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Choice of Solution Code

I just saw I made a mistake on the solution code for "easy as japanese railways" by entering one of the crossings as L for loop instead of X for crossing (I did an X for the other crossing in a relevant row, so appearently I knew the rule in principle).

While this is of course entirely my fault, I still feel this highlights that the solution code was chosen clearly suboptimally for checking if someone solved the puzzle.

Since it is a puzzle in which all crossings where given and no crossings were allowed to be put in by the solver, asking to signify where the crossings are does not check, whether you solved the puzzle right. It checks whether you read the solution right. It would be fine to have a special marking for crossings if loop segments where to be entered by their shape, say I,L,T and X as symbols. But saying loop segments are all L except for crossings means crossings are singled out as an exception, which means when entering the solution you have to actively remember to check more than just "L for loop", even though you are otherwise in a habit to not care about the shape of the loop segment.
This would only make any sense if finding the crossings would be part of the solution. As it is, entering the right spots for crossings carries no information as to whether the puzzle was solved right.

To make matters worse, crossings also receive the same symbol as the entirely different blackend cells, making it even easier to forget about them (if there was a distinct symbol for them, you would recall more easily that sybol is for crossings)...

I apologize for the confusion caused by the answer key for puzzle 15 (Easy As Japanese Railways).

We are going to give credit for solvers who used "I" instead of "L" for straight segments on the Railways:

We are also going to give credit for solvers who used "L" instead of "X" for intersections on the Railways:

This should reinstate credit to 30 of the 36 solvers who had their answer judged as incorrect in the unofficial results.

Since a solver has brought up the thought that perhaps the answer key was a practical joke, I also think it is worthwhile to mention how the answer key came about.

I've gotten complaints in the past from solvers who say that there are too many different letters to type when inputting the answer key, so I thought "Well, this puzzle needs ABCDIXL, seven different letters, which is a lot -- maybe I can remove one and make it easier for the solvers". So, in that light, it seemed reasonable to replace "I" with "L". The decision was not made to play a prank or to deliberately try to fool players. In a competition with hundreds of players it is hard to make something that feels natural and easy to everyone, especially when our puzzle-writers can be very creative coming up with new variations on puzzles.