It has been my observation that CodeChef’s short contests like monthly Cook-Offs and Lunchtimes have become extremely unbalanced in difficulty level.
The best example I have is of COOK101 (December Cook-Off). Being in Division 1, I could not do a single question from that contest (thankfully I made no submissions). I understand Division 1 is meant to be hard but among 5 questions at least 1 should be on the easier side (greedy algorithms, implementation problems, etc.).
But the true problem occurs with Division 2 (COOK101B). Their first question was easy, and the next 4 questions are common with Division 1. Look at the fall in successful submissions, 2080 to 85. That means for more than 95% of participants, acing the Cook-Off meant doing the easy question fast. That was the end of the contest for them.
And usually also, if there are 5 questions in a Cook-Off or Lunchtime, the last 3 have successful submissions in single digits, compared to >100 submissions for the first two problems.
Now, I understand that having hard questions is good for learning. But still the contests are so unbalanced, it’s not fun at all. And Division 2 contests are not appropriate for Division 2 level at all. Division 1 also feels like as if its for rating >= 2100.
I think that many other users might also be disappointed with the current difficulty distributions.