected to make it iterate column-first, fixed, and… found it declared the puzzle unsolvable, running out of time before I could figure out why and make it work

My approach was lazy: I removed all the spaces and pucntuation. I have lowercased everything and started eyeballing for anything that looks like a word, but wasn’t in original text. Once I found one word, the category was quite obvious. Then found few more. I picked list of items in this category from internet. For each I have highlighted its first an last letter and got few more hits. From there i was able to guess partial answer which gave me approximate location of words I missed in the text (and few missing letters). The whole process took less than 20 mins.

Wrong thread perhaps?

Yep. Sorry., Nevermind, 20 chars min.

This was the only puzzled I failed to complete in time.

I finally solved this grid by hand… I only wish we’d had a weekend for this one, cos I simply didn’t have the time for it on the day!

I finally solved it today!

And I realized that I was stuck on my first try because I had miscalculated one of the column and had therefore written the wrong digit in one of the square

Now that the contest is over, can someone please tell me the solution to this puzzle?

Using your solution, I came up with the words “with” (for the number 8) and “enea” (for the number 9).

I used a different method, and I came up with a lot of possible words. I entered all of them, and the contest website told me that all of them were incorrect. Two of the words I came up with were “with” and “enea”.

So, if the correct answer is “with” or “enea”, then the contest website could have had some glitch.

Since when was ‘enea’ a word? The correct answer for that puzzle was ‘with’.