PRAGUE – The IOL community is in jubilant celebration after a member of the jury exclusively leaked to LNNO that all 5 problems of the individual paper and the team contest have been penned by our very own cult-leader Ivan Derzhanski. When the story broke at the LNNO office, there was a spontaneous chorus of “Yes, Yay, Yever” at the thought of a meticulously prepared contest by the mastermind behind Burmese Names, Tangut families and, of course, everyone’s favourite, Budukh.
With just a week left to go until the individual contest, the rumour mill has been abuzz with alleged topics of location-appropriate problems including, but not limited to:
- A translation of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody into a language called Kwiin
- Sentences taken from a book on the history of defenestration
- no details, just the title Czech It Out
- A problem that can only be described by jury members as “Kafkaesque”
- A special Prague-themed chess variant involving cheap beer and a ‘Charles Bridge’ that the pieces must cross to get from one side to the other
However, it also seems as though such a wonderful outcome has come at a high cost for the rest of the problem committee, who (it is alleged) were forced into testing a total of 75 problems that Ivan submitted over the course of the 8 months leading up to the competition, an average of one problem every 3-4 days. The narrowing down process was so difficult that the chair of the jury, Maria Rubinstein, was forced to close problem submissions three months early in order to allow enough time for the committee to test all the existing problems. As it stands, there are still 20 problems that remain untouched to this day – leaving a pile of problems available for future use until at least 2030.
We here at LNNO cannot wait to see how the next 13 years of pure Derzhanski will play out and we know his loyal followers back home will be equally thrilled at the knowledge that they can award their idol a Solvers’ Choice award every year, much to the disappointment of our current champion, Ksenia, who has begun stockpiling over 200 of her own problems in retaliation in what can only be described as a massive overreaction.
CHISINAU – As the saying goes, pride comes before a fall. Never has this quip been more relevant than with the ongoing situation where infamous jury member, Ksenia Gilyarova, faces detainment in Chisinau airport on her way to the 15th edition of the International Linguistics Olympiad in Dublin, where she was set to win her fifth Solvers’ Choice award. Guess that’s karma for you.
Travel problems are not new to IOL. Just this year, the Taiwanese team has been delayed by a “typhoon” and the Armenian team decided they wouldn’t even bother trying to come. In Mysore 2016, major disruption was caused when the people of Bangalore staged a strike after seeing the farce that was that year’s IOL Jeopardy. This meant that coaches conveniently had to leave up to 9 hours before they were scheduled to, greatly diminishing the number of people that needed to be catered for the following morning.
The exact causes for Gilyarova’s delay are not yet known, but word is that the Moldovan authorities were tipped off by an anonymous source who had been seen writing Moldovan and was hoping to guarantee the prestigious 15th Solvers’ Choice award for himself. This just goes to show: with great success comes a target on your back and an angrily worded email to the Chisinau airport authorities.
DUBLIN – After 14 years of translating linguistics olympiads into as many languages as requested by participants, the IOL problem committee has announced their decision to get rid of the pesky translation thing once and for all. “In 2003, we only had 6 countries to think about and most of them already had representatives in the jury anyway so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But recently, with 30 countries participating every year, and with multiple languages per country (I mean, Bengali? Really?), we’re really starting to run thin. Some guy from the UK asked us to write it in Basque. I mean, for God’s sake, who can be fucked to do that,” Boris Iomdin told the press in a public statement, admitting that they tried to get Ivan Derzhanski to translate the papers, but on further inspection, they realised that in each of the languages he had translated, he had replaced the traditional 5 problem format with a single problem consisting of a list of chess variants translated into Burushaski that the contestants were expected to spend all 6 hours solving.