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Briefly: is it kosher yet for me to ask questions about this year's exam? (I'd really like to know how to do the B3!)

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  • $\begingroup$ Just curious (I'm neither American nor Canadian): is Putnam a difficult competition? There is a Putnam question posted on the main site, but if I wasn't told that it's a Putnam question, I would think it's just a usual homework question. $\endgroup$ – user1551 Dec 7 '14 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ @user1551: It is difficult overall, but some of the problems are not as difficult. Here are some past problems and stats on scores: kskedlaya.org/putnam-archive. Perfect scores, or even near perfect scores, are very rare. $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Dec 7 '14 at 23:47
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    $\begingroup$ @user1551 It does not look like standard linear algebra homework to me. At least I would not be able to come up with a solution on my feet, without sitting down and thinking some. You have gold badges in linear-algebra and matrices, so I suppose it's not that hard for you. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Dec 8 '14 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer Thanks for the link. I like the way they set those questions. Most (if not all) questions are very easy to understand (there are no scary symbols or weird terminologies). Some even look very innocent on surface, but turn out to be rather nontrivial. $\endgroup$ – user1551 Dec 8 '14 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Behaviour Hmm, how to put it? I think deep down, the question posted on the main site is not really a linear algebra problem. So, whether I have a gold badge in linear algebra (or whether a gold badge really means expertise) is irrelevant. I apologize if my previous comments made you feel like I was bragging, but I honestly didn't think it was a difficult problem. $\endgroup$ – user1551 Dec 8 '14 at 0:41
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Quoting Kent Merryfield from AoPS:

Please do not post or discuss any Putnam 2014 problems anywhere on this forum until Sunday evening (approximately 7:00 p.m. EST or 4:00 PST). I will create 13 topics at that time, one for each problem and a general discussion topic. Please wait for me to post those topics and put your comments there.

One reason for waiting until Sunday evening is that while most students will be taking the exam on Saturday, there is a provision for some of them to take it on Sunday.

AoPS is not Math.SE, but I think the same advice applies.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah. Thanks for the info. $\endgroup$ – Chris Dec 7 '14 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ And, if you want to discuss the problems, why not do it on AoPS? $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Dec 9 '14 at 14:31
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It's past Sunday! :-) Kiran Kedlaya has put up both the questions and answers of this year's Putnam at kskedlaya.org:

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! ${}{}{}$ $\endgroup$ – Chris Dec 9 '14 at 2:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris No problem! $\endgroup$ – user122283 Dec 9 '14 at 2:39

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