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Here's the answer to my own question -- the puzzles are, apparently, all identical for all players. I read all the comments to the two blog posts that are there right now, and found several saying that yes, their puzzles exactly matched those in the screenshots.

So, for those of us who have yet to do this -- let's wait!!! There are still screenshots needed for the Chess puzzle, and I'm assuming that the jigsaw puzzle will simply come down to mouse dexterity and the ability to solve jigsaw puzzles quickly / easily, using only the shapes as your guide since the background keeps changing.

This really does tick me off in a big way. In some ways the Internet is great, but at times like this is really stinks. I have to agree with the one commenter on that blog named angryb@$t@rd -- this guy (and let's be honest -- every other blogger like him) really should have had the decency to not post the solutions until after the contest was over, so that everyone had to do the same amount of work to get the answers. Sure there are people working in groups to solve these puzzles (as we saw just a few posts back), but that's still slower work than simply reading off of a printout from a screen shot posted on a blog and just having the best hand-eye coordination and fastest mouse hand (not to mention the fastest CPU, since Flash is a processor hog and works better with faster processors).

Google should have made sure that all of the puzzles were reasonably randomized. It wouldn't be hard for most of them -- The Sudoku would all have the same number of pre-placed symbols, just in different positions. The Restorations would all have the same number of blotches, but in slightly different positions. The Geography puzzles would all have the same number of pieces, but with different shapes. The Chess games would have the same number of pieces but with different setups. The only hard one would be the Curator puzzles, since they are spatial relations puzzles and it's harder to juggle them.

Sure, you wouldn't get 10,000 variants. But at least get several hundred, so that the odds of two (or two dozen) people who are trying to collaborate actually getting the same puzzles becomes significantly lower. As long as everyone's odds are the same because all the puzzles have the same degree of difficulty, it would be fine and no one could make a legal claim of bias or unfairness against Sony or Google.

I never had any real hope of winning this thing, but it ticks me off beyond all belief to know that even now, in this day and age, I'm probably going to lose to people who cheat.

- Joe -
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