Tips  Acorn KwonTom Obsessive Puzzles: 555 Best Total: 42m 58s  Posted  2005.08.30 17:38:04 Is there a standard set of tips for doing these. I have a hard time finishing any of them. I can do a bunch of it but then I always find there's a point where I have to guess? I prefer logical puzzles and don't like guessing. I even have a hard time with the ones called "easy". 
Stephen KwonTom Obsessive Puzzles: 2923 Best Total: 22m 33s  Posted  2005.08.31 09:41:56
Quote: Originally Posted by acorn Is there a standard set of tips for doing these... 
Hi Acorn all the puzzles can be done without guessing, based on a set of fairly simple patterns  you've probably discovered some of these already, to get as far as you have. An example pattern would be something like: you have a '3' with a line coming into it at one corner, this implies that the opposite two sides are lines, and there is a cross from the existing line going 'out' of the '3'.
Another very useful rule involves chains of diagonal '2's, where if a line goes into and away from the corner of a '2', the other 2 sides are obviously lines:
This pattern is most often useful in reverse, as in the second example, where you can rule out the line going away from the corner of the bottom 2 due to the cross at the other end of the chain, and indeed imply a line coming into the top 2, since a cross there would imply a chain of Lshapes coming down the otherway.
These are just 2 patterns that I use, there are a lot more  infact I am still discovering them. It is finding these patterns and building up your own 'portfolio' of them that is part of the beauty of the game, so I won't spoil it for you, and leave you to find some more yourself! The harder puzzles will often require adding multiple patterns together (in your head or using the 'fix position' button, kind of cheating, but hey!) at which point they are genuinly solvable by logic alone, but can be increadibly complex (hence the can above), especially the weekend puzzles.
I hope this helps  one other thing, always put in crosses where ever possible, as these are often more useful than the lines themselves!
Stephen 
foilman KwonTom Admin Puzzles: 1718 Best Total: 24m 8s  Posted  2005.08.31 10:03:22 Another useful tip is to look for "enclosed" areas where there are only a limited number of ways in and out. If you think about it, any area must have an even number of lines going in to it  otherwise one line would go in but never come out again. So if you see, for example, three lines going into an area and only one way out, that must be a line. I can't think of a good way to draw this situation, but it's one I've hit a few times.
If I hit a situation where I just can't see any way to progress without guessing, then I try a few different possibilities  there will always be something that results in an illegal situation, so you know that possibility can be ruled out. Once you've practised at this for a while, you can often see several moves ahead (a bit like playing chess!) and rule out ones that result in illegal positions. That's when you start getting fast solving times...
They're all solvable without guessing, and without using the "fix position" button, but the hard ones do need a lot of brainpower. I've printed off some really big puzzles to pass time in airport lounges and on long flights and I haven't yet found one I've failed to solve eventually. 
astrokath KwonTom Obsessive Puzzles: 3093 Best Total: 13m 42s  Posted  2005.09.28 09:19:38 If you have a set of 3's lying next to each other in a row or column, they'll be separated by lines  the alternative is a closed box, which you can't have. A line which lies between two 3's must bend around one or the other, and cannot keep on in a straight line  so you can stick crosses at each end.
Diagonal chains of threes  the outside corners of the diagonal will always be lines. The same applies to a diagonal row of 323 or 3223 etc. 
Acorn KwonTom Obsessive Puzzles: 555 Best Total: 42m 58s  Posted  2005.09.28 21:16:15 Thanks. Keep the hints coming. I've actually been able to finish some of the easy ones in about 1/2 hour. How is it possible to finish them in just a few minutes? I'll be happy if I can just finish them at all. 
astrokath KwonTom Obsessive Puzzles: 3093 Best Total: 13m 42s  Posted  2005.09.29 07:10:25 Practice. Eventually, your mind processes the patterns without needing to think about them. 
