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Another Friday beast! (Friday, 13th July 2012)
Zyntax
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 4094
Best Total: 13m 6s
Posted - 2012.07.13 00:22:01
Holy crap... lol
Darklady
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 3581
Best Total: 9m 37s
Posted - 2012.07.13 00:42:46
I feel pretty good about the time I got on it; I used a lot of tentative guessing that could've easily gone much worse (though it could've been better too). I'm eager to see what times other regular top scorers get.
Last edited by Darklady - 2012.07.13 00:44:37
Authority
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 2734
Best Total: 9m 56s
Posted - 2012.07.13 01:28:13
Yeah, that was an incredibly difficult puzzle with not very many good spots to start guessing. One of the hardest weekday puzzles I've seen yet.
Zyntax
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 4094
Best Total: 13m 6s
Posted - 2012.07.13 02:38:14
Yeah that's a really good time DarkLady. I blame the difficulty on it being Friday the 13th.
MondSemmel
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 3890
Best Total: 7m 47s
Posted - 2012.07.13 12:16:11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyntax
Yeah that's a really good time DarkLady. I blame the difficulty on it being Friday the 13th.

I agree with the first part, and chuckled at the second.

You certainly did a lot better on this puzzle than I did, Darklady .
It was really a difficult puzzle.
Last edited by MondSemmel - 2012.07.13 12:16:46
arbor8
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 3162
Best Total: 14m 2s
Posted - 2012.07.13 14:54:15
No big mistakes and didn't have to use the reset button- those are the positives.Lots of trying here and there but couldn't get a grip on it.For me, even harder than the previous "Friday Beast"
mathmaniac
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 1198
Best Total: 20m 57s
Posted - 2012.07.13 22:44:08
I just completed it and I'm not sure if this one was as hard as the "last one" but it might be due to the fact that I was expecting difficulty after glimpsing this thread before taking it on.
dave_l
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 2739
Best Total: 25m 32s
Posted - 2012.07.14 10:21:56
Well, thanks to everyone getting nervous about the recent Friday puzzles, I've just managed to get my FIRST "best time recorded" screen !!! Only achieved by following through a few optimistic guesses ... which, for once, were all correct.
Zyntax
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 4094
Best Total: 13m 6s
Posted - 2012.07.14 13:56:43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathmaniac
I just completed it and I'm not sure if this one was as hard as the "last one" but it might be due to the fact that I was expecting difficulty after glimpsing this thread before taking it on.

Interesting - you shouldn't have been able to view this thread unless you completed the Friday puzzle.
Last edited by Zyntax - 2012.07.14 13:57:27
mathmaniac
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 1198
Best Total: 20m 57s
Posted - 2012.07.14 18:22:04
I just saw the title, which was enough.
loopguy
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 761
Best Total: 45m 59s
Posted - 2012.07.20 06:03:47
So now that the rest of us (those that did not complete it) are able to see this topic, the required technique is to guess a lot?  I keep trying to logically figure these things out, mostly by fixing it (and saving it now and then), and then trying a line that looks like it won't work and seeing if I get in trouble, then reverting to fixed, marking that try with an 'x', and fixing it again.  I gave it about 30 minutes and gave up.  Of course, I'm rather slow (adding up my best times ever gives me about 1 1/2 hours), but I never found the right guesses, and wondered what I was doing wrong.
MondSemmel
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 3890
Best Total: 7m 47s
Posted - 2012.07.20 10:51:26
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopguy
So now that the rest of us (those that did not complete it) are able to see this topic, the required technique is to guess a lot?  I keep trying to logically figure these things out, mostly by fixing it (and saving it now and then), and then trying a line that looks like it won't work and seeing if I get in trouble, then reverting to fixed, marking that try with an 'x', and fixing it again.  I gave it about 30 minutes and gave up.  Of course, I'm rather slow (adding up my best times ever gives me about 1 1/2 hours), but I never found the right guesses, and wondered what I was doing wrong.

Well, eventually all puzzles, at some level, consist of trial & error exploration. That is the most basic type of logical deduction: If this line/cross doesn't lead to a valid solution, it must be a cross/line.
But most puzzles contain enough patterns so that only very small puzzle areas require this kind of exploration, so trial & error only takes up a negligible amount of solving time. But the very hardest puzzles lack clear patterns and options for highlander deductions and all the other logical shortcuts we use to avoid having to fall back on exploration...
So yes, once you filled in all the basic patterns in that puzzle, I guess the rest is mostly slow, steady progress through trial & error exploration. (That said, as you get more experienced at doing that, you will get _a lot_ faster at this kind of exploration, too.)

And I think this kind of puzzle which requires mostly exploraton is far less enjoyable than less difficult puzzles. But luckily, these puzzles are quite rare.
Darklady
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 3581
Best Total: 9m 37s
Posted - 2012.07.20 23:08:16
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopguy
I keep trying to logically figure these things out, mostly by fixing it (and saving it now and then), and then trying a line that looks like it won't work and seeing if I get in trouble, then reverting to fixed, marking that try with an 'x', and fixing it again.

