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Posted by gareth 
June 14, 2011 02:20PM
Sudoku Xtra 15 introduces a new puzzle of my own devising, Ultimazum. It's a path-based puzzle with very simple rules but it offers a lot of possible variation in terms of how it solves - for example in the magazine the first one requires a bit of experimentation/"overall" thinking, whereas the second and third solve more like traditional step-based logic puzzles. I'd love to know what you think of it!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2011 02:20PM by gareth.
Re: Ultimazum
June 15, 2011 04:37PM
Hi Gareth - have completed these three puzzles and enjoyed them - much easier than other recently introduced puzzles such as Heyawake and Tapas puzzles.

The first one felt as though I was doing a numberlink puzzle - not joining pairs of numbers obviously, but working out possible routes to include all squares.

As you say, the second and third puzzles solved more logically. I did wonder whether the second one might be difficult since there were only two numbers to link but in the event the number of corners and crossing squares meant a large part of the loop could be filled in immediately, as was the case in the the third puzzle. They reminded me a little of the suraroma puzzles in a previous issue.

I am a keen rather than an expert puzzle solver and did wonder whether they could be made a little harder to present more of a challenge (it's not often I find myself saying that!). Really good fun though and nice to have something a little easier mixed in with the more challenging puzzles. smiling smiley
Re: Ultimazum
June 17, 2011 02:37PM
Thanks for the feedback - that's fantastic! As the first one illustrates, if you design them to solve like numberlink then you can make them really tough, so what I like is that you can have a puzzle such as the second one which superficially looks challenging but actually turns out to be nice and easy. It's also a puzzle you can try to solve by luck if you want to since you can use reasonable judgement to guess where lines must go, whereas with most puzzles it's very hard to visualise what a reasonable guess is for the whole puzzle. I think that ability makes them more inviting for a general, "non-puzzling" person too.
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