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My first time
Acorn
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 555
Best Total: 42m 58s
Posted - 2006.04.13 14:17:57
It's my first time on the Board!  I'd like to know how other people do the puzzles.  I can recognize a number of patterns now but I always get stuck after I do the patterns I know.  I then end up trying a spot where there's only two choices and seeing how far it takes me.  If it doesn't work I can x that spot and if it does work I unfix and try the other spot to see if the one that worked is definitely correct.  It's very tedious as I use fix position a lot (especially on the big ones).  How do the fast people complete their puzzles?
AmyR
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 826
Best Total: 30m 18s
Posted - 2006.04.13 15:28:37
Once you do a lot of them, you begin to do the logic in your head without using fix position.  You also begin to find an recognize patterns...  I can now do the big ones without using fixed position (sometimes), but it took a while.
Acorn
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 555
Best Total: 42m 58s
Posted - 2006.04.13 15:46:32
Apparently I just am not very good at them because I've already done a mountain of puzzles.
adhawkins
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 1082
Best Total: 44m 12s
Posted - 2006.04.13 16:18:10
Don't worry, you're not alone.

I do the puzzle each day, and usually have to resort to guess work (for example, trying the four orientations around each '3' square) to see which lead to impossible situations.

Andy
procrastinator
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 1083
Best Total: 12m 56s
Posted - 2006.04.13 18:33:56
Yeah, that's pretty much the shape of it. Fix position can help you solve today's problem faster, but learning to visualize the outcome before you click anything will make you faster in the future. Another thing that improves with experience is your feeling for _where_ to start asking "what if?". Considering threes first is not a bad heuristic.

Just honing those things will make you competitive (at least on the per-week leaderboard). If you want to _win_, there are other skills you'll need to work on to get an edge. Might be time we started a thread on them, because it's feeling like it's always the same old names taking the daily wins.
Acorn
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 555
Best Total: 42m 58s
Posted - 2006.04.13 19:26:58
Some more hints/tips would be great because I like doing these puzzles printed out and it's almost impossible for me. I see the people in the top 10 have done less puzzles than I have but they are 10 times faster so I'm definitely missing something.
foilman
Kwon-Tom Admin
Puzzles: 1720
Best Total: 24m 8s
Posted - 2006.04.13 19:55:45
Well I've mentioned this tip before, but I'll mention it again, as I've used it a few times recently - if you trace across the board from one side to any other (not necessarily in a straight line, but always going across the sides of the squares) and count the lines you go across, you'll always get an EVEN number of lines on a solved puzzle. So if you can trace a route where there's just one segment unknown, that should tell you whether to put a line or a cross on it.

Also I find over time I've got better at looking an area of the puzzle and working out how many "ways in" and "ways out" there are. Again, this has to be an even number for the puzzle to be solvable. If there's a '1' on the edge of the area that's usually helpful as often there's only going to be one way past it, so that helps narrow down the possibilities.

Other than that, it is just a case of trying to visualise as far ahead as possible to see what consequences a move is going to have. I've done quite a few of the tricky ones on paper, so it is possible without that fix position option... just not very easy!
Last edited by foilman - 2006.04.13 19:57:09
prj
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 2356
Best Total: 18m 20s
Posted - 2006.04.14 04:39:21
Something to keep in mind when using Fix Position is that your "what if" hypothesis doesn't have to be just a single line or cross.  You can try putting two lines on a 3, and if you find a contradiction, then you know that one of those two must be the cross - and so the other two sides, that weren't marked to start with, must be lines.  The same goes for a 1 and two crosses.
AmyR
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 826
Best Total: 30m 18s
Posted - 2006.04.14 19:11:54
One thing to note is that the colours replace most parity counting...  plus they're fun.

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