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04 November 2011 @ 09:11 am
Friday Puzzle #125 - Gapped Number Fill (DD Part 6)  
I've always thought a balanced competition should include some fill-in puzzles that have a "word puzzle" like quality even if they are presented without words to be fair to all competitors. To accomplish this goal, I used number-fills on my Double Decathlon test puzzles, with two different themes represented in the numbers.

Place the listed numbers into the grid, reading across and down. Entries may have one of more gaps, including at the beginning and end of the number. Gaps are exactly one cell (i.e. no two empty cells can share an edge). Numbers are grouped by their length in the grid.



I do a lot of puzzle hunt solving out here in the SF Bay area and it really pays off to notice oddities in a set of data as those are often the key to getting started with an unknown task, whether it be a cryptogram, a word charade, a sudoku, or something else entirely. With these puzzles I wanted to embed "concepts" about the numbers that, once revealed, would be clear for how to use in solving. This was set-up by my example puzzle that used a theme I've explored before, strictly increasing numbers where every successive digit is equal to or greater than the prior, and fitting "small" numbers in the UL corner and "big" numbers in the LR corner was effectively how to start.

The Easy puzzle here use a "doubles" theme, with a large quantity of the numbers having distinct repeated digits, specifically the 3-long and 8-long entries. Using the distinct doubles, you can recognize that the 3's do not easily cross with each other, and the 8's cannot cross at all. This should get you going rather fast.

The Hard puzzle has a "parity" theme. It should be pretty obvious that the 3's and 4's only have odd and even digits. The 5's have the oddballs. They are mostly odd but have two all even entries. Notice almost all of the 5's cross 3's except for two which cross 4's. There must be the "even" entries, as the UL and LR corners are even and LL and UR corners are odd.

motrismotris on November 9th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I apologize then for not posting an example with this grid (as was the case with the test where these first appeared). With the no touching rule, as with the USPC one this year, they aren't so bad. But without that constraint they would be 1000% not fun.