This is exactly what you should be doing when puzzles get tough. If you want to improve your times, focus on learning simple patterns and deductions - e.g., two 3s kitty-corner from each other? The two sides of each 3 that are further away from the other 3 are both lines. (There's a bit more to how patterns work than that example shows but I'm not sure how to concisely describe it.) If you haven't noticed it yet, it can also help to know that if you trace any closed path on top of the puzzle (including a path that goes off one edge and on another), for any valid puzzle, you'll always cross the loop an even number of times.

Quickly recognizing a comprehensive set of simple patterns and applying basic deductions will easily get you a weekly time under 30 minutes; under 20 on a good week. Until you get that fast, you don't need to worry about anything more advanced.
mathmaniac
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 1198
Best Total: 20m 57s
Posted - 2012.07.21 21:01:02
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopguy
So now that the rest of us (those that did not complete it) are able to see this topic, the required technique is to guess a lot?  I keep trying to logically figure these things out, mostly by fixing it (and saving it now and then), and then trying a line that looks like it won't work and seeing if I get in trouble, then reverting to fixed, marking that try with an 'x', and fixing it again.  I gave it about 30 minutes and gave up.  Of course, I'm rather slow (adding up my best times ever gives me about 1 1/2 hours), but I never found the right guesses, and wondered what I was doing wrong.

As everyone else has said, we all use the same trial and error tactics when we get stuck, so you've go the right idea. As for your time, I'd be proud of an hour and a half if I were only six weeks into the game, so just keep practicing, noticing patterns and working out that clicking finger and before you know it, you'll be on the leaderboard to stay. Good luck.
LoopGuy
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 761
Best Total: 45m 59s
Posted - 2012.07.23 06:53:58
This is how far I got using the patterns I know (note: I added many more x's then I normally use just to point out what I know, I don't use many while solving and I'm trying to cut them out entirely):



This is, perhaps, not as good of a puzzle to show off my patterns because there aren't any zeros, and few other starting points.  The first question is, did I miss anything?

Next, I did the trial and error, and got this far:



But I can't find any line to cross out further.  Everything I've found involves multiple guesses, and I have failed to guess correctly enough times in a row to actually solve this one.  Did I miss something?

Thanks.
nis
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 1989
Best Total: 22m 1s
Posted - 2012.07.23 08:20:26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoopGuy
This is how far I got using the patterns I know (note: I added many more x's then I normally use just to point out what I know, I don't use many while solving and I'm trying to cut them out entirely):



This is, perhaps, not as good of a puzzle to show off my patterns because there aren't any zeros, and few other starting points.  The first question is, did I miss anything?

A little bit in the top left corner - it can all be deduced one segment/cross at a time:

LoopGuy
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 761
Best Total: 45m 59s
Posted - 2012.07.23 09:26:34
Yes, you are correct, the top left also has two possible solutions.  I may have forgotten to put that back in when posting to the forum.

After that, though, is it just multiple guesses?  Or is there another path?

-Guy
Darklady
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 3581
Best Total: 9m 37s
Posted - 2012.07.24 00:24:13
There are plenty more simple trial and error deductions to be made! Here are three guesses that all lead to dead ends in short order:



The one marked in red is pretty simple. The two blue ones are a bit more complex, but you should be able to figure 'em out. Combine them, and you can solve the entire left side of the puzzle. The right side should fall soon enough after that.

Here's another way to look at the puzzle:



The orange line shows the dividing line between two mostly-separated regions of the puzzle, where there are few valid options to connect the two parts of the loop. It may not look like much of a separation at first glance, as it crosses six unknown spaces, but if you look closer:

1) The top two spaces cannot both be lines, as that would lead to a small, separated loop.
2) As the bottom two spaces both touch the corners of the same 3, if they are both lines, then the loop cannot "escape" the left region there due to hitting the 3 and turning around again.
3) The middle two spaces are both next to the same 1, and thus, at most, only one can be a line.

Given all that, it should be apparent that there are actually few possibly-valid combinations for the unknown spaces along the orange line, and thus focusing on that area when making trial and error explorations is likely to lead to major deductions.
Last edited by Darklady - 2012.07.24 00:31:32
LoopGuy
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 761
Best Total: 45m 59s
Posted - 2012.07.24 03:12:35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklady
There are plenty more simple trial and error deductions to be made!

Thank you, Darklady.  That's the paradigm shift I was looking for.  I don't have time tonight, but I'm going to sit down with these suggestions and work them through very carefully, then go back in the archives and try them on all the Friday puzzles I had previously abandoned.

I'm not sure I'll ever get below 20 minutes a week (I'm a much better chess player at 3 minutes a move then 5 minutes a game), but I'll certainly enjoy them better if I don't have to give up after spending an hour on a 10x10 puzzle.
Last edited by LoopGuy - 2012.07.24 03:15:07
LoopGuy
Kwon-Tom Obsessive
Puzzles: 761
Best Total: 45m 59s
Posted - 2012.10.13 07:31:37
I finally solved it.  I've tried a few times, but it took until tonight to have enough experience to actually figure it out.  It took me a bit of both techniques, but I was able to do it in about 35 minutes.  Thanks for all the advice.

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