Friday, 12 February 2010

Friday Puzzles #31

EDIT:  Before you jump to any conclusions, please read this:

So my pointed dig at the Puzzler media qualification scheme for the WSC continues with two sudoku puzzles I’ve written this week. One might be interpreted as a juvenile dig at the culture of following rules and regulations to the book, and the other is the finest sudoku puzzle I’ve ever written.
    #036 Sudoku – rated hard
    #037 Sudoku – rated medium
All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-10


  1. 2’51” and 2 even.

    You are really trying to get some mileage out of that second pattern now aren’t you? I’ve certainly used the top pattern before, but more typically as the completed % symbol that its set up to be. I was almost hoping both unfilled cells in the % would be 4’s since you’d set up 1-8 and 2-9 groups with that gap. Still, I found that puzzle quite enjoyable. The second pattern … well, I’ve always double-checked that I used the mirrored form of that pattern if I ever come close to it at all. You’ve now used it three times in two weeks. Let’s put it to bed for awhile, ok. Thanks.

  2. Well – in all fairness it’s only twice, really. It was the “same” puzzle last week.

    Interesting that although I sang the praises of the other puzzle, the swastika puzzle makes the most impact. Perhaps I shouldn’t be overly surprised. If one makes the hypothesis that sudoku is an art form, then you must accept that it can be used in controversial and even offensive ways to make a point. If one holds that hypothesis to be rubbish, then you shouldn’t care. It’s just a random array of numbers with rotational symmetry. I guess if most people do have an opinion one way or another, then I have demonstrated that sudoku is an art form.

    I’m not going to make too much of a defence here as I don’t feel the need to. If people are slightly offended I’m not too bothered; if people are overly offended I’ll link to the puzzle via text link rather than directly display it.

    The only point of debate is the subjective matter of whether my crass insensitivity is in any way justified. I’ll leave that for other people to decide.

  3. P.S. Next week’s puzzle, as previously advertised, will be a killer. That is sure to be a “safer” proposition.

  4. Outside of any historical reasons to avoid that symbology, I guess I’d also comment from a puzzle perspective that at least for diagonal puzzles I do not find it a good starting pattern as 9 of the 17 cells on the diagonals are givens with it, which minimizes the impactful zone of the two extra constraints. My likelihood of enjoying a diagonal probably scales with the number of unfilled diagonal cells. I almost consider it an implicit design constraint to not give the center cell, and no more than 4 on the diagonals, but I’m sure various other sources vary.

  5. I suppose it depends on what you want out of the extra constraint – you can either let it dominate the puzzle in a loud fashion, or you can use it to subtly compliment a standard sudoku. Most diagonals are as you describe, I’d agree, but I’d say that’s because it’s hard to overload the diagonals and not trivialise the diagonal constraint. To be honest, I thought I managed to not trivialise it pretty well, and that it was a good solve.

    Re the % puzzle – you second guessed what I was aiming at (full circles of different digits)...the different digits was too hard to get to work, and with the full circles the puzzle was just a little bit too easy for my tastes. I was trying to make sure that one came out well above par bearing in mind the evil twin it’s paired with…


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