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Posted by Sue 
Re: Inequalities
February 28, 2013 01:09AM
Hi Christine

I'm glad you are still cracking on with the inequalities, as tough as they can be. Don't give up! It doesn't matter how long a puzzle takes, or if you put aside the book for a while and pick it up another time, just think of that glow of satisfaction when one gets finished!

I must admit, I do like easier puzzles now and again. It's a bit like putting weary feet into fluffy slippers! A couple of books in the 200 series are reserved for when I need those easier moments - the Odd/Even and Sudoku X books. I've dipped into one of the Futoshiki books and they're definitely easier than the inequalities book, so I enjoyed that.

I've no easier puzzles marked for you this time. I've hit a tough batch between 45-50, but I won't forget to notify you of easier ones.
Re: Inequalities
April 02, 2013 12:05PM
Hello again

We have all gone quiet for a bit!!! I hope everyone is still puzzling well and had a good Easter. I have been a bit busy recently but have been progressing with Inequalities in the odd quiet moment.... the freezing weather has helped! I have been enjoying reattempting old abandoned puzzles with a squeaky clean replacement book. A clean sheet has definitely freshened my mind and I am being moderately successful, although some are still foxing me. I have FINALLY managed the irksome number 14 which was very satisfying! I am still finding the early puzzles harder than the later ones. I still have several in the teens i have not cracked as yet. Maybe new inequality puzzlers might be warned of this as maybe they will be put off.

In the meantime I have also enjoyed Issue 22 and still have the odd foray into other puzzles. Nothing quite hits the spot like Inequalites though. Any chance of another book sometime Gareth? Or any ideas for other good challenges?

So how's everyone else doing?

Re: Inequalities
April 02, 2013 02:58PM
Yes, some new books could be a good idea. What books would you like to see, other than a second volume of Inequalities?
Re: Inequalities
April 02, 2013 10:54PM
Hello Gareth

I hope the books are selling well for you. They are excellent value and I hope repay you well for your effort in producing them. I would welcome any suggestions you have for variants I might have missed which have the same level of challenge as Inequalities. I would be interested to know which ones do you find hardest?

Variants I would currently like to see in book form (other than an Inequalites 2!) are Extra Region Jigsawa and Skyscraper Samuria Stars. A mixed variant Samurai Star would be great too if that was possible.

I am sure others will join in this particular thread with more ideas.......

All the best

Re: Inequalities
April 07, 2013 05:41AM
Well done on finishing 14, Sue. I seem to be the opposite, where I managed to finish the earlier ones, but have hit a bunch of toughies between 45-68. I'm currently on 68. Looking back, I see that I abandoned 62 & 64 eye popping smiley - not like me to abandon, but I must have been desperate to move on to a fresh puzzle! Must try those ones again before I get too far ahead.

Christine, some easy ones for you are 51, 55, 59, 66, 67. 52, 57 & 58 I marked as medium, and the others were quite tough for me.

Gareth, I received an alert about a new book of yours due out on the 18th April - The Mammoth Book of New Sudoku. I had to pop in here and shout my delight. What a great mix of puzzles - 495 of them! Flicking through the available “look inside” pages, I spotted Sudoku Centres and was very pleased to see this variation, where the central cell of each box formed an extra region. In a way, it reminded me with great fondness of a puzzle that was around years ago, called “Clueless Sudoku”. “Clueless” was made up of 9 Sudoku grids. The central box of each grid was shaded and formed a 10th Sudoku. Called “Clueless” because there were no given numbers for the shaded boxes. Could you, perhaps, produce something like this one day, Gareth? Anyway, thank you for this new book, which I will add to the pile!

Other book suggestions, apart from Inequalities 2: Extra Regions with the variants of this variant! How about Non-Consecutive or a mix of Consecutive and Non-Consecutive, or a mix of Quad Clue and Quad Max? Perhaps a second volume of XV and/or Kropki could be considered for the future?

We can never get enoughgrinning smiley

Take care

Re: Inequalities
April 07, 2013 07:55AM
Morning Sue, Marilyn and Gareth!

Got to admit, I have left my inequalities book alone for a while (I have six others of the 200 series which I have been working at on and off with much more success!) But thanks for high-lighting some of the slightly easier ones Marilyn - I will go back and have another look at those.

More books? Well, my personal preferences would be for odd pair sudoku and a varied collection of samurai stars (not standard sudoku but other variants.

Also a puzzle I have missed in the last few editions of Xtra is the Jigsaw Skyscraper - more interesting than the plain skyscrapers and a bit easier than the samurai skyscrapers - I always love having a go at that one but don't always get it finished!

I've also seen the Mammoth Sudoku book on Amazon and have had it pre-ordered for a while now! Not long to wait.

As ever, thanks Gareth, for keeping us puzzlers happy with the best selections out there!
Re: Inequalities
April 09, 2013 10:54AM
Hello everyone

Great to hear your progress and ideas. I fully endorse all the excellent suggestions for further books. I had forgotten odd pair. I don't think these have been in Xtra for a bit and I always enjoyed them and found them quite tricky quite often.

