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Tips
Acorn
Kwon-Tom 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
Kwon-Tom 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 L-shapes 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
Kwon-Tom 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 brain-power. 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
Kwon-Tom 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
Kwon-Tom 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
Kwon-Tom 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.

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