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Community Puzzles

Posted by Christine 
Community Puzzles
January 03, 2010 11:13AM
I thought the community puzzles were a great addition to the magazine. My particular favourite this month was the Puzzle 'L' and I would love to see more of these in future issues if Lewis could be persuaded!

I had come across both the Modula puzzles and Navigirds before, having seen the Navigrids in the BBC Mindgames magazine which folded - I find these quite tricky (even the easy ones!) but very enjoyable. The Modulas are also fun and a bit easier!

Enjoyed the Big Foot puzzles too - hadn't a clue where to start at first but eventually worked out a strategy and enjoyed trying out a puzzle completely new to me.

The King's Journey and Knight's Tour are still 'works in progress' for me - I am currently about half way through each of them, but will get there eventually! The little ABC puzzles are another favourite of mine.

So, a big thank you to everyone who contributed. Very enjoyable.smileys with beer
Re: Community Puzzles
January 03, 2010 05:04PM
Well I did the Community Puzzles on Christmas Day and here are my opinions on them:

Lewis's Ls: I agree with Christine. This type of puzzle gets the award for best contribution this issue! The puzzles were very thought provoking and you need your skills from Nurikabe, Hanjie, Hitori, and probably some other puzzles combined to solve these. I read the rules at first and was confused, but after a while I figured it out and enjoyed these! I would really like to see more of these in the future.

Modula: I like the name. The puzzles were light and fluffy for me (even the hard one). After doing numerous killer sudoku and kakuro, adding up digits is second nature for me and the hardest part of the puzzle was not making an error marking out the givens in the solving aid section. Knowing that there is only one 0-9 white and shaded digit makes the puzzle even easier than a kakuro/killer sudoku. Perhaps if you could have a list of digits the could repeat for white and shaded spaces in the solving aid (sort of like a fill-in) it might increase the difficulty ... or break the puzzle, it would need to be tested of course. If the difficulty could be ramped up it would be a winner for me.

Navigrid: I also like these in Puzzler's Kakuro magazine. This is a good one from Laurence May. For an added challenge, I try to do them in my head before writing in the solution.

Big Foot: I like the concept of the puzzle, especially the idea that misinformation is given. However, after I figured out a rule corollary from the rules given, the puzzles became trivial to solve. Sorry David, it is a great minesweeper-like puzzle idea, but it needs a little more ooomph for me.

King's Journey: Hidato ... it was okay ... not a favourite though.

Knight's Tour: Hidato on steroids. Anyone remember the old computer game "Knight Moves" on Windows 95? That was a real-time version of this puzzle. Even though this is the same 8-way decision paths as Hidato, because of the leaping it can cause your brain to go crooked. I am working on a notation for this puzzle where I circle the numbers that have their consecutive numbers already done. That way I can focus on the ends of chains. I don't want to scratch out the numbers because I can use that information for the ends (e.g. if 19 is an end to a chain, seeing 18 circled means I only need to place the 20 ... If I cross out the 18 then I might overlook it). Does anyone have a better notation? I feel that if you are going to include Hidato-type puzzles in the future that I prefer the Knight ones.

ABC: I had done a puzzle like this before in a book titled Japanese Number Puzzles under the name "Number Position". ABC was good and I would like to see more of them, but Number Position had clues for the first and second positions and bigger possible grids.

To Summarize:

The Spittle award (ewwwww smiling smiley ) goes to Lewis's Ls hot smiley ... More for issue #3!
thumbs up for Navigrid, Knight's Tour, and ABC. More please smiling smiley
Re: Community Puzzles
January 11, 2010 03:36PM
Good to hear the feedback, Spittledung. I'll work on making future Bigfoot puzzles harder/less trivial. In the meantime, I've come up with something else (a slither link variant!) to see if Gareth would like to include it as a community puzzle next issue.

(Also - if you have any suggestions on making the Bigfoot puzzles better, please let me know by PM, e-mail, or forum post!)
Re: Community Puzzles
January 14, 2010 02:40AM
I'm very pleased to announce that David's fascinating mix of Slitherlink and Masyu will indeed feature in issue 3's community puzzle section, for which many thanks to him!

I've also got a Mosaic puzzle from Clarity Media, which I'm pretty excited about, as well as some other fun stuff to look forward to.

Meanwhile in the main section of the magazine I've added some Outside Sudoku variants for the coming issue!
Re: Community Puzzles
January 15, 2010 10:26PM
Looking forward to issue 3 already! It's great to see a bit of variety each month as well as the firm favourites - looking forward to the above mentioned puzzles.

On the spur of the moment, despite the fact I've got the pdf downloads, I decided to order pre-printed copies of the first two issues from Lulu (fed up of seeing huge piles of paper and half completed puzzles on the end of my settee and decided the amount of hours I spend doing the puzzles justify a second bound copy of the puzzles). They arrived today and I have to say the quality is amazing - more like a book with a glossy cover than a magaqzine - you must be well pleased with them Gareth!
Re: Community Puzzles
January 20, 2010 04:05PM
Yes, the printed copies look great don't they? The glossy colour covers are really nice, and both the Lulu and Amazon.com versions are top quality - the Amazon one is actually my favourite because there's none of the wasted space at the top and bottom of the page, nor at the back of the book. (Lulu has a minimum page count which Sudoku Xtra doesn't reach, so the end pages are padded). However the postage costs and delivery time if you're not in Northern America are a bit prohibitive for the Amazon.com version.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2010 04:05PM by gareth.
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