I had also abandoned 62 and 64, Marilyn, so I am having another look following your comment. After a lot of thought and general stuckness I have just managed 62! I did ok for a bit with the 9's, most of the 8's and some 1's but then stalled. I was on the verge of another annoying abandonment but persisted and finally had a breakthrough. If you havent cracked it yet study all the possibilities in column 4. I found it unravelled slowly at that point as I managed to place a 5 (curiously). Not often a 5 unlocks the puzzle is it. Good luck with it if you need it.

Am going to try 64 now. Don't hold your breath!

Re: Inequalities
April 13, 2013 03:25AM
I'd forgotten about Odd Pair as well. That was a nice puzzle.

Sue, thanks for your help on 62. I think I see what you mean with column 4. If I've got it right (which I'll find out over the weekend) there's only 3 cells that can be either 8, 7 or 6, so eliminate the other possibilities from those cells, and there's only one place for the 5!

I finished 64. I'd got about 3/4 of it done before getting stuck and abandoning it. When I looked back at it, I had one of those "doh!" moments.
In the bottom right box I had, in the 3 central cells:
which I had previously stared at loads of times
3,4 = yoohoo, here I am
4 eye rolling smiley
Five minutes later the puzzle was finished.

I love moments like that!
Re: Inequalities
June 04, 2013 08:46PM
Well, I have finally arrived at the half-way mark, having completed the first 100 puzzles. Still another 100 to go and considering I started in December, this is great value for money!

Christine, I've marked some easy ones for you, when you are ready. I think we were up to 68 last time, so from 68 to 100 easy ones for me were:

68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 76, 77, 84 (very easy), 89, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98, 100. The others were moderate to hard, but not so hard that any were abandoned.

I'm taking a break for a while to enjoy the Mammoth Book of New Sudoku and Extra 23. I'm also ordering a new book in the 101 series, volume 2 of the 13-grid Samurai!

If I was a cat, I'd be purring loudly with happiness!

Take care

Re: Inequalities
October 02, 2013 11:53AM
Hello again!

A long time since we chatted. How are my puzzling friends? I have moved to the North in the summer and seem to have less time for puzzles despite now being retired. Not sure how that happened! I am looking forward to long winter sudoku evenings by the fireside now.

Anyway after all this time I have still not completed the inequalities book.... I think I have about 40 either still untried or abandoned (for a while). I am still determined to finish all 200 come hell or high water! Hopefully before Christmas which will be a whole year...not very impressive is it?! A book 2 in my Christmas stocking would be lovely if Gareth would be so kind.....

I enjoyed issue 23 and am patiently waiting for 24 which hopefully will introduce more new interesting variants. Meanwhile the little orange Mammoth book is diverting and fun, despite the horrid paper.

Hows everyone else doing? Any new exciting puzzles discovered that I may have missed?
Re: Inequalities
October 10, 2013 03:06AM
Hi Sue. I hope you are settling in to your new home and enjoying retirement! Whereabouts up North have you moved to?

I'm nowhere near completing the inequalities book. I put the book away for a while to do some of the other puzzle books, then went into a long Hanjie phase. I'm up to puzzle 110 with the inequalities and reckon this book will last me until Easter next year!! That wouldn't stop me buying a 2nd volume, though.

Keep us updated with your puzzle successes and fun new life!
Re: Inequalities
October 14, 2013 12:12PM
Hello Marilyn

Yes and yes in answer to your questions. I am now living in a tiny, beautiful village in the Dales not far from Kirkby Lonsdale. It is quite perfect and very peaceful for puzzling! I haven't Hanjie'd for a while but used to love them so you have inspired me to go back to them for a bit. I used to find they were very relaxing and satisfying to do whilst listening to music whereas I find the logic of a hard suduko (particularly the inequalities) requires too much concentration for such distractions. Not that Hanjie's are easy!

You seem to have done better than me on inequalities....I still have annoying gaps in the 1-110 range, but it is immensely satisfying to go back and complete an abandoned one occasionally. It doesn't always happen tho so I am still awaiting a bolt of lightening revealing some hitherto undiscovered piece of logic!

Off to find an unfinished Hanjie book now.....

All the best

Re: Inequalities
October 15, 2013 07:57AM
Hi Sue and Marilyn - hope you are both well. What a lovely part of the country you have moved to Sue - lovely for walks (if the sun ever shines again!) in between puzzling.

I haven't touched the inequalities book in a while, but now that it's been brought back to the forefront of my mind again, perhaps it's time to take another looke at it. I've been doing a lot of the puzzles in the Mammoth book just lately and enjoying the variety. One of my favourite types at the moment is the odd pair sudoku.

I've taken up bird watching and photography in a big way this last year or two and have spent most of the summer outdoors at various reserves making the most of the sunshine - it's been a great summer for once. Now the nights are drawing in again, there'll be more time to settle in and do puzzles. I am beginning to wonder whether Gareth has abandoned the Xtra books? No sign of Issue 24 yet and it's been a long while but it sounds as though there's another new project in the offing.

Best wishes to you both
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