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11 March 2009 @ 08:05 am
3/11/09 - Powers of Two  
Difficulty: Easier to Mediumer 5x5 KenKen

Another "number in a grid" puzzle with a different kind of theme. I wasn't initially sure that it could work without operations, then I saw the light and it became the more medium puzzle that it is. Enjoy.
zundevil zundevil on March 11th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Good one! Getting the 16 from so little information is a neat trick, and after doing a little candidate work here and there, the 32 is pinned. Very elegant.
devjoe devjoe on March 11th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
OK, here goes.

We have a free 2, and then the 16 must be a product, two of which are NOT 2. This means it can only be 4x1x4.

The 32 must be a sum, and since the other two regions it shares columns with can at most contain any particular number twice, the 32 contains at least one of each number. The other 6 cells must add to 17, and the four cells of the other regions in these columns add to 13. The 4 can have at most a sum of 6 (5-1), so the 2 has a sum of at least 7; this can only be 8 (5-3) so the 4 is 4x1. Then the last cell of row 2 is a 1 and the 4 can be filled in.

The 1 must be a difference, and can only be 3-2, so it can be filled in, the other cell in its row is a 5, and the 2 can be filled in.

The 8 cannot be a product 2x4 since these columns both have 4s, so it is the sum 5+3, and the rest can be filled in by elimination.

lardarsegreg on March 12th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
You know, calling puzzles "easier" or "mediumer" is somewhat clumsy. If you want a "unique" difficulty ladder, try using the days of the week as the difficulty levels, with the guideline that you have a sliding scale of difficulty from Monday to Friday, with Saturday puzzles being more of a challenge, and Sunday puzzles being more of a challenge on different levels.
motris motris on March 12th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
My use of any difficulty label came from how horrible the NYT difficulties are named with Easier, Medium, Harder. Changing Medium to Mediumer at least added consistency.

You are right that I don't need this label at all though, as I am scaling the challenge with the week, so I won't apply any label again.