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Messages posted by: mathgrant
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Number: Puzzle #2732
Genre: Masyu
Author: anurag.sahay
Appeared at: October 9, 2011

Was this puzzle created in response to the question of what's the fewest pearls needed in an nxn Masyu puzzle (with the added proviso that every row and every column must be traversed, to prevent trivial solutions like a 2x2 block of white pearls on an edge)? I forgot that I had once entertained such questions. With 12 pearls, this puzzle ties the record I had for a 10x10 puzzle, but my specimen had 8-way symmetry to where it only felt like one-eighth of a puzzle. Nice.
Very clean solve. I like seeing clean solves on this place.

Thierry wrote:
New Features
  • blah blah blah
  • Puzzle removal from sandbox for non-admins 

  • Doesn't work for me.
    I'll admit that I was surprised by how solvable this puzzle was, despite not having an obvious starting point in the form of two adjacent copies of a single letter. I thought it'd be insanely tedious trial and error in typical PuzzlePicnic form, but I broke in and solved it without straining myself.

    I'd consider making some of these myself were it possible to customize the characters beyond "A through some other letter". (As an example, Nikoli once published one where you had to partition the grid into blocks containing permutations of JAPAN, NIPPON, and ZIPANGU.)

    Maarten wrote:
    Without revealing too much, I can say that the solution contains a very familiar hidden pattern.  

    You mean [when you shade in all of the polyominoes with more than 5 squares]? Wouldn't have seen that without the heads up. Fascinating.
    Keep in mind that solving times play a huge role in determining the difficulty rating shown on the site, and larger puzzles usually take longer to solve that smaller puzzles that use the same techniques. While the opinion of the author and the judges regarding the difficulty bears more weight than a single solving time, as more people solve the puzzle, perhaps the rating will go down. In my opinion, I don't think a puzzle of this size is beginner-friendly enough for a one-star rating, simply because the size could prove to be intimidating.

    I really hate being critical (despite what Grant's Review Corner might suggest), but I'm failing to see how this puzzle incorporates the "antisymmetry" theme from the contest prompt, if it was even intended for the contest in the first place. It's a great puzzle, though, and I like how the 5's and PP are worked into it.
    The antisymmetry in both the Tapa and the Nurikabe really impressed me. I wouldn't have thought to try anti-symmetry in such a fashion.
    I assure you there is only one solution, Bizkit.
    Logicsmith Exhibition 5 has started on my blog! Your challenge: construct a 10x10 Fillomino puzzle that satisfies some very specific restrictions. I believe there are some fairly talented logicsmiths in this community, and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    I usually try not to flood Puzzle Picnic with posts about every single thing that happens on my blog, but there's a reason why I bring this up: I am offering a prize to the person whose puzzle is voted to be the best by the readers of my blog! What is that prize? You'll have to wait to find out!

    (On a tangentially related note, I can't wait to see the winning puzzles in Puzzle Picnic's 5th anniversary contest. . . .)

    est wrote:
    I know why I was wrong in these three puzzles. I marked squares without lightbulbs as illuminated instead of "-" sign therefore some squares weren't illuminated and I thought that they were. Sorry for confusion.

    I just wanted to add that this puzzle is too easy for three stars. 

    Guess what? It's now a two-star puzzle! The difficulty grades are based on a combination of the author's estimation of the difficulty, the judge's estimation of the difficulty, and the solving times of the people who finished the puzzle. The author and the judge each bear more weight than any individual solver's time, but when enough solvers complete the puzzle. . .
    I find your logic to be sound, Bram. Phew.

    anurag.sahay wrote:
    As you might have seen,it starts off well, you can complete the 10 and the 5 on its left.From here,start filling the 6 on the right.It can be completed in 3 ways- vertical 1x6 or horizontal 2x3 or vertical 2x4.I found that the 4 and 3 on R4C7 and R6C8 cant complete if you choose either of the first 2 ways for the 6.From here,it was quick. 

    As far as I can tell, the 10 can be contained in R5-10C9-110 or R7-10C8-10. The easiest way I can see to solve the 10 is to observe that the former forces R10C8 to be in R10C4-8, and R9C7 and R10C3 to both require the 7 at R9C3, a contradiction. With the 10 in a 3x4 rectangle, R9C7 can only be contained in R9-10C5-7, solving the 5 as you mentioned.

    I don't see how the 4 and the 3 are constrained by the first two choices for the 6 unless you're looking further ahead and not mentioning it.
    Number: Puzzle #1778
    Genre: Rectangles
    Author: Maarten
    Appeared at: April 17, 2011

    It's interesting to see this variation on Shikaku (which I first saw on motris's blog) implemented here. I was considering trying to make some myself, but now I definitely must.

    That being said, I didn't see how to tackle this puzzle without branching. Anyone willing to post or e-mail a walkthrough? We could compare notes or something.
    Not only do I want to create puzzles that are fun for puzzle veterans, but I want to attract newer people to logic puzzles, as well. As such, when I rate the difficulty of the puzzle, I tend to think more about how accessible the puzzle would be to a completely new person than what an expert's opinion might be. One of the logical deductions on the left side of the puzzle, while probably easy enough for a Slitherlink veteran to see, is still a tinge on the hard side, enough that I think there are easier puzzles for a complete newbie to get started on. One-star ratings, in my mind, should be reserved for the puzzles that a new person will find easy, since those are the ones a complete newbie would be inclined to try first. This one is a good example.

    That being said, this puzzle would probably still be an excellent stepping stone for a beginner wishing to work his/her way up to harder puzzles.
    Number: Puzzle #1963
    Genre: Tapa
    Author: Johan
    Appeared at: August 3, 2010

    Cute puzzle, although I'm surprised it wasn't posted on November 22.
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