Red Bull Mind Gamers Round 2 Voting Open!

To my surprise, I made the cut for the final three in round 2 of the Red Bull Mind Gamers challenges- the visual round. Voting is now open!

I mentioned it in an earlier post, but the concept for round 2 was to take a square made up of smaller triangular pieces and make a different picture out of it. This is not my forte at all, and I had very low expectations. Here’s what I came up with.

Though you can see some small gaps and misalignments, the pieces actually look great when lined up perfectly. That’s important here, because it’s the best case I have for being the winner here.

Here’s the competition:

I find both other images more visually striking than my own, but the distinction is that I used all the pieces exactly as provided, which means the degree of difficulty of what I did was much higher than what my opponents had to deal with- I had a few designs where one errant corner forced me back to the drawing board. Entry #2 used resize and crop quite liberally, while entry #3 overlapped pieces heavily to deal with some cases where the pieces didn’t fit together quite right.

All look great, but of course since I want to win, I’ll argue that I’ve earned it by making something recognizable without cutting any corners. Had I known I would be a finalist, I’d probably have spent a little extra on the presentation of this (using a glue stick and black construction paper), but Christina actually likes the human touch it shows.

Fun fact: I developed this over the course of about an hour while Christina and I watched episode 1 of the new Lost in Space Netflix series. The reason why the background is so shiny is because I made the design on my Boogie Board sketch device. My original plan was to sketch out a neat design and then fit the pieces together like tanagrams within the outline, then erase the outline, but I kept running into the problem of having pieces that didn’t fit quite right, so I switched to a more free form approach when I made the T-Rex.

As of now I’m actually in first place by an ok margin – 9 to 3 to 3. By some strangeness, the glitchy voting system got even glitchier, so the voting options aren’t labeled.

Hopefully this doesn’t lead to a snafu where someone else gets declared the winner after I get the most votes! I’m option one in the poll but it shows me as blue / 2nd listed in the voting results. I know this because Christina and I voted for me this morning and saw Blue tick up when we did. Hopefully Red Bull can see the mapping cleanly!

In the event you want to try making a vote for me (or anyone else on the finalist list), you can visit the Red Bull challenge site at Red Bull Mind Gamers. Two things to remember: 1) I’m making the assumption that the voting options are in the same order as the listing of the entries, so choose #1 if you’d like to vote for me, and 2) The voting system doesn’t always work. If you vote and don’t see the above pie chart, your vote didn’t count even if it said it did. You’ll need to try again later until you see the pie chart.

Two closing thoughts.

-If this contest sounds fun, please enter! Red Bull will only keep doing these if they get interesting entries from a wide variety of people, so by giving it a shot, you’re doing puzzlers everywhere a favor even if you don’t think you’ll be selected. And who knows- I never thought my T-Rex would be selected, and here we are!

-I’m a little bit saddened about the possibility of winning a ticket to MIT with the round 2 Visual puzzle, since it might mean that I can’t be selected as a finalist for the round 3 Logic challenge. My entry for the Logic challenge is better than either my Strategy or Visual entries, and that’s the one I’d love to have my name attached to when going to the Discovery Lab. But if a paper T-Rex is what it takes to punch my ticket, so be it! But regardless of what happens, I’ll share my entry for puzzle 3 on here.

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